CA schools with good FA packages 3.96, 4.27 weighted GPA, 1400 SAT. 2 household income ~$150k

The UC’s offer little merit aid and only to the top 1-2% of applicants. With costs $65K/year to attend a UC, the Regents and Chancellor scholarships are a drop in the bucket for most out of state applicants. UCB’s Regents and Chancellor scholarships do have a need component but with your income, your son would not qualify.

UC Regents Scholarships and the amounts/year:
Amount: Awards vary by campus and are not transferable if you transfer to another UC campus.

  • UC Berkley $2,500
  • UC Davis $7,500
  • UC Irvine $5,000
  • UCLA $2,000
  • UC Merced $7,000
  • UC Riverside $10,000
  • UC San Diego $2,000
  • UC Santa Barbara $6,000
  • UC Santa Cruz $5,000

I just can’t see how the CA schools will be affordable…and i don’t see how they are better than UW…which is a terrific school.

For engineering (but not aerospace), run the Net Price Calculator at SCU. Mid-size, 5-6k undergrad students. Not sure they meet full need, but worth a look if the net price is in your range.

The best merit will be at schools where your son’s stats put him above the 75th percentile. Usually instate, non flagship type schools.

Run the NPC’s on the following private universities:
Santa Clara (mentioned in post #4)
University of San Francisco
University of San Diego (do not confuse with UCSD)
Occidental
Loyola Marymount
Chapman University

Need to check if Engineering is a a major option at these schools.

UW is one of his “safe” schools and he has applied and likes the amazing beutiful campus. I wouldn’t put too much stock in the aeronautical engineering piece at this time. My concern with the UW is the size. I was a first gen commuter student there and I always envied those who had an actual “college experience”, but I have fond memories. I was also unimpressed with the lower level weed out classes often taught by grad students.

What about a schools such as LMU, Pepperdine, or USD? Will a net price calculator factor in whether they might have Merit money available for him?

^Yes, some of them include a merit estimate in the NPC.

We visited SCU and Cal Poly SLO. He didn’t much like the SCU vibe. He loved Cal Poly, but the applying directly to a major seems premature (that is where he selected aerospace engineering).

Will both parents be cooperative about financial aid forms and paying?

If not, then the colleges that require the non-custodial parent finances will not be affordable. This includes most of the private colleges with good financial aid.

If they will be cooperative, net price calculator use at colleges that require non-custodial parent finances must include both parents’ finances. (Note that USC, USF, and Occidental are in this category.)

https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/2083835-faq-divorced-parents-financial-aid-and-net-price-calculators.html

UCB Regents’ scholarship could give him a need-based full ride (based on FAFSA using custodial parent finances only), but that is such a high reach that it is probably not worth the effort (there is otherwise no need-based financial aid for out-of-state students). Also, the UC deadline has passed anyway.

We the parents are very cooperative.
He applied at UCSD and UCSC (loved the campus and location), and Cal Poly SLO. I just can’t imagine being able to afford any of them. For an undecided student, I just don’t think any undergraduate degree is worth a mountain of debt.

I talked with a friend who said his son (good stat student) got a good package from LMU which made it close in price to attending the UW. I am wondering whether there may be some good hidden value schools worth looking into.

What qualifies as a “Flagship School”? Here in WA, would that be the UW and Whitman?
WWU, WSU?

Gonzaga, SU, UPS, PLU, Whitworth, SPU,…

Seems like you should have told him what the price limit was before he made the application list and applied to unaffordable schools (basically wasted applications). CPSLO is about $43k for non-residents, while UCSD is $62k and UCSC is $64k.

The Flagship is the biggest public university. Some states it is easy to figure out as there is just one big public university - Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon (although Colo State, Washington State, Utah State and Oregon State are all pretty big competition for the Flagship). Some states are so big they really have two, like Cal and UCLA, Arizona and ASU. Some states don’t have one standout but several public universities that may have different strengths, like the SUNY system.

A private school (Gonzaga, Whitman, PSU) would never be referred to as the flagship.

It really doesn’t matter what other people call the flagship. Pick the school that is best for him. Personally, I’d go for WWU since you don’t want UW, and it is in such a lovely place. Why California? You said you don’t want him in a big university, yet all he applied to are pretty big California schools. Big and expensive. Even the travel to UCSB is pretty expensive. Why California?

If he wants to leave WA, you could look at schools in Wyoming, Montana, for example. What about CO School of Mines? Maybe he could get merit there? I don’t know.

CA colleges are costly, merit is scarce except for very high stats kids, and as noted, the schools he likes there are large.

For the poster above, SCU does not meet full need. They have upped their need based aid awards, but don’t meet full need. The school is costly.

USD is a possibility, but they also don’t meet full need, and the school is expensive.

It’s going to be hard to find aeronautical engineering anywhere but the big schools. My son is coming from a very small private HS and looking at HUGE universities, so I was worried about that too, but after talking to students at the schools many of which came from the same background, we’re finding that after the first year or so that students tend to associate just with their department and have a tighter knit group and smaller classes. How about the honors programs within the college? They can sometimes give you the best of both worlds. Living learning communities are big around here too where you dorm with students of similar interests or academic pursuits which can make a big school seem smaller.

Some big schools do an awesome job of supporting students despite their size.

Make sure he lines up his instate options, I assumed UW eng to be very competitive vs a safety? He just doesn’t have the stats for really big merit, and leaving UW to take merit at lesser options would be foolish. What is your actual budget?

The state flagship is usually one of the most selective or prestigious state schools, but is not necessarily the largest. For example, in Florida, UCF and FIU are larger than UF.

U of San Diego has engineering and good merit money. As does University of the Pacific. As a bonus, both are FAFSA only schools, so non-custodial parent won’t matter as much. Outside of California, but still west, U of Denver has good merit money, but also requires the CSS.

This^^^^^^
Why? If he gets in, what will you tell him about attending, if you don’t have the money to pay $65K a year, plus flights and expenses.
Did your family do any research on the schools where he applied?
-Is he prepared to do the quarter system? The majority of the UC schools are on the quarter system so he has 10 weeks to prove himself. Our kids’ high school developed a quarter system to match the UC‘s, so the kids were prepared, somewhat, to study in a quarter system.

UCSD is known as University of California for the Socially Dead. They are trying really hard to disassociate themselves from this title, but it’s known locally as just not having a happy campus.
We are local, and my kids avoided applying to this school, but we made them apply; they got in, but were ecstatic when they got into the other state schools. Their friends, who attended this campus, went in, did their classes, and got out as fast as they could. They didn’t like thei environment. This, to me, is just sad.

Housing isn’t guaranteed at UCSD. (I don’t know about Santa Barbara.) They try hard not to have freshman live off campus, but in a recent year, they just didn’t have enough housing.
Housing in the area is $2000 a month. It is in the La Jolla area so add that amount tentatively to your budget. Santa Barbara is in a very expensive community as well.
I attended USD and it was on a scholarship, but I considered myself, at the time, to be very low, low income. I know that they currently meet need, based on their formula for need, so, it will be expensive. They currently run a just under $70,000 a year.
Add all of those flights on Southwest and Alaska and you’re talking about a lot of money to come to school in California.

One of our daughters applied to the University of Washington because she was impressed with how they run their med school programs. She did get in, but we couldn’t afford it with 3 kids in school at the same time. When she later applied to med/pharmacy school she also got in, but she wanted to stay in state. Our pediatrician’s daughter attended Willamette and loved it and is working in the Bay area of California.
You have some great schools in Washington that your son could afford to attend.

He is our first to attend college, so we are learning as we go. He has applied to the UW and he will apply to WWU honors as safe schools. He loves San Diego and he loves SLO, but I have been clear that if we can’t afford it, it won’t happen. He also has a smart IB girlfriend (together since age 14), and this has influence. I wasn’t clear on what to expect with financial packages based on 2 households and what I thought might be decent stats. I am also am trying to guide him but not drive the process.

He worked with his mom in filling out the UC schools application. I was going to sit down and weed out some choices. This all great information to work with. Thank you.

How accurate are the Net Price Calulators?