What schools are generous with aid/scholarships?

<p>My situation is this:</p>

<p>I am a senior in high school would like to attend a high quality school. My parents make ~ $100,000 per year, so we won't qualify for much need-based aid, but I need to get scholarships- I'm the oldest of six kids and my siblings will all be college students as well (and none of them are likely to get merit aid.) What are some good schools (in the range of ~top 40 Universities/~top 25 liberal arts) that are generous and/or give good merit aid? I will be a National Merit Finalist, I have good extracurriculars, 1600 SAT/3X800 SAT II, top 10%, all that. Are there decent schools where I could get a full ride? Although my family probably <em>could</em> afford Yale or Dartmouth, I want to make things as easy as possible for them (and graduate debt-free, if possible.) </p>

<p>Thank You</p>

<p>Julians: If you'll check on the Parents Board of the "old" College Confidential (I think it's called "classic" College Confidential), you'll find several threads on this very topic, with information on merit aid available at a number of highly ranked (and highly regarded) colleges and universities. You should do well in that regard.</p>

<p>Check the information there, then start a new post with further questions or thoughts on what type of school you'd like - size, location, urban/rural, possible majors, etc. Then we can put our in-house parent experts to work on your case.</p>

<p>P.S. Don't necessarily limit yourself to the top 40 - either in hit recordings or in colleges.</p>

<p>Hear from you soon.</p>

<p>Julians, be sure to keep in mind that the amount of need-based financial help you get is partly predicated on the number of people in your family, and especially on the number of students in college at one time. There were six kids in my family, and all of us were on aid. Your stats are fabulous, of course, so you would likely qualify for lots of merit aid at a number of good schools, but you might at least give some of the non-merits a try to see what sort of aid package you would get. Also, financial aid offices would be able to tell you how they would calculate your aid when others sibs enrolled in college. Princeton does not package loans into their need-based aid. Good luck!</p>

<p>Julians, I noticed you are planning to apply ED to Dartmouth - this may not be the best plan if you need substantial financial aid, you may need to compare packages.Remember too that even with a 6 figure income, your family may well qualify for need based aid as your siblings begin to attend college - I must qualify my remarks by saying my daughter is planning on ED to Dartmouth as well, and does not have your stellar qualifications - congratulations.
Please someone who is totally non-biased, am I off base giving this advice?!</p>

Your advice is very good. It usually is a very bad idea to apply ED if one will need financial aid or merit scholarships to go to the college. If one gets an ED admission, one can't shop around for scholarship offers from other colleges. While Dartmouth guarantees to meet students' demonstrated financial need, it's important to realize that what Dartmouth decides you need for financial aid may not be what your parents feel that they can pay.</p>

<p>It is very hard to get out of ED admissions, even if one's parents decide the aid offer is too low. Guidance counselors also may not go out of their way to help a student who has gotten a nice ED offer and turns it down. Typically adcoms get very angry at GCs when students do this. Colleges also have been known to turn down other applicants from the h.s. just to take revenge on the school for having someone back out of an ED commitment.</p>

<p>If your stats are good enough for you to have a chance at Dartmouth, your stats have to be good enough for you to qualify for good merit aid from some of the many good colleges that offer merit aid. Far better to research these possibilities now than to lock yourself into an admission that may be more expensive than what your family could comfortably afford.</p>

<p>Since Julian is the first of 6 children to apply to colleges, his family will not have high demonstrated need at this point. Yet, for his parents to pay full fare at Dartmouth, to the tune of $40k+ after tax is not going to leave much for savings either for the other 5 children's colleges or the parents' retirement and even day-to-day living will probably be affected. For Julian to go ED is thus even more unwise, for reasons which Northstarmom and Cangel have explained.<br>
There are colleges that offer generous merit aid, some including full ride to NMF. Among great colleges that offer merit aid: Chicago, Washington, Duke to name but a few.</p>

<p>BTW, if your parents have 6 kids and make around $100 k, you actually probably would qualify for some need-based aid from some of the most expensive colleges. That still doesn't mean that Dartmouth would give you everything your parents feel you'd need. </p>

<p>Since need-based scholarships are usually packages consisting of a grant, plus work study and a loan, it's also possible that you could be offered more loans than you'd want to carry. That's another reason why it would be a good idea to shop around for offers instead of applying ED.</p>

<p>Julian, my son applied to colleges with high stats like yours and Dartmouth was also his number 1 choice. He got offers of merit money and athletic scholarships from very top schools including Stanford. Today with another in college, a third next year and a younger sib who wants boarding school, I wonder how we passed up the money! That said, I wondering with parenys who make 100K how this really works. Their EFC will remain the same whether they spend it on one or six. So doesn't it stand to reason that it might not be selfish to go to the school of your choice? Feel free to tell me if I'm missing something.</p>

<p>Use the financial estimator (with your Parents) help which appears in the Princeton financial aid section. Its anonymous, easy, quick, and said to be accurate for Princeton by those who were admitted.</p>

<p>Though you may qualify for some need-based aid now and will qualify for more when your siblings enter college, I tend to agree with Marite. </p>

<p>Washington University, University of Chicago, Duke, Michigan, Grinnell, Rice, Davidson, NYU, and John Hopkins all give significant merit aid and you have the credentials for a good shot at it. I'd mix some of these schools into an RD list including Dartmouth and a few other non-merit aid schools you like. Then compare financial packages in the spring.</p>

<p>Thanks for the advice, guys!</p>

<p>Duke is very good. Might look at UChicago also. Among LAC's, Holy Cross, Bucknell, and Colgate.</p>


<p>Dartmouth has a financial aid calculator. Have you tried running the numbers to see what the estimate would be. As marite satated, if you are the oldest of the six and there are no other kids in college, having 6 kids is not going to helf your EFC unless your parents are paying private school tuition to educate the other five. Unless your family consist of multiples (twins, triplets) all 6 of you will not be in college at the same time as the EFC does not consider graduate students. Even when there are other kids in college each school is looking to grab the biggest part of the EFC, so it is not always divided equally (Wesleyan's financial aid people were very upfront about this )</p>

<p>you state:</p>

<p>Although my family probably <em>could</em> afford Yale or Dartmouth, I want to make things as easy as possible for them (and graduate debt-free, if possible.) </p>

<p>With that mind set it seems as if your parents are getting ready to write the big check and thank godness that they can with the cost of attendance being $42K (all in after tax dollars).</p>

<p>As the other parents have said, if you even think that money is going to be an issue, you need to be in a position to compare packages. My daughter knew that Dartmouth was her first choice but I knew that we could not afford to write the big check so we had to compare packages. In the RD round she was also accepted to Williams who gave her a better aid package (less loans) than Dartmouth. Dartmouth states on their financial aid offer that you can request a review even if it means submitting a "competing " offer. Daughter wrote Dartmouth thanking them for their offer, Dartmout is her first choice but the current package was just not affordable for her family, she submitted the Williams aid package which in the end Dartmouth did meet.</p>

<p>You got a lot of good advice. and I am in agreement with eveyone else in suggesting that you apply RD to Dartmouth, and get your offers back. If you should get a generous aid package from some where else, in the words of Mini, you would be suprised how the schools manage to find money.</p>