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Homeschoolmom3

What colleges give most merit scholarships??

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Trying to narrow down our colleges we plan to apply, but having a bit of a hard time and really it will come down to money!  Was wondering if anyone has had good experience with certain colleges that give good scholarships based on merit scholars, SAT scores, GPA, etc.  (NOT based on a financial need doubt we would apply here but can't afford to give him much for college.  :( Thanks for any advice! I am drowning over here!  :willy_nilly:

Edited by Homeschoolmom3
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I have this in my bookmarks: http://automaticfulltuition.yolasite.com/ - not sure if that's what you're looking for.

 

We chose to work with a counselor to help with the aid and selection process. He's big into outside aid for paying nearly all of the cost, so we're giving it a try. If all else fails, the local university isn't too bad, and would give dd a lot of merit aid (plus, no housing expenses). 

Good luck!

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I have this in my bookmarks: http://automaticfulltuition.yolasite.com/ - not sure if that's what you're looking for.

 

 

 

That's an interesting list!  Thanks for sharing!

 

I know that dds qualified for significant merit aid at  schools not on that list.  One was a full ride at a state school, and I'm not sure whether students had to be in-state to qualify -- dds weren't interested, so I deleted the emails as they arrived, and don't recall details.  

 

They would also receive significant merit aid at a couple of the small, local, private colleges -- again, dds weren't interested, so I haven't really paid attention to whether it was simply tuition, or would include housing.

Edited by GailV

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I know, it is overwhelming! Here are a few lists:

Automatic Full Tuition / Full Ride Scholarship list of colleges (PSAT National Merit finalists/semi-finalists)

Search Engine website ($8 registration fee) for automatic scholarships (partial and full) based on student test scores and GPA

"List of Guaranteed Scholarships Based on SAT/ACT Scores" -- article with a list of schools

"79 Colleges with Full Ride Scholarships" -- article with a list of schools

"Full Tuition Academic Scholarships" -- FinAid web article which lists some specific schools and merit aid

 

 

However, JMO, it is far better to start from the other end: first find colleges that are a good match for your student. What career is your student considering -- search for colleges with a good program for the degree that matches up with that career. Look if there are opportunities for internships or research within that Take in to consideration things like distance from home (i.e., does that matter or not), size of student population on campus, and campus life opportunities.

 

In other words, research and find a 12-20 schools that are a good fit for YOUR student. Then start comparing merit aid offered by the schools to see which is also a good financial fit for your family.

 

You can use the match search function of the College 411 section of College Data's website to then look at how your student's SAT/ACT scores match up with the rest of incoming freshman -- you want your student's score to be in the top 10% or higher for landing merit aid.

 

You can also find SAT/ACT scores to match up your student with the school's statistics at College Board's Big Future college search function. Enter the name of the college, and when it pulls up the general info page on that college, click on the link of "print complete college profile", which brings up the page of all the very detailed college statistics. Usually about 2/3 of the way down the page, under the heading of "Applying", you'll find the SAT/ACT score statistics.

 

 

If money is absolutely the deciding factor of whether the student can afford to go to college at all, then you might also want to look in to some alternatives for reducing *time* spent at a college -- which reduces overall *cost*. So options like:

 

- take a boatload of CLEP tests during high school to earn credit (at about $120 per course), and apply to universities that accept those CLEPs as credit towards a degree (can knock out in advance 1-2 semesters -- or more -- of general ed. credits required for a degree)

 

- take all dual enrollment courses for the last 2 years of high school and then apply to a college that accepts all of those courses towards a degree (knocks out 2 years of college in advance)

 

- combine the above 2 ideas AND attend the university in your town and live at home, saving $8000-$10,000/year on paying for room & board

 

- consider going with a DIY at-home college degree through careful selection of CLEP tests and online courses -- either going with Lumerit (formerly College Plus), or lining it up yourself

 

- check out ideas on the thread "s/o: Cautionary Tale, high cost of college -- a brainstorming $$ ideas thread!"

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It would be helpful if he has some idea of what he wants to study.  Some universities have special scholarships that apply to particular fields of study.  For example, St. Mary's Univ. in Texas has an excellent scholarship program (Greehey Scholars) for business majors which covers full tuition, room and board, and a number of extras including several study abroad opportunities.

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...We chose to work with a counselor to help with the aid and selection process. He's big into outside aid for paying nearly all of the cost, so we're giving it a try...

 

Hmmm... Where is he coming up with outside aid that pays for more than 1 year of college?? Most of the outside scholarships I've seen are small awards (a few hundred to a few thousand), and are one-time awards -- not renewable...

 

Also, "outside" scholarships often end up reducing "inside" awards (some colleges reduce the amount of the financial aid package they offer by the amount of the outside scholarship, so no net gain in award money) -- and if that happens in the freshman year, the student can miss out on the best scholarships, as it is the freshman scholarships that are usually renewable, and for the largest amounts.

 

The only other outside aid I can think of:

- company that a parent works for awards outside scholarships to the children of their employees

- during college, the student works for Chipotle or Starbucks or other company with a tuition benefits program that pays for some of tuition

- during and after college, the student works for an employer with a tuition-reimbursement program (employer pays for some/all of tuition, and the student agrees to work for several years after graduation -- some hospitals and big technical companies have these programs)

- SMART scholarship -- similar to above; gov't scholarship for some/all of tuition, and in exchange the student works as a civilian researcher for the US military for several years after graduation

 

 

Please update as you go through this process. Would love to hear more about the idea of outside aid for funding college! :)

Edited by Lori D.
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If you are looking for colleges that provide merit below the full tuition level, I've found Collegedata's College Match search tool to be valuable in narrowing down the field by geographic area, selectivity, and major.  You can then sort your results page by the % Merit heading at the top to find those schools that are most generous. 

 

However, I've found you often need to dig a little deeper to really understand the true merit picture. Some schools offer a small amount of merit aid to many students while others offer more generous aid to a smaller group and it's hard to discern the difference from the merit % alone.

 

To get more detailed data on a specific college, you can mouse over the college name and click on "Money Matters". Scorll down and you can then see the actual number of students who received merit aid and the average award. This will be a better reflection of the size of the awards. At the very bottom, it also has some more details on types of merit awards. Once you've found some potential candidates through this process, click on their financial aid link at the top of the Money Matters page to get more specifics. 

 

College Confidential also has a long thread on "Schools known for good merit aid" which can be helpful.

 

Are there any specific criteria you have in mind? The Hive here can probably provide some good candidates with additional specifics.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by 3andme
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Hmmm... Where is he coming up with outside aid that pays for more than 1 year of college?? Most of the outside scholarships I've seen are small awards (a few hundred to a few thousand), and are one-time awards -- not renewable...

 

Also, "outside" scholarships often end up reducing "inside" awards (some colleges reduce the amount of the financial aid package they offer by the amount of the outside scholarship, so no net gain in award money) -- and if that happens in the freshman year, the student can miss out on the best scholarships, as it is the freshman scholarships that are usually renewable, and for the largest amounts.

 

The only other outside aid I can think of:

- company that a parent works for awards outside scholarships to the children of their employees

- during college, the student works for Chipotle or Starbucks or other company with a tuition benefits program that pays for some of tuition

- during and after college, the student works for an employer with a tuition-reimbursement program (employer pays for some/all of tuition, and the student agrees to work for several years after graduation -- some hospitals and big technical companies have these programs)

- SMART scholarship -- similar to above; gov't scholarship for some/all of tuition, and in exchange the student works as a civilian researcher for the US military for several years after graduation

 

 

Please update as you go through this process. Would love to hear more about the idea of outside aid for funding college! :)

 

Of course, happy to update as we go through this. The outside aid comes from a number of different scholarships - his track record is getting the majority of his students to have their entire tuition paid for from outside sources (there is at least one renewable one that my daughter qualifies for that is $15k/year, for example). I know of at least one case where there was such a surplus of aid that the student attending a private uni had an additional $10k/year available to her for things like study abroad. And, according to him, the outside aid does not reduce any merit aid that is a *named* scholarship that is not need-based (we won't qualify for financial aid). This is really not my area of expertise; he worked admissions at a prestigious ivy, and we talked with some other homeschoolers who used him in the past and spoke very highly of him and corroborated his methods. 

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Trying to narrow down our colleges we plan to apply, but having a bit of a hard time and really it will come down to money!  Was wondering if anyone has had good experience with certain colleges that give good scholarships based on merit scholars, SAT scores, GPA, etc.  (NOT based on a financial need doubt we would apply here but can't afford to give him much for college.  :( Thanks for any advice! I am drowning over here!  :willy_nilly:

 

Agreeing that you need to post prospective major.

 

Way over-simplified statement: a 33, 3.5+ GPA will garner automatic scholarships at a number of schools. National merit finalist helps a lot.  Partial to full-tuition is more common than full-ride.  Full-rides are not so rare as to not happen. Stepping down in ranking is one way to find more scholarship offers.  Another way to achieve full-ride is to find schools that offer multiple scholarships and allow those scholarships to stack on top of each other.  That scenario may require a combination of automatic and competitive scholarships.  Other full-rides might come from competitive scholarships that are awarded to a handful of students.

 

Agreeing with Lori that I would pursue institutional scholarships and not private scholarships.  

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I have this in my bookmarks: http://automaticfulltuition.yolasite.com/ - not sure if that's what you're looking for.

 

We chose to work with a counselor to help with the aid and selection process. He's big into outside aid for paying nearly all of the cost, so we're giving it a try. If all else fails, the local university isn't too bad, and would give dd a lot of merit aid (plus, no housing expenses).

Good luck!

IUPU-FW is on that list, but IUPUI is not. My sister went to IUPUI on a full tuition academic AND a full tuition athletic. And those stacked. At the time IUPUI was a fully commuter campus so there was not full ride. That might have changed. But because of the stacking, she was able to do 5 yrs of school (she was on a special program that let her do her BS and her MS and graduate with both within that 5 yr period. ) with no debt, no financials from parents.

 

Best part about IUPUI the degree doesn't say IUPUI. It says either IU or Purdue. DH also went to IUPUI and both he and my sister have degrees that say Purdue.

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DD has a friend who is attending IUPUI on a full-ride, so I know it is available.  I am not sure how many students it is available to, though.  DD is attending the Ohio State University on a full COA scholarship as Eminence fellow and Stamps Scholar.  Each year, Ohio State chooses 24-28 students from an entering class of about 8000 to receive the full scholarship.  Out of the 24-28 students, 4-5 are ultimately selected as Stamps scholars. 

 

 

ETA: IUPUI scholarship is Gerald Bepko scholarship.  It turns out three of DD's friends have received this. One of them did combined BS/MS in 5 years, so she will only have to pay for 1 year of the grad school.  As DD pointed out, once you have these types of scholarships, so many other types of scholarships follow because you are already known/identified.  Pretty cool!

Edited by Gratia271
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DD has a friend who is attending IUPUI on a full-ride, so I know it is available.  I am not sure how many students it is available to, though.  DD is attending the Ohio State University on a full COA scholarship as Eminence fellow and Stamps Scholar.  Each year, Ohio State chooses 24-28 students from an entering class of about 8000 to receive the full scholarship.  Out of the 24-28 students, 4-5 are ultimately selected as Stamps scholars. 

This is similar to dd's scholarship at USC.  46 kids are invited.  5 are named Stamps (close to COA + $10,000 for summer experiences), 20 are named McNair (combined with NMF scholarship makes it close to full COA), and the remaining are named Horseshoe Scholars ($4000 less than McNair).

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DS was a NMF and received very good scholarships from University of Kentucky, University of South Carolina, and University of Alabama.  He received a $25,000/year scholarship from Case Western, which was good, but it costs $65,000/year to attend (and we could not afford that!)  Many colleges do decrease awards if outside scholarships are used.  I know University of Alabama does NOT and allows scholarships to be stacked.  University of Kentucky did not allow ds to stack the engineering scholarship he received on top of his merit scholarship (which was full tuition and room + a stipend)  Ds actually received a refund from school last year after all scholarships and stipends were applied.    

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Yes, University of Kentucky was full ride + stipends  and research opportunities for my NMF DD this past year.  I don't know if it will change in the future but as of entering class of 2017, it was still available.

 

Vanderbilt also has several opportunities.  DD was offered Cornelius Vanderbilt scholarship, which is their highest merit scholarship and covers full tuition + stipends.  So, room and board is left to pay in that case. There are further departmental scholarships there, though, which can further defray costs.  Vandy also offers a renewable scholarship each year for NMF (I think it was 2k but am not positive, but it is for each year and not just the first year), so I think we would have been left with about 10k out of pocket per year.

 

Boston College also offers full tuition scholarship.  It's the Gabelli scholarship, and includes travel expenses for international travel which is part of the scholarship program.  So, you are left with room and board. FYI, the students who interview and accept it will practically never be home, including spring break, some winter holidays, and summers.  Just saying this before anyone jumps through the hoops, travels for interviews, etc.. only to discover they don't want to be away from their family more or less an entire 4 years.

Edited by Gratia271
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In our (very limited, of course!) experience, smaller private liberal arts colleges that either have a solid history or that are doing well enough to be expanding, but that are not the top level colleges in the state, combined with being in parts of the country that are solid economically but not necessarily the most popular areas, seem to offer very good merit scholarships.

 

I know that's pretty vague!

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More thoughts in response to your original post, until you have a chance to aid some details that would help us help you narrow down a list of schools :) :

 

 

Trying to narrow down our colleges we plan to apply, but having a bit of a hard time and really it will come down to money! 

 

Check out the list of "Colleges That Go The Extra Mile to Make It Financially Possible to Attend".

Also check out "25 Best Free Colleges" -- either have free tuition, or all students work in exchange for tuition (about 15-20 hours a week of work on campus)

 

 

 NOT based on a financial need doubt we would apply here...

 

Unless you have personal reasons for not doing so, I highly encourage you to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) in your student's senior year. Even if you are not eligible for need-based aid according to the FAFSA, many colleges REQUIRE the the FAFSA in order to be able to award ANY scholarship, whether need-based OR merit-based. Failure to have filled out the FAFSA results in not being offered scholarships.

 

I know that 8FillTheHeart of these boards has mentioned that this really happened to them, and that one of their students missed out on being offered aid from a college that was very interested in their student, but the school's policy required a FAFSA in order for them to offer even the merit-based scholarships.

 

 

Thanks for any advice! I am drowning over here! 

 

Post #2 of the past thread "In pursuit of local/private scholarships" has a helpful breakdown about scholarships.

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Unless you have personal reasons for not doing so, I highly encourage you to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) in your student's senior year. Even if you are not eligible for need-based aid according to the FAFSA, many colleges REQUIRE the the FAFSA in order to be able to award ANY scholarship, whether need-based OR merit-based. Failure to have filled out the FAFSA results in not being offered scholarships.

 

This is true.  Back in the dinosaur ages when I was in college (aka 2 decades ago) I have a merit based scholarship from my small private liberal arts college.  I absolutely had to fill out the FAFSA to receive that scholarship even though it was fully within the school.  Every year, renewing FAFSA for it. 

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This is true.  Back in the dinosaur ages when I was in college (aka 2 decades ago) I have a merit based scholarship from my small private liberal arts college.  I absolutely had to fill out the FAFSA to receive that scholarship even though it was fully within the school.  Every year, renewing FAFSA for it. 

 

Yea! Congrats on your long-ago scholarship. :) Thanks for sharing that about having to RENEW the FAFSA annually, because lots of schools require that, too.

 

Fortunately for DS#1, his school was "one-and-done" as far as the FAFSA, and his scholarship was renewed without needing a new FAFSA. But we did ASK about that -- several times! -- to make sure we didn't trip up. ;)

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I agree with Lori that you should first identify what colleges your student wants to attend and then figure out how to pay for it from there. Otherwise you are really searching for a needle in a haystack. Some colleges may offer larger scholarships, but if their COA (cost of attendance) is higher, then that information really doesn't help you. There are so many variables to consider even at one college, that one person's experience may not reflect what yours might be. Schools use their scholarships as a recruitment tool, so the amount is going to vary based on 1) how little they think they have to give you in order for you to still enroll and 2) how your demographics contribute to how they are trying to shape their demographics. So a white male living in an affluent community applying for the school's flagship major isn't necessarily going to qualify for the same amount as a minority female in a blue collar community applying for a major that the school is trying to grow, even if both students have the same GPA and test scores. At some institutions, awards are negotiable and those assertive enough to call and ask might end up with a few extra thousand dollars.

 

The other reason to identify the schools your student is interested in first is so that you can then find out what their individual policies are on things like outside scholarships. Then you'll know whether or not it is worth your time to look. At my institution where I work, we allow students to bring in outside scholarships and it won't affect their institutional aid UNLESS it was already sitting in their account before we processed their award. This rarely happens, though. However, we don't usually stack our own scholarships. I think it is really worth calling and talking to someone in the admissions office at each school you're considering because it's all very complex and they usually won't put every intricate detail out on their websites. The person may also be willing to give you some inside tips, such as you might qualify for a little more if you change to a related major or include an essay that says this or that. Also, the admissions counselor becomes your advocate and if they get to know your student, might be able to "beg" on your behalf (if their award system works that way at all). 

 

Also agree you should file the FAFSA. As others have stated, institutional aid is often based on the FAFSA. In addition, even if your student is not Pell Grant eligible, if you'll be utilizing student loans at all, the federal loans usually have slightly better terms (interest rates, fees, etc.) than private lenders. 

 

It's interesting to me to read what others' experiences are at other institutions than my own.

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I agree with Lori that you should first identify what colleges your student wants to attend and then figure out how to pay for it from there. Otherwise you are really searching for a needle in a haystack. Some colleges may offer larger scholarships, but if their COA (cost of attendance) is higher, then that information really doesn't help you. There are so many variables to consider even at one college, that one person's experience may not reflect what yours might be. Schools use their scholarships as a recruitment tool, so the amount is going to vary based on 1) how little they think they have to give you in order for you to still enroll and 2) how your demographics contribute to how they are trying to shape their demographics. So a white male living in an affluent community applying for the school's flagship major isn't necessarily going to qualify for the same amount as a minority female in a blue collar community applying for a major that the school is trying to grow, even if both students have the same GPA and test scores. At some institutions, awards are negotiable and those assertive enough to call and ask might end up with a few extra thousand dollars.

 

The other reason to identify the schools your student is interested in first is so that you can then find out what their individual policies are on things like outside scholarships. Then you'll know whether or not it is worth your time to look. At my institution where I work, we allow students to bring in outside scholarships and it won't affect their institutional aid UNLESS it was already sitting in their account before we processed their award. This rarely happens, though. However, we don't usually stack our own scholarships. I think it is really worth calling and talking to someone in the admissions office at each school you're considering because it's all very complex and they usually won't put every intricate detail out on their websites. The person may also be willing to give you some inside tips, such as you might qualify for a little more if you change to a related major or include an essay that says this or that. Also, the admissions counselor becomes your advocate and if they get to know your student, might be able to "beg" on your behalf (if their award system works that way at all). 

 

Also agree you should file the FAFSA. As others have stated, institutional aid is often based on the FAFSA. In addition, even if your student is not Pell Grant eligible, if you'll be utilizing student loans at all, the federal loans usually have slightly better terms (interest rates, fees, etc.) than private lenders. 

 

It's interesting to me to read what others' experiences are at other institutions than my own.

 

This is the exact opposite of how we approach college applications.  We start with a list of schools that offer large scholarships and then narrow the list down according to how likely we think they are to be awarded them based on the profiles of past award winners.  Then they narrow that list down according to schools they would be interested in attending.

 

We know that in order to attend any residential college that the absolute minimum award they need is full-tuition.   We refuse to take out loans, and we don't qualify for anywhere near enough aid, so they are very limited in their options.   We make sure their list includes schools where they will receive guaranteed scholarships (schools like Bama, UAH, Ole Miss, etc).  Then we add schools where we think they will be competitive for competitive scholarships. My kids have been awarded scholarships from almost all of the schools they have applied to.   Applying broadly is an absolute necessity bc even with a full-tuition scholarship, schools are expensive.  Fordham awarded her full-tuition, but room and board are so high that it was still going to be close to $20,000/yr when we factored in flights, etc. 

 

My ds attends Bama on full scholarship.  He has 4 stacked scholarships from them: the Presidential, 2 physics scholarships, and a special honors program scholarship.  My dd will be attending USC on close to full scholarship.  She was awarded the Top Scholars' McNair that stacks on top of the Leiber (their NMF scholarship). 

 

FWIW, I spend hours researching colleges and reviewing the backgrounds of previous winners. (I am brutally honest in my assessment of how competitive I think they will be.)  I want to make sure that applications are worth their time and that they absolutely have a good financial safety since $$ is the driving force behind their options.  

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This is the exact opposite of how we approach college applications.  We start with a list of schools that offer large scholarships and then narrow the list down according to how likely we think they are to be awarded them based on the profiles of past award winners.  Then they narrow that list down according to schools they would be interested in attending.

 

We know that in order to attend any residential college that the absolute minimum award they need is full-tuition.   We refuse to take out loans, and we don't qualify for anywhere near enough aid, so they are very limited in their options.   We make sure their list includes schools where they will receive guaranteed scholarships (schools like Bama, UAH, Ole Miss, etc).  Then we add schools where we think they will be competitive for competitive scholarships. My kids have been awarded scholarships from almost all of the schools they have applied to.   Applying broadly is an absolute necessity bc even with a full-tuition scholarship, schools are expensive.  Fordham awarded her full-tuition, but room and board are so high that it was still going to be close to $20,000/yr when we factored in flights, etc. 

 

My ds attends Bama on full scholarship.  He has 4 stacked scholarships from them: the Presidential, 2 physics scholarships, and a special honors program scholarship.  My dd will be attending USC on close to full scholarship.  She was awarded the Top Scholars' McNair that stacks on top of the Leiber (their NMF scholarship). 

 

FWIW, I spend hours researching colleges and reviewing the backgrounds of previous winners. (I am brutally honest in my assessment of how competitive I think they will be.)  I want to make sure that applications are worth their time and that they absolutely have a good financial safety since $$ is the driving force behind their options.

I agree with this. My kids are not the caliber to get those full tuition scholarships to schools like Bama, USC so we drop down a level. My rising senior will be going to a regional state U- not the flagship. He will get automatic merit to cover tuition plus a bit of room and board (this is combining automatic institutional aid and state lottery scholarship funds).

 

The part that I think is really important here is the brutally honest about chances of winning competitive scholarships. My senior is a great kid. He has a good ACT and is a hard worker and has all kinds of great qualities. But he does not look good on paper and he will not win competitive awards based on extracurricular activities. I think he is special and fantastic and going to be successful but he is not going to win a competitive scholarship. It can be hard to be brutally honest but better figure that out before all the time and effort of the application process.

 

I also agree that it takes tons of research time on the part of the parent. I have told my kids that I can't pay big bucks for their college but I will do my very best to find them the best possible options.

 

My older ds did well at a LAC where he was in the top 25% of test scores and allowed him to stack an outside scholarship.

 

Good luck to you.

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Not every school has scholarships to give out, and you have to be willing to make trade offs. My older daughter really wanted a small school, but there weren't great opportunities for merit at small LACs closer to home.

 

The longer your list of must-haves, (major, distance from family, in a city or not, good weather/beaches/mountains, size of school, football team, etc) the harder it is to control for price. Stay flexible and build a long initial list, because once you start researching the financial realities, the list can get short really fast. In particular, don't get hung up on prestige. The biggest names don't have to give away money to get good students to apply.

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In particular, don't get hung up on prestige.

 

:iagree:   I have so many friends IRL who chose "non-prestigious" schools for financial reasons, distinguished themselves at these institutions, and have been incredibly successful... no less so than our friends from "prestigious" schools. 

 

One of my daughter's good friends graduated first in her class at a large public school, was admitted to the "prestigious" schools and took a full ride to a state university.  She is thrilled to be going there.  I might add her family has the wealth to pay for any school, so she could have chosen any of the schools.  She is already connected to fabulous opportunities for her pre-med goals.  We actually know many people who have done / do this with great results. 

 

IMO, it comes down to making the most of wherever you are, seeking opportunities and distinguishing yourself wherever you go. :) 

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Not getting hung up on prestige has helped my kids. I would not send them to schools that were inadequate or could not meet their needs or provide adequate challenge but for my kids we could find places that met their needs without impressive name recognition. We were able to find those places but it took some research hours and open minds.

 

I am pleased with the choices my boys have made (so far) but neither college would be anyone's dream school and neither has a bunch of fancy amenities. I am sure if money were no issue we might have made some different choices but money is an issue as it is for most of us.

 

One thing I have realized about myself and my family is how enjoyable the college experience is without a huge financial struggle hanging over us.If things had played out differently for ds 1 I can see that we might have stretched more than we should have to send him and that would have been stressful and diminished the experience some.

 

That got off topic- sorry! We are just in the stage of being involved in frequent college admission talk and I have been reflecting on how our philosophy of choosing colleges and paying for them has developed.

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Thank you everyone for your comments!  I am going through them all now.  He wants to do aeronautical engineering but you know how kids are and how much they change their minds!  I had given him a very liberal arts education and his SAT scores show it!  He got a 750 on his Lit section and only 710 on his math even though he wants to go stem.  :-P  I'm not sure if this will be high enough to get really good scholarships we are hoping for at least all tuition paid.  He probably will only be commended for the merit scholarship but of course won't know for sure until Sept. our state is tough!!  Anyhow, I want an university that will cover all areas in case he changes his mind!!  We had assumed he would go to Liberty since that is where he has always wanted to go but they don't have specialty engineering just electrical, mechanical, etc.  I keep thinking he should just go there and focus on a generic engineering program and then jump into a more specialized field for his masters. I think he would be happier at a Christian school. He will have about 56 credits done before graduating which is nice but than again if he does go to the engineering route only half will probably count.  :-P!  Thanks again, can't wait to search all of these!

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I would look into UAH since they have internships with NASA. But, I would encourage him to consider mechanical over aeronautical bc mechanical engineers work alongside aeronautical engineers, but mechanical engineers have broader employment options.

 

UA offers an additional engineering scholarship (or at least they did.)

 

I would have him retake the SAT and see if he can pull up his score slightly. I think UAH will take scores all the way through June of sr yr.

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Yep, UAH is a great suggestion for aerospace + merit.

 

Limiting your search to Christian colleges isn't the best way to optimize for price, especially since many are more known for liberal arts than engineering.

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Yep, UAH is a great suggestion for aerospace + merit.

 

Limiting your search to Christian colleges isn't the best way to optimize for price, especially since many are more known for liberal arts than engineering.

 

Yes, I am seeing that.  sigh... I do hope he will take it again to try to get to the 1500 mark...not sure that he will though he is burning out.  :(  UAH does seem to have good scholarships at least tuition would be paid for what he has currently in scores.  Anyone have any student attend there?

 

I am pushing towards mechanical engineering because of more job opportunities and then he could specialize more for his masters.  I do agree!

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My second son is going there this fall.  He's excited about it!  He's an engineering major, most likely electrical, and he got their highest scholarship that isn't NM (our state is really tough too--VA), which I can't remember the name of right now, lol--the one where tuition and housing are paid.  

 

It's a nice campus in a nice town.  We're military, and we turned down an assignment in Huntsville to come to where we are now, but it was because this job was better, not because we didn't love Huntsville.  We also have friends who retired there, and they really like the town (plus now we have people to stay with when we're down there!).  It's a town with a pretty conservative feel, with all the military/retired military folks around there, and we liked that.

 

There are tons of government contractors pouring money and materials into the STEM programs there, as well as offering job co-ops and internships.  That was really attractive too.

 

I'm pretty sure I posted a review of our campus visit there on here somewhere, but I can't find it by searching!  Grrr . . . maybe someone with better skills can find it.  We visited it back in January.

Edited by AFwife Claire
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My second son is going there this fall. He's excited about it! He's an engineering major, most likely electrical, and he got their highest scholarship that isn't NM (our state is really tough too--VA), which I can't remember the name of right now, lol--the one where tuition and housing are paid.

 

It's a nice campus in a nice town. We're military, and we turned down an assignment in Huntsville to come to where we are now, but it was because this job was better, not because we didn't love Huntsville. We also have friends who retired there, and they really like the town (plus now we have people to stay with when we're down there!). It's a town with a pretty conservative feel, with all the military/retired military folks around there, and we liked that.

 

There are tons of government contractors pouring money and materials into the STEM programs there, as well as offering job co-ops and internships. That was really attractive too.

 

I'm pretty sure I posted a review of our campus visit there on here somewhere, but I can't find it by searching! Grrr . . . maybe someone with better skills can find it. We visited it back in January.

Thanks for the info! We are in VA too but not sure if he'll get to 1500 which is what you need for their full ride.

 

But full tuition isn't bad...thanks for the info on the area!

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Thanks for the info! We are in VA too but not sure if he'll get to 1500 which is what you need for their full ride.

 

But full tuition isn't bad...thanks for the info on the area!

Did he try the ACT?  My son got a 35 on the ACT, but he could never get his SAT score quite that high.  Might be worth a shot!

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I finally found my review of our visit to UAH!  (No thanks to the search engine, however, where I couldn't find it by searching "hunstville", "UAH", or even my user name.  Fortunately I knew when we had visited, and the college board doesn't move as quickly, so there weren't as many pages to go back to!)

 

A Visit to University of Alabama-Huntsville

 

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I finally found my review of our visit to UAH!  (No thanks to the search engine, however, where I couldn't find it by searching "hunstville", "UAH", or even my user name.  Fortunately I knew when we had visited, and the college board doesn't move as quickly, so there weren't as many pages to go back to!)

 

A Visit to University of Alabama-Huntsville

 

Thanks for the info!  Will pass on to him.  He took ACT once a couple of yrs. ago but scored about the same on his SATs.  Not sure if he wants to take another one but I should get him to try since it could save him a bundle!! 

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He will have about 56 credits done before graduating which is nice but than again if he does go to the engineering route only half will probably count. :-P! Thanks again, can't wait to search all of these!

If your son is interested in aero-engineering, I would look at schools that have that major even if he plans on declaring a mechanical eng major. At a school with aero-eng majors, he may be able to take those classes as electives or do undergrad research for aero-eng professors. http://main.abet.org/aps/accreditedprogramsearch.aspx Compare those schools to the schools with automatic scholarships.

 

If your son is interested in interning for NASA, take a look at schools where they recruit for interns. Many schools have pages that show which companies/agencies recruit on campus. Look for schools with a co-op program (where students study a term and then work a term), so your son can earn money while gaining experience in his area of interest. He could see about getting aero experience while majoring in mechanical engineering.

 

I would encourage your son to take the tests again to increase his odds of a good scholarship. If you are okay with covering room/board, then your son will have options. Scholarships on top of that are harder to anticipate. My oldest two went to the same college; both received stacking scholarships. However, the kid who looked better on paper received less scholarships moneywise for freshman year than the younger sibling. Scholarships covered tution for both. They covered all but $1,000 of room/board for younger, but just food for older. Her housing is cheap enough, that going local would have cost us more in fees. I'm just saying scholarships can be quirky.

 

I would also look for schools where your son's hours will transfer. Even if it only cuts off one term, that is less money you will need to spend. Or, he could take less hours and have more time to work as a paid undergrad researcher.

 

Another option is to look into Christian/liberal arts schools that have automatic 3/2 transfer agreements with state schools for engineering students. This would require looking into scholarship options at both schools, but it may open up the option of a Christian school if that is important to your son.

 

Good luck to your son.

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Thank you everyone for your comments!  I am going through them all now.  He wants to do aeronautical engineering but you know how kids are and how much they change their minds!  I had given him a very liberal arts education and his SAT scores show it!  He got a 750 on his Lit section and only 710 on his math even though he wants to go stem.  :-P  I'm not sure if this will be high enough to get really good scholarships we are hoping for at least all tuition paid.  He probably will only be commended for the merit scholarship but of course won't know for sure until Sept. our state is tough!!  Anyhow, I want an university that will cover all areas in case he changes his mind!!  We had assumed he would go to Liberty since that is where he has always wanted to go but they don't have specialty engineering just electrical, mechanical, etc.  I keep thinking he should just go there and focus on a generic engineering program and then jump into a more specialized field for his masters. I think he would be happier at a Christian school. He will have about 56 credits done before graduating which is nice but than again if he does go to the engineering route only half will probably count.  :-P!  Thanks again, can't wait to search all of these!

 

When we did college tours, I was encouraged by the number of good sized churches very near to campus, and the number of student focused religious groups.  I think that you can have an encouraging religious support network without attending a specifically Christian college.

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I forgot to put this part in my earlier post. Most of the recent engineering grads, includes mechanical and aero engineering majors, that we know went straight to work without a master's degree. So,that is why I would look for a school where your son can do some aero classes or research to see if that is what he wants to do for a career.

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