What Was Your Experience with BS Aid?

<p>People are speculation about aid yet many of you recently got real aid packages. Will anyone share the following:</p>

<p>Did you get what expected?</p>

<p>Are loans a part of the package?</p>

<p>Do you think aid effected your admissions decisions?</p>

<p>Which schools give the best/worst aid?</p>

<p>I also need this information!</p>

<p>I did not get what I expected; I got into Choate, though, but we withdrew FA. When Mr. Diffley called, he said that there was no FA in the pool when I got off the waitlist! :) Oh, okay, sorry, that's probably bad there was no FA.... but I'm just saying, I wish I had applied to less competitive schools.</p>

<p>AND YES THEY DO AFFECT ADMISSIONS DECISIONS. Be aware of this and don't apply to just AESDCH if you need a lot of FA. Especially if you are white and un-hooked and middle-class.</p>

<p>Yes, but the problem is the AESD (what's H?) schools have the most to give. Most of the others just discount or have aid for very select applicants I believe.</p>

<p>So Olivia, does this mean your parents will take loans they didn't think they would need to?</p>

<p>No, my parents didn't take loans. We're finding the money somehow, etc.</p>

<p>H is Hotchkiss, and C is Choate. :)</p>

<p>My daughter applied to six schools including Andover and Exeter, her first choices. Financial aid was critical to our decision. My daughter was accepted with aid packages at all schools. The other schools (i.e other than A and E) all gave an amount clearly based on the NAIS determined "expected family contribution". A and E both offered significantly more (bigger endowments?), about 1/3 more. With A and E's very high total costs it was a stretch even with these generous aid offers. So we asked for more from the school of her choice-and got it. I would say my daughter is an average accepted student at A and E in terms of scores, grades, etc. (which is, of course, very high), but she is not a triple-800 SSAT, all-A's, studying calculus over the summer type. My bottom line impression, from our recent experience, is that A and E, and other high endowmwnt schools, are in a position to grant more aid. and will do so if they really want you. Hope this helps.</p>

<p>Let me start by saying that many (if not most) schools put a confidentiality clause in their financial aid offer, so you may not get very many specifics.</p>

<p>With that thought in mind...</p>

<p>We did get about what we expected. Some caveats, though. It took some time, as we had to explain some circumstances (we have a special needs son as well who will need some degree of assistance throughout his lifetime, but not so much that he qualifies for Social Security Disability - shades of gray).</p>

<p>Loans were not "offered" as part of the package, but materials from student loan companies did come with the acceptance/FA package. However, SSS's calculated EFC in our situation was more than our cash flow allows, so depletion of assets/loans are required.</p>

<p>In our case, FA did not affect the admissions decision, as needing FA we applied only at schools where she would be in the top part of her class.</p>

<p>No opinion on best/worst aid. YMMV is the best that can be said anywhere.</p>

<p>Goaliedad, was your son applying as a goalie? If yes, it goes to my point that even a star athlete's family pays until it hurts at most schools. It seems to sound like many people think this is a process like applying for college aid.</p>

<p>Your phrase "depletion of assets" seems to sum it up for most of us. </p>

<p>Olivia, Where do people "find" $160K? I have seen the wait list shell game many times. Kid dying to go to school and must withdraw FA application to get in.</p>

<p>Our offers of aid varied--our son applied as a junior to 5 schools and got in 5/5
One school offered no aid at all--leaving us with a 36,000 bill, 3 others gave us aobut 6 grand in grants (left us with 30K to pay). The school he ended up at gave us grant to lower our EFC to 21K, and gave him a stipend for books</p>

<p>One school did negotiate a bit as our son was a recruited athlete that they desired but could not get near to the 21K EFC that was offered by the school where he ended up</p>

<p>My family got more than expected from some schools, and less from others. FA definitely does affect admissions (I don't think it happened to with me, however). I do think that AESD has more aid to offer, because I got into five boarding schools and was offered very generous packages from Andover and Exeter, a fine one from Milton, and none from St. Mark's and Concord. I know for a fact that St. Mark's wanted to give me aid, but were limited by their own numbers, which I guess goes to show that endownment really can matter.</p>

Goaliedad, was your son applying as a goalie? If yes, it goes to my point that even a star athlete's family pays until it hurts at most schools. It seems to sound like many people think this is a process like applying for college aid.


<p>These were not well endowed schools, so getting to EFC can be a struggle. However, my daughter is very happy with her situation, is working hard and doing very well, so it is worth the money.</p>

<p>Sexist hangs his head.</p>

<p>So is the answer that there are no good aid school outside of the very top ones? My cousin has a 93 SSAT and is an athlete the top schools may be interested in but wants 2 safety schools with no loan aid. Not that it isn't worth it, but her family is already deeply in debt and a lot is the kind of debt that schools don't consider.</p>

<p>great thread -- really good information! </p>

<p>What I am hearing is exactly what I expected -- they expect you to pay more than you think you can and are very stingy with their money. That is what I would expect! If all I have to pay is the calculated "every friggin' cent" that the school figures, I will be fine. I just need to find the right schools for him to apply to.</p>

<p>as far as schools for your cousin -- sure there are some schools out there, just probably not the ones he wants. Does he demonstrate need? Are his parents looking for aid that takes care of part of the EFC -- or will they pay that "every friggin' cent" that the BS require? If they have assets, are they willing to tap them or borrow against them? If not -- you are setting your cousin up for a fall. </p>

<p>If the parents are willing to pay and he is willing to look at other schools, check out Conserve, good endowment, generous aid. 90% of the kids are on FA and they are need-blind for admissions. They do not give loans as part of the FA package.</p>

<p>you need to do your research -- look for schools outside the Northeast and look for FA statistics and academics. There are many schools out there and a good student, good athlete with geographic diversity may get him more aid.</p>

<p>She is very low income with farmer parents who do not own the land they farm. Their EFC would be zero and they have bad credit.</p>

<p>What I'm hearing is that the top schools are the only ones that seem to meet EFC. No matter how much research I do, I have not come up with a single name of a school outside of AESD that meet EFC unless they really want you for a sport. </p>

<p>Let's consider Conserve. Their average package is $16K which makes me guess they discount. They get a wide audience by being cheaper in the first place, then discount making them within reach of many families. They have a relatively low endowment which just doesn't make sense for giving AESD type of aid. </p>

<p>Lot of schools say no loans but don't meet EFC which makes the claim laughable.</p>

<p>I'm here doing research and no one has come forward saying anything but the top schools gave good packages. What am I missing?</p>

<p>"I'm here doing research and no one has come forward saying anything but the top schools gave good packages. What am I missing?"</p>

<p>I think what you are missing is that the majority of posters here ONLY apply to the "top" schools, so that is their frame of reference. As hsmomstef said, you need to do your research, look for schools outside of the Northeast.</p>

<p>You can bump your thread up in a week or so. Right now boarding school students are taking finals and then coming home so most are not on cc. Have you done a search of old threads on financial aid? There are many.</p>

<p>burb parent -- collegekid100 claims that he has read all the old posts. The problem is that he is bitter about his FA experience and wants some kind of guarantee that boarding schools give FA to anyone, regardless of status. he isn't going to find what he is looking for -- every school, every year and every student is different.</p>

<p>collegekid100 -- from what I have researched, your cousin will most likely be required to pay $3,000 at a minimum if he is accepted into a boarding school that give good aid. you are correct, free rides are almost unheard of -- and most likely reserved for something specific the school is looking for (athlete, URM). It is unlikely that your cousin's parent would be expected to take out loans unless they have assets.</p>

<p>You said your cousin's family has no assets (no farm, rent a home -- correct?) and very low-income. Would you say that the total income (not the adjusted) was less than $30,000? To get an idea of approximately how much they might be expected to pay for BS go to <a href="http://www.finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate.phtml%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate.phtml&lt;/a> and fill out the information (accurately, or it isn't a good estimate). Use the institutional methodology.</p>

<p>That calculator is a fairly accurate one for predicting the college EFC and works fairly well for the SSS, also. Take whatever number comes out for the EFC and add about $3000. That will be an approximate of what the school will expect your cousin to pay. We are low-income and that formula works well for us. </p>

<p>That $3000 is approximately what the school thinks the family will save while the student is away from home. for a 9 month school year, that averages $333 a month -- which isn't much considering the student would not be eating any food, using utilities, etc.</p>

<p>Remember -- the amount the school expects you to pay is what THEY figure you can pay -- not what you figure you could pay.</p>

<p>if the family has assets, they will be expected to either use them or borrow against them to pay for school. </p>

<p>You have posted a couple of times that my sons seem to beat the odds of getting aid -- keep in mind that we are low-income, no assets and we always expect to pay. The aid my sons has been excellent -- which to me means that the amount I am expected to pay is something that our family can afford(not afford easily, but we can do it) -- absolutely not a free ride. I value the opportunities and we are willing to make the sacrifice for them.</p>

<p>Applying for FA does indeed affect "the pool" from which you are selected for acceptance. And that pool is much much more competitive, and selective due to many factors. It stated in our son's letter that he had clearly earned a spot, but because of the FA request was waitlisted. When we were told there was no FA, we enrolled our son in another school. So, all works out in the end. But it does factor into the acceptance big time.</p>

<p>Stef, while I do think my family was sucked into borrowing too much, I'm not bitter. All is working out well in terms of me helping them repay it and I'm glad I went and know it got me to where I am and want to be. I wish I knew then what I know now however.</p>

<p>Since we're taking the gloves off, I think your approach is intelligent but I think you're a bit naive in believing at face value what the schools tell you. You're not seeing the enormous game it is to get whatever it is a school wants be it a winning athletic team or brilliant math students or more students of color or internationals. Bright well-rounded lower middle class white is just not the ambition for most schools.</p>

<p>For my research I looked at all information I could find except what the schools say because my consistent experience with only finding out the truth when the offers came with 4 probably wasn't unusual. My goal simply to figure out if my cousin could go to a school without a loan if they don't want her for a team. Of course they know they'll pay something and could pay $4K with our help. My conclusion is that it's unlikely. I will say that she won't apply too low down the pecking order but I really don't think it matters because tiny endowment schools really cherry pick their grant students and she doesn't want a school where her SATs are 30 points higher than average.</p>

<p>I'm not trying to be discouraging but read the posts here. When you get past the top endowment schools money is a problem for most, poor and middle class. They don't just want the EFC. I'm sure there are exceptions, but if more people post general facts like what % need they had met hopefully we'll learn more.</p>

<p>This may or may not be of interest, but our experience was with our first son we received no aid, but with the first son heading off to college this year, the second son was offered substantial aid at both the schools he was accepted at.(one of them is one of "THE" schools, the other is a smaller, not so well known school). So, when considering the possibility of aid, remember if you have siblings in college, secondary schools will take this into consideration.</p>