Need Help Choosing Financial Safeties

<p>So my list of schools goes:
Tulane, Boston University, Rice University, and Temple University </p>

<p>I also have the university of Texas - Austin on my list since I.do go to a Texas public school and I'm pretty sure I'm in the top 8% of my public high school </p>

<p>I have a 3.5 GPA (might be a little higher) this is because I went to a very rigorous private school for 9-11th grade (I'm about to enter 12th) so I need a financial safety or several because while UT is great the are very stingy with aid I'll probably get some I just wanted to know if there were any other schools I should be looking at</p>

<p>My stats are:
African American female
3.5 GPA ( it will go up because at my new school I will be taking lots if AP classes that are heavily weighted
30 ACT (retaking it in September)
1840 SAT ( probably won't send this score)</p>

<p>Thanks guys!!!</p>

<p>Oh and btw I have over 400 community service hours and 200 school service hours and I was involved in many clubs at my old school and plan to do the same at my new school</p>

<p>The AP classes I have taken are:</p>

<p>AP European ( 4 self studied for it sophomore year just like AP World)
AP World (3 - self studied for it my sophomore year not offered at my old school nor do sophomores usually take APs at old school)
APUSH (5)
AP English (3)
AP GOVT (4)</p>

<p>AP classes I will take this year:</p>

<p>AP PSYCHOLOGY
AP ENGLISH IV
AP BIOLOGY
AP STATISTICS
AP ECONOMICS
PRE AP WORLD GEOGRAPHY</p>

<p>Your financial safeties probably are Texas public institutions. If you can't afford the tuition/fees at the universities without any aid other than federally determined financial aid (FAFSA), then look at the community colleges that you can commute to.</p>

<p>If you and your family haven't run any of the EFC calculators yet, do so now. There are good ones at FinAid</a>! Financial Aid, College Scholarships and Student Loans and at College</a> Calculators - savings calculators - college costs, loans Once you know your EFC, talk with your family about how whether or not they can afford that EFC each year. If yes, how much more than that can they pay. If no, what exactly can they afford. Until you know the numbers, you can't really even begin to find financial safeties.</p>

<p>piggybacking on happymomof1's comments.</p>

<p>It really is important to know what your estimated EFC is and whether your parents can afford it.</p>

<p>Two scenarios are frequently posted here on CC.</p>

<p>Scenario #1: Very low EFC OR an EFC that the parents can afford. In this case looking at colleges that meet full financial need without putting any loans except for Staffords and maybe Perkins loans into the package is a good idea. But you will need to compare FA packages, so that rules out ED applications. While your stats are low for the very tippy-top places like HYP, there are some full need schools a bit farther down the pecking order (say between 30 and 80 on the USNWR lists).</p>

<p>Scenario #2: Unaffordable EFC. The kids in this situation are often upper middle class or upper, upper middle class. The family often makes between $100K and $200K a year, but the EFC is unaffordable. [At $100K income level, the EFC can be as much as $25K or $30K, while at the $200K level, the EFC can be more than $50K/year.] Students in this situation often need to seriously look at their in-state public universities (where COA is at or below what the parents can afford) or places with serious merit aid that the student is guarenteed (or at least very, very likely) to get that will reduce the COA to what the parents can afford.</p>

<p>Finally, do NOT pick a safety school that you are NOT willing to attend: You absolutely must be willing (and happy) to go to your financial safety in case no other school is affordable come April 1.</p>

<p>Thank you very much for all of your advice I'm going to sit down with my mother sometime this week and go through one of the calculators you suggested. And I will definitely start looking at some schools that meet full need.</p>