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Class 2021-need based aid - psychology

canadusacanadusa 2 replies4 threads New Member
Looking for some feedback from parents whom may have been in my situation.
Doing the college search-my daughter is going to college in the fall 2021. Single parent with limited income-retired former teacher on disability with Lyme. Great news looks like we can get a good package with need based schools.

My daughter has an unweighted GPA 92/involved in Theater, community services. Mixed honors classes- low grades in Math/Science(has an IEP) Very high grades English/SS.
Wants to study psychology near age city(First choice) Boston, Washington DC, NYS

With my limited funds..hired a college consultant. Most of the colleges she is suggesting is about $35,000 when I do the Net Calculator. Our budget per year is $15,000. She says not to discount some of the schools as she could get a merit package of 20,000(possibly) if colleges want you. What has been your experiences with merit packages?

Can anyone recommend colleges close to major cities with good need-based packages.
I would greatly appreciate any feedback
edited June 21
4 replies
Post edited by sybbie719 on
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Replies to: Class 2021-need based aid - psychology

  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1735 replies2 threads Senior Member
    Are you divorced? NPC can be tricky if you are. I'd think you want to look at "meet full needs" schools, but most of them are highly competitive and will go off the CSS, not just a FAFSA and may want dad's info.
    What's your home state?
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  • CollegeMamb0CollegeMamb0 83 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Need based and merit aid rarely stack. They sometimes do, but not often. I agree that 'meets full needs' school are one option but divorce situation can make the results unpredictable.

    The other option is merit aid, but getting enough to get the cost down to $15k will be tough. Does she have any test scores? PSAT, SAT, ACT? Is she taking any AP tests?

    So start with affordable safeties: what is commutable? what is the NPC of your in state flagship saying?

    Psychology will involve statistics at least. How is she with that given her math?

    Careers with psychology can often involve graduate school, especially for clinical roles, research and counselling. Ideally these are funded PhDs, but some may need a Masters. Entry level work in these areas is not a huge salary, so keep debts to an absolute minimum. If wanting to work in industry (HR, customer behavior, marketing analytics) additional training/studying could be needed.
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20966 replies2052 threads Super Moderator
    edited June 21

    This is my $.02. I have mixed feelings about paying for a college counselor where you will have a wide range of resources who can give you some of the same information for free.

    Psychology is a major at pretty much every single college in the country. From your post, it looks like your D is looking at grad school for Music therapy, which means you/she will need to save money for grad school (in this major there is going to be very little free money).

    She may have to put the being in a city part on the back burner until grad school (she could then look at the Music Therapy program at NYU Steinhardt).

    I would recommend that she looks for programs where she can double major in Music and Psychology (because some programs do ask for auditions for the music therapy program).

    What is your home state? If you are in NYS, I would not sleep on SUNY Purchase where she can do both. If you are in-state, you can use Excelsior to cover most of the tuition, use your $15k in your budget and perhaps your D will take a small loan.


    edited June 21
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4918 replies59 threads Senior Member
    edited June 29
    You need to line up realistic local options. IMO I am not sure you should be paying a consultant anything at all, so if you can cancel that, do so and spend more time here. It doesn't sound to me like your person is being especially frank.

    Where do you live? Expand on the IEP? Merit is mostly for high achievers, that means a great GPA and test scores (In normal times). Schools that give pandering $$ for lower stats are either less desirable or more expensive. IMO you have to be more realistic. You should consider commuting options. What is your FAFSA EFC? Is there a non custodial parent?
    edited June 29
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