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PLEASE HELP! I received no financial aid from my top choice (Northeastern University), What do I do?

DrSenioritisDrSenioritis 199 replies4 threads Junior Member
Hi everyone. So I am going to share this information here because I have no problem with doing so as long as it helps me get help, lol. I just got my financial aid package from Northeastern University back today, I had to submit some additional documents that were really random in late March so thats why it took so long for them to get back to me. When I opened up the package I saw a fat $0 in grants. The only aid I received was my deans scholarship of $9,000 per full semester, and a subsidized and unsubsidized loan. I didnt even get a work study!

My FAFSA EFC is $18,400 however my other private schools used the CSS to recalculate it to around $22,000. Northeastern would cost me right now $52,000 per year to go, and that is unfortunately IMPOSSIBLE for me to pay. I received sizable grants from my other private schools including GW and Bucknell. GW gave me a $28,000/yr scholarship and ON TOP OF THAT STILL gave me a $18,600 university award. Bucknell gave me a $10,000 scholarship and on top of that a $15,000 grant. Now, unfortunately Bucknell is too expensive still (around 50k a year) and I really do not like GW so I do not want to attend there but it would cost me $30,000 a year which is my ideal price for college and what I would want to get Northeastern down to. Why did I get no grants from Northeastern? I feel like they have had to make a mistake. My family adjusted income is only like $115,000 a year. How would I get NOTHING? Especially since I still got grants from all of my other private schools!

So, now, I need some advice. Im going to call Northeastern financial services tomorrow. What should I do? How should I go about this? if the price got down to around $30,000 I would definitely attend because it is my top school. Please give me any advice. I really need help.
edited June 30
97 replies
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Replies to: PLEASE HELP! I received no financial aid from my top choice (Northeastern University), What do I do?

  • NJCityNJCity 125 replies0 threads Junior Member
    You have to appeal your financial aid decision, if that doesn’t work you will have to choose a school that is more affordable.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5493 replies93 threads Senior Member
    Have Northeastern take you thru their calculations, they do meet full need based on CSS Profile data and their proprietary formula. The way in which schools calculate need can vary significantly, for example some don't consider home equity, while some do.

    Have all the CSS info with you for the call....is that already set up? If not it might take a while to get that scheduled. When you do speak with someone, ask questions, focus on facts, and don't be emotional.

    Did you run Northeastern's NPC prior to applying? If so, what did that estimate?

    Do you have any other affordable options besides GWU?
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  • DrSenioritisDrSenioritis 199 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @Mwfan1921 thank you for the advice. when i ran the NPC it said i was eligible for $19,000 but i’m not sure if my scholarship takes away from that. my other affordable option is SUNY Binghamton. I’m going to call them tomorrow and ask them all about the process.
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10375 replies72 threads Senior Member
    I didn't even get a work study!
    Work study is for very low income students.
    Large grants are for low income students.

    There are many families that don't make what your family makes, so the dollars go to very low income students.

    Every school has different funding. Picture the schools as families with bank accounts, some have huge savings/endowments and some don't. They draw out their accounts according to their own formulas for withdrawals and the students they want to lure. They don't have large funds every student. There's a finite amount of money. You can ask for more funding, but they don't have to fund you.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5493 replies93 threads Senior Member
    edited April 14
    @Mwfan1921 thank you for the advice. when i ran the NPC it said i was eligible for $19,000 but i’m not sure if my scholarship takes away from that. my other affordable option is SUNY Binghamton. I’m going to call them tomorrow and ask them all about the process.

    The npc said you were eligible for $19k in grants, or it estimated COA at $19k? If the former NEU wouldn’t be affordable would it?

    Good luck when you speak with them.
    edited April 14
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  • DrSenioritisDrSenioritis 199 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @Mwfan1921 $19k in grants, yes that wouldn’t make it affordable, but that plus my $18k/yr scholarships would make it affordable
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  • DrSenioritisDrSenioritis 199 replies4 threads Junior Member
    edited April 14
    @aunt bea thanks for telling me i’m not entitled to financial aid with an EFC of $18,000
    edited April 14
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  • thumper1thumper1 78473 replies3537 threads Senior Member
    edited April 14
    Something isn’t right.

    1. Did you submit all your financial aid documents on time.

    2. Are your parents self employed or do they own a business?

    3. Did you apply to any affordable colleges...publics in your own state, for example?

    4. What can your parents pay each year? Are all of your acceptances unaffordable?

    5. What is your parent gross income?

    If your family can pay $30,000 a year for you to attend college, then your instate publics should have been on your list.

    Re: work study. This is limited funding per college and is awarded on a first come first serve basis to the lowest income students.

    So what are your options? If you have an affordable acceptance, go there. Yes, you can appeal to NEU...but they aren’t going to give you $30,000 or more in additional aid.

    You could take a gap year, and apply again next year to more affordable options, or places where you are guaranteed merit aid...or to your instate publics (if those aren’t in your acceptances now).
    edited April 14
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  • thumper1thumper1 78473 replies3537 threads Senior Member
    edited April 14
    You didn’t get $0 in aid. You got $18,000 in scholarship money plus a $5500 Loan...which actually exceeds what the NPC said you would get in total aid..right?

    Bing is a great school and at instate COA is very affordable...on your other thread you said you wanted your costs to be $30,000 or less. Bing is there.

    You can appeal your aid from NEU, but do you really think they will give you that much more aid?

    What was your family gross income? Are your parents self employed or do they own a business? What are their assets...those count too.
    edited April 14
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  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4979 replies19 threads Senior Member
    aunt bea thanks for telling me i’m not entitled to financial aid with an EFC of $18,000

    What makes you think that you're "entitled" to any financial aid from Northeastern with a FAFSA EFC of $18,400? What rule or law gives you that entitlement?
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24942 replies20 threads Senior Member
    You got $18000 in grants. A merit scholarship is a grant in that it doesn't have to be repaid like a loan. Not all grants are need based.

    I think Northeastern is too expensive for you.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9981 replies386 threads Senior Member
    edited April 15
    I think you're not understanding how financial aid works. Very few schools meet need. For schools that do it's the school, not the family, that determines how much that need is. The EFC is the minimum you can expect to pay.

    Why am i not entitled to financial aid just because there are people who make less money than me?

    Because that's how need based financial aid works. Those with less need get less financial aid. But it doesn't look like you got need based aid. A Dean's scholarship sounds like merit.

    I don't think any school has an extra $20k/year ($80k total) to hand out to a family that hasn't had a recent change in circumstances. I don't really think they have that kind of money for families that have had recent changes either, but you can ask. If they say no, SUNY Binghamton is a great option.
    Northeastern's Promise: The Promise enables you to plan for the entire cost of your degree. Under the Promise, we guarantee that: We are dedicated to meeting the full demonstrated need for each admitted student eligible for federal financial aid.*

    If you didn't receive work study, you apparently weren't eligible for federal aid, so it doesn't sound like this grant would apply to you.
    edited April 15
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  • dadof2ddadof2d 275 replies23 threads Junior Member
    OP- Does your family have a large amount of equity in your home? This is usually considered at CSS schools but is not considered for your FAFSA EFC. How about business income? CSS schools may add back some deductions. Both of these items are handled differently at different schools, so this may account for some of the differences in aid you were offered.

    Regardless, pick the school you can afford....
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  • DrSenioritisDrSenioritis 199 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @austinmshauri wait im confused, I just went on the northeastern promise website, I dont see anything on the website that would indicate not receiving a work study means I wasn't eligible for financial aid, how did you find this out? Also how is it possible for me to be eligible for financial aid at all my other colleges but not at Northeastern?
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  • DrSenioritisDrSenioritis 199 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @dadof2d my family still owes around 300k on our 700k home. My father owns a landscaping business which is our primary source of income and its net worth is around $40k. Also, the schools who required CSS (such as GW) recalculated my EFC to be around $21,000. Still, no where near that $52k price tag of neu.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9981 replies386 threads Senior Member
    Schools have their own financial aid formulas. Northeastern won't care how GW calculated their aid.

    If your parents own a business and a $700k home on Long Island that's more than halfway paid for, their gross income isn't $115k. Colleges can count the income, the assets, home equity, the value of the business, and more when calculating aid. Net price calculators were never going to be accurate for you because your family owns a business.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24942 replies20 threads Senior Member
    If you like the way GW calculates FA, go to GW.

    Northwestern wants you to qualify for FEDERAL aid, which is Pell grants, SEOG, work study and subsidized loans. Northwestern has a lot of control over who qualifies for that.

    Parents aren't telling you what is fair or how it should be or that you are undeserving, but how it IS. We all wanted our kids to go to the best schools for free (or what we could afford without loans) but that's not how it is. My kids had to let a lot of school go because we just couldn't afford them. At all. We found some we could afford that they liked.

    Why did you apply to GW if you don't like it?
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6642 replies2 threads Senior Member
    "My father owns a landscaping business"

    I think that we have just discovered the root of the problem.

    OP, you have affordable options. That puts you ahead of nearly all of the children of any small business owner that I have talked to.
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10375 replies72 threads Senior Member
    @aunt bea thanks for telling me i’m not entitled to financial aid with an EFC of $18,000
    I didn't tell you that you weren't entitled to financial aid, I told you how some schools fund their students.

    Most of the students, that I worked with at my high school, had low incomes and qualified for free or reduced lunches.

    We had families whose combined income for a year was $30K for a family of 5. Your beginning number of $18K EFC was half of an annual salary for a family of five. So the schools look at these students, who have performed well under limited circumstances, and give them priority for work study.

    You are aware that work study hours and jobs are limited? Typically 10-15 hours per week and usually at minimum wage. I think my daughter's roommate made $2000 for the full year on work study. In other words, you make enough to fund incidentals. It's not enough to knock off significant amounts of tuition and fees.
    since I still got grants from all of my other private schools!
    This is great because you have options! Go to one of these schools. A number of students don't receive multiple choices.
    What should I do? . . . . . .
    You seem to be set on Northeastern so you have the following options:

    Ask them:
    Why did I get no grants from Northeastern? I feel like they have had to make a mistake.
    If they can't give you more in aid, then you have to make a decision about your other options.
    The schools just don't have the money to fund each student according to what each student wants. Where would they get the money from?????
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