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Freshman year may be the most affordable and aid may change

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This article by US News highlights this as a very real possibility and something to take into consideration when comparing financial aid offers.   http://news.yahoo.com/10-colleges-where-upperclassmen-less-financial-help-123000424.html

 

When looking at the numbers of the total amount of aid received, it's important to understand that the amount is actually considerably less for upper-class students than the numbers listed in this chart as the average of all students includes the higher amounts for the freshmen students.  Some of the difference can be attributed to a small number of transfer students and some to higher incomes for some students, but the overall trend should be considered as a warning of what may happen. 

 

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Yes, I've heard this type of thing from friends.  In addition, sometimes the freshman has local scholarships that help with the first year that of course go away after that.  Even the $500 ones from local organizations help, but then?

 

They want to get you there and emotionally committed.

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Yeah, it is really important to find out if the money is guaranteed for 4 years. All of ds's scholarships are for all 4-years, as long as a certain GPA is maintained.

 

Our state "lottery" scholarship has recently changed the yearly amounts so that the student actually receives LESS in the freshman and sophomore years ($3500/yr), and MORE in the junior and senior years ($4500/yr).

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This was how it was when I was choosing a college 20-some years ago. My top choice was offering more aid the first two years, so I went with the full ride at my second choice instead (in hindsight, the couple thousand for two years would have been worth it in the long run, but my parents were running the show.)

 

We are paying less for dd's second year, but she chose a school which meets full financial need.  I'm really hoping the other two have that chance, because worrying year to year about what we need to come up with would have had me a wreck.

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I noticed one I was looking for on the list wasn't listed.  The stats needed aren't included in their common data set, but I found the info elsewhere.  They would rank high on the top 10 list if included.  So don't assume that a college not making the list is okay.  It's great to know the financial stats for prospective schools.

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It wouldn't surprise me if their statement about a good part of it being transfer students is true.  We all talk about that on here. It's talked about on College Confidential.  The numbers of students might be small, but factor in that many 0s and stats can come down a bit.  

 

"And if the source of the difference in aid met is transfer students, "it sounds like what they're admitting is that they give transfer students less money than those who started there," says Ben Miller, senior director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank."

 

With URoc, the actual difference is 3K per year.  That's not a whole lot for any one person making me think one transfer student with no aid can offset many others who keep theirs.  I know our aid has stuck around our EFC (our EFC varies since our annual income varies).  I don't know for sure what happens with others, of course.

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Yes, such limited statistics truly don't explain the details of how a particular school handles things, but it's good if it makes people ask the right questions.  Just to show how complicated it can get...

 

My first college (a private LAC) gave me a good 4-year scholarship, but raised tuition significantly every year.  I had several scholarships the first year from other places that were for only one year.  By halfway through my second year my parents had decided to stop paying for college but said they'd still claim me as a dependent on their taxes, and I had decided to change majors to something that didn't work there.

 

The second college gave me a small transfer scholarship and work study, but it was affordable with in-state tuition.  During my first semester there I shared with my advisor that I was putting myself through college, and he helped me apply for additional scholarships.  By the second semester I had scholarships that were nearly covering my tuition with one that payed a bonus if I got a 3.5 that would pay for the next semester's books.  I was able to graduate debt-free.

 

My oldest graduated this May and chose to go to the local community college because it has a great honors program and good transfer agreements. He got a generous merit scholarship. All of their scholarships are for only one year..  He will have to reapply in March for the next year and may or may not get the same scholarship. They have no transfer scholarships, just scholarships.

 

There are transfer scholarships at the school we're looking at, but a faculty member there gave me a list of other transfer scholarships from professional associations and local companies that require that you apply directly with them.  None of those would appear in the college aid statistics.  The faculty sponsor of the community college honor society also told me about a local transfer scholarship as well as the national transfer scholarships available from that organization.  None of those would appear either on the college statistics.

 

Oh the joy of college finances!

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Just pointing out that this article touches on need-based aid/grants, not scholarships (merit aid).

 

" The schools on the list below reported the largest drop in the percentage of demonstrated need met between first-year, full-time students and all full-time undergraduates."

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Just pointing out that this article touches on need-based aid/grants, not scholarships (merit aid).

 

" The schools on the list below reported the largest drop in the percentage of demonstrated need met between first-year, full-time students and all full-time undergraduates."

 

Yes, need-based is indeed different.  The games goes on though.  Not as bad as dealing with medical bills in terms of the frustrations and details, but it comes close.

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Yes, need-based is indeed different.  The games goes on though.  Not as bad as dealing with medical bills in terms of the frustrations and details, but it comes close.

 

Medical anything, not just bills.

 

I'll deal with college stuff any day over medical frustrations of all sorts.  The two aren't even on the same scale.

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It wouldn't surprise me if their statement about a good part of it being transfer students is true.  We all talk about that on here. It's talked about on College Confidential.  The numbers of students might be small, but factor in that many 0s and stats can come down a bit.  

 

"And if the source of the difference in aid met is transfer students, "it sounds like what they're admitting is that they give transfer students less money than those who started there," says Ben Miller, senior director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank."

 

With URoc, the actual difference is 3K per year.  That's not a whole lot for any one person making me think one transfer student with no aid can offset many others who keep theirs.  I know our aid has stuck around our EFC (our EFC varies since our annual income varies).  I don't know for sure what happens with others, of course.

 

I checked out two schools dd got into on College Data. Smith's difference in gift aid was listed at about $1,000 and CWRU's under $2,500. Then, I decided to look up Harvard because of their great need-based aid. The difference between all undergrads vs first-year students for gift aid was about $2,500--with all undergrads getting less. At each of these schools, the % of students who qualified for need-based aid when looking at all undergrads vs Freshmen was about 20% less for all undergrads. In addition to transfer students, all undergrads could include students who take more than four years to graduate, and isn't merit/grant aid usually limited to eight semesters?

 

We asked colleges my daughter was considering this year how any need-based grants would change after the first year or with income changes. The colleges we asked were upfront about what we could expect. I do think most colleges will increase loans after Freshman year because students are eligible for higher amounts of federal loans. We also considered GPA requirements for merit aid. At most colleges, tuition goes up but merit awards usually don't. Grants may increase, but I think oftentimes the increased loan amounts partially cover those tuition hikes. Yet another thing to consider. 

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There may also be different GPA requirements.  Our local state university requires that they keep a 3.9 which may be hard if they are taking honors, pre-med, or other challenging classes. The college dd finally picked only requires that they be "in good standing," which can even be a 2.0!!!

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I know the scholarships my kids got at UTD are renewable for a total of 8 semesters as long as the students take at least 15 hours/semester and maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA. They do allow students to request an exemption from the 15 hour requirement, which my middle dd did her first semester to take 14 hours instead. And if a student doesn't make 3.0 one semester, they do allow the student one additional semester to work on bringing the GPA back up. And UTD freezes the tuition when you start, so the tuition will not increase while you remain a student.

 

I don't have any idea what happens with need-based aid though.

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The way I calculate the average difference between the need based financial aid awarded for the freshmen vs upperclass is by taking the average for all undergraduate students and multiplying it by four (to include freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors) and subtracting the average amount awarded for freshmen and then dividing by three.  This will give the rough average amount per year for sophomores, juniors and seniors.  The difference is then greater than just subtracting the two numbers listed on the common data set.

 

For example, Case Western's 2014-2015 common data lists average freshman need based aid as $29,986 and for all undergrad students as $26,983.  Multiplying the 26K x 4 I get $107,852 and when I subtract the freshmen average of $29,986, I get $77,866.  This is the average for the So, Jr and Sr and dividing by 3 I get $25,955.  So the actual difference is $29,986 - $25,955 which is $4031.

 

Doing the same calculations for Harvard using 2013-2014 numbers ($43,943 freshmen, $41,975 all four class years) I get a difference of $2624. But all of this is just averages and lots of things can affect the numbers listed.  We would need a lot more information to get what we really want to know and I can't even imagine what the algorithm for that would look like. 

 

Yes, this is only need-based financial aid so it may or may not apply for individual students.  It's just one piece of information to consider when comparing schools and determining affordability.

 

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For the University of Rochester, the actual difference in the average amount of need-based aid between freshmen and So/Jr/Sr is $4426, but what put it on the top ten list is the large difference in the percent of students who receive need-based financial aid - 97% of freshmen vs 82% for all classes.  That means that the average percent receiving need based aid for So/Jr/Sr is somewhere near 76.8%.  IMO that's a huge difference and likely affects the higher income students more than the lower income students as far as qualifying for any need based aid after the first year.  The difference in the amount of aid awarded may affect the lower income more as any loss of financial aid may be harder to cover in other ways - additional loans, through savings, etc..

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For the University of Rochester, the actual difference in the average amount of need-based aid between freshmen and So/Jr/Sr is $4426, but what put it on the top ten list is the large difference in the percent of students who receive need-based financial aid - 97% of freshmen vs 82% for all classes.  That means that the average percent receiving need based aid for So/Jr/Sr is somewhere near 76.8%.  IMO that's a huge difference and likely affects the higher income students more than the lower income students as far as qualifying for any need based aid after the first year.  The difference in the amount of aid awarded may affect the lower income more as any loss of financial aid may be harder to cover in other ways - additional loans, through savings, etc..

 

But when I go to College Data and look at Harvard, for example, I see that 86.4% of first-year students were found to have financial need but with all undergrads 58.1% were found to have financial need. For Rochester, on College Data, I see that 75.6 percent of first-year applicants were found to have financial need and that 51.4% of all undergrads had financial need. About 24% fewer qualify at Rochester and about 27% fewer at Harvard.  

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But when I go to College Data and look at Harvard, for example, I see that 86.4% of first-year students were found to have financial need but with all undergrads 58.1% were found to have financial need. For Rochester, on College Data, I see that 75.6 percent of first-year applicants were found to have financial need and that 51.4% of all undergrads had financial need. About 24% fewer qualify at Rochester and about 27% fewer at Harvard.  

 

And calculating my way - multiplying the all over rate by 4, subtracting the freshman rate and dividing by 3, I get a difference of 37.7 at Harvard and at UR a difference of 43.3%.   As Harvard meets 100% of need for all students, has a high retention rate so takes in few transfer students, I'm wondering what makes the difference.  Maybe families plan financially for college in such a way as to have a low reportable income for the first year?  Or maybe their income just increases enough the following year to put them over the $180K/yr or so threshold.

 

I think it's hard to compare the percent of students who qualify for aid as some schools may naturally attract more full pay students than others.  But the difference from freshmen to upper-class is interesting.  Maybe an older sibling is in college when they begin and in subsequent years the sibling has graduated so the aid is reduced.  These possibilities exist for the variation at all schools.  Would be interesting to have more info and a good statistician to sort it all out!  In general though, I'd worry less at schools which meet 100% need than at schools which do not.  

 

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I figured Freshman year would be the cheapest because of scholarships that may drop off in the second year AND because tuition keeps rising every year. It makes college financial planning very difficult, indeed.  :glare:

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For the University of Rochester, the actual difference in the average amount of need-based aid between freshmen and So/Jr/Sr is $4426, but what put it on the top ten list is the large difference in the percent of students who receive need-based financial aid - 97% of freshmen vs 82% for all classes.  That means that the average percent receiving need based aid for So/Jr/Sr is somewhere near 76.8%.  IMO that's a huge difference and likely affects the higher income students more than the lower income students as far as qualifying for any need based aid after the first year.  The difference in the amount of aid awarded may affect the lower income more as any loss of financial aid may be harder to cover in other ways - additional loans, through savings, etc..

 

Looking at the number of transfer students - or rather - percentage - it looks like roughly 10%.  I assume all of those 10% are in > Freshman year, so would come under that data, none (or very few) in Freshman year.

 

Then I wonder how many stay extra semesters and how much need is cut then.  My guy will be staying a 5th year, but that year is tuition free (for him - Take 5 Program) and he plans to continue being an RA, so his room will be free.  We won't get any aid that year (all we'll be paying for is a dining plan and fees), but our Fafsa (CSS Profile) won't actually change much.  Just how it's all getting funded will change.  How will that fit in the data and how does it fit in with current Take 5 students?

 

There are a lot of variables IMO.

 

Anecdotally, all I can say is they've stuck very close to our EFC so far including adjusting it upon appeal in our favor when we had our one-time land sale from our retirement holdings.  Our income has gone up since my guy started (end of economic downturn) so we are paying more, but still about the same amount as the EFC says we should.

 

Youngest son's school has gone higher than our EFC and increased our amount by 4K this year - more than I think it should have gone up, but I'd have to recheck numbers.  We've yet to get final numbers for next year (senior year) from URoc.  Time will tell.

 

It's entirely possible schools keep it terrific for students they really want to keep.  Middle son is doing very well at URoc and his accomplishments are (brag) newsworthy for the school.  (He's been in news they've sent out.)  Youngest son is pretty average at Eckerd so far, so could be getting their average financial aid.

 

That last bit is just musing, of course - totally true with how my kids are doing within their schools, but musing on whether that affects any financial aid they are getting.

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And calculating my way - multiplying the all over rate by 4, subtracting the freshman rate and dividing by 3, I get a difference of 37.7 at Harvard and at UR a difference of 43.3%.   As Harvard meets 100% of need for all students, has a high retention rate so takes in few transfer students, I'm wondering what makes the difference.  Maybe families plan financially for college in such a way as to have a low reportable income for the first year?  Or maybe their income just increases enough the following year to put them over the $180K/yr or so threshold.

 

I think it's hard to compare the percent of students who qualify for aid as some schools may naturally attract more full pay students than others.  But the difference from freshmen to upper-class is interesting.  Maybe an older sibling is in college when they begin and in subsequent years the sibling has graduated so the aid is reduced.  These possibilities exist for the variation at all schools.  Would be interesting to have more info and a good statistician to sort it all out!  In general though, I'd worry less at schools which meet 100% need than at schools which do not.  

 

 

As to the bolded, I actually wasn't comparing the percentage of students who applied for or qualified for aid initially from one school to another. I was only looking at drops in the percentage of upperclassman who qualified vs Freshmen and noticed double digit drops at most schools I looked at on College Data. You had mentioned in post 17 that the drop in % of first-years vs all undergrads qualifying for aid was what put Rochester on the list in the linked article, but I don't understand why that would be the determining factor as it seems even schools with great financial aid have big drops. Another factor that could come into play with fewer upperclassmen qualifying for need-based aid is that college students often earn more money than they did in high school. This could impact qualifying for aid. 

 

I agree some schools will attract more full-pay. However, many schools are not need-blind even though they are need-met, so there may be more full-pay due to the fact that the college is accepting fewer students who have financial need. At Grinnell, which is need-blind and need-met, 83.7% applied for aid and 88.4% were found to have need. For all undergrads, 76.9% applied and 71.5% had need. The need-based gift aid at Grinnell went down by about $1,000 for all undergrads compared to Freshmen. At Oberlin, which is not need-blind but does meet need, 63.7% of Freshmen applied for need-based aid. Of those, 82.9% had need. 59.7% of all undergrads applied for aid, and 49.3% were found to have need. The difference in need-based gift aid was a little over $2,000. 

 

The numbers to look at are what the article suggests: need-met for Freshmen vs all undergrads because the other numbers don't seem to reveal much with regard to front-loading IMO. But it seems even this number can be impacted by things other than front-loading. The point is to be aware front-loading can occur and look into it before making a final college decision.

 

I also noticed on College Data that the U of Rochester meets 100% of demonstrated need for first-years and 98% for all undergrads. I'm not sure why the data listed in the linked article is different?

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I also noticed on College Data that the U of Rochester meets 100% of demonstrated need for first-years and 98% for all undergrads. I'm not sure why the data listed in the linked article is different?

 

This really makes me wonder where everyone is getting their numbers from.  I can only report on us.  That's a pretty small data point and uses a higher than average individual academically at the school, so if it skews anything, that data point could be limited.

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Transfers would affect the numbers as would someone taking advantage of the Take 5 year if they were previously receiving financial aid.  So many things can affect the numbers.  I also think it's interesting that the top ten was determined by using the percentage of students receiving need-based aid rather than the amount of need-based aid received.  I'm sure that UR is nowhere near the top ten if the difference in the average amount of need-based aid is considered instead of the percent of students who receive it.  I also think that you're right that schools may be more inclined to give better financial support to the students they want to keep, but it shouldn't factor into schools which meet 100% of need.

 

As far as merit based aid, the line H2A (n) may provide helpful information as it gives the number of students who received non-need based aid (excluding athletic awards and tuition benefits) for the freshmen years and for all years combined.  I'd use this as a very rough idea of how hard it may be to achieve the GPA needed to maintain the scholarship.  As with all of this, individual results will vary.

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This really makes me wonder where everyone is getting their numbers from.  I can only report on us.  That's a pretty small data point and uses a higher than average individual academically at the school, so if it skews anything, that data point could be limited.

 

College Data and any other sites can have inaccurate info, especially those which rely on students self-reporting.  But some colleges don't make it easy to find their college data set.  I found UR's through a link on another site.  The CDS should have the most accurate information.

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As to the bolded, I actually wasn't comparing the percentage of students who applied for or qualified for aid initially from one school to another. I was only looking at drops in the percentage of upperclassman who qualified vs Freshmen and noticed double digit drops at most schools I looked at on College Data. You had mentioned in post 17 that the drop in % of first-years vs all undergrads qualifying for aid was what put Rochester on the list in the linked article, but I don't understand why that would be the determining factor as it seems even schools with great financial aid have big drops. Another factor that could come into play with fewer upperclassmen qualifying for need-based aid is that college students often earn more money than they did in high school. This could impact qualifying for aid. 

 

I agree some schools will attract more full-pay. However, many schools are not need-blind even though they are need-met, so there may be more full-pay due to the fact that the college is accepting fewer students who have financial need. At Grinnell, which is need-blind and need-met, 83.7% applied for aid and 88.4% were found to have need. For all undergrads, 76.9% applied and 71.5% had need. The need-based gift aid at Grinnell went down by about $1,000 for all undergrads compared to Freshmen. At Oberlin, which is not need-blind but does meet need, 63.7% of Freshmen applied for need-based aid. Of those, 82.9% had need. 59.7% of all undergrads applied for aid, and 49.3% were found to have need. The difference in need-based gift aid was a little over $2,000. 

 

The numbers to look at are what the article suggests: need-met for Freshmen vs all undergrads because the other numbers don't seem to reveal much with regard to front-loading IMO. But it seems even this number can be impacted by things other than front-loading. The point is to be aware front-loading can occur and look into it before making a final college decision.

 

I also noticed on College Data that the U of Rochester meets 100% of demonstrated need for first-years and 98% for all undergrads. I'm not sure why the data listed in the linked article is different?

 

As Creekland mentioned, I think the problem is the source of your info.  It's important to look at the CDS - Common Data Set.  Each schools should follow the same format and it's easy to compare as you look in the same place within the form for the same info.  If UR should choose to offer 100% need, if they are financially able, I think they would climb tremendously in the rankings.  I'm sure many top students are not able to attend due to finances.

 

When looking at the CDS for Oberlin, 100% of need was met for freshmen and for all students.  The amount of need-based aid received on average was $32,992 for freshmen and $32,317 for all classes.   My calculations show an average difference of $900.  I'm guessing that this small amount of difference is likely attributed to rising incomes for the families and/or students.

 

For Grinnell, 100% of need was met for all students as well and the average need-based aid received (2013-2014) for freshmen was $36,762 and for all students was $35,701.  My calculations show a difference of $1414.  Not a huge difference IMO, but I do think that many which meet a high percentage of aid and are not need-blind do tend to admit fewer students who need a high amount of aid.

 

 

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College Data and any other sites can have inaccurate info, especially those which rely on students self-reporting.  But some colleges don't make it easy to find their college data set.  I found UR's through a link on another site.  The CDS should have the most accurate information.

 

I agree the best place to look is the common data set. However, I compared College Data with the common data set for a few colleges for 2013-2014 and it matched exactly--CD's site seems to have the 2013-2014 info on it still. I thought those numbers on College Data were pulled from the common data set but maybe not. 

 

Teachin'Mine, Could you share the link to the U of Rochester's Common Data Set? I'd be curious to see those numbers. Thanks! 

 

ETA: I think we were posting at the same time. Are you looking at the CDS for 2014-2105 or 2013-2014? As well, I was looking at gift aid only. Okay, looking at the Oberlin CDS for 2013-2014, $33, 248 was the average need-based gift for Freshmen and for all undergrads it was $31,071. As I said, it was about $2,000 difference. You are looking at the total aid package I believe. That's not what I was looking at, and the numbers do seem to match College Data exactly.

 

And also, on the University of Rochester's financial aid page, it states that the university is committed to meeting full demonstrated need of all students: 

 

"The University of Rochester is committed to meeting the full demonstrated need of all admitted students. We achieve this through the use of scholarships, grants, loans, and work opportunities. While every student’s financial aid package is different, the following are some of the most common financial aid programs. Amounts will vary based on each individual student’s demonstrated need."

http://enrollment.rochester.edu/financial-aid/undergrads/#tab4

 

 

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I agree the best place to look is the common data set. However, I compared College Data with the common data set for a few colleges for 2013-2014 and it matched exactly--CD's site seems to have the 2013-2014 info on it still. I thought those numbers on College Data were pulled from the common data set but maybe not. 

 

Teachin'Mine, Could you share the link to the U of Rochester's Common Data Set? I'd be curious to see those numbers. Thanks! 

 

ETA: I think we were posting at the same time. Are you looking at the CDS for 2014-2105 or 2013-2014? As well, I was looking at gift aid only I think. Okay, looking at the Oberlin CDS for 2013-2014, $33, 248 was the average need-based gift for Freshmen and for all undergrads it was $31,071. As I said, it was about $2,000 difference. You are looking at the total aid package. That's not what I was looking at, and the numbers do seem to match College Data exactly.

 

I can't find UR's Common Data Set specifically.  In another site's link, I found a link to some info on fact book.  The numbers I used were from the original article I linked.  I had thought that all colleges needed to provide the CDS info, but for some schools it's hard (impossible?) to find. 

 

Creekland do you have a link to UR's CDS?

 

For Oberlin I used their 2014 CDS. http://oberlin.edu/instres/irhome/www/cds/2014/

I see now that these numbers are indicated as estimated for 2014-2015.  Not all colleges have completed their most recent info. 

 

The link for Oberlin's 2013-2014 CDS is http://oberlin.edu/instres/irhome/www/cds/2013/

The numbers indicated there are $37,860 freshmen and $37,656 for all.  I calculate an average difference of $272.

 

I tried clicking on my above links and they won't work.  I'll try to post them again. 

 

Well I've tried again and they come up as not found.  Try just googling Oberlin College common data set 2014 and OC CDS 2013-2014 and they should come up. When the numbers are no longer just estimates, it will be listed as 2014-2015.

 

Finally fixed the links!

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I can't find UR's Common Data Set specifically.  In another site's link, I found a link to some info on fact book.  The numbers I used were from the original article I linked.  I had thought that all colleges needed to provide the CDS info, but for some schools it's hard (impossible?) to find. 

 

Creekland do you have a link to UR's CDS?

 

For Oberlin I used their 2014 CDS.  http://oberlin.edu/instres/irhome/www/cds/2014/

 

I see now that these numbers are indicated as estimated for 2014-2015.  Not all colleges have completed their most recent info.  The link for Oberlin's 2013-2014 CDS is http://oberlin.edu/instres/irhome/www/cds/2013/

The numbers indicated there are $37,860 freshmen and $37,656 for all.  I calculate an average difference of $272.

 

I tried clicking on my above links and they won't work.  I'll try to post them again. 

 

Well I've tried again and they come up as not found.  Try just googling Oberlin College common data set 2014 and OC CDS 2013-2014 and they should come up. When the numbers are no longer just estimates, it will be listed as 2014-2015.

 

I looked at Oberlin's CDS for 2013, which had the 2013-2014 estimated numbers in it, and those numbers exactly matched College Data. I was ONLY looking at gift aid, not total aid as I said. I was just trying to point out that College Data seems to be pulling their numbers from the colleges own data sets--whether they be estimated or actual or whatever. ETA: As you will see on the 2013-2014 CDS for Oberlin that you linked, the difference in the estimated gift aid column is about $2,000 when comparing all undergrads to Freshman and exactly matches the info on College Data. But obviously, the place to get the most up to date info is the common data set.

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I looked at Oberlin's CDS for 2013, which had the 2013-2014 estimated numbers in it, and those numbers exactly matched College Data. I was ONLY looking at gift aid, not total aid as I said. I was just trying to point out that College Data seems to be pulling their numbers from the colleges own data sets--whether they be estimated or actual or whatever. ETA: As you will see on the 2013-2014 CDS for Oberlin that you linked, the difference in the estimated gift aid column is about $2,000 when comparing all undergrads to Freshman and exactly matches the info on College Data. But obviously, the place to get the most up to date info is the common data set.

 

Yes, you're right the data is the same.  My apologies.  I looked at the wrong line and listed the total financial aid received instead of the need-based aid.  So the CDS for UR should be accurate, but I don't see the 100% need met.  I even checked 100% need met school lists, and UR is on them.  I'm baffled.  The NPR shows an estimated net price of almost 16K of which 11K is loans.  That is not even close to meeting 100% need.  Not picking on UR as I think it's a great school, but thinking that the common data set itself should be available straight from UR as I'd be curious if they indicate 100% need met or are the CDS guidelines so broad that they consider a loan of 11K as acceptable as part of the package meeting need?

 

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UR is a CSS Profile school.  That could make a bit of difference over Fafsa.  They are considered a 100% need met school, but with their determination of need based upon CSS and they do expect the student to take on basic (Federal) loans + provide about $2500 in earnings (same as most schools).  Those do not add up to 11K per year, however.  The difference there is likely due to their calculations I would think.

 

For us, again, the numbers work out very close to Fafsa and within 2K of my guy's other top choices (Pitt & U Alabama).  U Rochester was the least expensive of the three, but all in the same range and with the same expectations for loans, etc.

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Just for a quick update... we are very pleased with URoc's aid for this year.  They have not decreased it.  They've increased it making up for the tuition/fees increase - not loans increasing, but their University Grant.

 

No regrets at all with middle son choosing them as his first choice school!

 

No regrets about oldest choosing Covenant either as they were also good with aid all 4 years.

 

Time will tell with Eckerd.  They've increased our amount about 4K over freshman year... though I don't have the official paperwork yet - just the estimate.

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