Chance urm for t20s

Sounds like you made good progress with finances and if you’re parents are comfortable with the NPC and EFC, you’re in good shape! Keep in mind looking at west coast, the publics will not give financial aid (even need based) to out of state residents so even with their merit, they will be way out of your budget.

Definitely choose wisely on chasing the big merit as you’re right, they’re a lot of work! You mentioned FTC in your OP - check the FIRST page as well. A lot of schools give some nice merit for robotics without a lot of additional essays. University of Rochester (if you can handle the cold!) is one that had generous merit for robotics in years past - but not sure who’s giving what now.


It’s got a very nice well contained campus that doesn’t feel like it’s in a huge city. Definitely worth a visit - see if you can do a tour.

Great! You have a solid option there in addition to all the other elite colleges on your list.

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Good call.

And at UMass, the OP would have access to some small-school/small-class action if that is desired – Amherst, Smith, Hampshire, Holyoke.


University of Southern California is a private school in Los Angeles. If accepted, National Merit Finalists automatically receive a half-tuition scholarship. I believe you need to apply before the Nov 1 EA deadline. If you do, your application will be evaluated for the full-tuition Trustee scholarship as well.

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Yep, I suggested USC and Northeastern, upthread, for their NMF merit. But… OP has since noted that his EFC for the generous-aid schools is only 20-30K. So, half-tuition merit won’t change his out-of-pocket. The NPC result for these schools will be more important than the guaranteed merit, although definitely worth trying for the full-tuition merit at USC, which would get him to a better bottom line than his EFC (although not by a lot, compared to the most generous schools, because housing in LA is expensive!).

But usc also gives need-based aid and they include in their cost of attendance a housing stipend that is equivalent to the typical rent for a shared room in an apartment near campus, once students move off campus (typically for junior and senior year).

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This! You have excellent credentials for college admissions to many many colleges. Take the time to find ones that YOU really like!! And that are affordable for your family.

Congratulations on some wonderful accomplishments. I’m sure you will be a successful college student wherever you go!


You might be a great candidate for the Banneker Key Scholarship at UMD.


Yes, of course. But the student will still be responsible for any costs up to the EFC. So all I’m saying is that if this student got a full tuition award, he’d still be paying the full cost of room/board/expenses, which could easily exceed the $20K that the most generous schools are calculating as his EFC.

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If you are eligible for any financial aid at all from colleges , you are likely also eligible for the Ron Brown Scholarship, which as a last dollar scholarship can help cover loans and gaps. It would require more essay writing, but I am pretty sure the application isn’t due until after most college applications are submitted. It is either January or February.


Thank you! This sounds like a wonderful scholarship, and I will definitely apply!!

Can’t tell your finances as what you stated and NPCs contrast a bit. Not sure if anyone mentioned but as a URM you might qualify for a fly in. Pomona…a top LAC…has one in October. Must apply by next Monday. See the chat on fly ins and Pomona link