Financial Aid Packages

Some schools have merit awards that cover tuition. Other schools have a need based FA award that covers $xx toward the total bill, and that might pay some r&b or might not. Some schools with full rides (for example, for NMF) cover everything, including R&B. My daughter had some awards that could only be used for tuition, so her school applied those first and that left some of her merit award that could be used for r&b.

In NY, the excelsior only pays tuition.

Excelsior only covers tuition, not room and board? And forget criteria I have most of my list down already, but thank you.

Got it, thank you.

I will try to answer your room and board question:

Thumper is right about SUNY. If you qualify for Excelsior then your tuition would be covered. You would have to pay for room and board…it appears that your parents can pay for that. Buffalo is an outstanding option.

If you use the NPC for schools that meet need and come up with a price tag (approximate) of $22,000…that is your cost. There is no distinction between tuition and room/board. The NPC is based on the total cost of attendance.

If you are looking for merit, you will need a full tuition scholarship …or close to it…in order to get the cost down to what your parents can pay. It is very hard to find this type of merit in the northeast. You have to be willing to expand your geographic preferences…and even then it can be tricky.

Look at the U of Miami. My friend’s son got one of the huge awards and is having an amazing experience.

Thank you, this was all very helpful. Does Buff a good undergraduate business program (specifically finance)?

I know students who recently graduated from the business school at Buffalo ( don’t know the specifics) and are now employed in their field, living independently.

So it’s definitely a good safety school for me. Any other good undergraduate business program that have an acceptance rate of 45% or higher and are relatively affordable?

SUNY Albany is the “business” campus and you’d make honors, meaning that some of R&B may well be paid for.

Is Albany or Buff a better school? Which has a better reputation? And which has better job prospects/placement?

Buff is better known for Engineering and Albany for Business and government. However both have roughly the same level of reputation.

Temple in Philadelphia has a good business program, so does Ohio State and Miami of Ohio, and Pitt, all of these might give you merit.
Apply early.
Don’t be like the many students that face the reality in April of senior year of not being accepted to the schools they like or not being able to pay for the schools they were accepted to.
You have great stats, apply to some of the aforementioned schools and see what you get.
It’s good to have options.

Nick, it’s very simple. If we’re just talking about NEED-BASED aid (not merit), financial aid is awarded based on your ability to afford the cost of attendance (COA). COA includes tuition, room, board, mandatory fees, books/supplies, and personal expenses. For every college in the U.S., those are the components of COA. Need-based financial aid does not distinguish among these various components. They just determine – based on their own formula – what your family can afford to pay.

The second thing you need to understand is how universities bill you. You don’t get a bill for tuition and then a separate bill for room &board. You get one master bill from the college that will include tuition, room & board, and mandatory fees. The other components of the COA are paid by you on an as-needed basis (with your own money or with financial aid funds that are provided).

Merit is a different story. You can get a flat-rate merit award, such as, say, $25k. It doesn’t matter which components of COA it covers. It’s $25k toward your COA overall. Some colleges structure their merit as full tuition or half tuition or “full ride” (which can mean total COA or total of tuition, room, and board).

I gotchu, thanks.


Your parents can pay $20,000 for each of you twins every year. That will more than cover your room and board costs at most colleges.

It sounds like you need a full tuition award…or a less costly college.

You’re very dismissive in regards to Alabama even tho you likely know little/nothing about the university. There happens to be a lot of students there from NY. Most of the school is from OOS.

Well, maybe it would work for your twin…is s/he more open-minded?

^it may not be the University of Alabama, but the State of Alabama, which has been in the news these past couple months confirming the worst stereotypes people in the North may have. In this case, OP indicated their parents made the State off limits so it applies to both twins. I tend to believe that if you disagree with something, you advocate, protest, and vote, so for students to come, organize, and vote would be my choice rather than blacklisting the State of Alabama, but many parents/kids don’t want to use the college years for a statement and we have to work within OP’s parents’ limits. In his case, SUNYs would be the go-to choice that’d make financial sense.

If you are accepted to a school that is giving you a financial aid package, the full cost of attendance (COA) which includes room, board and estimated average expenses is taken into account. The NPC for these schools should give you an idea what you and your family are expected to pay. You indicate you have run some of the calculators, so you have an idea of what various schools expect you to pay

NY has the Excelsior which is a last dollar scholarship that is applied to tuition only. It appears as though your family qualified for it. If you are a STEM major in top 10% of your class , there is a tuition scholarship available as well with certain conditions. You should read up on the how some of these work. Some are applicable even to private colleges in NY state

@cptofthehouse while the state funded grants in NY can be used at some private universities, I do not believe they will cover the full tuition costs at these private colleges (which are a LOT higher than instate public tuition costs). In other words, I don’t think this student can expect full tuition NY grant money for Columbia, or Marist, or College of St. Rose, or Hofstra, etc.

@sybbie719 what is the dollar limit on these awards when they are used at private universities in NY.

I called and asked that question regarding the STEM award. Whatever the amount is for SUNY… that’s the amount allowed for Cornell, etc.

The Excelsior pays ~$6k at SUNY schools. I think it’s $3k for the private schools. The STEM Grant is different. I think that’s $6k no matter which NYS college the student picks. The student only gets one of the grants though, they can’t get both. And they’re required to work in NYS for 1 year for each year they receive the grant or it concerts to a loan.