Should I have applied to some privates?

<p>I'm majoring in engineering and the vast majority of top engineering schools are public state schools. Naturally I applied to them. But my EFC=0 and so far the financial aid packages have sucked. So it got me wonderin, Should I have applied to some privates? I originally was looking into U of Florida but got scared off because of the 3% OOS student body. I mean I know its too late now to do anything but should I have applied there anyway for a shot at private funding? I guess really what I am asking is do private colleges typically offer better packages than publics for low income students?</p>

<p>Well UF isn't private but there is a lot of private funding when I looked.</p>

<p>What answer are you hoping for?</p>

<p>Eh, depends. If you had applied to schools that meet 100% of your need (which are a very small amount) IF you had gotten in you probably would've been expected to pay nothing - just take out the maximum in Stafford loans per year, a bit of work-study, your Pell grant, and the rest grant/scholarship aid from the school. Seeing as the acceptance rates at some of these schools have reached record lows this year, I'd say it would've been challenging.</p>

<p>Public schools typically don't give good financial aid to OOS students. They reserve their best aid for the children of state residents who have been paying taxes. If you are an outstanding applicant sometimes you can get scholarships, but generally speaking, they're not going to work too hard to meet your gap since they can fill their incoming pool with in-state students (and are encouraged and sometimes required to put a certain amount there by the state legislature).</p>

<p>So yeah, you probably should've applied to more privates. They, generally speaking, would've probably gotten closer to closing that gap.</p>

<p>What we learned early in the college search process is that many private schools end up cheaper then public schools. My son had above average SAT/grades, etc... and every private school he applied to and was accepted gave him a scholarship with his admission. As an example, he is now considering between 3 schools, University of Florida and 2 private schools in the Northeast. The costs of each are going to be about the same for any of the schools because of the aid he is getting at the private schools.</p>

<p>I think a lot of kids/parents have a misperception that a $50k private school is going to cost them $50k a year. Most kids get $20k-$30k of aid annually from these types of schools, regardless of EFC. </p>

<p>Our son goes to a private high school where the college counselors did a great job over the years ensuring the parents understood this. We started doing college counseling at the end of the 8th grade year and had meetings every year through high school. Not all high schools have this luxury.</p>

<p>I'm sorry that you weren't advised well. OOS publics don't usually meet the needs for OOS students. OOS costs are high, so when a low EFC applies, the public doesn't have the money to cover your costs. You should have been advised to apply to those schools. However, some might still work for you. What are your stats?</p>

<p>There are still some schools that might give you merit money for engineering. What are your stats (include SAT breakdown)?</p>

<p>*I think a lot of kids/parents have a misconception that a $50k private school is going to cost them $50k a year. Most kids get $20k-$30k of aid annually from these types of schools, regardless of EFC. *</p>

<p>No. This is true for the privates with good endowments. It's not true for all/most privates. As a matter of fact, there was a post awhile back that mentioned schools that have a $10k limit per student of aid. And, many privates have NO money to put in FA packages except for fed and state aid...which doesn't come close to covering costs.</p>

<p>Well, I guess we have been lucky in our experience then. Every private school our son considered to that was $40k or more heavily marketed the fact that they gave $20k or more in aid to most students. We did run across other private schools that didn't have great endowments or great admission statistics and in turn offered less in aid, but those private schools generally were less money also, usually in the $30k range.</p>


<p>If your son applied to some of the more popular privates, then it would be more likely the case. However, there are hundreds and hundreds of private, and many don't have much money to give. </p>

<p>The problem is that the privates that often get discussed on CC are the ones that give pretty good aid. That can be misleading to readers who then apply to other privates expecting the same. A mom here on CC was shocked to learn that 4 privates in Calif gave no grants at all - even though her child's stats were strong for those schools. Those schools simply have no free money to give outside of fed & state aid (which they didn't qualify for).</p>

<p>OP, did you apply to your in-state public U for engineering? That will probably be the best deal for you.</p>

<p>Applying to a private university does not automatically mean you will receive more money. My S applied to Boston University with this same thought in mind and while they did include several generous grants in their FA package, the end result is that he still would have to pay $3000-6000 more per year to go there compared to his top in-state choices.</p>