Hi everyone! I would appreciate some advice on a dilemma I am currently facing.
I am an international student applying to US colleges and asking for lots of aid. I applied to Brown ED and got deferred and then submitted my ED2 to Swarthmore. I got in! Brown and Swat have been tied for my first-choice college throughout this crazy process, so I was beyond excited.
However, there is a problem - they are asking me for too much money. I would graduate loan-free and my actual financial aid package is very generous and seemingly affordable, however, due to changes in my family’s financial circumstances due to COVID-19, I know that me going to Swat would be a huge financial burden for my family. My parents are saying they would be willing to do it for me, however, I know that it would require some real sacrifices and a very financially tough 4 years ahead of us.
I have appealed my financial aid, however, I will have to decide whether to enroll within 24 hours of me getting back the answer, so, especially with the time zone difference, I want to know what decision I am going to make if my financial aid package stays the same.
I am very blessed to have a great back-up option - I got a full-ride scholarship to URichmond. I was also chosen as a finalist for Emory Scholars and admitted to their Oxford and Emory campuses, but I’m not sure whether I’ll get enough money to attend just yet. Other colleges I have applied to RD are: Yale, UChicago (weak supplement), Barnard, Pomona, Williams, Amherst (weak supplement), Wesleyan, Vassar, Tufts, Grinnell, Wellesley. However, I am not counting on any more acceptances as I am an international who needs a lot of money and I also wouldn’t consider myself an ultra-competitive candidate.
As you can probably tell from my college list, I am quite liberal and I don’t really like Greek life and athletics. I love “intellectual” colleges. This is why I am worried about not having a good experience at URichmond - I’m afraid its culture would make me a social outcast.
So, here is my dilemma - if my expected family contribution does not get lowered, do I pass up on Swarthmore and likely end up at URichmond, where I’m worried I won’t fit in, but which won’t burden my family and give me additional resources as part of the very cool scholarship? Or do I go to Swarthmore, which is my perfect fit and more well-regarded for what I want to do after college (academia), but heavily burden my family for the next 4 years?
I’m honestly lost. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading this.