Need & Admit Stats

<p>I have two questions about Oberlin, if anyone out there knows them. </p>

<p>First, I've read that Oberlin meets the need of 100% of those accepted, that's great! What I want to know is, does Oberlin sometimes use loans (parent or student) as a way to meet this need?</p>

<p>My other question is, are Oberlin's admission % and average SAT scores counting the conservatory students, and if, so, what are they for just Arts and Sciences?</p>

<p>Loans as part of package: Yes, but it depends on need and how the financial aid committee sees it. If your question is has Oberlin eliminated loans from financial aid packages, like Swarthmore, the answer is "no." My D was offered loans as part of her package for three years running, including this year, although we didn't always accept them. We want her to graduate without debt.</p>

<p>Elizabeth and Ma'ayan can shed more authoritative light on the second part of your post, but I believe Connie applicant stats are included when overall Oberlin stats are made public. I've heard Connie stats are somewhat lower on average, but I don't know by how much.</p>

<p>My son has been accepted into the conservatory. He received a large merit scholarship as well as a large grant. There is a very very small loan portion to the overall package. As Plainsman said this will vary with the family circumstances.</p>

<p>Some Oberlin admission statistics include the Con others don't. The admissions offices are seperate. For the Conservatory there are usually over 10 applications for each seat. The Conservatory yield is around 45-50%, thus the acceptance rate is somewhere in the low 20% overall. This also varies by conservatory major.</p>

<p>We do usually include a loan component in financial aid packages, but we try to keep it as small as possible. Typically 70-80% of an aid package is made of grants and scholarships, with the remainder made up by loans and work study, but it depends on the family circumstances. We do have a special initiative for students with a high level of financial need who qualify for a federal Pell Grant-- those students will see their loan burden reduced even further and may have no loans at all in their aid package. </p>

<p>For admissions stats, it's true that, depending on the source, the numbers may be for the College, Conservatory, or both. The College admits about a third of applicants, and the Conservatory admits about a quarter. Usually the standardized test stats you see are just for the College, but sometimes they're for the admitted class and sometimes they're for the enrolling class. The SAT median 50% averages for last year's enrolling class are: critical reading 660-740, math 640-720, writing 660-750.</p>

<p>Average debt of graduates can be found at CollegeInsight.</p>

<p>Home</a> | CollegeInsight</p>

<p>Meeting all demonstrated need is something of a falsehood. Oberlin met my need, which obviously was not huge, by offering me 12,000/year in loans. Graduating with $50,000 in loans is not exactly a great financial aid package. </p>

<p>Some institutions like the Ivies meet need while not giving loans. Oberlin doesn't have the endowment to do that. </p>

<p>I wish Oberlin joined other top tier liberal arts schools and stopped giving merit aid and instead gave more financial aid.</p>

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I wish Oberlin joined other top tier liberal arts schools and stopped giving merit aid and instead gave more financial aid.

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<p>Please don't say that. Please. We're extremely grateful for our D's John F. Oberlin Scholarship. The honor of receiving it swayed her to enroll at Oberlin instead of another school. It made her feel really good about herself and convinced her that Oberlin really wanted her. And next year, when she's a senior, she won't qualify for financial aid (our EFC will double with her older sister's graduation this year), so her merit scholarship is the only thing she'll have to help out her old man's dwindling bank account.</p>

<p>Agree with Plainsman. We simply cannot afford LACs, if there is no merit. We make too much for financial aid, but certainly not enough to spend a huge chunk of our earnings on one child's education. We are not alone. Many, many people are in this situation. We would be heading to state schools if places like Oberlin didn't offer merit aid. We are grateful to have the choice.</p>

<p>I assume that the merit aid is a way to provide flexibility where the financial aid office has less flexibility. Used wisely, merit aid is a tool to create a better, as in broader, student community. And, if you look at the cost of operating almost any college versus the tuition revenue, you'll see that the tuition is set at a level such that every student at almost every private college benefits from an unstated, uniform amount of financial assistance from the college.</p>

<p>In our case (I use the collective "our" when speaking of college finances) we received one need-based aid package from another institution with substantial overlap that was the about the same amount as the merit aid provided by Oberlin. That other college does not offer merit aid and I think they simply go a little deeper into the applicant pool in terms of how willing they are able to identify "need." </p>

<p>At another college with substantial overlap, we were given the actual EFC number and received no need aid (and, because they didn't offer merit aid, no merit aid either). Normally the colleges wrote back and said the EFC was equal to or greater than the full cost of attendance. This college was different in that they gave us the actual dollar calculation and it was double the full cost of attendance. Try whittling that kind of coin down in an appeal for reconsideration!</p>

<p>So, clearly, we're not destitute. (We're also not as absurdly well off as that latter college calculated.) We could pay a lot -- but not the full sticker price. And as the decisions made clear, it's kind of insane that people as relatively prosperous as we are need to hold our hats in hand. Maybe we didn't save as aggressively as we should have. Maybe college costs are out of control. Regardless of root causes as to how we arrived at this point, the fact of the matter is that aid -- merit or need-based or both -- is what makes a private college education possible for our student. (As do the loans we're also relying on.) </p>

<p>Private colleges are that expensive and cost-prohibitive to even relatively well-off families. And merit aid -- whether it comes in the form of an extremely flexible need-based aid policy at that other college or clearly labeled as "merit aid" as it does at Oberlin -- helps ensure that an economically diverse class matriculates in the fall.</p>

<p>As important as it is -- for the health of the college -- not to shut out low-income applicants, it is equally important (exactly equal I contend) not to shut out the middle- and middle-upper income applicants who cannot otherwise afford a college like Oberlin if they're forced to pay full freight. And even the families that can afford to full pay are likely to appreciate merit aid, so if selectively spreading around merit aid draws in some of those students and tips the decision in their favor, that's good for the entire community. Even if you didn't receive merit aid, the fact that it gets distributed inures to your benefit (and every matriculated student's benefit) because you get to be around great people from a wider cross-section of the country and the economy.</p>

<p>Need-based aid is better because it comes with an assurance that there will be no education inflation impact. Merit aid is fixed, so the cost rises as the cost of education increases. For us, it was enough to make Oberlin possible...and I view my son's Oberlin Scholarship as more of a nod to our financial pickle than I see it as an out-of-control, fiscally irresponsible desire on the part of Oberlin to attract someone as spectacular as he is. He is a great kid, he's very bright, and spectacular in many ways (to his parents and grandparents) but, to be totally candid, he does not stand out as some giant among lesser people at Oberlin. There were other every-bit-as-spectacular kids in the applicant pool that they could have admitted without having to shell out merit money. But I'm glad they did -- for two reasons. First, for the selfish reason that it eases my financial pain and made it possible for him to attend Oberlin which otherwise would not have happened. Second, because he's at a college where full diversity is valued -- not just people at the opposite ends of the economic spectrum.</p>

<p>In my book, merit aid makes Oberlin a better college.</p>

<p>Presumably to get merit aid at Oberlin one must be in the top of the applicant pool, but can anyone give some stats as to what that actually means?</p>

<p>Okay brace for cynicism here folks:
I understand that some of your children came to Oberlin because of the merit aid they got. </p>

<p>I applied ED to Oberlin with the naive belief that I would receive equal consideration for merit aid. I have a friend who got into Oberlin RD who quite comparable academically, better in some ways, worse in others. This person received more than $10k in merit aid. I didn't get a dime, even after having a "merit aid re-evaluation" performed. </p>

<p>In the same way that some of your receiving merit aid led you to enroll at Oberlin, a lack of significant financial aid has kept others away.<br>
I believe that at Oberlin:
A. Merit aid is withheld from ED applicants who would receive it if they applied RD
B. Merit aid is not distributed with the sole purpose of rewarding academic achievement, but to recruit certain people to enroll.</p>

<p>Thank you for all the interesting replies, everyone! I was just filling out the Net Price Calculator Oberlin and I think something is wrong because it said we would get a Pell grant even though our gross is above $100K! I wish the unusually low net price were correct, but I don't think it is. I did it twice, just to be sure, but got the same answer.</p>

<p>My mistake! I typed in the wrong number for AGI (both times). The net price is, unfortunately, higher now. </p>

<p>Boy, do I wish all schools would use the College Board NPC where you just type in all your information once and then click-through for every school! Wish Oberlin would for example.</p>

<p>philadelphia, I applied to Oberlin ED thinking that I would not receive any consideration for merit aid. I assumed it was used for recruiting. However, I received a very generous scholarship, so I wouldn't assume that Oberlin ignores ED applications in merit aid; I think they do award aid to reward academic achievement.</p>

<p>^ You're totally right. I know EDers who got merit aid, but I find it difficult to believe a candidate will receive the same aid ED compared to RD.</p>

<p>I would suspect you're correct, philadelphia. On both of the cynical points that you raised. The point of the merit aid is to convince you to attend. It's actually almost laughable that ANY merit aid money is thrown in the direction of ED applicants. I suppose it has to be done because word would get around that the sticker price is higher for ED students. I think merit aid is granted to reward achievement -- but you could probably make the case that all of the students at Oberlin qualify for being outstanding in one way or another. It's more likely used, as I suggested and you state, to help bring in selected people who would make the overall class a little "richer" or more interesting. I don't think it's a pot of money given out to the top, say, 20% of the "best" students. Like I said, as much as my son earned it...I mainly consider it an award to me, largely for being in a financial no-man's land. I view the award as a very loose complement to financial aid in that it gave me the little boost needed for me to give my son the green light to send in his intent to matriculate post card. I don't think he regards it as an indicator that he's some sort of prized talent they were desperately trying to recruit.</p>

<p>I think Philadelphia is right that ED applicants are less likely to get merit aid since they have committed to enrolling if admitted. That is why ED is better for the schools than it is for the students (unless you parents are rich and can easily pay the full ride).</p>

<p>Actually, philadelphia is wrong-- Early Decision applicants to Oberlin are evaluated for merit-based scholarships using the exact same criteria and award amounts as regular decision applicants. We do that because we think it would be unfair to award less merit aid to ED applicants, and we don't want anyone to be discouraged from applying ED for that reason.</p>

<p>Even though that may strictly be true, I don't think many people appreciate that if you apply RD and don't receive merit-based or other aid from Oberlin, but do receive such aid from Oberlin's peer institutions, it actually helps if you call up the Financial Aid office and let them know.</p>

<p>I have long thought that ED is better for the schools than the students. If they know you are coming, they don't need to use merit aid to influence your decision. Students who apply regular decision can compare financial aid offers.</p>