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

<p>So wait. Let me get this straight. Are you guys telling me to apply for aid to all colleges? </p>

<p>I'll confess my biggest fear. Here goes..
My friend was on a Singapore Airlines Scholarship, and did really well in grades 11 and 12 in Singapore. ECs top notch(drama, theatre, art, music, everything you can possibly think of!), SAT score 2340. All As. Probably one of the finest candidates you see here on CC. Like the ones, you think only an earth shattering factor can affect their admission. </p>

<p>He applied to all the good names. Cornell, Stan, Amherst, Clerton, Dartmouth And a few more.
Rejected by all.
Luckily he had NUS to fall back on (S'pore Scholarship.. )</p>

<p>I asked him as to why he didn't get in. He said that finaid is a big factor. Lots and lots of ace students apply to univs like that, and these univ find reasons to reject you, not to accept you. Since he applied for financial aid to all colleges, he drew a blank everywhere.
There.. That's my biggest fear.</p>

<p>How much can my parents spend? Well, as I said money isn't an issue. They aren't well-off people, but they have decent savings. Since my brother graduates from LSE this year, they can spend on my education more easily. And loans and all that are really easy to get. So my parents say that don't worry about the fee, it's their department. lol</p>

<p>I am considering either Electronics major, or computer engg major. I want to stick to either the west coast, or the east. </p>

<p>One more question. My friend in Stanford, told me that when you look at Ivies, they aren't that well-ranked in engineering, but they offer great courses. What should I take from this; After a certain point, it's the College that matters, and not the Course?</p>

<p>So you mean you are willing to be full pay for the first year, take out loans, come to the US, and try to get grades good enough to be awarded a scholarship as an ongoing student? Do you see any risk in this?</p>

<p>*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. *</p>

<p>This "might" be a dept scholarship, but it sounds more like some kind of paid research internship that is used towards tuition. Certainly this isn't something anyone can count on. </p>

<p>Much of Berkeley's aid is from tax-payer funds, so not available to int'ls. </p>

<p>Was she an undergrad or grad student?</p>

<p>If you want to be an engineer and are certain that you don't want another major, look at schools with well regarded engineering programs. I have no idea whether these schools offer aid to international students, but Lafayette, Lehigh, Villanova (all in Pennsylvania) are good choices. Look at Case Western Reserve or Carnegie Melon.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Federal regulations and University policy severely limit the types of financial assistance available to international students. The UC Berkeley Financial Aid Office does not offer financial aid to international students.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>The above is from the Berkeley website. Your friend must have gotten aid from a source other than the school...according to this quote.</p>

<p>Erin's Dad
Yes.</p>

<p>thumper1
There's a difference between scholarship and financial aid, right?</p>

<p>mom2collegekids
Undergrad student.</p>

<p>
[quote]
There's a difference between scholarship and financial aid, right?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>There is a long, tedious debate about that and if you start it it'll take over this thread and you won't get any more information about anything. It might be easier to think that Berkeley definitely does not offer need-based aid to international students, but they might offer merit-based money (based not on financial need but on things like grades) to international students.</p>

<p>I found this</a> link about the opportunities for international students at Berkeley. </p>

<p>
[quote]
Tuition and Fee Awards</p>

<p>These awards paid directly toward required registration fees. Tuition and Fee awards do not need to be re-paid.
Work Study</p>

<p>Work-study is a special on-campus employment program awarded to a small number of students based on need. Awards are not applied directly to tuition, but earned through specific on-campus jobs categorized as "work-study" positions. Work-study awards are distributed along with the fall and spring Tuition Award (see above) applications available in late spring and fall.
Undergraduate Scholarships</p>

<p>This is a merit-based award for students who are excelling academically. Award amount depend upon level of need and academic achievement. The Undergraduate scholarship application is part of the Tuition Award and Work-study (see above) application in the spring only.
International Graduate Student Parent Grant</p>

<p>All registered international graduate students who have a child living with them in the Bay Area are eligible to apply. Grants will be awarded based on financial need and changes in the applicant's financial situation. Applications are accepted during the Graduate Student Financial Aid application period.
Shih Loan Program</p>

<p>These loans are interest-free while registered at Berkeley, and may be repaid after completing studies. See also the Shih Loan Program for more information.
Medical Fund</p>

<p>Some financial assistance is available to students who have unexpected medical expenses that are not covered by their health insurance and which result in substantial financial hardship. (Note: All students at Berkeley must have health insurance.) The Medical Fund can pay bills directly to the health care provider and has a lifetime limit of $500. For more information, see an Adviser at Berkeley International Office.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Things have been changing a lot with the economy and endowments the way they have been. You really have to call each admissions office and ask if they are need blind for international students, how much need do they meet on average for international students, and if they will give aid in subsequent years if you do not apply for it initially. All of these questions are relevant to you. There are schools that will not give you aid if you did not initially apply for it unless you have a documented change in circumstances, and for foreign students the criteria might be even more stringent. </p>

<p>Most colleges in the US are need blind, but they do not meet even close to 100% of demonstrated need. The colleges that are not need blind are the ones that tend to meet a larger % of need for those students they accept. It's not a simple elimination when picking schools with certain need policies because students can get the best packages from schools that are not need blind, do not tend to meet full need, because that school really wanted that student at that time.</p>

<p>Somehow I doubt that your friend's rejections were all based upon applying for aid...he's right that many "ace" students apply to those schools and they simply cannot accept them all. It may have nothing to do with finances and I wouldn't assume it did unless the colleges themselves told him that directly (and they almost never do that!).</p>

<p>The sticker price on GATech is around $35k/yr for oos students. This is a good deal less than some of the schools on your list. If you find that you will not be eligible for FA and not be receiving scholarships/merit aid from these schools, it may be a more affordable option.<br>
If you want to go outside the box there are some engineering schools that will offer very good merit aid based on GPA & SAT/ACT alone. The question is are you willing to sacrifice prestige for an affordable education at a very good university. Many, many engineers I have worked with who have years of experience will tell you not to go into debt on your undergrad, save your loans for graduate school.
Simply another opinion.</p>