What happens if you apply ED and the financial package isn't enough?

Say you get accepted to your first choice, you apply ED, but when you get the financial information it just doesn’t work. What are your options? How binding is ED?


You may ask for more or you may decline the admission. See http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2014/10/06/4-financial-aid-facts-students-should-know-before-applying-early-decision

However…you should have a good sense of what the ED school will offer you in aid…or your net cost.

Really, if you KNOW this is going to be unaffordable, and you are doing it for the admissions tip…apply regular decision.

Also, if finances are a serious consideration, apply RD so that you will be able to compare net costs to more than one college.

Early decision means you have decided to attend the college if they accept you. If you run the Net Price Calculator and you and your family are not 100% comfortable with the net cost it predicts, then you should not apply Early Decision.

I’d amend the above statement to say “Early decision means you have decided to attend the college if they accept you with adequate financial aid.” Since NPC’s are not accurate for all financial situations, the advice to depend on running the NPC calculator is not appropriate for everyone, and in some cases the only way to determine if aid will be adequate is to apply. As noted, an ED acceptance without adequate aid can be turned down.

And please do remember that the aid package you will get with an ED acceptance is an estimated package that is subject to change if your finalized financial aid application leads to different results. Sometimes that revised package is not good enough for the family - there was a long sad thread on that topic in this forum about a year ago.

Yes, the aid estimate is based on the data you submitted way before the tax return. You should redo the NPC once you get updated info and not to be surprised.