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can you appeal fin aid awards?

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Replies to: can you appeal fin aid awards?

  • mrphysics101mrphysics101 Registered User Posts: 111 Junior Member
    @GoodNightNell,

    a 32 is not a bad score, it is equivalent to a 2160 on the SAT. the reason I thought I deserved the BK scholarship is because I know kids from my school last year who got scores lower than 2100 and got the scholarship. their other stats were similar to mine.
  • UVAUMDUVAUMD Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    I call BS on any "kids from your school" that got SAT scores lower than 2100 and and can spell BK much less got one.
  • notjoenotjoe Registered User Posts: 1,181 Senior Member
    mrphysics101,

    The median CR+M SAT for the Banneker/Key is 1500. Which would be 2250 on all three subtests (I don't think Maryland is interested in the W score). A 32 on the ACT is about equal to a 1420 or so on the CR+M. So, although a 32 is a good score, it's on the low side for a Banneker/Key scholarship.

    I don't know anything else about your grades or extracurriculars, but just based on your ACT, it's not surprising that you weren't offered one.

    That said, if you believe that the school doesn't completely understand your family's financial circumstances, and this is resulting in a lower award of financial aid, you should talk to the financial aid folks and tell them why things are worse than perhaps they appear on paper. As we've moved through this process, we've been advised by nearly every school in which my son showed interest - talk to us, the financial aid people, and tell us your particular circumstances. We'll at least listen.

    The worst they can do is say "no."
  • notjoenotjoe Registered User Posts: 1,181 Senior Member
    "a 32 is not a bad score, it is equivalent to a 2160 on the SAT."

    By the way, a 32 is equivalent to an SAT range of about 2110 - 2160, or a median score of about 2135.

    As for someone scoring under a 2100 and getting a Banneker/Key, that is a bit of a stretch. The median CR+M SAT just for the Honors College is something like 1410 or 1420. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but it would be rare, indeed.
  • maryversitymaryversity Registered User Posts: 1,982 Senior Member
    @mrphysics
    "the reason I thought I deserved the BK scholarship is because I know kids from my school last year who got scores lower than 2100 and got the scholarship. their other stats were similar to mine"

    There is more that goes into merit scholarship consideration than just test schools. From my understanding, test scores/stats only get you into the pile of applications to consider. At that point, they review your application essays and short answers. So, while you may have had "similar stats" you don't have all the facts to realistically compare yourself. The other students you refer to may have had much stronger essays. They may have had better letters of recommendation. They may have had a more impressive extracurricular resume. There are a lot of unknown variables that go into merit scholarship consideration.

    The fact is that you really should be proud of yourself not only for being accepted, but for being selected for Honors College and awarded a Dean's Scholarship. You clearly did impress them enough to be recognized with these distinctions. Maryland is far more competitive than you give it credit for, especially for the honors college distinction and merit scholarships.

    Honestly, it sounds like it would be worth it for you to take out some loans to go to an undergrad school that you will feel better about going to. If you are truly unhappy with the prospect of attending Maryland, you will not be as successful a student there as you would at a school that you feel is more suited to you.

    @notjoe
    "if you believe that the school doesn't completely understand your family's financial circumstances, and this is resulting in a lower award of financial aid, you should talk to the financial aid folks and tell them why things are worse than perhaps they appear on paper"

    This has nothing to do with financial aid awards. These scholarships are MERIT scholarships, which are entirely separate, and I believe they cannot be appealed. You are correct that FINANCIAL AID can be appealed at many schools, but remember that Maryland is a public institution and does not have the large endowment funds to draw from like private universities do.
  • SikorskySikorsky Registered User Posts: 5,851 Senior Member
    I just think that I should get a good deal from UMD because in case I can't afford any other school, or if I don't get accepted anywhere else, I can go to UMD in a worse case scenario.

    This is not usually a criterion for merit aid.

    It is also a really badly written sentence.
  • notjoenotjoe Registered User Posts: 1,181 Senior Member
    maryversity,

    "This has nothing to do with financial aid awards."

    Certainly it does, at least for mrphysics101 (and for most of the rest of us). In fact, that's the actual title of the thread: "can you appeal fin aid awards?"

    It's true that the poster is mixing and matching a bit - under a thread titled about financial aid, he's talking about merit scholarships. But the poster is trying to figure out how to afford college. The poster doesn't want to take out loans. The poster was counting on a large merit scholarship to make school affordable. He says so explicitly.

    I know that as my son goes through the process of selecting a college, we look at all sources of financing, whether loans, or financial aid grants, or work study, or outright merit grants, as all being components of the solution to the overriding problem: How the heck are we going to afford this thing??

    It seems this is how mrphysics101 is also thinking about it. He lists the schools to which he has applied, and many (most? all?) of them don't do much by way of merit scholarships. He will probably have to depend mostly or entirely on financial aid to these schools.

    But I think the poster doesn't believe that he will get enough financial aid to make these colleges affordable. He cites undisclosed family circumstances that, in his mind, suggest that the likely amounts of financial aid offered will be too modest to help.

    Thus, he's disappointed with the merit scholar given to him.

    I'm suggesting to him that he go back through the other door, that of financial aid. If the university doesn't give him what he considers an adequate financial aid package, he can take it up with these folks.

    As I said, that is the actual title of this thread, which is posed as the question, "can you appeal fin aid awards?"

    And the answer to that question is, well, you can certainly talk to the school about financial aid awards, and sometimes, they will make an adjustment to what they gave you.
  • FromMDFromMD Registered User Posts: 748 Member
    @notjoe - very articulate response. I bet you are a very patient parent. :)

    @mrphysics - please try to understand merit scholarships are not "entitlements." The money belongs to the school and, whether you (or I) agree or not, it's up to the school to give out anyway they feel appropriate. As notjoe pointed out, each family is struggling to figure out how they will pay for college so your situation is hardly unique. Try to remember it is individual responsibility to figure out/pay for your education. Don't think anybody "owes" you anthing in life because... they don't. It's a hard lesson but nevetheless it's a lesson that will guide you well in life.

    I suggest go talk with UMD if you think that's going to help. Keep arguing your case here won't help you move your agenda. I sincerely do wish you best of luck.
  • oceanicoleoceanicole Registered User Posts: 212 Junior Member
    @Mrphysics

    Actual financial (need-based) aid might come through for you; if your circumstances are as bad as you describe, that is likely to help you more than merit aid. Merit aid is just that - based on how well you did in high school. They DO NOT take financial status into account when giving these scholarships. Give it a couple weeks. I believe need-based aid for Maryland comes out around April 1, but I'm only about 10% sure on that so we will have to check.

    Hopkins meets 99% of need, Cornell meets 100%, Purdue meets 94%.
    Georgia Tech meets 67%, Maryland meets 64%.
    Collegeboard didn't have that statistic for Duke, U Penn, or Northwestern, so I'm not sure about them.

    Depending on your EFC (and if you get in), the ones with higher percentages of need met will be your best bets. Again, this depends if your EFC is lower than the cost of the schools. Keep in mind this is separate from merit aid, which is what you got from UMD.
  • isimarie620isimarie620 Registered User Posts: 207 Junior Member
    (Sorry if this was said by another in the mean time, I skipped over a bit to reply..)

    @mrphysics101: Okay, I can understand that. But I'm just saying that your words "I think I should get a good deal from UMD" are what make me a little...eh, I don't know, upset I guess? We all should get a good deal from our dream school. And like I said before, from what I've heard/read about/from you, you really don't relish the fact that you may end up at UMD, it just happens to be your backup to the rest of the schools you applied to. And that's okay, those schools are all pretty awesome and hard to get into, but what I'm saying is that I think the money that you think should go to you just in case you go to UMD should go to a student that has UMD as a #1, not a backup.
  • MdtoMdMdtoMd Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    @isimarie620

    Sounds good with me!! I got into to the Honors College but didnt recieve any merit aid, mrphysics can pass his money over to me because UMD is my #1 :)
  • mrphysics101mrphysics101 Registered User Posts: 111 Junior Member
    so this is what I will do. I will wait to hear back from my other colleges, and if I don't get accepted anywhere else, then I will call up and try to appeal.
  • astrophysicsmomastrophysicsmom Registered User Posts: 4,326 Senior Member
    Good luck. I hope you end up somewhere where you're happy.
  • mrphysics101mrphysics101 Registered User Posts: 111 Junior Member
    Thanks. just wanted to let you guys know that I will come back in two weeks and let you guys know what is going on. Good luck to all those who are waiting to hear decisions!
  • maryversitymaryversity Registered User Posts: 1,982 Senior Member
    I apologize for my failure to communicate clearly. Despite notjoe's inference that I am not like everyone else in trying to figure out how to pay for college, I am also struggling with financial issues.

    What I was trying to say, albeit poorly, is that unlike merit scholarships which do not have to be paid back (which you specifically cited -- Dean's and President's), financial packages (which are not out yet) are entirely different (because they can include loans -- some subsidized, some not -- and oceanicole did a great job of delineating which schools have a higher rate of meeting unmet need). So, I was responding to the content of your opening post rather than the title of the thread.

    I was also attempting, again not very well, to respond to your comment, "I don't mind taking loans for graduate school, but in my mind, it is not worth taking loans at the undergraduate level no matter what the school is." That phrasing gave me the impression that you wanted zero loans, so that is why I made the comment about loans. I was trying to say that you might want re-think that as an absolute, blanket statement because, unfortunately, there are very few "free rides," even for the most academically talented students -- regardless of personal circumstances.

    My feeling is that IF you have to take out "some" loans anyway (based on financial aid package "awards"), you should look at the larger picture of where you will be happiest. If it means taking out a loan that's a *little* bit more than what you would be "awarded" in a financial aid package from UMD, I think it would be worth it to go to a school that you feel is a better "fit."

    I believe you are thinking about the larger picture of total loans due after med school and you don't want to take on any more than you have to at this juncture. Let's face it, med school is very, very expensive - not only because you are taking out huge loans, but also because it means that many less years that you will have an income to pay off the loans. So, you are starting behind one huge eight ball. I get it.

    Keeping that in mind, the only way you are going to get into med school is by doing well in undergrad. IMHO, the only way you are going to get the most of your undergrad education is if you are happy (so you will be motivated to push through the inevitable rough patches). So, if it means taking out an extra few thousand in loans to be happy and feel confident about your education, it's worth considering (even though UMDCP is an excellent school, I do get the sentiment of not wanting to go to your IS school).

    So, having said all that, remember that it's not where you go to school, but what you do once you get there that counts. You've obviously done well in school so far, so keep up the good work. I will keep my fingers crossed for you and wish you all the best. I hope you have good news to report in a few weeks!

    Peace everyone!
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