early decision and financial aid at Penn

<p>My daughter wants to apply to Penn for early decision. I recognize my questions about financial aid concerns might be a moot point if she isn't accepted in the early decision process. In the event that she is accepted, I have concerns about meeting the unclear financial obligations, in light of the fact that most financial aid packages are not provided until April. My financial situation is not covered on the Penn website under the different financial scenarios and expected aid. I am a divorced custodial parent and a high school teacher, with a limited salary. It is unclear if my ex will meet his financial obligation outlined in our divorce agreement, which only covers a portion of the tuition. It seems to me that my daughter will need to apply to other colleges in the process, because the financial obligations may exceed what I can provide. I understand there is a way to get out of the binding early decision agreement with a college if the financial expectations are beyond what a family can reasonably afford. I also understand that Penn does everything it can to make sure a student graduates "debt free", what ever that means. My question is: How would an early decision acceptance from one school impact a student's application to other schools during the regular decision process, while waiting to hear from financial aid from the accepted school? Would an early decision acceptance impact potential financial aid packages at other schools.</p>

<p>You might want this thread over on the financial aid forum.</p>

<p>Having said that…UPenn is a Profile school. Your income and assets will need to be put on the Profile. I believe UPenn requires the non-custodial parent Profile as well. You will need to check this. If they do, the non-custodial parent (and spouse if there is one) will be required to complete the non-custodial parent Profile.</p>

<p>Check Penns website, but it is VERY likely that they have an early priority filing date for the Profile for ED applicants. This can be as early as the beginning of November. The school will need this information with excellent estimates for all of 2013 incomes done by whatever deadline they say.</p>

<p>If your daughter is accepted early decision, she will receive her financial aid estimate either with her acceptance or very shortly thereafter. She will not be required to make her acceptance decision without this. ED admits get their finaid packages well before April…assuming the financial aid application forms are completed.</p>

<p>NOW…Having said all that. You might want to think very seriously about that ED application to Penn. If your daughter receives an ED acceptance offer and aid offer, you will have a VERY short window of time to accept or not accept that offer. Insufficient aid is a reason to NOT accept the offer. BUT…that Penn offer will be the ONLY one you will have. You will not be able to compare your bottom line costs with offers from ANY other colleges (except rolling admissions schools which are typically much less generous). How will you know if Penn’s offer is the best or worst if you have nothing with which to compare? You could decline this offer and then realize later (when the offers from the RD schools come in) that Penn’s was the BEST and you declined it.</p>

<p>If financial aid is a significant consideration, ED isn’t usually the best option…unless you are very low income and are applying to a meets full need school…and your situation is not complicated. Your situation IS more complicated due to the non-custodial parent uncertainty. </p>

<p>I would very strongly suggest your daughter apply RD to Penn, along with other schools…so that she will have multiple options to consider. </p>

<p>It is highly likely Penn will expect a contribution from the non-custodial parent.</p>

<p>Oh brother…too late to edit! Penn requires the Profile and non-custodial parent Profile. Last year, the early priority filing date for these was November 6. You can expect a similar deadline this year. Penn will not process your aid application until all documents are received. Get them done ON TIME. You will complete the Profile and the non-custodial parent (and spouse if there is one) will complete the Non-custodial Parent Profile.</p>

<p>The school will compute your parents contribution from the info provided on the Profile and NCP Profile. Your divorce decree will not be considered. UPenn will give you an amount to pay, and it is up to your family to decide how that will be paid. They do not make adjustments because a parent is not going to “meet their obligation”.</p>

<p>Your situation is not at all unusual. But Penn’s finaid website is very clear…they DO require that non-custodial parent Profile.</p>

<p>Based on that early Priority Profile filing, your daughter would receive her aid award either with or shortly after an ED acceptance.</p>

<p>To answer the second part of your question…if your daughter receives an acceptance and aid offer, she will have a VERY short window of time to make a decision. She will have NO other financial aid offers in hand for comparison purposes. If she accepts,the offer, she is REQUIRED to withdraw any other pending applications and acceptances. </p>

<p>If your daughter is a competitive admit for Penn, she could have the stats to garner significant merit aid elsewhere. Check the financial aid forum for threads on merit aid.</p>

<p>Since your ability to pay for Penn is questionable, I would STRONGLY suggest you reconsider the ED application route. You could say NO to the Penn offer only to find out in the ED round that it was the best offer of all…and it will be too late.</p>

<p>hsartteacher,</p>

<p>Welcome to CC and the financial aid forum</p>

<p>Given your situation, I do not think that it is wise that your daughter applies ED.</p>

<p>After all has been said and done, it will be Penn who will determine how much they think you can afford to pay (never met a family yet that agrees with what the school thinks is affordable). While, Penn does not offer loans in their financial aid package, it does not mean that your daughter may not have to take out loans in order to help pay the EFC (especially if she cannot count on her father to contribute what the school feels is his part).</p>

<p>You will receive your financial aid package shortly after the ED decision (if not with the ED decision). She will have to make a decision to attend or not attend before the end of december. If she applies RD, she will receive a decision and an admission offer late March/Early April and will have until May 1 (national decision day) to commit to attending.</p>

<p>Since Penn is a profile school, you will have to file the CSS profile and your ex will have to file the non-custodial profile. In addition, both you and your ex will have to submit your 2012 taxes by Nov.1, if your daughter is applying ED. </p>

<p>It does not matter what your divorce decree states; Penn will determine an EFC based on both you and your ex’s income and assets. If either of you have remarried, the new spouse’s income will also be part of the equation.</p>

<p>If your ex does not chose to pay “his portion”, it will not matter to Penn. some one has to pay the bill, or your daughter will not be attending school.</p>

<p>Your ex’s unwillingness to pay will not be a factor in getting your D more aid.</p>

<p>One of the things you should do now is run your income/assets through the net price calculator.</p>

<p>If you know your ex-husband’s income/assets run his numbers through the net price calculator</p>

<p>add up your EFC with his EFC to get some idea as to how much you will have to pay out of pocket.</p>

<p>You also need to sit down with your ex to figure out how much he is willing o pay/borrow for school</p>

<p>If your daughter is a viable candidate for Penn, then she will probably be a viable candidate for schools that offer merit $$.</p>

<p>Perhaps you should look at some FAFSA only schools where your D can get merit $$ this way the EFC is driven by your income/assets. However, some things to keep in mind:</p>

<p>any child support/alimony aid by your ex is considered income on your FAFSA.</p>

<p>In subsequent years, any monies paid for your D’s school by your ex will have to be included on the FAFSA.</p>

<p>Thank you for your quick responses. I appreciate your advice. Can I find a net price calculator on the College Board website?</p>

<p>You really should use the Net Price Calculators on each college website. Those are specific to each college.</p>

<p>And do them for EACH college.the results from school to school WILL vary as their formulas vary.</p>

<p>Please keep in mind that when there are divorced parents…the NPCs should be viewed as an estimate only. </p>

<p>As Sybbie said…do one with your figures. Do a second with your former spouse’s…and add together those amounts. But this will be an estimate only!</p>

<p>Remember too…any child or spousal support you currently are receiving needs to be included on YOUR forms.</p>

<p>Link to Penn’s net price calculator</p>

<p>[Financial</a> Aid Calculator](<a href=“http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/paying/net-price-calculator.htm]Financial”>http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/paying/net-price-calculator.htm)</p>

<p>Thank you for your excellent advice. I am most appreciative! I now know to look for the net price calculator on each school website, and have already played with some #'s for Penn. This tool is exactly what I need, but din’t know what is was called or where to look for it. Thanks again.</p>

<p>I have a question – my daugther wants to apply ED to Penn but like many am worried about the aid award being inadequate. Does anybody know if going to meet with a financial aid officer at Penn prior to applying ED is a good idea? Does anybody know if they will provide you with an estimate of an award after meeting. I own a small family business so I am not a W-2 employee.</p>

<p>I think the Penn Financial Aid office will be happy to meet with you before applying but the bigger question is whether they can give you a good idea where you stand beyond the what NPC can do. I imagine that they do not have the capacity to give detailed analysis to all the applicants, they probably have hard enough time to complete all the accepted students aid packages. But it does not hurt to ask, and it is actually a great idea. I am not sure how they can actually do this, do you actually have to go through the profile process and pay CollegeBoard with the prior year infomation?</p>

<p>If you are new to this process, anecdotally business owners are unfairly penalized by Financial Aid calculations of profiled schools. And usually NPC does not do a good job making estimate for business owners and a lot of time, many people get a surprise when the real numbers come in. BTW, I am a Penn parent and my wife is a small business owner.</p>

<p>ttparent,
They all set up to do an early financial pre-read - they have 2014-2015 forms by now. This service is mostly reserved for athletes to compete against schools with athletic scholarships. Not sure if FA would do it for regular applicants but no harm to try.</p>

<p>^Good info. I agree, no harm in trying. Now that I think about it why wouldn’t most people who are not sure and want to do ED do this?</p>

<p>Some schools will do a pre read for families. The estimates are as good as the info given and if situations change, the numbers will accordingly. I know CMU does pre reads. It’s a tight schedule to get the infor for a pre read and then to get that ED app in as well as the Estimated PRofile for the actual estimated award package that comes with ED acceptance.</p>

<p>Many people who go thorugh the ED process find that the fail safe clause that you can get out of the commitment if you cannot aford it, do not understand that it isn’t just as easy as that. The fact of the matter is that when a student gets an acceptance and estimated aid package from an ED app, there is a short period of time to commit to the school, and that all other college applications are to be withdrawn when you make that commitment. Some schools subscribe to an ED info list so your student’s applications to such schools will automatically be dropped after being accepted ED.</p>

<p>The biggest problem, however, is the inablility to compare packages and discuss and “negoitate” with other aid packages in hand. There is a thread here on this board where a parent is very pleased that she was able to get Brown to ignore a NCP contribution. This was done after discussions with the school fin aid office. Don’t know the details, and not going to say it will happen for every or anyone, but I guarantee you that you are not going to be at an advantage in such talks when you are sitting there ED and/or with only one offer in hand. My friend’s children ended up at local state schools after their NCP, their father refused to pay anything for college, and my friend could not come up with the cost of some top schools that guarantee to meet need. They refused to take the NCP out of the picture. UPenn was one of those schools. So YMMV with these situations, and until you have the numbers in hand, you can’t really discuss the situations, and with other schools in the picture, you have more to discuss and more choices.</p>

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<p>I disagree. This topic has come up on CC numerous times, especially with regard to Penn. </p>

<p>The admissions stats for ED are much more favorable than for RD. Penn, in particular, encourages ED applications from students for whom Penn is their first choice regardless of financial need (not all schools do). </p>

<p>They will offer you a financial aid package if your student is accepted provided your application for financial aid is in order. </p>

<p>YOU determine if it’s affordable. If it isn’t you can ask for a release and one will be granted. Typically 95% of students admitted ED enroll. In other words, most people find the offer acceptable.</p>

<p>I did speak with Penn – they do not do a pre-read for ED candidates. If someone is accepted ED they will get the aid package either at the same time or very soon after that. No acceptance of the ED offer has to be made until the aid pacakge is received. If the aid package is not satisfactory and after you have attempted to get the package increased and either the package stays the same or the increase is not enough to make attending aofrdable then you can be released from the ED commitment without any harm done to your chances at other schools. You do have to demonstrate that you tried to work things out with the aid office before they will let you out.</p>

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<p>Yes, ClassicRockerDad, and you’ve been steadfastly unwilling to listen to reason every time! ;)</p>

<p>If only the ED schools would issue financial aid awards that are clearly either (a) all good or (b) all bad. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case, and an ED family faced with a borderline acceptable offer has no way of knowing if it’s the best or the worst offer their child might get. The result? A family may accept an offer they can’t really afford (without hardship) because they just don’t know what they’ll end up with if they reject it.</p>

<p>I say for a business owner, you should expect to get worse package than NPC gives you. Going in hoping or wishing to get a better package is not realistic as an ED applicant child of a business owner. If you are comfortable with that, then ED is definitely for you.</p>

<p>Procedurally, it is very easy to walk away and say no, not so much in practice.</p>

<p>If your financial aid situation was really straight-forward (WHICH IT IS NOT), and Penn was a really strong first choice, I would be willing to say to ED Penn.</p>

<p>I have beaten on calculators for probably 15-20 schools including impact of home equity, a second kid in school, income variations, etc. and of DS’s schools, Penn is consistently the best FA (having said that, there are a few like Vanderbulit, Harvard, Yale, maybe Duke that are at least as good but DS is not interested). For example, their aid is $5k better than Cornell simply because Cornell has $5k of loans and Penn has ZERO. Unfortunately, DS doesn’t have Penn at the top of his list at this time, and nowhere else passed my threshold to ED. So we are doing all RD.</p>

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<p>[sarcasm]
I guess getting rejected by your first choice school RD makes life easy then.
[/sarcasm]</p>

<p>95% of people who get accepted to Penn ED enroll there. Most of them are satisfied with their package. I think that the risk of getting rejected by waiting for RD is much larger then the risk of having to make a hard borderline decision on the finances, especially when the schools have their own calculators so that you can get some idea beforehand.</p>

<p>“Most of them are satisfied with their package.”</p>

<p>That could be true in a way, but I have a weird feeling that is saying most of them are not. And also thinking that ED does not only give the applicants some advantages, somehow the schools love and can’t get enough of ED applicants also. The calculator or the computer program can be tweaked a little bit if wanted. Not that I know anything, but you get my drift.</p>