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Chance of getting OOS waiver as a current student

rvhappynowrvhappynow Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
So, after the Class of 2021 merit awards were rolled out yesterday, we are so close, yet so far. We were offered $3750, which is just right under the $4000 we need for the OOS waiver. I've heard that the engineering department is only offering scholarships to currently enrolled students, but someone pretty please correct me if I am wrong. I want to be wrong, as this is likely our last chance to bump up to the $4000 with even the tiniest of awards. But, just for "what if" sake, do any of you know what might happen if we were to scrape our pennies together, grit our teeth, and figure out how to afford one year at A&M without the waiver, and then have our son apply in the spring for scholarships. Do you know if he would have to get another $4000 to then qualify for the in state tuition, or would just one small scholarship of $250 be able to be added to his current $3750 (it's for all four years) to have the in state tuition kick in for Fall 2018 as his sophomore year? We're grasping at straws here. We are grateful for what we received, but since it's not enough for the waiver, it's such a drop in the bucket, considering it's almost $50K to go as an OOS student. Praying outside scholarships come through as well.

Replies to: Chance of getting OOS waiver as a current student

  • BeaudreauBeaudreau Registered User Posts: 1,000 Senior Member
    @rvhappnow - My son is an OOS junior majoring in Aerospace Engineering with two minors, one in German and one in History. He got the National Merit package which includes in-state tuition and roughly another $10K per year. He has applied each year for additional engineering department scholarships. He was an Resident Advisor, a teaching assistant for German, president of one club, and active in several other clubs. He has a 3.8 GPA,had senior status at the beginning of his junior year thanks to all his AP credits, and got his class ring. Bottom line, no additional scholarship money at all.
  • rvhappynowrvhappynow Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    edited January 25
    Wow! Thank you for the honesty. Sounds crazy hard. I wonder if anyone received Engineering department scholarships as incoming freshman this year. You don't hear a whole lot about it, but on ApplyTexas, it's included as an option. I'm wondering if the departmental scholarships are just really rare. When we spoke to someone in sfaid a few months back, they truly gave the impression that departments had lots of money to spread around and that although they couldn't guarantee anything, it wasn't too hard to hit the $4000 mark when stacking the different offers. The guy said there was plenty to go around. We just had our hopes raised several times by different people we spoke to, and then, to find that the OOS waiver jumped to $4000 right after we submitted our application was quite daunting. I know it's tough. I just wish I'd known this last year before his heart was so set on A&M. It's tough being a parent in all of this. We haven't given up, but it's hard having it right outside our reach.
  • BeaudreauBeaudreau Registered User Posts: 1,000 Senior Member
    @rvhappynow - We heard all the same things when we visited. My son has two younger brothers who just missed National Merit qualification. Both are now majoring in Engineering at other colleges.

    Where else has your son applied? With our three sons, we visited 21 colleges with good engineering programs altogether and I'd be happy to share our impressions.

    Have you looked at Iowa State? My youngest son picked ISU over his other finalists, Arizona State, Alabama, and Michigan State. ISU is very affordable for OOS students. OOS tuition is "just" $21,500 and my son received an $8,000 merit scholarship and a $3,500 College of Engineering scholarship. ISU's engineering college is one of the largest in the U.S. We have been very impressed with the school so far. They are very organized and the Freshman Honors program is worthwhile. My son already has an engineering professor mentor assigned to him and he is just starting a research project. ISU applications are still being accepted and are formula based. You will have an answer in just a few days. https://www.admissions.iastate.edu/apply/online/ Scholarship awards are automatic, based again of a formula: https://www.admissions.iastate.edu/scholarships/freshman_award_calc.php
    Finally, campus is beautiful and Ames is a great college town.

    Please feel free to message me directly.
  • rvhappynowrvhappynow Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    edited January 25
    @Beaudreau This is so very much appreciated! I really can't tell you how much. My heart is all over the place right now, and to be honest with you, I just didn't know what I needed to know. I know that sounds kind of ignorant, especially for an educated person, but with this being our first child and everything changing so much since we went to college 25 years ago, we really did not understand the scope of this thing. Had we known then what we know now, we would have taken so many different steps. I think the thing killing me the most is the fact that I've been amazed throughout the last 18 years as I've watched my son grow up into the young man that he is now. Incredibly self motivated, naturally intelligent, yet humble and full of so much character. A work ethic like none I've ever seen. I know that we all feel so many positive feelings about our children, but he amazes me on a daily basis, and to think that we only applied to two schools has me really frustrated. We live in Louisiana, and to be honest, there is kind of a general consensus that if you are interested in engineering, you just go to Louisiana Tech. If you receive a 33 or higher on your ACT (he got a 35) you receive automatic full tuition. Until last year, it's kind of where we always assumed our son would end up going. But then, he got a taste of Texas A&M. It became quite the dream. Rather than apply to a lot of other colleges, he felt pretty good about the fact that, with his stats and scores and EC's, he could likely reach the $1000 tuition waiver requirement, and we could handle the difference. I just want the best for him, as we all do. Believe me, I know that he can get an amazing education at many of the places he may go, but to get the full college experience, with a decent college town, is another big part of it. This is the last chance in young their lives to have that freedom before families, careers, etc. He is not a partier in the least, but he is social and wants to be in a town large enough to offer different things to do that might be fun. A decent sushi restaurant or two would satisfy him. :-) Anyway, we are absolutely going to take a look at Iowa State and see where it takes us. I appreciate your transparency and openness about the entire thing. We aren't giving up on A&M, but we do need to open our eyes that we might need to expand our options a little. I'm still blown away that only $250 stands between us and the out-of-state waiver. Thank you again!
  • BeaudreauBeaudreau Registered User Posts: 1,000 Senior Member
    @rvhappynow - Yeah we learned something with each boy, stair-step triplets.Our two oldest were born at West Jefferson Hospital in Merrero. We lived three years in New Orleans in the mid 1990s and had a great time there. That's where I picked up my Beaudreau handle. I still have my going-away present on my desk, a nameplate that says "Honorary Swamp King." My wife is from Arizona and still has family here. With son number 3 on the way, I arranged for a transfer to Phoenix in 1997, where we've been ever since. (After three summers in New Orleans, we had no issues with Arizona summers.) One little story: I took the Louisiana Bar exam. In most states, the essay questions concern Able and Baker. In Louisiana, they use Boudreaux and Thibodeaux.

    Your son sounds great and I'm sure he will do well wherever he goes. If he wants to stay south, both Arizona State and Arizona are still taking applications. ASU's Barrett Honors College is rated number one in the country, with it's own dorms on a campus-within-a-campus, and the engineering school is huge. Tempe is a great college town. Arizona is in Tucson. The campus is older, greener, and more traditional than ASU's. The engineering college is smaller but has a good placement rate. I don't like Tucson as much, but others love it. Your son should expect good scholarships from either college.

    Alabama likely would have been a good fit but it is probably too late. They are extremely generous with high achievers and they have spent hundreds of $millions on new engineering facilities, and dormitories. Tuscaloosa impressed us too. It might be worth a call to see if they might make an exception to the scholarship deadline.

    Now I am stressing out all over again. My junior at TAMU has decided that he wants to go on for a PhD. That's a whole new process to learn. We visited Michigan and Purdue two weeks ago and he is also interested in TAMU, Georgia Tech, and Princeton for the field he is interested in, so there will be more visits. Applications start being due this December 1, for fall 2018 admissions. One good thing we learned is that most top engineering programs will offer research or teaching assistantships, plus tuition. My son was originally looking at getting his masters degree at TAMU, but his scholarships and in-state tuition only cover four years. We would have had to pay full boat for the fifth year to get a masters. With his ultimate goal being a PhD, it made no sense at all to get a masters degree first. So he is working hard to get some research experience and line up faculty recommendations.
  • rvhappynowrvhappynow Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    @Beaudreau First of all, I love the handle and the story behind it! WhenI saw the name, I wondered if you were from Louisiana! It sounds like you are more than well-versed in this whole college application/scholarship game, and again, I can't say enough how much it is appreciated that you are willing to take your time to share your thoughts and opinions with us. I'm hoping that, in a few months, when we get past all of this, I will be able to laugh at my past self for being so stressed out, but when it comes to our kids, it's hard to just let it go. And the ironic thing is that we are the farthest thing from helicopter parents. Our son is very independent and self driven. However, since he's in school all day or building a robot with his team or at a leadership meeting when not in school, he has less time to dig into these things than I do. Still kicking myself that I wasn't doing this a year ago. But again, I've learned so much. My junior high daughter will have an advantage now that I've gained some experience. I just hope the lack of knowledge and experience doesn't cost my son his dreams. Thank you again. Still holding out hope that A&M is still giving out some awards, as tiny as they may be. It's all we'd need. But to be safe, we will expand our options per your suggestions just so that he doesn't have only one choice to fall back on in the end.
  • 3boysmom923boysmom92 Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    @rvhappynow Have you scheduled appointments with the scholarship department, both general and engineering? You can also go to a prospective student center, there is one in Houston or DFW, to speak with them. A face to face meeting expressing his desire to attend A&M might help. Aggieland Saturday is Feb. 11th, that might also be an opportunity to meet people who might be able to help.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 31,309 Super Moderator
    Yeah, you never know! It can't hurt to ask. We did that with my daughter at another school and it worked! They also told us about a small music scholarship for non-music majors (she plays jazz piano but didn't want to major in it). We never would have known about that if we hadn't approached the school. So go for it!
  • rvhappynowrvhappynow Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    edited January 26
    @3boysmom92 Funny you should suggest that. I have to go to Dallas for business next week, and my husband and I were going to go out of our way to go to CS to meet with exactly those two departments if they could see us. My fear has always been that if I bug them, I might reduce our chances, but I'm getting desperate. Then again, they seem to always say "Let us know if you need anything" or "Make an appointment to talk to an advisor". Had we not received any awards, I would just feel that his stats weren't strong enough to make it happen, but to be so close to the mark is the tough part. In your opinion, is meeting someone in Dallas as effective as in CS? We truly don't mind driving out of our way. And, again, I know it's just your opinion, but do you think it would be okay for it just to be us as the parents in the meeting? With such a heavy course load, he never misses school unless he's sick, which is rare. I'm kicking myself that I didn't take steps years ago to get him in front of the engineering department through summer camps, etc. Can barely sleep. I know I'm not the only one, but like I've said before, I'm grateful for this forum where we can share and learn from each other.
  • 3boysmom923boysmom92 Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    I would call the main campus and ask if appointments are available. Would your son be able to go on a Sat? They might have appointments on Feb.11. I think it would be better for him to attend but I imagine they understand if kids can't miss school. You could then call the PCP and have a meeting with them while in Dallas, that would save you a lot of time.
    But you may not want to take my advice. I have twins applying, one got a corps scholarship only, the other a opportunity award and the president's endowed BUT waitlisted for a corps scholarship. It makes no sense.
  • AGmomx2AGmomx2 Registered User Posts: 1,130 Senior Member
    Don't be afraid to ask if you have a strong case. We asked, and eventually it worked out for us. Unlike Beaudreau, my kids got continuing scholarships, they were in the business school. Yes, continuing scholarships IMO are much more competitive than obtaining freshman ones. The reason is the entire student body competes vs. just those in your class - so for soph year you compete against soph, juniors & seniors. My oldest only got hers (two combined for the waiver) her senior year and my youngest got one each year. He also got an additional scholarship just before his freshman year - in July maybe? That was on top of his scholarships that had already qualified him for the waiver.

    Being short just that amount, I would call the department - they most likely have a smaller scholarship. I would also make an appointment with financial aid. Another alternative is there is an appeal process - you can try that as well- if neither of the above works. No guarantees on appeal, it is a pretty tough route to conquer although many people (including me when my D started) do not know about that option. I do know that they do not match dollar for dollar with other offers (we tried that).

    The prospective student centers are really geared towards instate students, I would make the trip to College Station if that is an option. You can have your student call the department vs. yourself, but either works for that sort of situation -- when you're talking OOS tuition, everyone knows the student is not going to be the one paying. Expressing interest directly if this is your #1 might just tip the scales. We did state that his attendance (highly recruited student out of HS) was going to be influenced by OOS waiver directly to the department in a face to face ourselves. To be honest, that tactic would not have worked for my oldest as you really need to be at the top of the pile and she did not have the same stats as my son, although she was also an academic admit. She did not get any offers from TAMU until her senior year - but outside scholarships every year. It's tough.

    Our dealings with financial aid office were less personal, honestly they are not that concerned about a single student unlike the contacts in a departmental program. I would ask if there are any additional scholarships for the amount you need or if they have distributed everything already. Of all the places I ever dealt with financial aid office is probably the coldest, least helpful spot on campus - just know everything on campus isn't like that office.
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