Financial aid advice needed

<p>I'd post this on the financial aid board, but figure since you all have more experience with the ins and outs of the MT departments at the schools that I'd ask for advice here first.</p>

<p>The financial aid package for my son's first choice school was sent to him via email tonight. It is a big fat zero. Tuition, room and board at this school far exceeds what our family can afford. Every other MT and/or acting BFA program he has been accepted to has provided merit and/or talent based scholarships to him and some have been very generous. His academic credentials are fantastic, as are his extracurriculars. I know his letters of recommendation were outstanding as well. </p>

<p>I need to call the school to see if there is anything they can do to help. I am not looking forward to this at all; however, it is necessary.</p>

<p>Would you recommend I call the financial aid office or the School of Music (which houses the MT department)? Any and all guidance you can offer is greatly appreciated. Thanks much!</p>

<p>If the email was from the financial aid office, that's who I would call. Good luck.</p>

<p>SeniorMom, in terms of financial NEED based aid, schools use a federal formula which you also can calculate what your family's need would be (which may not be what you think it should be but is what the formula would come up with). Many schools meet 100% of need but not all do. This is different than a merit/talent scholarship. It could be that your family did not meet the federal formula for need based aid but you can find out. In terms of merit scholarships, I have a feeling I know which college you mean and it is a public university and in my experience, they often have less to give. Of all the scholarships my MT child won at all her accepted schools, the least amount was offered by the one public she was accepted to. Also, the public university that I am thinking you may mean.....the director of the MT program told us at the audition day that they had very little scholarship money to offer, which they regret but wanted to make sure families knew that. So, you can call and so forth but that's just a summary.</p>

<p>One more thing....when it comes to merit aid and you mention outstanding academics......often you get a lot more merit aid at schools that are a step below your academic level and where your stats stand out from the crowd, than at the more selective schools where most who get in also have outstanding academic credentials. It is more common to get more merit (particularly academic merit scholarships) in the first scenario than in the second.</p>

<p>Call the financial office and ask for an explanation of the package. Explain that this is his first choice school but you can't afford it. Explain that there are other schools offering a better deal but you'd like to find a way to attend this school. Ask if there is anything they can do? Grants, work study? If not, move on to the second choice. I truly believe that almost any of the BFA acting or MT schools that require auditions will prepare our children to be professionals and it is up to their work ethic, talent and some luck as to whether they will make it professionally.</p>

<p>Any chance that the school would match any competitive offers? I know at CMU they told the kids that they would try to match any scholarships that were given by schools on the same level as them. It can't hurt to ask. Good Luck to you!</p>

<p>Thanks everyone, I appreciate your advice both here and via PMs very much! We'll see where this takes us....</p>