additional scholarships we can research during the gap year?

<p>DD is enrolling at RPI and has received a good package - Stafford, Perkins, Work study, and the rest of need met with grants, both need and merit. additionally she got a Nat Merit scholarship. </p>

<p>That leaves us with the EFC of approx 18k a year, which right now we would pay for out of a combination of current income and PLUS loans. </p>

<p>DD will be taking a gap year. One thing we would like to do during that gap year, is research and pursue 3rd party scholarships that none of us had time to look at during HS senior year. This would be desirable if it could go towards our EFC, but even if not, reducing our DD's loans would of course be desirable. </p>

<p>Note we are not URM. </p>

<p>Any suggestions on where to start looking, esp taking into account DD's status (graduated from HS but not yet a college freshman) would be appreciated.</p>

<p>Don't have any advice about finding outside scholarships during a gap year. But you also say:</p>

<p>
[quote]
DD will be taking a gap year. One thing we would like to do during that gap year, is research and pursue 3rd party scholarships that none of us had time to look at during HS senior year. This would be desirable if it could go towards our EFC, but even if not, reducing our DD's loans would of course be desirable.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>You'll need to check with the RPI FA office to find out what their policy is concerning outside scholarships. But at most colleges, outside scholarships do NOT reduce the EFC. At some places, the whole scholarship is used to reduce student loans (Staffords and Pell) first and then workstudy and then grant aid. But as some colleges, after a certain pre-determined amount of outside scholarship money going towards reducing student loans, the college may then decide to split the additional scholarship money towards reducing loan and institututional grant aid.</p>

<p>As an example, at Lawrence U, my son's FA letter included the information that if he received outside scholarship money, the first $1000 would be used to reduce his loans, and that for each dollar above $1000, $0.50 would go to reducing his loans and $0.50 would go to reducing his Lawrence institutional grant. [And so at Lawrence, the outside scholarship money can be used to reduce EFC only after all need-based FA has been eliminated.] So if he had a $1500 outside scholarship, his loans would be reduced by $1250 and his grant aid would be reduced by $250.</p>

<p>So read the rules at RPI and ask questions if you can't find the policy on line or in your D's FA letter.</p>

<p>I experienced the same with my son's school. The only way to reduce the money "paid by the parents" is to have enough scholarships to remove the student loans, the work study, AND the institutional need-based grant. So there is NO incentive (other than pride or other good feelings) for my son to get more than $6K in scholarships, because after the $6K to wipe out his obligations, he needs another $20K before he can touch our obligations. It seems to me the schools would be financially helped if they gave a quarter or a third of "excess" scholarships to reduce the EFC, and then the kids would have a reason to scramble for that excess money.</p>

<p>Other than that, my son is also planning on taking a gap year and hoping to find scholarships! :D</p>

<p>"But at most colleges, outside scholarships do NOT reduce the EFC. At some places, the whole scholarship is used to reduce student loans (Staffords and Pell) first and then workstudy and then grant aid. "</p>

<p>The former would be fine, as I would certainly like to reduce her student loans. I am mentally prepared to assist her with those, at least at the beginning. OTOH the PLUS loans (assuming we do end up taking them) have higher interest rates and less desirable terms. </p>

<p>You are right, I will have to check if they split it between loans and grants. I DID ask them what would happen if our income increased, and our EFC went up. They said they would elminate workstudy first, then the loans, then need grant aid (the RPI merit grant is guaranteed regardless of income, and of course the NM $)</p>

<p>I really doubt from what I can gather, that we will find outside scholarships in excess of D's expected loan amounts.</p>

<p>"The only way to reduce the money "paid by the parents" is to have enough scholarships to remove the student loans, the work study, AND the institutional need-based grant. "</p>

<p>at that point it would be better to spend everyones time working, than pursuing scholarship $.</p>

<p>Agreed with Geekmom that there ought to be some middle ground.</p>

<p>But the important thing isn't what all of these other schools do, it is what RPI actually does, and I suggest you send them an email and find out. If RPI gave her any merit award, I'd also confirm that it is still going to be available when she starts in a year. </p>

<p>Personally, I'm not really optimistic on the outside scholarship for a gap year student who is not low-income or URM. Is your daughter using part of this gap year to get a job and save for college?</p>

<p>As an outside possibility, does RPI give any merit scholarships based on ACT/SAT scores? Could your daughter study-up and boost her scores and qualify for a scholarship that way?</p>

<p>*If RPI gave her any merit award, I'd also confirm that it is still going to be available when she starts in a year. *</p>

<p>We already contacted them, and they confirmed the package would be held for her. No problem.</p>

<p>personally, I'm not really optimistic on the outside scholarship for a gap year student who is not low-income or URM. Is your daughter using part of this gap year to get a job and save for college?</p>

<p>She is going on an overseas program which will include study and community service work</p>

<p>As an outside possibility, does RPI give any merit scholarships based on ACT/SAT scores? Could your daughter study-up and boost her scores and qualify for a scholarship that way?</p>

<p>She is a national merit finalist, and is already getting RPI money based on that. I doubt they have anything else on top of that. I also think trying to boost her SAT scores further would not be a good use of time, at this point.</p>

<p>*
personally, I'm not really optimistic on the outside scholarship for a gap year student who is not low-income or URM.*</p>

<p>I agree. These outside scholarships are difficult enough without adding the problem that she won't be a current senior when applying.</p>