scholarships @ top schools, no need?

<p>First off, is there any chance for a student from a ~200k household to get some sort of scholarship (not including ones you apply to and stuff)</p>

<p>Also, I'm gonna have to pay for room & board and other costs..so i'm looking for :</p>

<p>1) work study programs ..i'm sure there are many but i'm kind of ignorant about the college process so could anyone tell be how to get into one of those things?
2) merit based scholarships ..one's that aren't given at random to like, 2/1000 people?
3) top or LA colleges that match the lowest pay of some other institution, considering a relatively strong student</p>

<p>Any advice/answers/suggestions?
thanks</p>

<p>You need to look at the financial aid and scholarship websites of top colleges that interest you. That will let you know if they offer merit aid. None of the Ivies offer merit scholarships. They only offer need-based aid.</p>

<p>Top colleges that offer only need-based aid will not match merit scholarships offered by colleges trying to recruit students that otherwise would select more competitive colleges that offer only need-based aid.</p>

<p>
[quote]
First off, is there any chance for a student from a ~200k household to get some sort of scholarship (not including ones you apply to and stuff)

[/quote]
</p>

<p>First, there's very little (or no) chance of you getting any need-based aid beyond unsubsidized Stafford loans at even the schools that meet full need if your family's financial picture is typical of those with $200K incomes. Now whether your parents will be able or willing to pay the full EFC of probably $50K+ at a private college is another question all together.</p>

<p>So if you need merit scholarship money for college, then you'll need to develop a plan for finding the kind of merit money you need to make the COA affordable to you and your parents.</p>

<p>Some tips:</p>

<p>Read through <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html?highlight=AUTOMATIC%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html?highlight=AUTOMATIC&lt;/a> and other threads at CC concerning merit money. </p>

<p>Be honest about your stats when deciding whether you would be competitive for major merit awards that are competitive. You may also need to be willing to do some additional work (essay and/or meeting earlier deadlines are common) in order to apply for merit money.</p>

<p>Remember the best merit awards (for almost all students) comes directly from the colleges themselves. They give this money to top students that they want to attract. So it pays to look at schools that are at or just below your "match" level. Many schools award most of their merit money to students who are above (often well above) the 75% percentile of the common stats of their students such as SAT/ACT scores and GPAs.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>First of all, there is a difference between financial aid and merit awards, though there could be overlap. In order to get financial aid, you have to meet each school's definition of need. For those schools that tend to be generous in meeting need, a special form, usually CSS PROFILE is needed in addition to the absolutely required form for any aid which is FAFSA. FAFSA gives you a number which is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that basically determines eligibility for federal money. If your EFC is super low (your will not be), you may be eligible for a PELL grant. If your EFC is less than the total cost of your college (COA), then you may borrow subsidized loans and/or apply for work study for the difference up to the limits (which are not all that high if you are looking at private colleges). If your EFC exceeds the COA, which is going to likely be your situation if you do not some special circumstance such as multiple kids in college, then all you are going to get from the government, if you want it, is a non subsidized Stafford loan up to $5500 as a freshman. Your parents can borrow money for your COA through PLUS, also government backed, if they meet the credit requirements.</p>

<p>Colleges also have their own stash of money, and if you have financial need according to their definition, they may give you some of their money in form of loans and grants as well. This is all, only if you meet the definition of financial need. Only a few school guarantee to meet 100% of need, and there are also some more schools, not a whole lot who will meet most of your need,</p>

<p>Merit awards are a whole different situation. Many, though not all, merit awards do not take financial need into consideration or will take it only partly into consideration. For some of these awards, just applying to the school automatically puts you in contention for that money. Others have separate applications and/or deadlines and you have to put your own hat in the ring to be considered. College websites often describe the merit awards that they sponsor and give you the requirements and instructions on how to apply for them. </p>

<p>As a rule, the more selective the college, the more difficult it is to get merit money. Many of the most selective schools, like the ivies, many of the select LACs, MIT do not give any scholarship money. Only money for financial need, so if you don't have need according to them, you don't get any money outside of the Stafford and PLUS options. For those schools that have merit money, you need to read the individual requirements for those scholarships since they can be very different and all over the map.</p>

<p>Talk to your parents and find out what you can realistically afford for college. Harvard costs over $55K a year, for instance, and they do not give out any money except for need. So if you don't meet their definition of need (and in that case, you just might qualify for a bit even in your financial situation) you won't get any scholarships. If you apply to a school like Denison College or George Washington, you might be eligible for some scholarships.</p>

<p>Your best bet for merit money is to apply to schools where you are the absolutely top applicant. If the school gives 10% of its kids merit awards, if you want a sizeable amount, you had better be in their top 5%. Test scores are very important for most merit awards. You can get an idea of how scholarships are given to many schools by looking in the US News and World Report front section where they list financial aid and merit average amounts and % of kids getting the money. </p>

<p>You can also look at outside scholarships by signing up with FAst Web and keeping yourself aware of community and organization scholarships that are around in your area.</p>

<p>Good luck and happy hunting.</p>

<p>Most of the top schools do not give merit scholarships. Most only give aid that is based on need.</p>

<p>So, since your family income is too high for aid, are you saying that your family can't pay much for college?</p>

<p>How much will your parents pay each year? If you don't know, ask.</p>

<p>If money is an issue, then you need to lower your sights a bit and also apply to some mid-tiers that will give you assured big merit scholarships for your stats.</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html?highlight=AUTOMATIC%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html?highlight=AUTOMATIC&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>What are your stats?</p>

<p>And, again, how much will your family pay?</p>

<p>
[quote]
1) work study programs ..i'm sure there are many but i'm kind of ignorant about the college process so could anyone tell be how to get into one of those things?
2) merit based scholarships ..one's that aren't given at random to like, 2/1000 people?
3) top or LA colleges that match the lowest pay of some other institution, considering a relatively strong student

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Work study is part of a need based financial aid package- however work on or around campus should be available- so start polishing your resume.</p>

<p>Often times, locally based scholarships may be the easiest to win- check out local organizations- clubs, parent's affiliations etc.</p>

<p>Colleges that are restrictive in admission- with the commensurate "prestige factor", offer limited merit aid, for the simple reason that they have plenty of quality applicants * without* offering merit aid & all accepted students are considered to be equally capable. Some do offer dedicated scholarships for students that include merit, but those are not normally disclosed until after admission, because they are through alumni or other organizations, not through the school.</p>

<p>Depending on interest- don't be afraid to consider instate schools or schools that have a reciprocal agreement with your state. In the last 5 years, I have seen many strong students going to instate schools for college- it can be a pretty smart decision.</p>

<p>Forgot to add...</p>

<p>Work study is a "aid" - so it only goes to those with need.</p>

<p>I doubt there are any top LA schools that match the cost of another school..</p>

<p>As you probably know, you can't pay for college costs with private scholarships. Private scholarships are usually for small amounts and are often for one year only. And, many have a "need" component. Private scholarships are fine when you already have most costs covered, but you need a little help for books and other small things.</p>