Does anyone have any experience with Belmont University Financial Aid Office regarding how they deduct outside scholarships from the Financial Aid? My child recently received their 2020-2021 Financial Aid Notification letter. It shows awards in the below categories:
Belmont Academic Merit (highest amt awarded for freshman $10,000)
- Belmont Grant-in-Aid (had largest $ amount in this category)
- Federal Work Study
- Direct Sub Stafford Loan
- Direct Unsub. Stafford Loan
- Direct Parent PLUS Loan
My child’s dream school is Belmont and my kid has worked tirelessly to apply for outside scholarships hoping to help limit the amount of loans needed knowing Belmont is way more expensive then our State Universities. We are still waiting to see if she receives any outside scholarships. However when I called Financial Aid I asked how does Belmont apply outside scholarships to reduce a student’s financial award? For example most colleges will reduce student loans and work study amounts before Institutional Grants (Belmont Grant-in-Aid) & Academic Scholarships. But according to the person I spoke to at the FA office Belmont will take any outside scholarship received and first reduce the Belmont Grant-in-Aid. That seems crazy to me as there is no incentive for a child to spend their valuable time and energy to apply for outside scholarships if you are not going to apply it to reduce loan amounts first. It is rare to get a 50,000 scholarship but easier to get lots of smaller scholarships, $1,000-$5,000 amounts that can add up to a nice savings. I was hoping my child would get around $10,000 in outside scholarships based on high grades and talent to help us not have to take out any loans. But with Belmont’s scholarship displacement policy it seems like it was just a waste of energy to apply for outside scholarships as my child is a musician and in the IB diploma program so she has very little time as it is with balancing all of that. Plus we have not even heard if the Music School is offering a scholarship yet as that comes out in March but at this point again it appears if she gets a Belmont Music Scholarship it will just reduce her Grant-in-Aid first so it doesn’t really seem like that big of a win or accomplishment. Am I crazy or does this not seem very fair?