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littlebug42

Financial aid at Univ of Michigan or Carnegie Mellon

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Anyone have any experience with the aid offered by either of these schools.  These are my dd15's top 2 schools and not sure we will be able to financially swing either one.  She plans to audition for their BFA Musical Theatre programs.  Because of our annual income, we are not likely to receive much of anything in the way of need based aid but can't afford either school on our own.  She would be an out of state student at University of Michigan.  Any insight?

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The best thing to do is run the Net Price Calculator at each school, and that should give you a rough idea. 

 

I have heard that CM is not very forthcoming with aid, and that almost everyone gets gapped hard. 

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Because of our annual income, we are not likely to receive much of anything in the way of need based aid but can't afford either school on our own.

If you cannot meet your expected familial contribution, schools that offer only need-based aid and not large merit scholarships are not a good financial choice.

 

There are lots of schools that offer merit scholarships that can bring down the cost of attendance. Creating an application strategy that is focused on financially viable schools will leave your child with more options after acceptances start rolling in bc unaffordable acceptances are really just rejections in different packaging.

 

The best source of scholarships are the universities themselves. Outside scholarships can be counterproductive. If your gap is large,typical outcomes are outside scholarships reduce student loan and work contributions first and then reduce institutional grants. They rarely reduce parental contributions.

 

Large institution-based scholarships are the best way to bring down the expected parental contribution.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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No direct experience but based on what I have heard both are not at all forthcoming with aid.

 

Run the net price calculators and believe them. Don't assume some scholarship will come in to make it better. I am not saying your ds shouldn't apply but be realistic about what you can expect.

 

A dd of a friend of mine was rejected from both schools last year and is a very strong student. (Though she was engineering, not music).They are tough admits and even tougher financially.

 

That said, people in this board have gotten scholarships to those schools. Just be informed and have safeties.

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My son applied to & was accepted at both U Mich and CMU, but it was several years ago & as a potential math/CS major.

 

CMU gave him need based aid only, and they matched our FAFSA expectation to the dollar. They have a few merit scholarships for kids they really want to bring in, at least on the STEM side. In the past, merit aid was often used to attract kids who would have been full pay otherwise. Their endowment is limited.... I have no experience with their fine arts admissions though.

 

UMich recruited ds; they flew him up & showed him around the college for a couple of days. He received a combination of need-based and merit aid from them as an out of state student. Nevertheless, it was too expensive for us in the end, & would have cost us more than CMU.

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Make sure you read websites thoroughly. This is from CMU's website: "Eligibility for the scholarship is determined through a review of both financial need and merit."

 

Be aware of scholarships that are connected to need.

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My ds was accepted to University of Michigan as an OOS, but received no financial aid so he chose not to go there.  He got a full-tuition scholarship at University of Pittsburgh (also as an OOS), but ended up at Ohio State (we live in OH) with a scholarship that equals about half his tuition.  He was definitely disappointed about MI since it was his first choice.  

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CMU has a variety of university and privately endowed scholarships. Yes, read the website carefully. Here's one from their website that may apply to the OP. Note that while you don't have to qualify for need based aid for this award, you do have to fill out the FAFSA and Profile finaid forms. As always, these are hugely competitive, so no one should count on winning one, and everyone should apply to other colleges that they know they can afford & like.

 

I should mention that I'm a proud CMU (grad school) alumna...it's a terrific school!

 

From CMU's website:

Carnegie Mellon awards the Carnegie Scholarship to qualified incoming first-year students. Carnegie Scholarships are awarded to academically and artistically talented middle income students who qualify for little to no need-based financial aid.

The Carnegie Scholarship is renewable for 8 semesters of undergraduate education (10 semesters for students in the School of Architecture), if satisfactory academic performance is maintained (cumulative 2.0 QPA) and Carnegie Mellon tuition is assessed.

All qualified U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to be considered for the Carnegie Scholarship. Students do not need to complete a separate application process to be considered for the Carnegie Scholarship; however, applicants must complete the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE in order to be considered. Scholarship winners are notified in their financial aid award letter. Those awarded a Carnegie Scholarship must submit all of the required forms associated with applying for financial aid before the scholarship can be credited toward the student account. The scholarship is only awarded to incoming first-year students during the admission process.

 

 

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It really depends on how much you are being gapped and what you need to make it work.

 

This "3% of first-year students received the Carnegie Scholarship

$6,895 - average Carnegie Scholarship" is not the type of award that would make a school affordable for us, but maybe it is all the bump you need.

 

If you need a significantly larger amt, spend time researching $$ amts of merit scholarships and create a strategic list of some long shot competitive large $ scholarships, some more realistic competitive scholarships, and some guaranteed scholarships.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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It really depends on how much you are being gapped and what you need to make it work.

 

This "3% of first-year students received the Carnegie Scholarship

$6,895 - average Carnegie Scholarship" is not the type of award that would make a school affordable for us, but maybe it is all the bump you need.

 

If you need a significantly larger amt, spend time researching $$ amts of merit scholarships and create a strategic list of some long shot competitive large $ scholarships, some more realistic competitive scholarships, and some guaranteed scholarships.

 

:iagree:

Constructing a strategic list is crucial when you're EFC is high and you are trying to defray the cost of attendance.  DD did this, applying to schools with guaranteed scholarships as well as highly competitive large ones (like Vandy, OSU and others).  She cast a wide net because you just never know what will happen. 

 

Specific to Michigan, she did apply to and get early admission to UMichigan along with honors but no substantial merit money.  It is a fabulous school that's very expensive for OOS unless financial need is high.  

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DD is in CMU's School of Design. One of her Design classmate is a Presidential Scholar. I have no idea how he was able to get it or how much he got but I get the impression that it's a substantial amount.  I didn't know about it when DD applied.

 

I agree with Kathy. CMU is a great school and DD loves it there (but not the campus food.)

 

Here's the blurb from their website:

http://www.cmu.edu/leadership/pres-fellow-scholar/index.html

Presidential Fellowships & Scholarships

President Subra Suresh launched the Presidential Fellowship and Scholarship program in 2014 to provide critical financial support to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students across all of CMU's seven colleges and schools. The funds go to support a student’s academic expenses, such as tuition and graduate research stipend.

By lowering the barriers of the cost of attendance for undergraduates and reducing the dependence on external funding sources for graduate students and faculty to pursue their research, endowed fellowships and scholarships will help ensure that CMU remains a world-leader in education and research for decades to come.

As of February 20, 2017, related endowment funds and commitments of more than $285 million will support current and future classes of Presidential Fellows and Scholars across all seven CMU schools and colleges

 

 

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I am in-state for U Mich, so we know many students there. I'm not aware of ANY who are receiving substantial merit aid. Since my DD18 was the first of four kids we have to put through college, we opted for a much lower-ranked, less prestigious school where she was offered a bunch of merit money. We're another family who feels our EFC is way more than we're comfortable spending.

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U Mich is not known for offering much aid to OOS students. They do have a Stamps scholarship, and I knew of an OOS student that received it last year, but that would be a lottery type scholarship for an exceptional candidate.

 

I believe the musical theatre forums are quite active on College Confidential. That might be a good place to browse and get some insight. It looks like you have a few years until she applies?

 

 

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When it comes to schools that offer aid based on need or with a need component, knowing what other families have received is really not informative. While some meets need schools are generous and offer lots of institutional grant $$, if your student cannot afford what they calculate, it really doesn't matter what someone else's family received bc you are offered what you are offered.

 

CMU does not guarantee to meet 100% of demonstrated need. Only 24% of their students have need met and 82% is the avg % of need met. http://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg03_tmpl.jhtml?schoolId=204

 

This is from CMU's website:

Does Carnegie Mellon award merit scholarships?

 

We do not award any scholarships based solely on merit. Carnegie Mellon offers Carnegie Scholarships to academically- and artistically-talented middle-income students who qualify for little to no need-based financial aid. You must apply for need-based financial aid to be considered.

http://adm-w2w-02.enrollment.cmu.edu/pages/financial-aid-faq#scholarships

 

If this family needs a lot financial assistance that they don't demonstrate on paper, the likelihood of CMU being affordable is not very realistic. If the family can almost make it work then it might be.

 

Families that need a lot of scholarship $$ but don't have much need need to come up an application strategy that doesn't focus on need-based aid schools.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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If you cannot meet your expected familial contribution, schools that offer only need-based aid and not large merit scholarships are not a good financial choice.

 

There are lots of schools that offer merit scholarships that can bring down the cost of attendance. Creating an application strategy that is focused on financially viable schools will leave your child with more options after acceptances start rolling in bc unaffordable acceptances are really just rejections in different packaging.

 

The best source of scholarships are the universities themselves. Outside scholarships can be counterproductive. If your gap is large,typical outcomes are outside scholarships reduce student loan and work contributions first and then reduce institutional grants. They rarely reduce parental contributions.

 

Large institution-based scholarships are the best way to bring down the expected parental contribution.

 

My oldest two knew that they were only allowed to apply to schools that I vetted as being well known for giving GREAT merit aid.  If you will not be getting financial aid and cannot afford these schools, this is one way to approach the process.  8's approach is another way.  Two pieces of advice: One, make sure you are upfront with your dd about the amount you can afford and that certain schools are immediately off the table.  Don't talk about them.  Don't visit them.  Two, make sure you are applying to schools where she is in the top percentile for SAT scores, AP scores, grades, etc.  If you don't know about those scores yet, don't talk too much about schools that may not happen.

 

I am actually at CMU right now - for admitted students weekend.  For this ds, my financial situation has changed dramatically.  He received no academic aid from CMU (we weren't expecting any), but he did receive the best financial aid from them in comparison to other schools.  We are extremely pleased!

 

Gratia:  Important point about casting a wide net - a very wide net.  You will always be surprised, in good and bad ways, by how much a school offers. 

Edited by lisabees
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Thank you all for your assistance.  I have read the website extensively but needed some personal experience to help.  She is aware that some scholarships would be necessary for either to ever be a truly viable option.  She is ending her sophomore year and we are really just beginning discussions. 

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DS just told me that the acceptance rate for CMU theatre is 3%.  Yowza.  There must be crazy-talented students here!  OP, I know nothing about applying to Musical Theatre programs.  That's a whole different ballgame, on top of figuring out finances.  Sounds like a fun ride, though! 

Edited by lisabees

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Two, make sure you are applying to schools where she is in the top percentile for SAT scores, AP scores, grades, etc.

Would you please clarify?  Do you mean quartile?

 

On the college board website, they show the ACT mid-range test scores.  For, Rhodes College the mid-range test score is 27-31.  IF Rhodes offered merit aid, you would want dc to have an ACT score of 32+ to be competitive, correct?

 

 

Edited by Sue in St Pete
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DS just told me that the acceptance rate for CMU theatre is 3%.  Yowza.  There must be crazy-talented students here!  OP, I know nothing about applying to Musical Theatre programs.  That's a whole different ballgame, on top of figuring out finances.  Sounds like a fun ride, though! 

 

Yes, CMU's School of Drama had a lower acceptance rate than the School of Computer Science (6%). I was very amused when I found out that info when DD was applying. 

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Would you please clarify?  Do you mean quartile?

 

On the college board website, they show the ACT mid-range test scores.  For, Rhodes College the mid-range test score is 27-31.  IF Rhodes offered merit aid, you would want dc to have an ACT score of 32+ to be competitive, correct?

 

Sorry, Sue.  I was trying to avoid using a specific percentile.  Many people would say that you should be in the top 25% for it to be considered a safety school.  I would not use that as a gauge to determine merit aid chances.  That is dependent upon the institution.  Some give lots of merit to lots of kids, so in that case, being in the top 25% can be a good indicator.  But then there are schools who give merit only to the 5%. There is no black and white when it comes to merit, unfortunately.  Some schools tie financial need to merit.

 

Look at common data sets.  Look at Kiplinger's Best Value College lists.  Read College Confidential Merit Aid threads.  

 

A quick look at Rhodes shows they give a lot of merit with an average $20,000.  Having a 32 on the ACT is very promising indeed!

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Sorry, Sue.  I was trying to avoid using a specific percentile.  Many people would say that you should be in the top 25% for it to be considered a safety school.  I would not use that as a gauge to determine merit aid chances.  That is dependent upon the institution.  Some give lots of merit to lots of kids, so in that case, being in the top 25% can be a good indicator.  But then there are schools who give merit only to the 5%. There is no black and white when it comes to merit, unfortunately.  Some schools tie financial need to merit.

 

Look at common data sets.  Look at Kiplinger's Best Value College lists.  Read College Confidential Merit Aid threads.  

 

A quick look at Rhodes shows they give a lot of merit with an average $20,000.  Having a 32 on the ACT is very promising indeed!

I know this thread is not about Rhodes and Sue threw Rhodes out as an example, but, my ds didn't even get accepted to Rhodes with a 31 ACT. You never know!

Edited by teachermom2834
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I know this thread is not about Rhodes and Sue threw Rhodes out as an example, but, my ds didn't even get accepted to Rhodes with a 31 ACT. You never know!

 

It's a great reminder - playing this game is very humbling and very full of welcoming and unwelcoming surprises.

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I have experience with both. One dd chose to go elsewhere after seeing CMU's aid package. And the other is at U of M.

 

CMU does not meet full financial need. U of M does not guarantee to, but in practice they do meet the need of ONLY in-state students. Out-of-state students need to rely on the merit scholarships they have for out-of-state students, which are few and far between.

 

CMU was my oldest dd's most expensive option, once we had all the packages back that year. We could cover our EFC, but they didn't come close to bringing the cost down to it, even with some merit aid. By comparison, U of M was mid-range (our EFC) and Olin (where she ended up) was cheap (a few thousand below EFC.)

 

Middle dd didn't even apply to CMU, or a few other schools in that range of acceptance and aid. We knew there was no way. U of M was not her cheapest option, but it wasn't so bad that she couldn't go. We are paying almost exactly our EFC, as they adjusted once her merit scholarships were all in (NM, state scholarship, etc.)

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In state here with a boy at U of MI. Neither school is generous with need based aid and often their is a pretty big gap. U of MI is known for doing more in merit aid for those they really want. I know students going to both schools and debt appears to be higher on average at Carnegie.

Edited by FaithManor

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Weird.  Why have we had the opposite experience?  CMU gave us more than anywhere else.  Hmmmm...

 

 

 

 

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Weird.  Why have we had the opposite experience?  CMU gave us more than anywhere else.  Hmmmm...

 

You're the lucky one :-) 

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Weird.  Why have we had the opposite experience?  CMU gave us more than anywhere else.  Hmmmm...

 

Lisa,

 

I don't know if it is anything that really needs to be researched at all or not, but have you checked into CMU and bait and switch.  I know that there are certain universities where freshman packages are often significantly more than later yrs.  I have no clue if CMU is one of them or not.  It might be worth looking at the data setto  see how aid compares between freshman and soph+.

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8, It is certainly something that has crossed my mind. It is frightening, because we usually depend on merit. I don't like the feeling I'm having. It kept me up all night last night.

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(((((Hugs)))) Sorry you are struggling, Lisa. I know relying on varying FA packages from yr to yr would make me nervous, too.

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I know exactly what the obstacles are to both CMU and Univ of Michigan.   Likely, there is no way we will be able to afford either, if she could get in.   But, she could possibly get in. 

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I know exactly what the obstacles are to both CMU and Univ of Michigan. Likely, there is no way we will be able to afford either, if she could get in. But, she could possibly get in.

Just make sure that your Dd knows what your firm budget is before she applies to any schools. If acceptance does not mean the ability to attend without a certain $$ amt of aid, it can be hard to walk away from a dream acceptance. If the financial piece gets blurred in the process, there can be bitterness. (It is evident on CC every spring.)

 

Sr yr is crazy busy. There are only so many hrs to fit in everything that needs to be done. Our experience is that top scholarships involve heavy time commitments between the application and interview weekends. It can become emotionally draining just getting to the other side of the acceptance process. Make sure she has a financial safety that she would be happy to attend.

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Thanks for the advice.  I personally am someone who went to a dream school and still paying the financial consequences of such a decision.  That's why I am trying the get all the information I can to be able to make a good decision and to help her balance out the dreams with a shot of realism.

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