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does not applying for financial aid help at all?

wtfimsodumb1wtfimsodumb1 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
i know it is need blind, but does the fact that you are not applying for financial aid at all give any boost to the application?

Replies to: does not applying for financial aid help at all?

  • DunBoyerDunBoyer Registered User Posts: 279 Junior Member
    No. The aid office and admissions are in separate buildings, with separate staffs. The university freely admits it has a need-aware policy for international students, the admissions website says as much, and it's hard to see why admissions would be honest about that but mislead domestic applicants.

    The University also has a dozen subtler ways to make sure most students will be from the upper crust. Need blind means need blind.
  • 85bears4685bears46 Registered User Posts: 443 Member
    @DunBoyer Quoted: "The University also has a dozen subtler ways to make sure most students will be from the upper crust."

    Do you think so? Occasionally when I go to Reg, I find most of the college kids pretty normal looking. There are a lot of Apple MacBooks for sure but still I don't get the feeling that there are a lot of upper crust kids. They all seem pretty down to earth to me. Maybe sleep deprived, overwhelmed and miserable but that is par for the course for everyone at U of C by the 7th week ;).
  • kaukaunakaukauna Registered User Posts: 1,132 Senior Member
    Excellent post Dun...there is some real insight there.
  • DunBoyerDunBoyer Registered User Posts: 279 Junior Member
    edited December 2017
    Oops - posted the wrong link above. That link was to the Maroon's Class of 2020 survey (a fascinating read for a number of reasons).

    This (https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/grade-point/wp/2017/10/23/pell-grant-shares-at-top-ranked-colleges-a-sortable-chart/) is the WashPost article that includes numbers on Pell Grant recipients for the classes of 2019-2021.
  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 2,773 Senior Member
    @DunBoyer Talking to my DD over the break she tell me she hasn't met an unkind person at UChicago yet.....however she doesn't go to greek parties either.
  • 84stag84stag Registered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    Of course not applying for financial aid gives you a benefit. Anyone who claims otherwise is simply wrong.
  • DunBoyerDunBoyer Registered User Posts: 279 Junior Member
    edited January 2018
    Of course not applying for financial aid gives you a benefit. Anyone who claims otherwise is simply wrong.

    That's not what a need-blind admissions policy means. The decisions that give wealthy applicants a leg up are made long before financial aid enters the mix. There's point in sacrificing the only upside of being eligible for financial aid.
    The University of Chicago’s consideration of applications for admission is need-blind for citizens of the U.S. and Canada as well as U.S. permanent residents. This means that for these applicants, submitting an application for need-based financial aid will have no bearing on admission to the College.


    This is the kind of stuff all those alumni donations are there to fund.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 5,507 Senior Member
    edited January 2018
    They might be "need-blind" in that they don't see your FAFSA, CSS or UChicago fin. aid. worksheeet. But they are NOT "need-unaware". Admissions obviously knows who is willing to go full pay vs. not, as they offer to waive the application fee if you are applying for aid. What family of sufficient means is going to risk a potentially negative outcome just to save $75? While they probably also have more subtle ways of figuring out ability to pay, this one nails that question down definitively and with no effort on their part. Sure, they forego the revenue but that's small potatoes and the College can always make it up elsewhere. Anyway, they wouldn't offer this if the benefits didn't outweigh the revenue dip. Like their super-scoring policy, the application fee waiver seems very civilized and supportive - and no doubt it is - but it also gives them some pretty crucial information about you.

  • DunBoyerDunBoyer Registered User Posts: 279 Junior Member
    @JBStillFlying I would be very surprised if admissions sees who's waived applications fees. All other financial matters are handled by the Bursar or College Aid, so this would require that the College go out of its way to make that information available to Admissions. Which could work - until someone in the office writes a book or talks to the Maroon. And Admissions hires far too many students to ignore that possibility.
  • marlowe1marlowe1 Registered User Posts: 536 Member
    It may be, as Dun has argued, that the effect of EDs 1 and 2 is to create more applications from less need-sensitive students, but I highly doubt that the Admissions people as they assess the merits of actual applications will favor rich applicants. A really poor kid from a family without previous college graduates is surely likely to have an edge on a rich kid, all other things being equal. Of course it`s hard for all other things to be equal between kids of great social disparity. However, compelling stories come in many forms. One such compelling story could be that of a privileged kid who has done a multitude of marvellous things with the opportunities those privileges allowed. Chicago would be interested in such a kid. Another such story might be that of a kid from an impoverished family who has worked hard in school and out, without a big list of accomplishments but with an inner spark and a potential that Chicago wants to foster. Yet another kid may be middling in all departments except that there`s something special in the way he or she thinks or writes. Everything I read about the process suggests that it is an eclectic one, very driven by the overriding idea of finding the kind of kids who are right for a Chicago education, whatever the social background.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 5,507 Senior Member
    @DunBoyer - you could well be correct. But it's a checked box on the application supplement so someone would need to make sure that field wasn't included in the applicant files. Have no insight into what an admissions officer sees or how obvious each data field is in terms of info. Obviously stuff like GPA, ACT/SAT scores or essays are easily recognizable, but this is just one more field with a "yes" or "no" type of response. What is it asking? I suppose the inquisitive admissions worker might look into it . . or not.

    Also, this information isn't exactly a bombshell or a major scoop. Certainly, it's less subtle than profiling using other means but this is a difference in degree, not in kind. If they already know your high school, your home address, your parents' employment and education level (not to mention what schools they attended), your high school EC's and what you mention in your essays, then ticking the box doesn't really add new info. to your profile - it merely confirms it very quickly, thus allowing Admissions to be able to move on to more substantive issues like your actual qualifications.

    As for the Maroon staff, they are very likely a vast improvement over the days when they wrote the piece about winning "the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature" (yes, they did) but their investigative journalism skills in all things Nondorf seem to fall a bit short of the mark. They weren't able to get any info. on ED or EA admit rates, for instance and apparently there was no story in why Admissions was stalling the release of data for the Class of 2021. Parents on CC seem to know more about this stuff than the Maroon LOL!
  • mclmommclmom Registered User Posts: 198 Junior Member
    @DunBuyer if you look at the PDF that is created on CommonApp, which is what I understood is what Admissions sees, there is a question whether fee waiver was requested (with answer Yes or No). I do believe this could be in what Admissions sees. Still, I doubt they pay attention to that for admissions. They have so many other things to consider and will certainly end up with a mix of applicants who need financial aid and many who don't without gaming the system.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 5,507 Senior Member
    @mclmom at #13 - In addition to the CA question (shows up on page one of last year's PDF) there is also the question that shows up on Page 10 (which begins the "UChicago Member Page"). It's possible to leave the first one blank as that applies to ALL your colleges listed on the common app and might(?) require GC signature as well. The second one is just if you are applying for aid at UChicago.
  • International95International95 Registered User Posts: 1,612 Senior Member
    Merit is correlated to socioeconomic status. Obviously the richest kids have had time to accomplish great things in high school, while poorer ones had to take care of their siblings, work at McDonald's, etc. Probably the least subtle evaluation. Need-blind doesn't mean much...
This discussion has been closed.