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A little advice would be appreciated

angelican0tangelican0t 131 replies16 threads Junior Member
edited July 2009 in Parents Forum
My mom lives here, in TX, but my dad lives in China for work with basically most of our family (they came here before I was born) and will probably stay there for awhile. Fortunately, even before I was even thinking about college, my parents have always agreed to pay for all for my undergrad and then I'd take care of anything after. However, only after I started frequenting CC did I realize how generous this was and if I make my mom pay all of our EFC (I have an estimation because of my brother, around 10-15K) paying for both of our college tuitions will hold her back from going back to China and she wants to go back and be with all of her family again (she hasn't said it explicitly to us but we can tell). She also works really, really, really hard (nurse in OR) and isn't as young as she used to be and might overwork herself while we're gone and she's alone. I've asked my brother and while he understands, he also says that I shouldn't limit the places I'm applying to because of it. Anyways, I was wondering if any of you knowledgeable parents had any advice on our situation and/or any places I might get good merit aid at.
Here are some details that might help.
-rising junior
-All As in all honors/3 APs (5s on all), going to be taking about 11 APs in all
-top 1% of about a thousand kids (pretty competitive school) but rank will probably go down to 5% because we're merging with another school although it'll probably become 1500 kids or so)
-2080 practice PSAT but I've been studying so it should go up to 2100-2200 safely maybe more.
-Decent ECs but not great by any means (decent by 'normal' standards, not CC ones, lol)
For those competitive schools with merit aid I know and was thinking about Rice or Vandy but I wanted some 'safer' schools that I would have a better chance at getting aid at (for example, I was looking at Rhodes, which seems really great). Not too small (Rhodes at 1600 is probably the smallest I'd go), nice people, accessible professors, reqs because the idea of being forced out of my comfort zone is good, etc.
Absolutely no idea what I want to major in or do, but right now I really love history and the social sciences, and reading.

I'd appreciate any advice anyone could share. Thanks for your time!
edited July 2009
7 replies
Post edited by angelican0t on
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Replies to: A little advice would be appreciated

  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad 8506 replies67 threads Senior Member
    if I make my mom pay all of our EFC
    I doubt you'll be 'making' your mom do anything. You should realize that if she makes the decision to continue to work here a bit longer to enable you to go to a particular college it's because that's what 'she' wants to do. Being able to help their kids is something that is generally of great satisfaction to parents.

    You mentioned some private schools but are you also considering state schools where you might end up with a lower cost (only 'might' due to finAid at some privates for some people)? Have you determined if you'll qualify for finAid based on your family income/situation?
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  • oldfortoldfort 23374 replies307 threads Senior Member
    My opinion is you could reach higher with your stats if your parents are willing to pay. If you want a full ride then you will need to reach lower.

    Your parents have sacrificed 20+ years, believe me, their ultimate goal is for you to get into the best college possible. I think it would be a great let down if you were to settle for a lower tier school because of money. This wouldn't be the case for most families, but I think it would be in your case. I could be wrong, so speak with your mom about it.

    You seem like a great kid. Your parents are lucky to have you. Your parents have worked hard. If you could get over 2200 SATs, shoot for the moon - HYPS (they offer great FA), Duke has good merit aid for top students. Of course, apply to some good safeties. Your best pay back to your parents would be to keep up your grades for the next 2 years because it could mean a lot of money for your parents (scholarships).
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  • NewHope33NewHope33 6136 replies72 threads Senior Member
    OP - You can repay your mom by becoming the best person you can ... and it certainly looks like you're off to a great start. A student with your stats will be attractive to a great many universities. So my humble advice would be to create your college list, and then revisit the merit aid issue. Good luck!
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  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 threads Senior Member
    If your EFC is $10-15k, you certainly should look for both need-based aid and merit aid. Are you applying to UT-Austin? I'm not familiar with TX 10% policy, but offhand, you seem to qualify. This would give you a "safety", and a terrific one at that. If Rhodes is on your list, consider other large LACs or medium-sized universities such as Wesleyan, Vanderbilt, Emory, Duke.
    As for your mom working hard, let it be her choice. You sound like a loving daughter, but you cannot make your mom do anything she does not want to. Even if you were to attend college half an hour away, she might still work as hard as if you were 6 hours away by plane.
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  • KnowitsomeKnowitsome 274 replies6 threads Junior Member
    It sounds like there may be a disconnect between what you value and what your mom values. You should have a frank discussion with her about what's important to each of you to help determine a course of action. As others have said, I think your mom is willing to work hard and spend money to allow you to go to what she perceives as a better school. You seem to want to save her money and effort to go to a somewhat "lesser" college.

    There isn't a right or wrong answer here (despite what you'll read on these forums), and it's often a matter of degree (how much more "value" for how much more "cost"). Once everyone's cards are on the table, it'll be clearer as to what to do, though you'll still have to make tough choices. Good luck!
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  • mafoolmafool 6359 replies94 threads Senior Member
    Bottom line: you won't know how much any individual school will cost until you have applied, been accepted, applied for FA, and reviewed the Merit and Financial aid offered.

    So, I suggest you follow the conventional wisdom here: identify and apply to safety, match, and reach schools. Add in s few financial safeties where you know that, if enrolled in the honors college, you can learn what you need while paying what you can.

    Then wait. See what happens, then discuss the implications with your mother
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  • angelican0tangelican0t 131 replies16 threads Junior Member
    Thank you all very much. I agree that the best situation would be to talk it out with my mom. (probably should have thought of that before, but I guess there's a reason people say parents are wiser :)
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