Financial aid package not what I expected...

<p> a bad way.</p>

<p>Basically, I was really hoping for my prospective school (>40k per year) to come through more for me. They gave me a sizeable merit scholarship, (16k per year), but gave me a puny 7k for straight-up financial aid. After work-study, pell, stafford, perkins, ACG, and SEOG, I STILL have a completely unpayable chunk of CoA to cover. My EFC is 0 and with good reason, so I have no idea what to do.</p>

<p>I called the financial aid office, and the woman submitted my package for a second review because she was as confused as I was as to why TAP wasn't included, but even with that, I'm still coming out of school horribly in debt.</p>

<p>Essentially, I don't know what else to do at this point. I am really determined to go to this school, because I'm completely in love with it, everything about the environment is right for how I learn, but I realize that putting myself tens of thousands of dollars into debt isn't the best idea in the world. </p>

<p>(Also, I will be applying for numerous scholarships, but the unfortunate reality is that I have some hyper-overachievers in my class that have been essentially bogarting the scholarship awards, of the sort who have been prepped for college admissions since middle school.)</p>

<p>Any suggestions and or advice would be incredibly appreciated.</p>

<p>Not all schools meet full need; did you apply to some financial safeties?</p>

<p>Yes, I did, but the reality is that the majority of the schools that offer my major are private. I applied to THE only state school in my state that offers a masters in my major, as a financial safety, but the school is all wrong for me and I REALLY don't want to go there. I would do community college but the unfortunate reality there is that my major is so rigid that it is incredibly difficult to start it at CC and then transfer.</p>

<p>OP: Have you heard back from the FA office from the second review yet? Hopefully, the news will be positive. If the second review shows not too much of an improvement, do you believe that going to this school is the critical success factor for your future? If so, then there are all kinds of loans availalble at low interest and that you do not need to pay back until months after you graudate and these can sometimes be deferred if you continue your education with no accrued interest. </p>

<p>I would find out about the second review first. Let's pray for good news.</p>

<p>Well, I just got my original financial aid package today, so I imagine I won't be getting the second one for at least a few days. </p>

<p>I don't think going to this school specifically is critical for my success, but I am fully of the opinion that it is critical for my college experience. Like I said, I applied to a financial safety, a state school, but I know that in all aspects other than offering my major and being more financially reasonable, it is completely wrong for me. Not to mention that being several hours away at that school will isolate me from my family (my mother cannot afford a car and thus does not drive) and my boyfriend, who, in July, I will have been with for three years. My first choice is less than an hour away, which is a reasonable distance for my grandmother, who is the only locally dwelling member of my immediate family who drives, to drive to. </p>

<p>I'm sorry if I seem immovable, because I know how frustrating it is to try and work with people who already have their opinions formed and only want others to reaffirm them. I am trying not to be that way.</p>

<p>hyperJulie: My D got her package from the same school today and guess what? No TAP included in ours either and our EFC is +$15K which is way more than she will be able to finance. I did not have a chance to call today but I have to wonder what is going on there since I have heard this particular school is historically generous from others who have attended. My D is devastated as this was her first choice school but when the cost of a SUNY school is less than our EFC at this school how do you even have a choice?</p>

<p>Are you are referring to Ithaca College? If so, accdg to USNews Online, IC does not meet full need; it only meets 88% of need, on average.</p>

<p>btw: what's a TAP?</p>

can your gc put you in touch with some viable scholarhips in your own community that can help your situation ?
You class might be extremely competive, but that doesn't mean those students will make an effort or even qualify for the same scholarships as you.</p>

<p>NYS Tuition Assistance Program</p>

<p>Some universities are rich, and probably could eliminate tuition altogether. Others are not as rich and live from tuition. They are known for consistently worse fin. packeges. See what people tell about your school.</p>

<p>I am aware that Ithaca College (yes, you figured me out) does not offer full need. However, what was offered wasn't even close (in fact, it wasn't even on par with the average you gave me), and they did not offer me anywhere NEAR to the maximum on financial aid grants.</p>

<p>Momof3stars- Do you have any speculation as to why the TAP wasn't included? I realize that it only goes toward tuition, but even if I added up all of my non-loan financial aid it still didn't add up to tuition. At least, the woman I got on the phone when I called seemed confused anyway. I wonder if the financial aid packages were screwed up in general?</p>

<p>I really, REALLY feel for your daughter. I was in tears for a good hour after I opened the envelope, because I really felt that my merit aid would only help close the gap between the financial aid they gave me and the CoA, not just make it so they gave me less financial aid. I just felt really let down, and I suppose that's my own fault for being naive.</p>

Actually I had not figured you out. I was thinking about NYU, one of the schools my daughter applies to. NYU also is known for lower finaid. Actually I have a quick question about TAP: how did you submit it to multiple schools? I can only put one school. And several schools expect it simultaneously. Did you leave the school name blank?</p>

<p>fin aid packages consist of merit, need based, and loans. What exactly did you get from Ithaca?</p>

<p>Well, I got 16k in merit, 7k in grants from the school, full Pell, full ACG, full SEOG (I think?), then a subsidized stafford, perkins, and work-study ($2400 per year). After that, I was left with over 5k of unmet need. TAP was somehow inadvertantly left off, and I have one $500 outside scholarship and a likely $2000 per year for NMF that are not accounted for yet.</p>

<p>Consider yourself lucky -- I am worried about the prospect of not receiving enough loans to even cover the rest due to my single mother's bad credit history (we basically maxed out credit cards over the years she was unemployed just for living expenses and rent).</p>

<p>So they covered it all but $5000 and you didn't get the TAP yet which may cover the it? And you have $2000 from NMF...not to be mean but I don't get why you are upset...that is a pretty good package for Ithaca...</p>


<p>I agree with you, for a school like Ithaca which does not meet 100% demonstrated need, if she only has a $5000 gap I think the OP got an excellent package.</p>

<p>from their FAQs</p>

Why is my Family Cost to Attend Ithaca on my award letter different from the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on my SAR?</p>

<p>Despite the considerable commitment the College has made to financial aid funding, we still are not able to meet the full need for some of our students applying for aid. In addition, the College considers other factors in determining your family cost to attend Ithaca that the Federal Methodology does not, such as exclusion of parents attending college or other family members attending graduate school, and a $1,500 minimum student contribution expectation from earnings.</p>

<p>^ top of page</p>

<p>What impact do other family members in college have on my aid eligibility?</p>

<p>In determining your eligibility for Ithaca College grants and/or scholarships based on financial need, the College does not consider other family members who are attending graduate school nor a parent pursuing an undergraduate degree.</p>

<p>FAQs</a> - Financial Aid at Ithaca - Ithaca College


<p>I suppose you're right. I guess I'm just very concerned because coming out of college with a debt that's more than my mom makes in two years is really really frightening to me. I guess it's something others wouldn't blink at but I don't know what it's like to pay off loans on a reasonable income instead of trying to make payments of stuff while barely making ends meet.</p>

<p>And honestly, I'm very poorly educated on what a reasonable debt coming out of college is. I will be the second person in my family to go to a private school, ever, and the first is wealthy so I really don't have any point of reference.</p>

<p>Also, sybbie, I'm also concerned about a 5k gap because I don't know if I'll be able to get independent loans. My mother's credit is horrible and she cannot cosign them with me. Even so, 5k a year still adds up to over 20k after college, and that's not even including about that same amount in stafford and perkins that I have to pay off after I get out of college too. OTs don't make that much.</p>

<p>Most kids graduate with $20k of debt or more. You have received a great package and should consider yourself lucky. I think you will hear more feedback from others stating the same thing. There is a percentage of kids that have to pay full price based off there parents income. If there parents decide that they don't want to pay then they have no choice but to attend a community college or something. I am surprised by the number of people on here that think that colleges should admin everyone for free. Who is suppose to pay for the buildings, professors, and staff salaries? I hope my daughter ends up with a similar package. It would make both her and I very happy. Congratulation on your acceptance and package.</p>

<p>If your parent is denied a PLUS loan due to her poor credit history, you will qualify to take out another $4000 in an unsubsidized Stafford loan. And, if you have $2000 NM and $500 other, there is another $2500 if they don't reduce your aid package. So, in reality, you will only have $2500 of unmet need after those are factored in, is that correct?</p>

<p>The unmet need goes to Cost of Attendance, not just tuition, room and board. COA includes things like books, travel and spending money. You won't have much in travel costs and if you are able to find used books, you can cut your costs that way. So, depending on how much Ithaca calculates into COA, you may not be as far away as you think. </p>

<p>What about summer work? If you were able to earn $1500-$2000 over the summer, you would be able to use that for books and spending money. I know it would have been nice to use the NM money and other scholarships to lessen the Stafford, etc loans, but if you really want this, you may have to accept those. </p>

<p>Could your grandmother drive you to the school so you can talk with Financial Aid in person? They could go over all the costs they included in making the award, how each of the loan programs work, etc so you have better information before making your decision. If not, is there a teacher or counselor at school that you think may have a good grip on financial things? If so, take in the information on your merit package, take in all the costs for tuition, room, board, etc. and have them evaluate if you can realistically make this happen. I think if you talk with someone who has more experience in financial matters, you may find it isn't as bad as it seems right now.</p>