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Pitt officially is moving away from pure merit

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Replies to: Pitt officially is moving away from pure merit

  • ShrimpBurritoShrimpBurrito 1714 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Seems to be the trend these days.

    I’m eager to see the merit awards for this year. Will this be a sudden change, or a gradual phase out?
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 921 replies9 threads Member
    It’s also aggravating to see the lack of state funding argument when Pitt is sitting on. $4+ Billion endowment. More about AUM and management fees than education. Higher Ed is big business.
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  • carachel2carachel2 3051 replies25 threads Senior Member
    For those who have already applied, did Pitt make it clear that FAFSA had to be filed for consideration of merit?
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  • ShrimpBurritoShrimpBurrito 1714 replies27 threads Senior Member
    No @carachel2, but I could have missed it.
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  • bsms2018bsms2018 123 replies5 threads Junior Member
    It is so sad if it is true
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  • bsms2018bsms2018 123 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @kitzncatz, my personal opinion is that we have to abolish the need based aid in every school and distribute all the available money purely based on merit. All the parents pay the proportionate percentage of tax on their income. Beyond that all the kids have to be treated same. I do not agree with the concept that the kids from poor family have to get full ride even though their parents make no contribution in tax where as the kids from middle, upper class families take out loans in addition to the tax they pay which is being used to fund the education of poor families. It is unfair.

    No matter what the economic background of their families poor/middle/upper class, all the kids from the same class have the same potential to earn the same salary if they put in the work. It is not that the kids from poor families will work for free because they had free education. Then why we expect/force only the kids from middle and upper class families to go for the loan? Parents’ affordability should not be a factor because they already paid the appropriate tax on their income. We should not punish them because they work hard and be responsible. The cost of a burger has to the same for everyone, right? It should not be $10 for one person and $100 for another simply because he can afford to pay it.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 6093 replies97 threads Senior Member
    kidzncatz wrote: »
    @bsms2018 Not so sad for the many low to modest income instate families (including ours) who haven't even been able to consider Pitt because of the COA. The Pell Grant match is a step in the right direction, but even the combination of full Pell, Pell match, and full state grants doesn't cover tuition at Pitt, let alone room and board and books. And for the more expensive majors, e.g., nursing, there is an even larger gap.

    Good news for the 5000 families noted in the article, but they still won't meet full need for most families. This policy change will likely hurt strong students from middle class families who can't afford their EFCs, no way to know how many families that is, but probably not insignificant.
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 1144 replies9 threads Senior Member
    Sorry middle class! So she’s been interested in the question “why merit aid”? Seriously? Guess she doesn’t comprehend that so many middle class students work diligently for merit aid so that they can afford college.
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  • NOVA2024NOVA2024 70 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I agree. My senior attends a top public STEM magnet in VA. Pitt has been aggressively recruiting there because it’s a deep talent pool— over 100 NMSFs, Average SAT > 1500, etc. and— then accept nearly every applicant, get the price down to VT in state with merit aid and usually offering Honors College. And they are getting more kids from this HS every year, with great words of moth about Pitt. Many kids use Pitt as their safety, really like it, get a decent merit scholarship and honors college and attend.

    As word of this new policy has hit the school this week, there are a lot of pissed off, upset and confused parents, kids and counselors, because Pitt isn’t affordable OOS at $45,000/year for donut hole families. And Pitt Had a huge failure to communicate. Even the Rep on here has gone silent.

    They did not let the parents, kids and counselors know that their safety is no longer a financial safety, so the counselors have been hyping it as such. Most kids already applied, have been accepted and were going to forgo VT EA while they waited for Pitt merit packages. And now they are like— surprise! It will cost 20k more a year than it did for a kids with your exact stars last year.

    So now, there are kids not applying to Pitt who had planned to use Pitt as their safety. And many kids who had applied running to make a new “safety” plan. Last year, more kids applied to Pitt and more kids attended Pitt than VT because Pitt made it financially possible.

    I would expect a huge drop in Pitt apples next year after they handled this so badly. As it should be. But this years seniors are scrambling.

    Now, most of the kids I know are struggling to get the VT App (or VCU for GAP med)— in for EA, when they had Not planned to apply VT at all. And it’s crazy, because VT is coalition only, so separate major essay.

    Now that the kids know they aren’t waiting for merit and can’t afford to attend are planning on turning down Pitt as soon as they have another EA acceptance.

    I know UMC kids aren’t as sympathetic. But these kids worked hard and many wanted Pitt. And being in the donut hole is tough too. I’m pissed that Pitt wasn’t upfront with this info at application time. Instead, they want until kids get accepted, get excited, and then say— Oh, BTW— you can’t afford to attend after we spend years reassuring you that kids from your HS who wanted to come would be able to.

    It’s hard to see sending my kid to a college playing games like this with paying for it.

    Not cool.
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  • ShrimpBurritoShrimpBurrito 1714 replies27 threads Senior Member
    It’s not clear that major changes to the merit structure will be made this application cycle, though, correct?
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  • me29034me29034 2289 replies119 threads Senior Member
    Yes there will be winners and losers.

    There will be less applications from high stats kids who were expecting merit and using the school for a safety. I’ve always wondered what the yield is on those kids.

    Conversely there will be more applications from lower income kids who thought that Pitt was out of reach financially. It’s hard to say what the net will be. Obviously the school thinks it will be positive or they wouldn’t have made the move.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 6093 replies97 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    Obviously the school thinks it will be positive or they wouldn’t have made the move.

    The skeptic in me says the net positive is for Pitt, not necessarily for students/families..... the positive being getting more low income students to enroll, which will help boost their rankings, as % Pell is now part of USNWR methodology.

    High stat, low SES kids should still also apply to meet full need schools, as those schools will probably cost less than Pitt, even after these changes.
    edited October 2019
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  • STEM2017STEM2017 4122 replies98 threads Senior Member
    Generous merit awards are always temporary.

    Like a shot of adrenaline, schools use them to boost their enrollment of high stats kids, hoping this move will vault them into the upper echelons of colleges. Unfortunately, the awards are unsustainable because they're just unaffordable...especially for public schools.

    The Pitt merit awards were fantastic while they lasted, but they couldn't possibly last forever.

    I agree with @Mwfan1921 that Pell kids are more valuable than high stat kids in the Great Rankings Race.
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  • FindAGdWayFindAGdWay 9 replies0 threads New Member
    "The university is providing funds to “bring students back from that cliff” ". At the same time, some (mostly middle class) hard working students will be pushed to or off the cliff. Time will tell whether the final gain for Pitt is negative or positive. Not looking good though.
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  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 4110 replies28 threads Senior Member
    The net may very well be positive as only Pitt knows how many students given merit aid actually attended. The payoff may not have been as great as some assume.
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  • ShrimpBurritoShrimpBurrito 1714 replies27 threads Senior Member
    @hailtopitt1787 Can you clear some of this up? Will Pitt still offer merit awards this application cycle? Will Pitt stop offering merit money altogether? When?
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