Financial Aid Packages

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.

Cornell is a different case, in so many different ways.

OP, pretty clear you’re just asking questions and not doing enough research of your own. That’s the worst route to take. You’re asking newbie questions., don’t seem to be understanding responses. Get a Fiske Guide to Colleges and Financial Aid for Dummies.

And NO, being from NY is not a heh-heh reason to dismiss Alabama.

Run the NPCs.

UB (University at Buffalo) would be better IMO. It’s not Buff. Most people are thinking Buff State when referring to Buff, and that is a separate SUNY campus.
UB is bigger, so as long as you don’t mind big, it has more opportunities and more available merit and connections. Albany isn’t bad though and if you prefer that size campus, it could be good.

Any interest in small, private Catholic colleges? (Since you seem to want to stay in NY). Lots of alumni networking in them and some have very good scholarships for your stats. St. Bonaventure has a good business program.

not every private school in NYS participates in Enhanced Tuition, Which I’d your family makes less than 125k pays a max of 3000 from NYS and the school pays $3000.
With the exception of Cornell (which I don’t understand because they meet 100% demonstrated need and I would never apply for it if my child got in because there would be no true benefit that would outweigh the living and working in NYS or having to pay the money back) the more selective NYS colleges, Vassar , Hamilton, Fordham, Colgate, Columbia, NYU, etc don’t participate in the program

The max STEM award is approx 6800/year (the cost of SUNY tuition)

Cornell participates in the enhanced tuition program because a small number of students who are very definite that they will remain in NY will apply for/accept it. While Cornell meets full need as they define it, like many colleges that do so, they include loans for middle class students. We debated encouraging our daughter to apply for either NY enhanced or STEM awards because those would have replaced the loans in her Cornell FA package. We verified that this would be what would happen. We ultimately decided that it was too big a gamble to take the award when she would be making so many contacts outside of NY and the majority of the loans in her FA package were subsidized. If she took the enhanced award and then found a job outside of NY, she would have had larger loans to repay than if she kept the FA package as offered by Cornell.
I can see why some students do accept the gamble though. It would be nice not to have to repay the money.

Why University of Pittsburgh? Good merit/financial aid? And also a good undergraduate business school? If so I might apply.

Pitt is a great school, although I can’t speak about the business school. Unless things have changed…Pitt is not on the common app, it’s rolling admissions, and the application is open now.

Apply if you want to spend money on the application fee and see if you get merit. It’s not guaranteed, and any merit may come after the acceptance letter.

No, there is a maximum dollar amount for these state awards, and they are for about what SUNY tuition is. I don’t recall the exact dollar amount. It does not even necessarily cover a state school tuition. For example, Cornell has three land grant colleges in its university infrastructure that area”state”. Included as such in the SUNY literature. But the state grants do not cover the higher tuition.

I’m not 100% sure the Excelsior and STEM grants even cover 100% of all of the SUNY schools’ tuitions as they do vary in tuition amounts.

OP and anyone dealing with these things should read the most current rules regarding any scholarships and admission practices. Things do change

“I’m not 100% sure the Excelsior and STEM grants even cover 100% of all of the SUNY schools’ tuitions as they do vary in tuition amounts.”

(Sorry but the quote function isn’t working…)

IIRC, if you are eligible for these awards, your tuition at the SUNY schools will be fully covered…but these are last payer awards meaning that they cover only what’s left after other awards pay. So if the student is TAP eligible, for example, the TAP would be applied first.

And no double dipping…in other words, you can’t get TAP and Excelsior and STEM that would total in excess of tuition costs.

@sybbie719 you are great at explaining this!