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Which schools give as much/more aid than Harvard?

go4cornellgo4cornell 370 replies76 postsRegistered User Member
Hello! I was wondering, which schools are known to equal Harvard's aid or give even more than Harvard? I only know of Yale, are there any others? If they exist, is it likely that Harvard will match its competitors' packages?
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Replies to: Which schools give as much/more aid than Harvard?

  • notjoenotjoe 1178 replies3 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    Usually, the three top schools for need-based aid are thought to be Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Keep in mind that other schools may give aid based on scholarship/merit or a mix of financial need and merit, and that may, in some cases, exceed the financial aid available at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. As well, other Division I colleges give full athletic scholarships. Athletes in the Ivy League are limited to need-based financial aid. Finally, from time to time, posters will assert that in their own particular circumstances, another school provided more generous financial aid than these three. Those, however, seem to be the exceptions.

    I believe that some of the Ivies, including Harvard, will match the aid packages of other Ivies, but not generally of non-Ivies. However, in my own experience with my two sons, Harvard's financial aid package was far and away better than the non-Ivy financial aid, anyway.

    To get an idea of what schools will ask of you or your family when it comes to tuition, room, board, and other costs, use the net price calculator at each school's website. These will give you a rough idea, a starting point, of what you can expect your family's cost to be to attend any particular school.

    If you are accepted to Harvard, and you have any questions, problems, or issues with your financial aid package, call the financial aid office. They're nice people, they listen, and when appropriate, they make adjustments to packages.
    edited December 2014
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  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Having one child at Harvard, and one at Yale, I'm always amazed how each college can look at the same data, yet award different scholarship amounts which vary by thousands of dollars per semester.

    For our family, Yale has always been less expensive than Harvard, but that's not the case for every family who had children at both colleges. Run the financial aid calculators for HYP and see how it all shakes out for your family.

    Harvard: https://college.harvard.edu/financial-aid/net-price-calculator
    Yale: http://admissions.yale.edu/yale-net-price-calculator
    Princeton: http://admission.princeton.edu/financialaid/estimator
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  • go4cornellgo4cornell 370 replies76 postsRegistered User Member
    Thank you for the responses. I asked because I was accepted to Harvard and I really want to go, but I was wondering if Yale, for example, were to give me a more generous answer, if Harvard would match it. @gibby, did you ever have any experiences of asking Harvard to revise their offer? And if so, were you successful in getting a more generous financial aid package from them?
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  • MikeNY5MikeNY5 306 replies1 postsRegistered User Member
    If you get into yale and they give you more aid than harvard, harvard will most certainly match. H would hate to lose a prospective matriculant to one of its biggest competitors.
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  • go4cornellgo4cornell 370 replies76 postsRegistered User Member
    Also, is it generally only Y and P that H is willing to match? What about the other ivies and Stanford?
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  • go4cornellgo4cornell 370 replies76 postsRegistered User Member
  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    First off, congratulations!

    My son and daughter were not accepted to each other's school -- my daughter (H) was rejected from Yale; my son (Y) was rejected from Harvard. So, I couldn't present Harvard with Yale's offer and ask them to match it. We did fax over my son's financial aid award from Yale to Harvard and ask why Harvard was charging us significantly more money for my daughter when they claim to have the better financial aid. We received a very nice reply that basically said "When you have two children in college at the same time, the second child is cheaper than the first one." I have no idea if that's true, but as we didn't have any leverage, Harvard did not "sweeten" the pot and increase the aid for my daughter.

    One caveat to all of this: Many colleges will re-evlaute a student's financial aid package if presented with a more competitive offer from a peer school. But, the student (or parent) needs to ask for side-letter to be added to his or her file that states "If the family's income remains the same, the school will guarantee that the percentage of financial aid for the student's sophomore, junior and senior years will be the same as their freshman year." If you don't get that side-letter, you will be paying the same percentage as originally offered for freshman year in subsequent years.

    Bottom Line: You are not going to know what YP offers in financial aid unless you apply RD and are accepted. It's easier to do that for Yale, with their open-ended supplement, than Princeton. How much extra work do you want to do to find out?
    What about the other ivies and Stanford?
    The other ivies and Stanford do not have the endowments of HYP, so their institutional formulas for financial are not as generous. FWIW: my son was accepted to Dartmouth and Brown (with $20,000 less financial aid per year than Yale offered). Both schools offered to match Yale's aid for his freshman year, but would not offer us a side-letter for his subsequent years.
    edited December 2014
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  • go4cornellgo4cornell 370 replies76 postsRegistered User Member
    Thank you @gibby for the detailed reply (and congratulations) ! It was exceedingly helpful. Finally, do u think H would match UChicago? Because last year UChicago gave the admitted students from my country about 70k each.
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  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    I don't know this for a fact, but I suspect Harvard does not consider UChicago a peer school -- at least in terms of matching financial aid.

    UChicago's offer of 70K per student is exceptional considering they are not one of the 6 US colleges that offer need-based financial aid to international students. So UChicago's aid, as @notjoe suggested may have been one that offered a mix of need-based and merit aid.
    edited December 2014
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  • go4cornellgo4cornell 370 replies76 postsRegistered User Member
    edited December 2014
    Alright, thank you for all your help, especially the note about side-letters, I had no idea about those.
    edited December 2014
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  • notjoenotjoe 1178 replies3 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @gibby,

    "We received a very nice reply that basically said 'When you have two children in college at the same time, the second child is cheaper than the first one.'"

    Since both my sons are at Harvard, I can tell you that the only difference between their financial aid packages is the amount of student self-help through work. My older son's award requires him to contribute more through his own work than my younger son's. But it's only about $1.5K per year total difference.

    I was actually expecting something along the lines of what Harvard to you, and was somewhat (and pleasantly) surprised that the awards were so close in value, and that the EFC (excluding student self-help) for both of them was just about equal to the EFC for the older the previous year, before my younger son started college. In other words, I'm paying in tuition for both of them this year what I paid for one last year.
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  • thatasiankidthatasiankid 93 replies30 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @gibby‌
    Which 6 US schools give need based aid to international students?
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  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    http://www.internationalstudent.com/schools_awarding_aid/
    There are now six US schools that offer need-blind and full-need admissions to international students. Basically, if you can get in, you can afford to go - they are:

    - MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Massachusetts
    - Harvard University in Massachusetts
    - Princeton University in New Jersey
    - Yale University in Connecticut
    - Dartmouth College in New Hampshire
    - Amherst College in Massachusetts
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38489 replies6735 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    I think what @Gibby meant to say was that UChicago is not one of the 6 schools that are need blind and meet full demonstrated need for international applicants. Many other private universities offer need-based aid to international students; they just don't claim to meet full demonstrated need.

    The six colleges are: Amherst, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, and Yale. Of course, their acceptance rate is very low.
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  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^^ Yes, thank you for the correction.
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  • go4cornellgo4cornell 370 replies76 postsRegistered User Member
    @gibby many US institutions offer need based aid, its just that those 6 do not consider your need when deciding whether to admit you or not
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38489 replies6735 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    Oops, cross-posting :)
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  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    @go4cornell. Yes, thank you. Please see @Skieurope's correction to my post and the link I provided in post #13. Other US colleges give need-based aid to international students, but they DO NOT pledge to meet the full demonstrated need of each student and they consider an international student's ability to pay the tuition when deciding to accept or reject that student.
    edited December 2014
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  • go4cornellgo4cornell 370 replies76 postsRegistered User Member
    Sorry, I didnt see the post but just another note of correction: several will meet the full need of international students it's just that all except for the 6 wil consider need when admitting you, for example UPenn considers need, but if they do accept you, they will meet your need 100%
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  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    ^^ That’s true, but look closer at the numbers

    At UPenn: http://www.internationalstudent.com/schools_awarding_aid/PA/Pennsylvania.html
    970 International students attending the college, 50 of them on financial aid, receiving an average award of $29,619.00

    At Harvard: http://www.internationalstudent.com/schools_awarding_aid/MA/Massachusetts.html
    665 International students attending the college, 435 of them on financial aid, receiving an average award of $36,754.00

    Although both schools offer 100% of need to international students, that need is institutionally calculated differently. And percentage wise, 50/970 should tell you that UPenn is balancing it's budget by admitting lots of full-fare paying international students and very few international students that are determined to need financial aid.
    edited December 2014
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