all about the financial aids

<p>This thread should actually be under the "Financial Aid/Scholarships" category, but seeing as how there are so many knowledgeable + experienced parents in this thread, here it goes:</p>

<p>I'd like to know which colleges are very generous in terms of giving out needs. My father makes about 130k/year.... >_< my mother doesn't. I actually need a lot of financial help because my brother is already a junior at a public college, and there is also my 10th grade sister soon to be in gear for college. My parents couldn't possibly afford so much money, especially since both my brother and I are thinking of attending grad school. Will any colleges take into consideration of this factor? Could anybody give me an estimate of my parents' contribution annually? I am hoping to attend a prestigious private university... however, since money is a huge factor, that won't be likely....Not applying to ivies because their aids are solely need-based. </p>

<p>Oh, and I was a couple of points away from being the PSAT Semifinalist. Don't know if that'll help...</p>

<p>Try <a href=""&gt;;/a> for a calculator to help assess your EFC. Since you have two siblings with one in college, this will be taken into account. Say your family EFC is $20,000. With an additional student in college EFC does not increase, your aid package would increase at a school that meets 100% of need.</p>

<p>Graduate school is another matter altogether.
Several things to keep in mind.
You will be considered an independent student for graduate school, and more aid may be available, including workstudy as a TA etc.</p>

<p>Merit aid seperate from college is also available, it may take a lot of beating the bushes, but there are a lot of resources out there to help make the right school affordable.</p>

<p> can try the EFC calculator at the FAFSA web site for starters. The FAFSA DOES take into consideration another sibling in college. It does not consider future students (like your 10th grade sister). However, when you and your sister are both in college at the same time, the FAFSA will consider that. To be honest, you will probably not qualify for much need based aid, but it sounds like you already know that. Colleges award need based aid based on the financial picture you have for one year only based on what you put on the FAFSA. Most schools do not award need based aid on their own. They don't consider much in the future. they will not consider the fact that you want to go to graduate school when applying for aid this coming year. Look at the college web sites and go to the financial aid section and look for scholarships the schools offer. Many scholarships are based on SAT scores and GPA and class rank. If you are in the top 25% of the students a school admits, you have a better chance of receiving merit aid than if you are not. The scholarship info on the web sites will tell you whether you are eligible for any of the scholarships the school offers. Of course, it doesn't guarantee you will receive them, but at least you'll have an idea of your eligibility.</p>

<p>Raindrops, I'm in your position. Even though I have 1 sister in college, it barely changed my probable EFC. My parents make a combined salary around 100k. I also am not sure about my parental situation as my parents are seperated (my dad lives in an apartment), but not divorced. There's no way I can afford any college without a lot of merit aid, so even though I'll be applying to a few need-based schools, I'll mostly apply to colleges I know I'll get a lot of merit aid at. I also have younger siblings, one in ninth grade, the other in seventh. My older sister has already had to take out loans as a sophomore at a state univesity (Bowling Green State University in Ohio), and she received a 6,500 dollar minority scholarship, if that shows how little aid she is getting.</p>

<p>It really depends on the colleges as to what you will end up getting in aid. Even if you are looking at the the ivies and other schools that are both need blind and give 100% of demonstrated aid, there is a wide variance as to what you would get. You and a parent need to go through the FAFSA together to get some idea as to what your EFC is. Then you might want to use the aid calculator for Princeton and Yale to see how you fare with them. Most selective schools use PROFILE that asks for additional info that will help you at some schools, such as Yale that takes into account other tuition being paid. Also schools vary as to how much home equity is taken out of the equation. </p>

<p>Your future plans, your parents savings or spending philosophies are not going to come into play with financial aid. It is probably going to be difficult for you to get much financial aid at your parents' income level. </p>

<p>Merit aid is a whole different story. I suggest you get ahold of the USNWR Ultimate Directory and look at the financial/merit aid lists at the front part of the book. It will list those colleges giving a lot of merit aid. You pick a school where your stats are at a percentage that exceeds their breakpoint in merit awards. For example if 20% of the kids at a school get merit awards, you should be in the top 10-15% of the stats if you want an award there. If you go to the individual school, there is a breakdown on the average scholarship given which also can give you an idea of what is out there. An average award of $5000 when you are an average candidate for award may not help you much if the total cost of the school is $40k+ per year. You want to find a school that gives a nice average award and where you fall in the upper range of candidates unless you have some special hook that some schools recognize and have scholarships for.</p>