Good at academics, but not much else - some engineering schools for me?

<p>My parents make a combined $80k-$90k per year. I haven't had the time to sit down with them and the necessary tax information to properly fill out the EFC forms, but perhaps you can wager how much of a contribution that kind of an income can afford. </p>

<p>Also, I'm fairly certain they'll be able to meet the EFC, as they understand some financial sacrifice will have to made, and I'm sure they'll be very cooperative.</p>

<p>Total COA at Michigan will be $24,167. My guess is your EFC will be a bit lower than that, somewhere around $15,000, give or take a few thousand (depending on how much savings and other assets your parents have, siblings at home, etc). </p>

<p>I believe Michigan meets 100% of need for in-state students but that could include a loan and/or self-help (work/study) award. They also have some merit scholarships, more for in-state than for OOS students, and I should think with your stats you'd be in the running for some of those. It's possible your net cost could be lower at one of the top privates, should you get in. I wouldn't count on it at Carnegie Mellon which isn't known for generous FA, but you never know until you see the award. But MIT or Cornell might come through with a larger all-grant award. Or not, as they'll use the "institutional method" to calculate EFC which considers other assets (e.g., net home equity) and usually comes out with a different EFC figure, sometimes higher, sometimes lower, depending on individual circumstances.</p>

<p>I think Michigan is a no-brainer. If you can afford it, in-state, there are no other public schools that you should consider. None. Really. None. </p>

<p>Just to round out your perspective to see some private schools in the same league, I'd add</p>

<p>MIT
Stanford
Princeton
Cornell
CMU
Rice
Harvey Mudd
Cal Tech</p>

<p>Each has it's particular appeal to a student like yourself. I think Cooper Union is a very different experience, but I don't think I'd go there over Michigan. I think every other option is inferior for you. I think that you can skip AAA and make the majors. I think all of the private schools that I mentioned require SAT II's in math and a physical science.</p>

<p>I'm not quite sure about Cornell or MIT for financial aid, but I know some of the other top-tier private schools (Duke, Harvard, Stanford, and a few others) meet a student's full need with grants. The interesting part is that they say families making under $180,000 are not expected to contribute much at all (at least for Harvard). Families making under $60,000 are not expected to contribute anything.</p>

<p>That's very attractive to me (and I assume most other students not swimming in money), especially when considering that loans or work will most likely be part of my funding for a degree at Michigan.</p>

<p>*meet a student's full need with grants.</p>

<p>The interesting part is that they say families making under $180,000 are not expected to contribute much at all (at least for Harvard).*</p>

<p>Schools decide what your need is, not the family.</p>

<p>I don't know what you mean by saying that those who make under $180k aren't expected to pay much at all for Harvard. It depends on what your definition is of "paying much." I would imagine that someone who is making - say $175k - would be writing a decent check to Harvard....at least about $18k per year. </p>

<p>I'm not really certain about that 10% rule for HYP and what it goes up to with only one child in college.</p>

<p>Yeah, on Harvard's site, it says families making $60k-$180k (a fairly large range) are only expected to pay about 10% of costs. They don't take into account assets and such.</p>

<p>I don't know of any other colleges as generous as Harvard on FA. Yale is also very generous, but they work from EFC, not a straight percentage of income as Harvard does, and the first $3,000 of their aid award is self-help (work-study). They also expect freshmen to contribute $1,500 from summer earnings the summer before starting college. At the end of the day most privates are probably going to come up with FA packages that leave you in a pretty similar position to Michigan. There might be some difference in what part of the package is loans, but keep in mind that the no-loan policy at a handful of the wealthiest privates does NOT mean the award won't include work-study. You really just need to apply and see what the FA package looks like, though. And keep in mind that the much lower COA at Michigan means you're starting out there with the equivalent of a $30,000 grant relative to the COA at a private school. My guess is when all is said and done, what you're expected to pay is going to be pretty close at Michigan and at the privates. But for EE, Michigan has it all over Harvard.</p>

<p>That makes me feel a lot better about going to Michigan. If I end up going there (and it's the most realistic scenario for me), I won't regret it. But it definitely would be nice to have some other very good schools on the table from which to choose.</p>

<p>I would draw my schools from the list below. All 12 universities are well rounded and excellent in Engineering.</p>

<p>Carnegie Mellon University
Cornell University
Harvey Mudd College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Northwestern University
Princeton University
Rice University
Stanford University
University of California-Berkeley
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of Texas-Austin
University of Wisconsin-Madison</p>

<p>Caltech, Georgia Tech, Purdue and UIUC are also excellent, but they are not as well rounded as the schools above, so I would not recommend they as highly.</p>

<p>Sit your parents down and run their numbers through the FAFSA formula itself: <a href="http://www.ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/attachments/101310EFCFormulaGuide1112.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/attachments/101310EFCFormulaGuide1112.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>We have a pre-tax family income of 90k, one kid, and our FAFSA EFC is 19k. However, given our other obligations, what we really can scrape together each year is more like 8k. You need to know exactly how much your family will pay. That is your actual baseline. </p>

<p>Your profile puts you in the range for some serious merit-based money. Read through this thread, and see if you find anything that you like: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>