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leebanthemanleebantheman Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
Well I was just wondering, if all colleges give out financial aid? Does it matter if you apply early decision to get financial aid? And does it have anything to do with grades...Cause I really need the money for college but I'm hoping financial aid will help me
Post edited by leebantheman on

Replies to: Aid??

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,612 Senior Member
    Most colleges do NOT have funds to give out to meet need. Many can only provide the very limited aid that the federal gov't provides....small grants for low income students and small loans for others.

    There are some schools that do have limited funds to award for financial aid. Some of those schools are more generous to those who have "need" and have high stats. It's called "preferential packaging."

    There are some schools (like the ivies) that have a lot of aid to give because they uniquely have huge endowments.

    However, keep in mind that the colleges get to decide how much THEY think your parents should pay. So even if your family thinks it can't pay much, the schools may think differently.

    What is your situation?

    How much will your parents pay each year for college?

    Do your parents have a good income and/or assets?

    What are your stats?

    If you have good stats, then you should consider applying to some schools that will give you big merit scholarships for your stats. Those schools can be your safeties.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    If you are talking about the majority of the thousands of US colleges, the answer is that most have little to offer in aid outside of state and federal monies. They MAY have some scholarships here and there, but not a whole lot.

    Here on CC, most of the folks are looking at the top colleges in terms of endowment and need, so most of those schools do have some form of merit and financial aid. It's a whole other world.

    Some schools have more than other. Bowdoin, for example, guarantees to meet 100% of need as they define it. But no merit awards. Fordham does not guarantee to meet 100% of need, but there are some nice merit scholarships for the kids the school most wants. Some schools like Penn State, just doesn't have much of money in either category. I know many, many kids who applied there that had need and/or were high achievers, and the awards tend to be paltry. NYU is another school that doesn't guarantee to meet need, but it their case, they can be generous to those kids they most want. Some schools have automatic scholarships for those that meet certain requirements, others have awards that have to be given to a student, sometimes after another application, and maybe interview. Georgia Tech has a wonderful scholarship for their top applicants, but you do have to apply for it, you have to get the papers in early, and getting it requires a commitment as you move through the phases of being assessed for the award. Some colleges just award you a scholarship if your SAT and gpa are at a certain threshhold. No extra work required.
  • leebanthemanleebantheman Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    Well my situation is that My Parents both have 2 jobs and work 7 days a week... with no rest. I have 3 sisters that are in college (William and mary, uva(graduated), and GMU) and they got some financial aide to help them. My parents are probably willing ot pay around 2'000- 4'000 dollars and my parents together make around 38,000-40'000 a year. I have a 3.35 GPA with a 1460 SAT: 520 reading, 490 math, 460 writing. I'm in the apple federal credit union, Math honor society, Spanish Honor Society, FBLA, DECA, Model United Nations, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, and Basketball. I also did a program at William and Mary called STAR for Science training. Any feedback?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,889 Senior Member
    my parents together make around 38,000-40'000 a year. I have a 3.35 GPA with a 1460 SAT: 520 reading, 490 math, 460 writing.

    Your parents' income will make your family contribution per the colleges and FAFSA low. BUT that does not guarantee that you will receive full funding from the college of your choice.

    If your parents can contribute $2000, you take the Stafford loan ($5500 for freshmen) and get a portion of the Pell grant (up to about $5000), you will have about $12,000 for one year of study. This will not fund all of the costs of a four year residential college but should fund at least a community college or a four year school that you can commute to.

    Virginia has a huge variety of public universities. I don't want to sound harsh, but with the SAT scores you posted here, it is unlikely you will gain acceptence to UVA or W/M which have the most generous need based aid of the publics in VA. BUT there are plenty of other options where you will be accepted...and if VA has some kind of aid for low income students, you might find you have the financial resources to attend.

    Re: your question...almost all colleges "give" financial aid...but MOST do not fund the difference between the cost of attendance and your family contribution...so you need to look carefully at the costs of the schools to which you apply.
  • leebanthemanleebantheman Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    If i get my SAT scores up.. will it help my chances of getting aid? And my sisters are both legacies at UVA and W&M, does that help
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,889 Senior Member
    You are confusing two types of aid.

    Getting your SAT scores up will improve your chances of receiving merit aid...aid that is based on your academic performance and achievements. Better SAT scores will also increase your admission chances.

    Need based aid is based on your family finances. Your issue is that you need a lot of need based aid based on your family's limited income.

    It would be a great situation if you received need based aid...and maybe merit aid as well that would fill a possible gap between your need based aid and the cost of attendance (this assumes your colleges do not meet full need...which is a very likely scenerio).
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    How are your sisters paying for their colleges? You'll just be a continuation of that trend, I think. You are fortunate in that VA does have a lot of excellent state schools and the cost to in staters is low compared to most places in the US. Make a list of the possibilities, including reach schools and making sure you have some true safeties, such as a local state school to which you can commute and work out the numbers on each of them I don't know what the VA state schools give in terms of meeting financial aid; but with sisters at three of them and who have gone through the process, I'm sure they can give some idea of how thing may turn out. Just make sure you have some safeties on that list.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,889 Senior Member
    Well...doesn't UVA meet full need? And William and Mary comes close. This OP will not likely gain acceptance at either of those schools. GMU is a possibility.

    Cpt is correct. How is the sibling at GMU paying for college?
  • leebanthemanleebantheman Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    Well my sis at w&m got full financial aid.. doesn't have to pay a dime.. My sister had UVA also got partial financial aid.. and my sis at GMU works as well and also recieves financial aid. I'm hoping to go to at least VCU, JMU, ODU, and possibly Vtech
  • CoolbrezzeCoolbrezze Registered User Posts: 5,403 Senior Member
    You could earn Merit Scholarships along with your financial aid package. Some universities financial aid is not only base on EFC but also grades.
  • GardnaGardna Registered User Posts: 1,013 Senior Member
    The state of Virginia has the Virginia GAP and TAG programs that provide financial aid to students (it's kind of like the Cal Grant in California). It's fairly generous, and even partial grants are often slightly larger than the Pell Grant.
  • spiritualwitchspiritualwitch Registered User Posts: 701 Member
    Not all colleges can meet full need but if you have good grades, you can apply to top schools like Amherst College that cover full demonstrated need. Applying ED really only helps you in terms of getting accepted but it doesn't matter for financial aid. The packages typically aren't calculated until the entire class is filled in May or later.
  • KatMTKatMT College Rep Posts: 4,017 Senior Member
    "I have a 3.35 GPA with a 1460 SAT: 520 reading, 490 math, 460 writing."

    According to the Common Data Set for 2009/ 2010 your grades and SAT look to be within range for ODU and VCU. But appear to be a bit low for JMU and VTech.

    You are most likely to get merit scholarships from schools where your stats are above those of the "average" admitted student.

    Are you a rising junior or senior in HS?
  • leebanthemanleebantheman Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    rising senior
  • KatMTKatMT College Rep Posts: 4,017 Senior Member
    It sounds like ODU and VCU may be more likely in-state options, although applying to Tech or JMU could not hurt if you can afford or have waived the app. fee. Have you looked at Radford or Longwood?

    Your grades and GPA are low for merit aid at tippy top private schools, but try to raise your SAT (or ACT) and continue to raise GPA this fall. Many students also choose to attend a VA CC for two years and then attend a four year state school through a CC articulation agreement. This could be a much less expensive route. Good Luck! :)
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