To Ask for Aid, or to Not Ask for Aid. That is the question.

<p>I am applying to the following colleges:
1. Cornell.
2. Columbia.
3. Berkeley
4. Stanford
5. Harvard
6. Princeton
7. Purdue
8. Georgia Tech
9. UMich</p>

<p>In which of these colleges my asking for financial aid won't reduce my chances to get in?
And can I apply to more than one college for ED?
PS: I am an International Student.</p>

<p>A rough profile.</p>

<p>Gender: M
Location: India
College Class Year: 2015
High School: Private
High School Type: sends some grads to top schools
Will apply for financial aid: Yes</p>

<p>Academics:</p>

<p>GPA - Unweighted: 4.00
GPA - Weighted: 0.00
Class Rank: top 5%
Class Size: 150</p>

<p>Scores:</p>

<p>SAT I Math: 760
SAT I Critical Reading: 710
SAT I Writing: 750
SAT II Literature: 800
SAT II Math Level 2 (IIC): 800
SAT II Chemistry: 800</p>

<p>Extracurriculars:</p>

<p>Significant Extracurriculars: Music:
Play the Piano. Part of the school band. Have released two Albums for private circulation.
Pursuing music for the last 7 years. Won various competitions inter-school, as a band.</p>

<p>Debate:
National Level Debating. Won several awards. 2nd in an national level debate, where I competed with the best debates across the country. </p>

<p>Leadership positions: Vice Captain of my School.
I was responsible for organizing events and managing them, all the while encouraging other kids for participation.</p>

<p>Member of the SRC (School Representative Council)</p>

<p>Volunteer/Service Work: Volunteered for an organization that promotes road safety.</p>

<p>Co-founded an organization that helps in the nourishment of very poor children.
Honors and Awards: Lots in Music and Debating.</p>

<p>Schools change policies at random times so it's best to just look on their websites and read their individual FA policies for international students. But, since you say you are applying to all 9, the real question is can your family pay for them (and document that funds are available) if you don't receive any FA?</p>

<p>If you do not apply for aid, probably a cinch for many of those in the list.</p>

<p>Generally, you can only apply to one school ED. There may be an exception, but I don't know of one.</p>

<p>Don't pretend that you don't need FA, and then ask for it later. Schools don't like that, and some will refuse to give you any at that point.</p>

<p>If you need FA to go to college, then ask for it when you apply.</p>

<p>You say in your first post that you will apply; that suggests that you need FA. DO you???</p>

<p>If you do not apply for aid, probably a cinch for many of those in the list.</p>

<p>That's not true, except for maybe Purdue, Mich, and GT....But, they won't give you aid - even if you ask. Neither will Berkeley. So, if you can't afford to pay full-freight at those schools, don't apply. Very, very few public schools give aid to internationals. VERY few.</p>

<p>Harvard and Princeton are the only 2 schools on OP's list that are need blind to international students. All of the other schools have limited financial aid for international students, so the ability to pay will be a factor in the admissions process. </p>

<p>Also at most schools on his list, as an international student if he does not apply for financial aid as a freshman, it will probably be highly unlikely that he will get it in subsequent years.</p>

<p>If you don't have evidence that you can pay for your studies (either with scholarship money from the college/university in question), from your family, or from another organization (such as your home government), you will not get a student visa.</p>

<p>Find out how much your family can afford before you take this process one step further. That way you will know whether it is worth your while (and your application fees) to apply to any of these institutions.</p>

<p>Cornell also offers limited aid to international students.</p>

<p><a href="https://www.finaid.cornell.edu/apply/international.cfm%5B/url%5D"&gt;https://www.finaid.cornell.edu/apply/international.cfm&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>sybbie719
Kindly explain
'Also at most schools on his list, as an international student if he does not apply for financial aid as a freshman, it will probably be highly unlikely that he will get it in subsequent years.'</p>

<p>sk8rmom
My family cannot pay the ENTIRE tuition fee, but if an aid of more than 30% is given, things look fine.</p>

<p>happymomof1
I already have a visa. </p>

<p>mom2collegekids
I would be applying for FA.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone.</p>

<p>sk8rmom</p>

<p>It says here that Cornell is need-blind for Intl' students.
<a href="https://www.finaid.cornell.edu/finaid/apply/upload/10-11-International-App.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;https://www.finaid.cornell.edu/finaid/apply/upload/10-11-International-App.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I am confused now!</p>

<p>^^</p>

<p>Maybe Cornell changed their policy. At one point, they may have been need-aware for int'l students. </p>

<p>*Kindly explain
'Also at most schools on his list, as an international student if he does not apply for financial aid as a freshman, it will probably be highly unlikely that he will get it in subsequent years.'
*</p>

<p>I think what Sybbie means is this.... IF a student does not apply for FA as a freshmen, then the school will not award FA later. </p>

<p>For instance....some families have $50k saved. So, they think....hmmmm, we'll not ask for FA when we apply, so we'll have a better chance at acceptance. We'll spend the $50k the first year, and then ask for aid later. Some schools are on to that game - so, if you don't apply for FA the first year, you won't get it later (unless the family breadwinner dies or something like that). </p>

<p>My family cannot pay the ENTIRE tuition fee, but if an aid of more than 30% is given, things look fine.</p>

<p>When you say "tuition" - do you mean the entire COA? or just tuition? </p>

<p>Even if you only need 30% (which is about $15k for a COA of $50k), a state school isn't likely going to give you that UNLESS it's a state school that gives good merit scholarships to int'l students. Most state schools are not going to give an Int'l student $15k in financial aid. </p>

<p>For instance, Berkeley, GT, Purdue, and UMich are not going to give you FA.</p>

<p>If yourr family can only afford 70%, sounds like you have no choice but to apply for aid. I agree that what Sybbie said is that if you don't apply for aid as a freshmen, many colleges will not consider you for aid later. That's called bait and switch is your financial picture does not change.</p>

<p>"I already have a visa."</p>

<p>What is your specific visa status? Can you study while in that status or do you need to convert to an F-1? If you need an F-1, then you need to show that you can pay for your education (as I wrote above) or you won't get it.</p>

<p>If you are currently in the US in another status, you need to find out whether the state you are living in will consider you in-state for tuition and fees at public colleges/universities. Each state (and sometimes each institution within a state) sets its own policy about this, so you will need to do some research. For example, it may be easier to be considered in-state at a community college than at a university.</p>

<p>If you NEED aid...apply for aid. It will do you no good to get accepted to a school where you can't pay the bills. AND as noted above, some schools specifically state that they will not meet your needs if you apply for aid AFTER your freshman year. If you really need aid...apply for the aid.</p>

<p>happymomof1
I actually I have a tourist Visa for a 10 year duration (multiple entry). I know that's not what I should be looking for, but from I hear, it's easier getting a visa if you have one already. I don't know how legitimate this fact is.</p>

<p>thumper1
My family CANNOT meet the full requirement of the college by themselves. If however I am admitted to a very good college, they will take loans be it private, or be it from banks. But that is if the degree of the college is worth it, if you know what I mean. Colleges in India are good too.. And VERY cheap. Like dirt cheap. But the issue is, will my asking for aid hurt my chances? and now I know that clearly it will. SO I am very ambivalent about this. IF I DO ask for aid, I don't want to end up ultimately in a college which is little or less known and its acceptance rate wavers between 95-99%. That's useless for me. I KNOW for a fact I can find a better college here.
So my dilemma continues to be. I think the best thing I can do is, to apply for aid to colleges where my chances are fairly good, and to not apply for aid where my chances are very bleak..</p>

<p>Now there's just one thing bothering me: DO colleges share info? It'd be weird for Stanford to know that I am not asking aid from then, But I am from G'tech.</p>

<p>Also; for ED colleges say you are allowed to apply to one college. SO I guess there must a 'tracking system' of sorts.. </p>

<p>Thanks again, for all the help. If you ever have time, chance me on this post.
<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/945777-seeking-very-honest-opinion.html#post1065078138%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/945777-seeking-very-honest-opinion.html#post1065078138&lt;/a>
Thanks!</p>

<p>It is also useless to get accepted to a college that you cannot pay for. If you need aid, apply for aid. If you can't pay the costs without aid, and have no intention of applying for aid, how WILL you pay the bills if accepted? </p>

<p>Sorry...but I just don't agree with your reasoning. If you need aid...apply for the aid you NEED. If you don't NEED aid, that is a different story.</p>

<p>And I'm not much into prestige. If you have significant financial issues that affect being able to pay for college, be grateful that you get accepted somewhere where you can pay the bills and get a good education. That happens at PLENTY of colleges, not just those that meet full need.</p>

<p>I think I am not making myself clear. I wouldn't go to a college in the US, if it isn't really good. There's no point spending so much money and energy, when I can find an okay college in my country at billion times cheaper. If however I get into a very good university, I will pay for it. Take student loans, try for pvt. scholarships.. My parents can take loans. Money is a secondary issue. College is the primary issue. Money can be 'arranged', college cannot be! And trust me, for most middle-class families here ALL top schools are unaffordable.
Oh and my friend got into UCBerkeley with no aid/scholarship. But after her freshman year, she was awarded full scholarship based on her gpa.
Anyway, back to the key issue. You've seen my grades, and scores. It's clear I stand no chance to get into schools I've mentioned, if I ask for aid. An average international + Aid requirement = Zero chances.
So I think I am being reasonable.</p>

<p>I think you're confused about prestige/acceptance rates...many US colleges don't have high acceptance rates (above 50%). Many public schools, especially "flagship" universities, have outstanding reputations and are respected world-wide for their research contributions and they're virtually all need-blind. You have four such schools on your list, with varying price tags and admissions practices. Those are schools you'd be more likely to gain admission to than Harvard/Columbia/Stanford regardless of your FA response...the ivies are not "likely admits" even for kids with perfect stats with or without FA. So, not asking for FA will not get you anywhere with a need-blind school, like Cornell, and will also not tip the admission scales much at a need-aware school if you wouldn't otherwise be a solid candidate for admissions. It might be a tie-breaker at a need-aware school if the other candidates would need significant aid in order to attend.</p>

<p>If you apply via the Common App and don't do separate applications, then you're going to answer the "will you be applying for FA" question once. If you apply separately to a school, you can tailor your response to whatever you think will best serve your needs. I think it's safe to assume that Stanford will not be calling GT to discuss your finances.</p>

<p>Your friends situation at Berkeley is rare. Your friend probably received a departmental scholarship based on her GPA. Not something anyone should count on.</p>

<p>Your version of a "good school" and mine are likely VERY different. As mentioned, there are many many fine schools in this country that are not in the Ivy League. There are hundreds and hundreds of schools..maybe thousands, where you can get a great education but their names may not be commonly familiar to folks from outside this country. So what? It's not all about the name of the school...or how good it's perceived to be. </p>

<p>Again I ask...what major(s) are you considering...and where do you want to be geographically? How much CAN your parents contribute? Answering those questions will give the folks here a better chance of giving you worthwhile suggestions.</p>