ICYMI Paying For College Discussions: 12/15 – 12/31
Dilemma of Daughter Accepted Early Decision But With No Financial Aid:
One mom of a senior in high school fears she made a “huge financial mistake because she ‘assumed’ her daughter would get Merit Aid from her top choice school if she was accepted Early Decision.”
The good news: the daughter was accepted to her 1stchoice school. The bad news: no aid of any kind.
In the numerous comments to this post, parents emphasized that an ED agreement is binding, unless the family can demonstrate that their financial need was not met.
Commenters also pointed out that while few highly competitive colleges and universities offer merit aid, they do provide financial aid based on need. Did the mom who posted submit FAFSA and CSS, a commenter asked? If she hasn’t yet, do so asap.
And good advice, as one parent suggested, “you should never apply ED to a school unless you are willing to pay the full sticker price because this is exactly what can happen.”
Parents might want to learn more about this mom’s dilemma. Read about it here.
And on a similar note for parents of high school seniors: A mom wonders if her daughter has applied to the “wrong schools?”
A mother’s question provoked a very lively conversation among commenting parents. While the poster’s family did not qualify for need-based aid, the daughter was accepted to two private colleges with “nice” scholarships, but still the yearly costs will be more than $30,000. “I’m convinced she must be looking at the wrong schools,” the mom says.
Not necessarily, said parents in an info-packed string of 375 (and counting) comments!
If the daughter has received scholarships to cover 1/3 to 1/2 of the tuition at private colleges, she brought the costs way down already. But the reason she didn’t receive more merit aid?
Commenters suggested that perhaps the daughter didn’t target colleges that offer merit aid to attract top students; colleges where her test scores would have put her in the top 25% of accepted students. Other parents explained the differences between a “full ride” and a “full tuition” scholarship and what to realistically expect in out-of-pocket costs.
Lots of helpful information in this conversation.Read about it here
Student Loans: How do you explain a “potential $80K Debt Burden to a 17 year old?”
294 commenters responded to one dad’s lament about his unsuccessful attempt to explain to his son the huge financial struggles for years that would result from taking out pricy college loans. Many parents shared their tips for difficult-but-necessary financial conversations to have with your son or daughter, ideas for books to read, charts to make, scholarships to apply for and the impact on parents of co-signing loans.
Join this illuminating, if sobering, conversation, here.
Deferred in Early Action: What are the chances of acceptance in the regular round of decisions if your child has been deferred in early action?
A California mom says her daughter is now feeling “very uncertain and scared about the process” now that she’s been deferred in the Early Action round at Boston College. Commenters shared their thoughts on having their students deferred and then being denied – or admitted in regular decision.
If you find your child is in a similar place, join in the conversation here.
Average Kids Waiting on Acceptances from State Schools
A proud mom in New Hampshire of an average student asks if she’s the “only one with a teenager that is still trying to figure out his life and his future?”
Turns out she isn’t alone – according to the huge number of positive comments her post received. Many parents on Paying for College 101 shared their stories of teens with average academic records who are happily looking forward to going to a regional branch of their state university or a smaller state college to explore future career paths.
Looking at you, parents of juniors. If you are starting to research colleges, listen to one New Jersey mom who worries that there are too many “reach” schools on her future-biology-major son’s list.
Finding reach schools is all too easy. Creating a balanced list of colleges is hard. Parents commenting weighed in on not-as-selective colleges, evaluating future career goals with a biology major, size of schools and how to use the Common Data Set.
An Indiana mom recently toured the University of Chicago with her high school junior son. Beautiful campus, top academics, high tuition, low admission rate – but – is it really true that UChicago is “where fun goes to die”?
Current parents of UChicago students commented that its curriculum is rigorous, its winters cold and its financial aid generous. Could it be a good fit for your high school junior?
This string of comments also gives a helpful intro lesson for parents of high school juniors on acronyms-you’ll-need-to-know like “NPC”, “EFC”, “FAFSA” and “CSS.”
Have no fear, parents, the mission of Paying for College 101 is to educate and demystify the admission and aid process for you!
Take a look through the comments here, even if UChicago may not be on your student’s list, to see how parents of juniors like you are researching colleges:
That’s it for now; stay tuned for our next edition of ICYMI coming in mid-January.
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