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How accurate are the Ivy League estimators for financial aid?

RockyPARockyPA 93 replies10 threads Junior Member
Just wondering how accurate these online tools are?
12 replies
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Replies to: How accurate are the Ivy League estimators for financial aid?

  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4843 replies19 threads Senior Member
    It depends.
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  • RockyPARockyPA 93 replies10 threads Junior Member
    It depends.

    I just used the estimator for Princeton and was surprised to see that we qualified for some minimal aid, as opposed to the FAFSA estimator, which shows a higher efc.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3888 replies71 threads Senior Member
    edited February 25
    Princeton is arguably the most generous school wrt fin aid. I expect most Ivy league NPCs are fairly accurate unless parents are divorced, own a business, or have significant real estate holdings.

    Filing FAFSA allows applicants to access federal college monies/programs: pell grant, direct student loans, work-study, etc.

    Most private schools use CSS Profile (or their own form like Princeton's PFAA) to determine need based aid....these documents require much more financial information than FAFSA, and in some (many?) cases the expected contribution will exceed that of FAFSA's EFC.
    edited February 25
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  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4843 replies19 threads Senior Member
    I just used the estimator for Princeton and was surprised to see that we qualified for some minimal aid, as opposed to the FAFSA estimator, which shows a higher efc.

    Princeton, and many other competitive (wealthy) schools, do not base their institutional financial aid on FAFSA only. Comparing a FAFSA forecaster result to Net Price Calculator results from schools like Princeton is like comparing apples and oranges.
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  • thumper1thumper1 77154 replies3429 threads Senior Member
    Are your parents self employed?

    Do they own a business?

    Do they own real estate in addition to your primary residence?

    Are they divorced?

    If no to all these, the NPC will give you a decent estimate of your aid and net cost.

    But the figures you enter must be accurate.

    You know...garbage in, garbage out!
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  • jym626jym626 56974 replies2989 threads Senior Member
    The individual school's NPC is typically better to use than a generic one. And schools like the ivy's either use the Profile or their own process ( as Princeton does, IIRC)
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  • thumper1thumper1 77154 replies3429 threads Senior Member
    Remember also that this very generous need based aid is only available to accepted students. These schools have admissions in the single digits. The vast majority of applicants don’t get accepted.
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  • RockyPARockyPA 93 replies10 threads Junior Member
    thumper1 wrote: »
    Remember also that this very generous need based aid is only available to accepted students. These schools have admissions in the single digits. The vast majority of applicants don’t get accepted.

    Yes, of course I know that
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  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 2090 replies74 threads Senior Member
    As long as you accurately report when using the NPC, you should get an accurate estimate of your EFC. I'm not surprised that you were surprised that you qualified for some aid using the Princeton NPC. Even for families in excess of $200K+ could get some aid depending on other financial circumstances. I no longer have all the details since it's been at least a couple of years, but when I did a comparative NPC test of all the Ivy League and Stanford using the exact same financial data, Princeton and Harvard came out as the most generous, followed by Stanford and Yale. Princeton's actual family contribution figure was very accurate with the NPC we ran. For the first two yeas that my two sons were simultaneously in college, Princeton cost us less than the in-state public university's.
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  • mountainsoulmountainsoul 165 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Use the college’s NPC and input accurate numbers to get accurate calculations. You may be surprised by the generosity of this tier of colleges. Our estimate for Penn was within a $1000 of the NPC estimate making it comparable to our state flagship.
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  • RockyPARockyPA 93 replies10 threads Junior Member
    There is a section for student's assets... My daughter was given some money from my father who lives overseas... when I put this amount in it doesn't seem to change her own expected contribution. I played around and put different numbers in (higher and lower), and her contribution remained the same. This can't be right.
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  • thumper1thumper1 77154 replies3429 threads Senior Member
    How much money are we talking?
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