Regretting my decision - did I make a mistake?

<p>"We tried that when DS was accepted to USC with a full tuition scholarship. They might up the ante a bit but it will not come close to Alabamas offer. Trust me."</p>

<p>But that is one school, one person. Maybe they will not come close because it is a great offer, but maybe they will. Or maybe at least they'll come up a little. The only sure thing is, the school will not increase their offer unless she asks.</p>

<p>chaosakita, I think I was as nice as possible in pointing out the material discrepancy between your position here--that you applied to just 5 schools and feel trapped by the potential outcome--and the fact you applied to 20+ schools. I am happy that you have clarified your situation because knowing your true situation can only enchance the value of the guidance knowledgeable parents are taking the time to offer. It makes quite a difference to know you will likely have many more college choices to work with come April. As you can see, you've already received some great advice on strategies for optimizing merit monies as acceptances and awards arrive. </p>

<p>I wish you all the best in your college search.</p>

<p>busdriver11,
before we attempted to "negotiate" with the various schools [ 13] I did a lot of research on CC about this very issue. Colleges will, in general, only match or meet FA offers from other colleges, and top colleges will only consider upping FA offers to match those offered by their "peers". And all consider a Scholarship to be a "different animal' than FA.
Even wealthy colleges will not negotiate with families over merit scholarships offered by "lesser" colleges. I have seen no evidence since then that colleges have changed.</p>

<p>OP: I must admit that I am a parent such as yours. S1 applied to Auburn and received a full ride offer. He was accepted to other similar schools but none of them offered what Auburn did. We had some discussion about "fit" but I basically told him that I would not pay $100K when I had another son right behind him to consider and he had a free ride. I did tell him that I would pay for a school if they were at the very top of his intended major. The difference in his education I could justify... the fact that he like the culture I could not. I know not everyone will agree with me but as a middle class family, I just made the decision I felt I had to make for my family. </p>

<p>Now S2 is in your situation... he also received the Alabama scholarship. He applied because of the generous offer. We are waiting to hear from other schools. If he doesn't get in to a school that is at the top of his intended major, it will be hard for me to justify paying a ton of money when his education could be free. It might not seem fair or right to some but that it is what my wife and I have decided. I told both of them that they could look at the glass as half empty or half full. My wife and I had to put ourselves through school at our local college. We also said that the money we saved could be used for grad school should they choose to attend in the future. Good luck and I hope you are happy where ever you wind up.</p>

<p>It's the first time I've seen someone on this board complain about getting too much money...</p>

<p>I also applied to Hendrix this year and they give out a TON of money. It's a small LAC so if you want a smaller school it would be a better fit. Clearly you didn't look at their scholarships closely enough if you didn't get enough money from them because if your SAT scores match up with the PSAT scores needed to get the national merit and you have a solid GPA then you would qualify for the Hayes Memorial Scholarship--a full ride including room and board. Before you complain about what your parents won't pay for perhaps you should look at what you can do in terms of scholarships.</p>

<p>What is the point of your thread? Is this like the earlier threads where you post your amazing stats but worry about your 3.7 UW not being good enough? Is it really another change thread?</p>

<p>You say elswhere you applied to 21 schools. Then you say here (#15, you applied to Bama, your flagship, and 3 other schools). Then you mention reaches and Barnard.</p>

<p>Its only Feb 1 and you make it sound like you 'only' have two great scholarships and what on earth will you do if you don't get into your other...what 3 schools? 7? 21?</p>

<p>Then you want to argue with every poster who is trying to help. </p>

<p>Not a good use of well intentioned people's time on CC.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I also applied to Hendrix this year and they give out a TON of money. It's a small LAC so if you want a smaller school it would be a better fit. Clearly you didn't look at their scholarships closely enough if you didn't get enough money from them because if your SAT scores match up with the PSAT scores needed to get the national merit and you have a solid GPA then you would qualify for the Hayes Memorial Scholarship--a full ride including room and board. Before you complain about what your parents won't pay for perhaps you should look at what you can do in terms of scholarships.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I did apply to the Hay's Memorial Scholarship (I was actually pressured into doing so), but my GPA is not that great and I doubt I'll get the award. It's also only given to four people.</p>

<p>
[quote]
What is the point of your thread? Is this like the earlier threads where you post your amazing stats but worry about your 3.7 UW not being good enough? Is it really another change thread?</p>

<p>You say elswhere you applied to 21 schools. Then you say here (#15, you applied to Bama, your flagship, and 3 other schools). Then you mention reaches and Barnard.</p>

<p>Its only Feb 1 and you make it sound like you 'only' have two great scholarships and what on earth will you do if you don't get into your other...what 3 schools? 7? 21?</p>

<p>Then you want to argue with every poster who is trying to help. </p>

<p>Not a good use of well intentioned people's time on CC.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I guess I wanted to complain about my parents who only want to spend money based on some arbitrary percieved ranking?</p>

<p>I applied to 21 schools total. I only mentioned six in this thread as the schools I could be pretty sure I could get into.</p>

<p>The Centre scholarship wasn't that great, especially compared to Alabama's and I think it's a bad sign of what the rest of my admissions decisions will be like.</p>

<p>Forums are for entertainment, really, so if people don't want to help me, they don't have to. Clearly you could've spend your time better too than stalking the rest of my threads and the chiding me.</p>

<p>chaosakita-Alabama is trying to increase their student profile. They are specifically targeting National Merit students to do that. It is highly unlikely that any other school is going to match that amount of merit aid based on your stats. It is possible that through a combination of private scholarships you might get to that level at another school. You have a couple choices, accept the full ride at Alabama and make it a good experience or pay for the rest of the costs at which ever school you want to attend out of your own pocket. I don't blame your parents one bit when they see that you can go to college for FREE at a good school.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The Centre scholarship wasn't that great, especially compared to Alabama's and I think it's a bad sign of what the rest of my admissions decisions will be like.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Alabama's guaranteed scholarships are not the way it is at most colleges.</p>

<p>At this point, all you can do is wait. Your Centre scholarship really has no bearing on the other schools (although I don't think Barnard offers merit aid, do they?).</p>

<p>I hope that you would be happy to attend ANY of the 21 schools you applied to. Many kids would consider themselves very lucky to be in your shoes.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Forums are for entertainment, really, so if people don't want to help me, they don't have to.

[/quote]

Not this one. Lots of incredibly knowledgeable and helpful parents spend remarkable amounts of time on this forum trying to help parents and students with real issues. It's amazing, really.</p>

<p>As a resident of Alabama, I can tell you that you may feel very much the outsider if you do not pledge at Alabama. The Greek system rules there. It's not nearly as dominant at Auburn. I would ask the Honors College at Alabama what percentage of their students are Greeks. This might give you a sense if you could have a non-partying social life there. I don't know if you are a church-goer, but there would be some very vibrant college ministries at Tuscaloosa also (and at Auburn), so that's another possibility of having a family away from home.</p>

<p>^^ well said mommaJ !!</p>

<p>
[quote]
Forums are for entertainment, really, so if people don't want to help me, they don't have to. Clearly you could've spend your time better too than stalking the rest of my threads and the chiding me.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Um. It was something I wanted to do <em>when I thought you needed help</em>. I actually went to the Bama website, looking for clubs for you that might work for you, and looking at some of your past posts so I could help you better. Lots of parents make that kind of investment to kids on CC that they think could use some advice. </p>

<p>Had I known this was just for 'fun' for you, I would not have wasted my time. </p>

<p>But you might be right to worry though...if the character you are displaying on this thread is anything like what comes across in your apps, maybe you won't get into more than the schools you've already been admitted to. It isn't just about high test scores, you know?</p>

<p>What ever happened to only applying to schools you actually want to attend. I would be so happy to go to ANY of the schools I appied to. This sounds spoiled and ungrateful. Only $68K. Some people get nothing.</p>

<p>OP, I did not take the time to read all of the responses to your post, but wanted to comment anyway because we found ourselves in this position last year. Son did not apply to U of A but did apply to OU for their great NMF scholarship. His final decision came down to OU at about $7k per year. Our flagship with small scholarship at about $17k per year, or USC with scholarships and small amount of financial aid at $27k per year. His heart was at USC but was it worth the extra $20k per year? We, the parents, decided it wasn't fair to penalize him for being smart. Had he received no scholarships, we still would have paid for him to go to the flagship, so we offered to pay the yearly cost of flagship towards USC and he is responsible for the difference. Conversely, if he wanted to go to OU, we would set aside the difference for grad school or to purchase his first house. DS went with his heart and is at USC and is taking the student loans and paying the difference with his summer earnings. He is confident he made the right decision even though it will cost him a lot more in the long run. Good luck.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Not this one. Lots of incredibly knowledgeable and helpful parents spend remarkable amounts of time on this forum trying to help parents and students with real issues. It's amazing, really.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>What I meant that forums are entertainment for the people who want to help. When I help, I know it's because it's enjoyable for me, not because I actually think that a five-minute written response is some sort of deep and meaningful good. I don't think that it makes the responses any less helpful, but it's just that if you don't think the problem is worth responding to, you don't have to reply! It's not like anyone here is a 911 operator.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Um. It was something I wanted to do <em>when I thought you needed help</em>. I actually went to the Bama website, looking for clubs for you that might work for you, and looking at some of your past posts so I could help you better. Lots of parents make that kind of investment to kids on CC that they think could use some advice.</p>

<p>Had I known this was just for 'fun' for you, I would not have wasted my time.</p>

<p>But you might be right to worry though...if the character you are displaying on this thread is anything like what comes across in your apps, maybe you won't get into more than the schools you've already been admitted to. It isn't just about high test scores, you know?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Hoping I fail because I wasn't courteous to you on a message board (!!!) is just so mature.</p>

<p>And read my above reply. I didn't mean that posting on a forum for advice was entertainment for me, it's entertainment for you. So there's no need to be so self-righteous about a hobby.</p>

<p>Also, there's no reason to be so condescending to me. I never thought it was about "high test scores." I don't find my scores to be that exciting to begin with for one thing.</p>

<p>
[quote]
What ever happened to only applying to schools you actually want to attend. I would be so happy to go to ANY of the schools I appied to. This sounds spoiled and ungrateful. Only $68K. Some people get nothing.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I meant "only $68k" in comparison to the greater amount of money Alabama gave me and the fact that Centre would cost a lot more to attend. Also, I don't find it ridiculous that someone's opinion of a school could change after four months, especially if they visited the school in the meantime.</p>

<p>I agree with everyone that said if you go into the honors program and choose your friends wisely you will love Alabama.</p>

<p>You are too young to be worried about this and that. Whether a school has an intellectual environment is no way to choose a school. I am sure out of the 32000 students attending Alabama you can find some very biright students. And since you are a NMS surely you will meet others.</p>

<p>What are you going to major in? Sorry if you mentioned it earlier I have not read every post.</p>

<p>Unless you are majoring in a specialized career. An undergraduate degree from the UA is nothing to be ashamed of. Especially one with a 4.0 gpa.</p>

<p>chaosakita,</p>

<p>I wish you well. Really I do. I'm just having a hard time figuring out what you're asking. Is it, "If I have to go to Alabama do y'all think I'll be able to handle it even when there is vomit on the floor in my dorm?" Do you want people to help you accommodate yourself to the idea of Barnard? Do you want people to help you figure out a way to persuade your parents that there's something worth looking at 'twixt 'Bama and Barnard? Do you just want to vent? Nothing wrong with any of this, even the venting, though it's hard to provide meaningful feedback if you're being selective about the information you share (i.e., there is a difference between applying to five schools and applying to 20 schools). You're right that you're not entitled to your parents' money, but it's understandable that you're frustrated. How can we help, though? To my mind, the big question is whether there's any room for negotiation with your parents. Because if there isn't, my advice is to hope for admission to one of your reaches, learn what you can about the environment at Barnard in case that is one of your options, and listen to all the people who are trying to reassure you that you'd be able to find your niche in Alabama.</p>

<p>I don't think anyone has mentioned this but I don't think its too late to change your school list for National Merit. My daughter was a NMF and changed her designated school AFTER she accepted (I think in April) Is there another school that gives 100% to NMF that you would be interested in?</p>