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Paying for RISD

AliaAlia Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
Does anyone have any words of wisdom they liked to offer on this subject? We're in a quandary here. My daughter's been accepted to RISD and to several other terrific architecture programs. Everyone else has offered massive amounts of grants and scholarships with a couple of small loans thrown in. RISD offered -- nothing! Not even a work study. $41,000 is just -- undoable -- even with piles of loans. (For the 5-year arch program, this would leave her with some $200,000 in debt.) My D's snagged a few outside scholarships, but they would be a drop in the bucket. She loves this school, so we're looking for any options. Any ideas from RISD students or parents?
Post edited by Alia on
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Replies to: Paying for RISD

  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    This is the constant complaint by Parents when kids get into top schools. The Ivys don't give merit scholarships. RISD is widely considered the top art school in the US. Although RISD has the highest endowment for a stand-alone art school, no art school has a huge endowment. Thus, there are very few great scholarships from the better art schools.

    I guess you have to choose between a lessor know school for a lessor price is worth it or whether attending a well-known school is worth the higher price.

    Personally, if you were talking about a few thousand dollars per year difference, I would go with RISD. If you are talking about $12,000 or more difference from a good accredited art program that has the major that your child is interested in, I would take the lower cost program.
  • AliaAlia Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    Actually, RISD is the only art school my D's considering. The other architecture programs (including one Ivy) are all offering significant grants and scholarships. So, we're looking at paying, say, $6,000 a year for the Ivy arch program or finding loans for the $31,000 ($41,000 minus the $10,000 we've got available) that RISD would require. This would be any easy choice if my D didn't admire RISD and its arch program so much.

    What I'm wondering is how other people fund tuition of this magnitude.
    What kind of outside loans? Any scholarship suggestions? (She's in the running for three local ones, but no word yet.) About now, I wish I could come up with a cookie recipe or something that would sell millions...
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    In answer to your question, some people like ourselves saved each year so that we have the money for future tuition. Many people sadly didn't do that. They borrow to pay the costs.

    I would call up the schools that she is applying for and ask "where you can find a list of scholarships available for that school?"

    Other options is to have your daughter join the military, and, thus, get money for college each month under the GI Bill.

    Although some schools, notably Harvard, is now offering free tuition for parents that make under $40,000 per year, most grants are in the form of loans or work study.

    If you are talking about ivy schools giving some decent aid vs. RISD, I would, without question, take the ivy!

    You might also try calling up RISD admission's office, and telling them about any scholarship offers by other schools. They might raise their offer if they really want your daughter. This has worked for some schools in the past.
  • AliaAlia Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    Taxguy,

    You assume we didn't save. We did -- for our previous three children, who we put through three very fine schools. This daughter is our last, and we are tapped out. Our income is on the low side. We're both in social service work, but we have managed so far. This particular daughter is exceptionally bright, so she does have other options, and we have faith we'll find a way with RISD, too. (As I mentioned, she's won a few scholarships and is in the running for a few more.) Just casting out there in case anyone had a terrific idea about scholarship avenues or low-interest loans they might want to share.

    And, honestly, would you send your daughter into the military now?
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Alia, I might if she got specfic training. Woman don't generally go into combat. Moreover, if she enters the Navy or Airforce, there is less risk of problems. However, in answer to your question: No, I wouldn't want my kid to go into the military UNLESS there were not a lot of other financial options.
  • ktwofishktwofish Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    Alia...
    My husband and I were in a similar position last year. Our daughter received scholarship offers from every art school she applied to...except RISD. RISD was her first choice and our first choice for her. We saved for a state university not knowing her talent would have a need for a private, out-of-state college. To make a long story short...we took the loans. Dear daughter took student loans and we took the PLUS loans. Not at all what we had planned, but we have another child entering college this fall and it is what we had to do. I tend to agree with taxguy, though. If an ivy offered a scholarship, I think I'd lean that way.
  • AliaAlia Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    Thanks for the response, ktwofish. Is your daughter happy at RISD? Any regrets? The quality of life issue is important to us, too. Our daughter's quality of life, that is. RISD's program, although rigorous in a slightly different way, seems to leave a little more room for life than the Ivy does, and Providence seems a great city in which to go to school.
  • ktwofishktwofish Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    Alia...My daughter is very happy at RISD. She is a Florida girl and I worried about her adjusting to the New England climate! As for RISD leaving a little more room for life than the Ivy does...I doubt it...especially if your daughter is as obsessive about her art as is mine. Foundation year is brutal. She is in class over 30 hours per week and has about 40+ hours of homework per week...at least the way she works. Many nights she is up to 2 - 3 a.m. working on art or a paper for English or Art History. Weekends leave a little free time, but she still works on homework, too. Don't get me wrong...my daughter thrives on the challenge of RISD, but beware of the workload. Art school is not a "piece of cake" as many believe. Hope I didn't scare you!
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,750 Senior Member
    Alia, I'll second what ktwofish wrote. My daughter graduated from RISD in 2003. It was always a very demanding program, but she never questioned her decision to attend RISD, despite a somewhat rocky start due to a health problem (mono), and she thinks it was really worth the sweat and effort that she put into it. Keep in mind that there really are 168 hours in the week (24 x 7), and so even if you are putting 70 hours into your academic program, there's always some time for a life.
  • nopoisonivynopoisonivy Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    Peter Riefler in Financial Aid is the person to talk to. You will have to find out what level they have assigned your application. I believe you have to be what they consider a 1 or a 2 on their tier. The reason they won't offer a Pell or work study is they realize that it would only be a drop in the bucket with a $40k education. My S was in that boat last year so he re-grouped this year and applied to some schools that are more generous with need and merit based aid.
    I should add that none of these schools were Art schools. If you only want an Art school education as taxguy has stated...you better have saved up:).
  • AliaAlia Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    Thanks for all the input. Ktwofish and Mackinaw: We suspected that RISD students were generally very happy with their choice, despite the rigor of the program. Good to hear that's the case with your kids. And, thanks, too, nopoisonivy. You're exactly on the mark in your analysis. We did have success talking to the financial aid office. Turns out my daughter was a 1 on their scale, which inspired a good offer of aid, once we asked for reconsideration. Still not in the ballpark of the other (non-Art) schools, but it helps a lot, and we're grateful that she can keep thinking about RISD as she makes her decision.
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,750 Senior Member
    Although my daughter didn't get aid, she did work in the studios/shops about 10 hrs per week her last two years. That brought her a few extra bucks, though no RISD student would probably want to work more than that. After all, you need to work in your waking hours and you have to be alert if you're working in a wood or metal shop.
  • JVP1JVP1 Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    Alia- Can I ask if you or your daughter called Peter Riefler? My son is in the same exact boat w/ a large scholarship at Pratt and $0 offered
    from RISD.

    My son was trying to get through this afternoon and only got voice mail. I told him to start calling in the morning but now I am wondering if I should be making the call. The reason I thought it would come better from him is Mr. Riefler would have to speak to the broken hearted student.
    I found out that they accept 800 students but expect a class size of about 410 - quote from Joan Harington in financial aid-"somehow Mr. Riefler knows exactly who will accept RISD" IMO that is not too hard to fgure when he is giving out the aid packages.
    We are down to crunch time as May 1 either RISD or Pratt has to be deposited.
    Also-What are the tier levels about???
  • AliaAlia Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    JVP1,

    We did speak to the financial aid office, and we had some luck. I'll send you a private message.
  • dnefoundyoudnefoundyou Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Alia, is it possible that i get the information about that financial aid that your D got?
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