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Financial Aid for Upper MIddle Class

biochemsurgeonbiochemsurgeon 12 replies26 threads Junior Member
My parents think that it is not a good idea to apply to colleges that only provide need based aid because they say that I will not receive enough to be able to go. Would you agree?
edited July 10
24 replies
Post edited by mom2collegekids on
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Replies to: Financial Aid for Upper MIddle Class

  • amsunshineamsunshine 1082 replies9 threads Senior Member
    Yes.
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  • tara00tara00 26 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Actually, my daughter will end up paying less to go to a school that only provides need-based aid. It wouldn’t hurt to apply to a few in addition to schools with merit-based aid.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 2062 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Are you saying that you will not receive enough to be able to go? If you have run the net price calculator for a school and the result is higher than what you can pay, then yes.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83795 replies743 threads Senior Member
    My parents think that it is not a good idea to apply to colleges that only provide need based aid because they say that I will need receive enough to be able to go. Would you agree?

    You and your parents should use the net price calculator on each college's web site to get an idea of what its need-based financial aid may be like.
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  • TigerInWinterTigerInWinter 118 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Definitely don't make any assumptions until you run some NPCs. I don't know how you're defining "upper middle class" (I've seen people with income in the top 5% classify themselves that way), but at some uber-wealthy schools, tuition is free (or close to it) for families with incomes as high as 150-160k.

    Also, be sure to find out from your parents ASAP how much they can afford to (or are willing to) pay for your education.
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  • brantlybrantly 4319 replies78 threads Senior Member
    edited July 8
    No need to guess or assume. As others upthread have said, run the Net Price Calculator for EACH college you are interested in. Do not use one of those aggregate calculators. Go to the website for each college, one at a time, and click into the link they provide for the NPC on their website.
    edited July 8
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  • SybyllaSybylla 5065 replies60 threads Senior Member
    edited July 9
    If you will get no need based FA then your parents are smart to state this clearly. You probably have been given a budget, right? Lots of CC families would be no need families even in generous schools. The trouble IMO is that kids are told a different story at school, "fill in fafsa for free money". It isn't complicated to know that you are not a family that will get need based aid, but people sure like to tell you this.
    edited July 9
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30449 replies59 threads Senior Member
    It’s time to have a talk with your parents on how much they are willing and able to pay for college for you. It’s also time to get the information you will need to complete Net Price Calculators at various schools snd find out what your gap is likely to be.

    If the gap is more than you can personally cover with Direct Student loan ($5500 freshman, increasing to $7k senior year) and what you can expect to earn in summer and part time work, then the school is unaffordable unless there are some scholarships , non need based that will cover your That gap. If you are eligible for financial aid, be aware that such merit scholarships often reduce need so you may not be able to stack need and merit money.

    Start looking for schools that are affordable, or can be. Cost is a big issue in college choice for most students.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6648 replies2 threads Senior Member
    edited July 9
    This is a common situation. Parents with professional degrees frequently (but not always) have very smart and hardworking kids and an income sufficient to preclude need based financial aid but not enough to make paying $75,000 per year per child comfortable.

    We found the NPCs accurate in this situation. Some predicted merit based aid (UVM was an example), and some did not.

    You need to figure out what your budget really is, and run a few NPCs and see what the results are. If you google "net price calculator University of <insert name here>" you will find its NPC. If your parents do not know what your budget is, then you could run a few NPCs and show them the result and see what their reaction is. Remember that university prices will rise a bit from year to year.

    We found financial safeties in our in-state public universities, and in Canada. However we are not all that far from the border which made the "slightly foreign" schools in Canada not too far away for us. There are plenty of good schools in the US that give good merit based aid.

    By the way, one daughter went to a school that was only affordable because of the merit based aid. We never talked about what would happen if her GPA fell to the point that she no longer got the aid. Fortunately this never happened. However the failure to talk about this up front was probably a mistake on our part.
    edited July 9
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  • user4321user4321 207 replies2 threads Junior Member
    edited July 9
    I found the NPCs to have varying degrees of accuracy. The schools that have their merit aid formula programmed into their NPC are the easiest to deal with because you can pretty much count on what they say. I have a lot of respect for that. I can say from experience that there is plenty of merit aid available for smart, high performing kids that are not qualified for any need based aid. Unfortunately, you may not want to attend any of the schools the will provide you with merit aid and the schools you really want to attend are likely not to provide merit aid. If you can get need based aid, so much the better.
    edited July 9
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama 84339 replies1048 threads Forum Champion
    tara00 wrote: »
    Actually, my daughter will end up paying less to go to a school that only provides need-based aid. It wouldn’t hurt to apply to a few in addition to schools with merit-based aid.

    The devil is in the details. Are you upper-middle-class? And if you are, is your child attending one of the schools known for super-aid (such as HYPS, williams, Vandy, etc)?

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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama 84339 replies1048 threads Forum Champion
    My parents think that it is not a good idea to apply to colleges that only provide need based aid because they say that I will not receive enough to be able to go. Would you agree?


    Yes, I agree. What do you define as “upper middle class”? And do your parents own a business or take business deductions? Do they own properties other than their home? Do they have a lot of home equity?

    Sure, go ahead and maybe apply to a couple of schools that give super-aid if your parents have run the Net Price Calculators and see that you likely will get enough aid.

    But, it sounds like your parents already know that their finances are such that you won’t get any aid or get enough aid.

    Have you asked your parents how much they will contribute each year? If not, do so.

    What is your career goal? What are your stats? Where are you applying? What schools with ASSURED big merit for YOUR stats are you applying to?
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  • biochemsurgeonbiochemsurgeon 12 replies26 threads Junior Member
    edited July 13
    I consider upper middle class to be above $100,000. My mom makes roughly $112,000 a year and my dad around $80,000. My mom had two business, now she just has one. She recently just finished a bankruptcy if that means anything. I asked my mom what she was willing to pay and she said she was only willing to pay at max $8,000 a year and my dad said he'd be willing to pay around $5,000 but the net price calculators we've used had more than $13,000. MY plan is to go to med school, so I am worried about taking out large amount of loans. My stats are OK overall, but I think I'm in the top 10% of my class if that means anything. But, im not sure I'll get much merit aid
    edited July 13
    Post edited by mom2collegekids on
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  • brantlybrantly 4319 replies78 threads Senior Member
    You want to go to med school? Go to your state flagship or other in-state public. What state are you in?

    You've got $13k from your parents plus the federal loan, which is $5.5k freshman year and goes up a little each year.
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  • kidzncatzkidzncatz 1144 replies7 threads Senior Member
    edited July 10
    You stated in another thread that you are from Indiana. With your parents' contributions plus full-time summer work earnings, IU or Purdue should be affordable. There are good merit scholarship opportunities at some southern, midwestern, and southwestern flagships, where costs might be similar to your instate flagships if you qualify for those scholarships. There aren't many private schools where cost of attendance would be within your price range, unless you can get a full-tuition scholarship. Have you taken the SAT or ACT? PSAT? If so, what were your scores?
    edited July 10
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  • thumper1thumper1 78481 replies3537 threads Senior Member
    Are your parents married?
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  • 4Gulls4Gulls 573 replies0 threads Member
    @thumper1 Good question: are your parents married? Separated? Divorced - that can complicate things. Will you be the only child attending college or do you have siblings who will also be in school? If so, it can help out with FA in years you overlap. As others have said, you need to 1) have an honest discussion w/ both parents 2) run the NPC at schools you're interested and then 3) Identify a couple of true safeties (probably state schools). Then you can add some other schools, too, if you want - but make sure you'd be fine with your safeties. If medical school is your goal, you don't want to go into debt for undergrad.
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  • MWolfMWolf 2738 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I considered upper middle class to be above $100,000. My mom makes roughly $112,000 a year and my dad around $80,000. My mom had two business, no she just has one. She recently just finished a bankruptcy if that mean anything. I asked my mom what she was willing to pay and she said she was only willing to pay at max $8,000 a year and my dad said he'd be willing to pay around $5,000 but the net price calculators we've used had more than $13,000. MY plan is to go to med school, so I am worried about taking out large amount of loans. My stats are OK overall, but I think I'm in the top 10% of my class if that means anything. But, im not sure I'll get much merit aid

    I would modify this and say that about $100,000 is the very lowest at which a family anywhere can be considered upper middle class. That would depend on family size, state of residence and the CoL of the area.

    According to the Census Bureau, the median income for a family of four is $68,000. However, in Mississippi the median income for a family of four is $51,800, while in Maryland, the median is $92,500. So the definitions of upper middle class would be different in each of those states.

    I would consider 150% or so of the median and higher to be upper middle class, while upper class is the top 5% or so to be wealthy. Of course, other things to be taken into consideration, like accumulated wealth. So a family of four which owns a $1,000,000 house, fully paid for, has $5,000,000 in savings, and has an income of $200,000 is wealthy, while a family of four with $30,000 equity in their house and $50,000 in saving, and has an income of $200,000 is still upper middle class. Of course if a family has two kids in college versus two kids in elementary school, the income which puts them in upper middle class.

    It also depends whether the lower cutoff for wealthy is the top 20%, the top 10%, the top 5%, or the top 1%.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 5065 replies60 threads Senior Member
    Are you the same kid as in your other posts?
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama 84339 replies1048 threads Forum Champion
    I consider upper middle class to be above $100,000. My mom makes roughly $112,000 a year and my dad around $80,000. My mom had two business, now she just has one. She recently just finished a bankruptcy if that means anything. I asked my mom what she was willing to pay and she said she was only willing to pay at max $8,000 a year and my dad said he'd be willing to pay around $5,000 but the net price calculators we've used had more than $13,000. MY plan is to go to med school, so I am worried about taking out large amount of loans. My stats are OK overall, but I think I'm in the top 10% of my class if that means anything. But, im not sure I'll get much merit aid


    What are your stats exactly?

    Are your parents living in the same household?


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