$zero Financial aid from BC with 6500 EFC! please help:(

<p>I just want to cry. my daughter's EFC this year is 6500 and we got ZERO! yes 0 from Boston college that she is attending right now. No loan, no grant nothing. what is wrong. I just dont know what to do. Last year, we got $8500 of loans and grants with EFC 19000. Am I doing someting wrong. I appealed twice and they gave us $500 more. I just dont know what is wrong please help me. My daughter went through so much hardship with a rare disease. She deserves the education at her dream school. I do not want to ask her to transfer, it will really break her heart.</p>

<p>Boston College used both the Profile AND the FAFSA to determine awarding of need based aid. Did you complete both of these forms on time? Your EFC which is a FAFSA thing is used to determine eligibility for federally funded need based aid ONLY. Unfortunately, a FAFSA EFC would be too high to qualify your daughter for the Pell grant (I believe the EFC can't be higher than about $5200 or so). </p>

<p>Re: loans...by simply completing the FAFSA, your daughter would be eligible for $6500 in Stafford loans as a sophomore. This is something ALL students completing the FAFSA are eligible to receive. Did you complete a FAFSA? If so, the Stafford loan would be in your child's package. </p>

<p>BC's institutional aid, that would be BC grants...would be awarded based on the information provided on your PROFILE. The Profile includes financial information that is not included on the FAFSA (e.g. home equity in your primary residence, income/assets from non-custodial parent and spouse if any). And the schools can use the information to determine how much and how they award their institutional money any way they choose to. </p>

<p>It seems that the family contribution BC is computing for you is not the same as the FAFSA EFC. This can happen if there are financial assets/income/equity that are not reported on the FAFSA but ARE reported on the Profile.</p>

<p>Could this be the case?</p>

<p>Family contribution is largely based on your income.</p>

<p>I would suggest you call the BC financial aid office and discuss this with them.</p>

<p>
[quote]
7. Will I receive the same financial aid award in future years?
Boston College is committed to meeting your full demonstrated financial need throughout your undergraduate years. However, your need may change from year to year. Circumstances in which your need may change could include an increase or decrease in the parent’s or student’s income or assets, family size, or number of family members attending college. Your financial aid award will change to reflect these changes in circumstances. If the family’s circumstances remain relatively constant over the four years of attendance, the total financial aid received should not change significantly. Self help expectations (Federal Work Study and Federal Loan amounts) may change with grade level advances.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I apologize for posting this on two threads. The above is from the BC website. It says that BC is committed to meeting the full need (as they calculate it) for all undergrad students. There are two threads here dealing with families with very low FAFSA EFCs who didn't receive much need based aid from BC. If they meet full need, I would have to wonder what is on the Profile for these families that is not on the FAFSA.</p>

<p>Well, considered this has been appealed twice already, I am going to assume that all the correct forms were filed and the numbers on both sides are not in error. By all means, verify until you are certain there are no mistakes here.</p>

<p>The other issue to address is that a "dream college" is simply that -- a "dream". For a small percentage of young people headed off to college the perfect storm of an acceptance letter AND enough family funds and/or college financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc) come together to make the "dream" happen.</p>

<p>But now it is reality time. The numbers don't add up. There are excellent avenues to getting a college degree that are more affordable. Maybe not the <em>same</em> as Boston, but still an education leading to satisfaction, career stability, personal growth, and so forth.</p>

<p>There will be bigger heart breaks in your daughter's life than transferring if it comes down to that option. Hopefully it won't come down to that, but the biggest thing you can do is go through your own grieving about this so that you can be there for your daughter.</p>

<p>You ask what is wrong. It is very likely that the college is short funds and are unable to be as generous in their financial aid as in the past. Again, verify numbers, but what seems to be going around these days is reduced aid to students.</p>

<p>Thanks for your reply. Yes I did submitted all the required forms on time. Last year I have spent so much time in appeali and only got $500 more. Just thinking about it makes me so mad and frustrated, and this year is even worse. Do they want to kick out my D from school since we can not afford it? I just feel like that they are discriminating people who are in financial hardship:(</p>

<p>I lost my job of 10 years last year. So the income includes the unemployment. My husband's business's net worth is practically minus fiqure, and we have filled line of credit on our house to max.
We have about 400K in home equity after mortgate and LC, if the house that we live in was to be sold now.</p>

<p>Maybe they want us to sell the house. </p>

<p>My D was in and out of hospitals for so many times during last 10 years and still managed to get good grad. But BC is the only school she really wants to attend. And she is still loving it and doing well. I feel helpless ....</p>

<p>
[quote]
We have about 400K in home equity after mortgate and LC, if the house that we live in was to be sold now.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I'm confused. Are you saying that even with your home equity loan and mortgage that you still have $400,000 in home equity? If so, this could very well be the reason that BC has determined that you do not have financial need. I don't know what %age of home equity they use in their calculations, but this might be worth finding out.</p>

<p>
[quote]
My D was in and out of hospitals for so many times during last 10 years and still managed to get good grad

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Your daughter's hard work is what got her accepted to BC. BC, however, awards financial aid based on financial need, not on the basis of grades/GPA or other stats...need based aid only.</p>

<p>Also you mention your husband's business. If he is self employed, the assets of his business might also be added into the equation...I don't know what BC does in this situation.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Do they want to kick out my D from school since we can not afford it? I just feel like that they are discriminating people who are in financial hardship

[/quote]
</p>

<p>They are not kicking your daughter out of the school because you can't afford it. BUT the reality is the school calculates your ability to pay based on a number of variables....income, assets, home equity (in the case of Profile schools this IS considered to some extent). Someone has to pay your daughter's college bills. Every family needs to figure out what will work for them financially and sadly sometimes the dream school that is too expensive for the family will not.</p>

<p>I hope this situation works out for your daughter. It sounds like BC has calculated that you have the ability to pay these college bills but your family cannot do so. If that is the case, please support your daughter in looking at other options.</p>

<p>So you haven't appealed her award yet this year or asked for an explanation? It doesn't seem that, given your situation, the award would decrease if you have fewer assets and income. I don't know what kind of "commitment" they actually have toward meeting need, but they should have at least offered loans if her documents are really in order and have been processed correctly. I would certainly be calling them in the morning...good luck!</p>

<p>I assume your assets as they relate to your house are more or less the same as last year, right? If you got decent financial aid for last year with the home equity factored in, it shouldn't be substantially different for 2010-11.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Last year, we got $8500 of loans and grants with EFC 19000.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>This was posted by the OP regarding LAST year's award...which was not particularly generous. Given that the FAFSA EFC was $19000 and the cost of attendance at BC is about $50,000 a year, this family didn't receive significant need based aid LAST year either. Last year would have been a good time to resolve the financial aid issue. I believe those two appeals were for LAST year (the ones that yielded an extra $500). That being the case, there must be some asset being reported on the CSS Profile for these two years that is making this family contribution so high. </p>

<p>There is something missing from the information being provided. Perhaps the home equity increased since last year (if the OP is nearing the end of the mortgage, she is paying a lot more principal than interest and this very well could be the case).</p>

<p>This is what College Board is reporting from BC...it just doesn't seem to jive with what people are posting unless they're posting their FAFSA EFC and BC calculates the IM EFC to be more than double that:</p>

<p>Full-time freshman enrollment: 2,181
Number who applied for need-based aid: 1,198
Number who were judged to have need: 957
Number who were offered aid: 957
Number who had full need met: 957
Average percent of need met: 100%
Average financial aid package: $31,062
Average need-based loan: $3,521
Average need-based scholarship or grant award: $27,618
Average non-need based aid: $20,992
Average indebtedness at graduation: $19,358 </p>

<p>OP, you need to gain a full understanding of how BC calculates your EFC from the data you give them. I would find out what portion of home equity they're using, and to what extent per year (ie 25% of equity over $250,00), how they're handling your H's business income and assets (ie are they adding back non-cash deductions, such as depreciation), and the like. Go into "information gathering" mode and politely ask questions until you understand what the EFC they calculated is AND where it's coming from! If your '09 info didn't reflect your job loss, find out what their policy is and file an appeal based on special circumstances.</p>

<p>Sk8rmom, I agree with what you posted. And it agrees with what I got off of the BC website. BC is a school that meets full need. BUT it is a PROFILE school which means that institutional aid is distributed based on the information provided on the Profile (this is also stated on the website). The Profile information IS more detailed than on the FAFSA and includes assets and income (from non-custodial parent and spouse if there is one) that are not reported on the FAFSA. In addition, the Profile has supplemental questions about other assets. I do not if BC uses these, but they ask for even MORE financial information.</p>

<p>The BC posters who are not getting their need met MUST have something on their Profile that is significant. This could very well be home equity. And to the OP...they don't expect you to SELL your house, but the DO expect that if you have $400,000 in equity, that you can borrow money. With that kind of equity you would likely be able to either refinance adding additional money for college OR take out a HEL. </p>

<p>Also, if there is a non-custodial parent (not the case with the OP but could be the case with others), this income and assets are considered as well...and their spouses if there is a spouse.</p>

<p>These folks need to look at the information on the Profile or they could talk to BC and ask a simple question "why is my family contribution for your school so much more than my FAFSA EFC? What is on my Profile that made this so?"</p>

<p>*We have about 400K in home equity after mortgate and LC, if the house that we live in was to be sold now. *</p>

<p>Looks like BC is expecting you to borrow against that $400k. BC considers that equity like a big savings account.</p>

<p>I have some mixed feelings about all of this. I know we can't slice off a sliver of our house and submit it in the tuition envelope -- so I can share the OP's frustration that having some home equity doesn't really seem to help much. </p>

<p>At the same time, there is a whiff of entitlement here. I've had a ton of medical stuff to deal with -- and I can document that to a college -- but they are not interested in past hardships. They will take into account only current medical bills. </p>

<p>No one is entitled to a big house, a fine car or a high priced college degree. We can know in our hearts that there is no one finer than our child -- but that doesn't mean they "deserve" caviar or roses. </p>

<p>Instead of rage and despair, there needs to be a level brained approach to the situation. Can D sit out a year and work? Can she attend a public college and earn some credits that she transfers over to BC? She may not "want" to but it may be what has to happen. </p>

<p>What I hope the OP does NOT do is "make D happy" by taking out massive loans without laying out what that exactly does to D and to the parent's future. This is no time for ignorance.</p>

<p>Oh, I agree that people can't slice off some of their homes and pay tuition with it.</p>

<p>But, maybe schools are concerned that people take savings and pay down mortgages to get more aid - so some schools expect parents to borrow against large amounts of equity. I'm just guessing; I don't know. </p>

<p>In reality, I think middle/upper middle class people have to accept that the primary responsibility for paying for pricey schools lies with themselves. If that isn't doable or if the family wants to save money for grad/law/med school cost, then more affordable schools should be sought.</p>

<p>Some things are just not making any sense here. If the OP's family got just $8,500 (including loans) last year, they must have had considerable income, savings or other funds available to pay the remaining $42K+ for the daughter's freshman year. And now, not getting that same $8,500 for next year is going to force her to pull her daughter out of the school? How did the OP expect to pay $125K+ (assuming 3 x $42K) for the next 3 years?</p>

<p>And any student -- regardless of family income or assets -- can get a Stafford loan, as long as they file the paperwork. As noted above, that's up to $6,500 for a sophomore, but the OP says she got $0. </p>

<p>I suspect there's much more to this situation than just the large home equity. The husband's business (despite its book value, perhaps he receives a large salary from it?) or other considerable assets held by the family must be affecting BC's definition of "need." Or is there a non-custodial parent with big bucks we haven't heard about?</p>

<p>Saturday:</p>

<p>Unfortunately, your d's medical history if of no interest to the financial aid calculation, which is based purely on numbers: your tax return(s), and bank/investment statements (assets, including home equity). Moreover, the cyclical nature of your H's business is also of no interest to them, since the only things that matter are those that happened financially in CY2009. If your H's business takes a down-turn in CY2010, you will be eligible for more aid next year (fall 2011).</p>

<p>As others have noted, your D is eligible for an unsubsidized Stafford. I'm sure that an e-mail to your BC finaid rep will add it to her account. (They just finished processing finaid renewals, so I'm guessing that they don't award unsubsidized Staffords as part of the initial package.)</p>