My National Merit kid is a freshman at Alabama...feel free to ask questions

My daughter was invited to apply. She thought that the program sounded amazing, but she doesn’t think it is right for her! Is your daughter going to apply?

Not national merit, but I received the presidential scholarship. I really like the Blount program and I’m waiting on the decision for that. I’m kind of worried that if I don’t get into Blount I would have a hard time meeting my type of people in the Bama community. For the people who just went with honors, did you/your kids have a good experience meeting other academically motivated people who maybe aren’t into partying? I’m a pretty social person but I’m not into wild parties. Please help to ease my mind about the matter.

It’s a large, public university. I don’t think you will have any issues finding your people. My son is enrolling in the fall. We have visited three times. Yes, it has a large Greek life (so did my university, SMU, which was much smaller). I found my people. He will find his. Everyone we have met has been friendly and welcoming.

That’s good to hear, thank you!

Hi there…my son is a freshman and lives in honors housing. I am pretty sure all 3 of his suitemates are at Alabama on some type of academic scholarship. He gets along great with them and has a good group of friends (all different majors). He is not a big partier, but social. Not interested in fraternities at all – but has found great friends. I think you definitely can find your peeps. My son is not particularly extroverted either, but I feel like his social life is booming. I think picking honors housing would be a good idea too.

1 Like

My D HS class of 2023 (1510-PSATNMQT/36 ACT) is considering Alabama over UCF. UCF is no longer a Full COA but close. UA appears to be Full COA with frugality. As she is a Computer Engineering/Masters/Law School, is it wiser to receive a Bachelors at a lesser ranked school but then Be knocking out a Law Degree at the prestigious Alabama Law? Is there Honors Housing? What is Blount scholars all about?

1 Like

Alabama is not quite full cost of attendance. It does not include the meal plan and some other costs. That being said, you are protected from inflationary increases in tuition and housing as the NMF package covers tuition and housing (it also guarantees housing, which is nice given that universities have issues with guaranteeing housing). The fifth year comes with no housing. You could use it for law school if she is interested in that. My son will be starting Computer Science in the fall and will be doing the STEM/MBA program. Our back of the envelope math is that our full cost for BS/MBA over five years (must related to the MBA summers and last year housing) will be around $50K. That is hard to beat. Plus, he starts with two computer science classes his first semester.

College is what you make it. I am sure your daughter will do well wherever she goes. Maximizing her dollars and opportunities will be key. I think the question here is do the cost savings at Alabama out weigh the UCF honors program (which is pretty good).

Thanks for your input!

USF is full COA plus some spending money! You might want to check it out.

I actually just replied to your post in the NMF thread about UA vs. UCF, and then I got an alert for this thread.

Yes, there is Honors Housing, and it is a nice suite-style dorm. One thing to consider with UA housing is that only students with housing scholarships are guaranteed on campus housing after the first year. Since UA has had such high enrollment the past few years, there is not much (or any space) for students without housing scholarships on campus. This likely means your child will need to live with other NMFs or go random after freshman year. We gave serious thought to the social implications of this, and I would encourage you to do the same. In the end, we chose UA, but this aspect gave us pause.

If your daughter is interested in law school, she can use her scholarship toward Law School at UA. One of my daughter’s potential roommates plans to get her undergraduate degree in two years and then use the last six semesters of her scholarship to pay for law school.

At the end of the day, the opportunities at UA just seemed so much better and richer than the ones offered at the other schools we toured.

So then if she has the NM scholarship at UA, she has the Housing Scholarship for 4 years? Correct?

Correct…unless the package changes.

Yes (based on the current package). However, DD may have limited options when choosing a roommate. This has been problematic for some NMFs.

I am assuming she would be in one of those own room suites. She is also a year younger so I am hoping she fits right in for 3 years. lol

To clarify- UA apparently guarantees paying for housing for NMf, but it’s not necessarily on-campus housing, despite what they have said. The last year or two has seen NMFs being relocated from their reserved dorms to off campus apartments. UA’s priority is on-campus housing for freshmen, and they haven’t had enough dorm housing this coming year and last year.

Is the housing better or worse?

After moving NMFs off campus at the last minute last year, they now guarantee on campus housing for those with housing scholarships.

Really? That’s great to hear. Thanks. I know they are putting housing scholarships up in a local apartment complex again, but hopefully that is all voluntary this time.

Me again. Can I ask where you heard about the on-campus housing being guaranteed and if there were other details about which facilities? Even if you can message me. We just talked with a student at UA about this very thing, and that we heard it was just changed to guarantee on-campus all 4 years for housing scholarships, and she said ‘well, be careful about that. Since the leased apartments (East Edge and The Lofts) are affiliated with UA, they are considered on-campus housing for the purposes of the scholarships.’ And I, and most parents, would consider just the dorms to be on -campus.

Will the NM scholar kids at UA who are not “greek” (frats/sor) find a social life through Honors/Engineering/Stem to MBA etc. functions?