Earlham net price calc estimated "grant" - similar to what was actually awarded to you?

Hi – I’d love a response from folks who were accepted by Earlham, whether you ended up attending or not. I know that net price calculators are only estimates, but I am wondering if what Earlham has estimated on its NPC as “Earlham College Grant Aid” ($30k) is actually reasonably near what they are likely to offer in merit aid if my D17 is accepted. Our EFC is too high for it to be much in the way of need-based aid I would assume (about $80k split between 2 in college at once).

When speaking to an Earlham admissions rep at a local event recently, he suggested that actual merit aid awarded may be quite different than what their NPC may estimate, sometimes even by as much as $10k or so. (You put GPA and test scores into their NPC; my D17’s are 3.7 UW GPA and 35 composite ACT.) If an actual merit offer went UP $10k, that would be AWESOME! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: But if it’s likely to go DOWN by a lot (even without any lowering of my kid’s stats in the meantime), we would be super bummed & it might even make it impossible for us to afford. (Due to lots of our own med school debt, we have far less to spend on college than our supposed EFC.) We haven’t been able to visit yet (hopefully next month), but so far via websites & speaking with the rep and other folks, she’s super excited that Earlham might be a really good fit for her.

Was it your experience that what Earlham’s NPC predicted as grant/scholarship aid was in fact around what they ended up offering you? Were actual offers higher? Lower?


If you poke around this forum I think you will find that $30k is about the maximum merit award anyone reports from Earlham, or most peer LACs, aside from a few highly competitive scholarships that require a separate application (not sure if Earlham has anything like that).

So if you do not qualify for need based aid, I would not expect anything higher than $30k. Might it be $10k less? Sorry, no idea, other than what the rep told you.

D’s offer was pretty close to NPC results.

Really, my main question is exactly that, i.e. might the merit award be less. Obviously we can’t know at this point. I fully recognize their estimate is at the highest end of peer schools - and if that’s what they end up offering her, that would be fantastic! I’m just wondering how often they “highball” in the NPCs since it would be a major bummer to have an offer that went substantially lower than their estimate. I wonder if the rep was just saying that as a general statement of “it’s just an estimate” etc etc, or if they actually do often end up offering much lower merit awards than predicted in the NPC.

Good to know your D’s offer was close to the NPC results. Fingers crossed on our end too since my kid’s digging this school more and more.

Based solely on reports in these forums and limited results from one application cycle, with your D’s stats, I think you can expect some merit offers in the mid-$20k range if you pick colleges well. Possibly $30k if you are lucky. At many LACs, merit is not necessarily automatic, and the dollar amount may vary based on other things like URM, other desired diversity, special abilities, ECs, etc.

I think Earlham would be a good one to include if it meets what the student is looking for in other ways. They are working to increase enrollment and seem to be offering money to induce good students to attend a very good school in a not very desirable location. They have a lot to offer.

Denison is another school that seems to be up and coming, i.e., trying to improve its profile and rep and attract outstanding students.

I did not expect my D to receive merit awards but she did at several schools. She had a similar GPA, lower ACT, but pretty good SAT. She also had some of those other traits that schools are looking for and we tried to emphasize those.

A side note, I don’t think any schools superscore ACT.

DS was not applying for FA, so can’t compare it to NPC. He received merit aid from a number of schools. Earlham offered the most.

He ended up elsewhere, but we were really impressed by every interaction we had with this school. And his classmates who did attend are super smart, engaged kids, so their strategy seems to work!

Apply non-binding EA, and you will have the merit award in hand by late Nov early Dec, making it easy to compare to other offers.

Admissions was not specific with my kid about what merit he might get, but he would up getting $22 or $24, I believe. A high test score, and genuine interest, with an interview or appropriate contact if student cannot visit, will likely get very high end of merit award.

A wonderful school, we were very impressed, my kid chose a different school, largely because of athletic recruiting factors.

@Midwestmomofboys , our kids almost ended up as teammates! This was a tough one to turn down, indeed.

Thanks, @Midwestmomofboys. We’re visiting in a couple of weeks, and both my daughter and I are excited. She talked with the coach on the phone the other night and is even more excited now.

Oh, I forgot to add that she is going to apply non-binding EA to Earlham (and allege others on her list), so hopefully she’ll be comparing acceptances & offers by year’s end.

Thanks again!

For my kid (and me, his parent), EA was a such a relief -my kid had a handful of acceptances, with merit, starting late Nov and continuing through late Dec. Really took the pressure off, as he could visualize himself at a number of those schools.

Good luck, a wonderful school, my kid loved the class he attended, the kids he met, the facilities etc.

My son’s actual award at Earlham was much higher than the “net price calc.” (MUCH higher!)

We figured merit money was reliable, but we’d have to be able to do 2 - 3 years with no grant money. There was a thread a year or two ago about a student whose second year grant letter read, “sorry, we have no grant money this year. You’ll owe an extra 20k to come back in the fall.”
Not a risk I was willing to co-sign up for. YMMV

Update from the original poster: My daughter applied and was accepted EA to Earlham (it was the last acceptance/offer to come in, a week or so before Christmas) and she’s going to Earlham! We visited in October and both thought it was a wonderful fit for her, then she visited for 48 hrs in March and knew it was her top choice.

The best part? The Earlham offer was the very best among her top few choices, it was WAY higher than the estimated merit award in the NPC, and it’s guaranteed for 4 years.

So good news on our end. Earlham, here she comes! :slight_smile: