Financial Aid - confusing issue


<p>I am a Canada student who has recently been accepted at Peabody Conservatory for piano performance, my first choice. When I applied, I specifically filled out the International Students Financial Aid Application for Peabody, and wrote not only a letter detailing my family's financial hardships but made it very clear that my mother's income <$20000/year, which is approx half the total tuition/year. For my extreme lack of funds, I had actually worried that Peabody (which as far as I know, is not need-blind) would not accept me.</p>

<p>It turns out that I have been accepted and have also been offered 3 teacher selections. However, I didn't receive any financial assistance nor merit aid/scholarship from the school at all. </p>

<p>I can understand that there were people who played better and got the scholarships/merit aid, but in terms of need-based aid, I was very surprised that I wasn't given any. Now, Peabody's email said that if I did not feel their assessment was not accurate, I could write them a request for reassessment. I think that's what I'm going to do, but before that I want to know how I can frame my situation so that I don't get denied a second time. Was it because I was not poor enough (at least by Canadian standards, <$20000/annum is below the low income line; is it any different in the US?), or was it due to some other reason? (Note that I wrote an optional letter in the original fin aid app explaining that we were poor not out of laziness but because as new immigrants, finding suitable jobs are difficult, etc.)</p>

<p>Any help about how I can frame my request for reassessment would be VERY APPRECIATED.</p>

<p>Also: if Peabody rejects my reassessment and still does not give me any funding, what alternative ways of getting aid/loans/scholarships may I look into?</p>

<p>The unfortunate scenario with international students is that we have to show proof that we can pay for our tuition at the same time we accept the offer on MAY 1st.</p>

<p>I’m not familiar with Peabody’s policies on aid for internationals. Not may US schools will provide need based aid in large amounts to non citizens, and talent aid is a direct function of your standing in the audition pool. violindad is a Canadian whose son auditioned at a number of US schools. Perhaps he can provide some options from their experiences.</p>

<p>Have you applied to any of the fine Canadian music programs?</p>

<p>I have been accepted at Schulich School of Music at McGill, but I absolutely fell in love with Peabody.</p>

<p>Would you happen to know of any methods of finding funding (ie aid, scholarships, loans, etc) from places besides Peabody that I could apply to?</p>

<p>Scholaro, I am sorry for your disappointment but frankly, you are working without a net in terms of financial backing so I don’t see how you could possibly independently finance Peabody if the school itself cannot assist. Even if you could find the funding would you really want to be in a position to have to pay that back? Your family would not be in a position to assist you with such a burden, though I’m sure that fact would also be very tough on them.</p>

<p>There are many, many American students who also cannot afford “out of state” or elite private schools. Yes, a very rare few get funding…but most don’t. You are blessed to have an acceptance to Schulich – an absolute DEAL financially for a Canadian resident, plus a much more generous financial aid and grant program in Canada (in your income range, you will be able to access more funding and then have more than half of it forgiven!) than students have access to in the U.S.</p>

<p>Save your love of Peabody for graduate school, and make the most out of a situation many American students would love to have :wink:
Best wishes!</p>

<p>violadad and kmcmom13 have given good advice. </p>

<p>Even with a reconsideration of your request for need-based aid, it is unlikely that you would receive enough assistance to make Peabody feasible. While you might be able to get a few thousand more, that would not be nearly enough to make Peabody possible even with generous Canadian student grants and loans (which are available even if you attend a US school–although I’m not sure what the status of your citizenship is). </p>

<p>I don’t know what Peabody’s policy is on need-based aid, but some US schools give need-based aid only to US citizens (which is understandable). </p>

<p>My S’s first choice school last year was the one that gave him the smallest merit award and which made it financially impossible. He absolutely loved that school, so he was disappointed, however he is at Schulich now and absolutely loves it there. While Canadian schools don’t have the name cachet that US schools do, many of the studio teachers are as good as those at places like Peabody. </p>

<p>It is disappointing to see a dream shattered, but ultimately if you made it into Peabody, then you have the talent to make it into some other fine schools.</p>

<p>Sorry that I don’t have any advice about how to reframe the request.</p>