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First Acceptance Arrived


Replies to: First Acceptance Arrived

  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,654 Senior Member
    UMass is def a safety (although I still think its too $$), the rest are only academic safeties and she will be applying to 16 other schools RD, most of the NESCAC schools. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a two-family/self employment financial base for aid. Bio Dad makes more than $110K for sure, my husband and I are custodial at $55K. Too hard to tell what will happen thus many applications. Only time will tell. Honestly, there aren't too many financial safeties for us. We can afford $25K, although we might stretch that...I haven't found any schools that can absolutely guarantee that price given our other basic requirements (housing, grad rates, etc) except a couple of other state schools and community colleges. Living at home and commuting is out of the question, there is only one school within 90 miles other than the local cc and that is a hellish commute!
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,326 Senior Member
    16 more schools, and most of those schools are the same type? I think she'd do better to research which schools are a possibility and work on those. The cost of applying, sending scores, doing the CSS will be high and the quality may be lower because of the volume.

    Since she has the acceptance from UMass, can she eliminate any schools that she wouldn't go to over UMass? Eliminate schools that really will not cost less than UMass? Eliminate schools that are really too far from home?
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,654 Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    I"m sorry, I misspoke, its 16-18 total.

    She doesn't have an acceptance yet, she is awaiting 5 of the 6 EAs to come in next week some time. And FWIW, UMass is literally at the bottom of her list of 18 schools because of the size mostly :( I'm sure she'll eliminate a few of the schools on the RD list depending on merit awards on the EA list but for right now, I'm more than willing to shell out the $1000 total for the 15+ schools to see what they will offer. If we can save $10K/year, that's a drop in the hat. Maybe I'm way off base and I'll take any recommendations that are offered, but everything I have researched in the last year (and God knows I've done all that I've had time for) says to spread the net wide when financial aid is uncertain. We have driven all over to look at so many schools and eliminated so many already. I know that I posted this many months ago but here's the stats again for anyone that has any help to offer:

    SAT: 2070 (took again Saturday, hoping to raise it to CR 650~to at least 2120): CR600/M750/W720
    GPA: 4.2 UW, 4.8W, straight As and A+s throughout
    Rigor: Most rigorous classes available at a very challenging high school (I think it was rated #10 in the state?)
    7 IB classes, projected score is at least 42/45
    Rank: School doesn't rank but she is #1-3, not sure, out of 109
    Recommendations: Excellent by all accounts
    Awards: Highest achiever junior year: Latin, Biology, Spanish, Wellesley Book Award
    EC; No hooks, GSA Gold Award, Senior Class VP, School bookstore manager, Girls State, not sure how to tally CS but lots of it (Habitat for Humanity, etc) has worked same job four years FT summers PT school year, also does Latin tutoring for pay.

    EAs: UMass Amherst , Simmons, St. Michaels, UScranton, Ithaca, Dickinson (accepted at Ithaca with Presidential, still awaiting other financial aid). All are academic safeties and she will only go if accepted into the Honors Programs except Dickinson (M)

    RD: Reaches are Amherst, Middlebury, Barnard, Wesleyan. She'll only apply to two, not sure which just yet. High matches are: Bates and Vassar (really would like either) and Wellesley. Matches include in order of preference: Smith,, Mount Holyoke, Sidmore, Colby and a low-match at Clark U.
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 10,466 Senior Member
    Most RD colleges on your list (and some of the EAs) require the PROFILE non-custodial parent form, right?
    So your Ex's income (and how each school handles it) will be the wild card.
    If it were just your income alone, I'd almost be willing to bet some of the NESCAC schools offer lower net prices than UMass. If all your ex's income ($110K) counts, then UMass is likely to be cheapest (by far), unless significant merit aid comes into play.

    But if he's the one saying "she deserves to go" to a pricey private school, of course he'll pay all the difference ...no?

    Given the factors involved, it looks like you've done a great job covering the cost/selectivity bases, and were smart to submit a fairly high number of apps.
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,654 Senior Member
    You are right, every school on the RD list requires the NCP. You are also right when you say the price for my household alone is far under that of UMass. NPC puts the lowest at $9K (Amherst) and the highest at $21K (Clark), everything else falling in between. But, that will not be the case. She finally cornered Dad to get an estimate. He says $10K, maybe a little more. OMG. Not going there but suffice it to say, that is not the answer we were looking for. He explained that he had no idea the pricetag would be so high because his first two children never looked at anything that required his income and so cost was based on his ex's unemployment and child support, less than $6K/year.

    And yes, we are looking for merit aid, five of the schools do offer it. We are also looking at IB credit and if that might save at least a semester or more at some of the schools. Mount Holyoke, Clark and Barnard all offer enough at first look to save a few $$. Clark also offers a free fifth year Masters with some stipulations.

    In the end, although I think Vassar, Smith and Bates are her top choices, I think she'll get to choose from at least 5 schools off the two lists. She has said that UMass and Simmons are at the bottom. We really liked UScranton and if she can get that CR up to 650 shes eligible for their Presidential which is full tuition.

    If anyone can point us to other schools that have historically given someone with her stats great merit aid would love to hear about them. I thank another poster for pointing us to St. Michaels, it is definately a good fit, a good choice for a safety school and we are anxiously awaiting their acceptance (hopefully) and fa package.
  • halfemptypocketshalfemptypockets Registered User Posts: 575 Member
    edited December 2014
    @NEPatsGirl‌ - For what it's worth, I also think casting a wide net for safety schools is the right thing. That's what my D did too. In fact, she doesn't have a single admissions reach on her list, just financial reaches. Our D's ultimate safety acceptance is in - full tuition at Pitt, and she could go there, "if she had to." I wouldn't say she was blasé about the Pitt award, but she isn't walking on air about it either. I think she was encouraged that one of her other schools that she actually likes also might want her enough to give her the big bucks.

    Over the last few weeks, we've run into so many people who ask her where she's going to college and she tells them she doesn't know yet and then she names her top 3 schools, and a couple of other safeties, but there's no mention of Pitt. LOL - I think she's repressing it.

    How about St. Joe's in Philadelphia? She'd have a shot at their competitive full tuition scholarship (she needs a separate app). Is she going for engineering? St. Joe's won't do if that's the case. But, possibly Villanova - they're a very competitive school but they do give engineering girls big bucks.

    Some other schools that come to mind are Seton Hall, LaSalle, and Manhattan - I don't know too much about any of them except they give good merit. Seton Hall seems to have come out of nowhere in these last two years - all of a sudden it seems everybody's applying there. People who've visited there like what they see.
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,654 Senior Member
    @halfemptypockets - that is great news about the Pitt award. Even if it isn't in her top choices, it takes some of the edge of for both student and parents I would think. Because $$ is such an issue, we are impatiently awaiting any school offer that makes it affordable and then we can breathe knowing that she has a place to go. Unfortunately, Ithaca offered their top dollar for merit but we haven't seen the rest of the package yet. There is just such a heavy burden hoping that a school out there will award the monies needed.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,657 Senior Member
    Is she willing to go out of the region? Small low cost public LACs exist in other regions, like University of Minnesota - Morris and Truman State. And there is South Dakota School of Mines and Technology for engineering, if that is of interest.

    http://automaticfulltuition.yolasite.com/ and http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/1678964-links-to-popular-threads-on-scholarships-and-lower-cost-colleges.html may have some other low cost after merit scholarships schools.

    She may want to eliminate applying to those schools which are not affordable on need-based aid and do not offer merit scholarships.
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,654 Senior Member
    She is not willing to go out of the region. Her furthest schools are PA (Dickinson), upstate NY and northern VT. It has been explained to her over and over that her chances of admission increase if she looks outside the NE but she would rather take her chances. As for need-based aid, we cannot calculate it because of the bio Dad's income and my household self-employed status. It has been said that "need" is very subjective between the schools and that every situation is looked at differently. We can only hope so.

    Thank you for that link, I will def take a look at it for suggestions.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,657 Senior Member
    NEPatsGirl wrote:
    As for need-based aid, we cannot calculate it because of the bio Dad's income and my household self-employed status.

    Couldn't you run the net price calculator twice for each school?

    1. With both your and the NCP's households' income and assets added together when asked.
    2. As above, but using your income before work-related deductions for a more pessimal estimate.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 11,824 Senior Member
    Is Temple in Philly one she'd consider? To get full tuition plus summer stipends she needs a 1420 M/CR but they calculate it differently - they take an average of the CR and W if it's higher which puts her just under (10 pts). I think they may also superscore.
  • LeftofPisaLeftofPisa Registered User Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    NE PatsGirl, I think this is a great list and am rooting for your D to have great affordable options.

    Have you looked at Muhlenberg? They award merit and just announced that they are increasing their top award from $18,000 to $40,000. I haven't been able to find much information about it but I believe it will be awarded to 5 incoming students. My older D attends Muhlenberg and she received a merit award plus a talent award on top of it. There are also three separate honors programs which also can provide a stipend on top of the merit award.

    I know it's little consolation, but the fact that a UMass Amherst student can take courses at the other small schools in the consortium is a very cool thing and really makes UMass stand out from many other state schools in my mind. And if your D has to make the choice to attend UMass over her preferred options, she won't certainly be alone. Last year an NMF finalist at D's school chose the state flagship over an Ivy because the $$ was just too good to turn down and she knew she would need it for grad school.
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,654 Senior Member
    Its tough to calculate/estimate bio Dad's income, 17 years ago it was $85K. Now, same union job and position plus add a wife who makes around $40K if I had to guess. I did run the NPC at $180K for them at one school (I can't remember which one) and it put their EFC at $28K. I have no clue as to assets or debt.

    OTOH, I'm pretty sure what mine is for every school and I did the CSS for the EA schools. After doing the books for November I estimated pretty close.

    @OHMomof2 - Temple is far too large if I remember. Given a school that size, she'll go to UMass Amherst for the five school consortium and honors program. Would love to convince her to look at full tuition schools but there is no interest on her part. Maybe that will change depending on the EA results. I'm prepared to research and switch out RD schools based on what those results might be. She may have no choice.
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,654 Senior Member
    @LeftofPisa - we were typing at the same time I think. I'll take a look at Muhlenberg, not sure we've come across that one. And yes, the five school consortium is a huge benefit especially given that three of the other schools are on her RD list and top choices (Mt. Holyoke, Smith, and Amherst). Apparently you need only take two classes per semester at UMass for a total of 30% of your overall credits. Both of my nieces graduated from UMass but were content to take all their classes there. One graduated from the honors program a full semester early and is working for Raytheon in a very good accounting position with great benefits. The other graduates from the Eisenberg School of Mgmt? in May although she has just or will just be completing her classes (also a semester early) and has taken a position as an event planner where she interned last summer. Maybe not ideal for my D, but certainly not a bad last choice either.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 11,824 Senior Member
    Temple is large but at the top scholarship level comes with Honors program/dorm also, making it feel somewhat smaller. I have similar situation to you with an NCP and Temple is the no-matter-what-he-does-we-can-afford-it option.
This discussion has been closed.