teachermom2834 Posted October 4, 2017 Share Posted October 4, 2017 (edited) This does not impact me directly but a friend is dealing with this. My friend has kids in public school and they are high achievers. National Merit, tons of APs, etc. Oldest is in college at a "meets full need school" and she has limited her senior to looking at "meets full need" schools. The senior has a list of top tier schools she has good chance of admittance to. The mom has been assuming all along that the "meets full need" refers to the FAFSA generated EFC so that she would be paying approximately half of it for each once the second starts. She finally decides to run a net price calculator at a desired school and gets a price about $17,000 more than she expected. She runs the calculators for all the desired schools and they vary from $17,000-$25,000 more than she expected. Double and more the FAFSA EFC. Turns out her PROFILE EFC is much higher (I think due to significant home equity) and of course all the schools get to determine your need and how to meet it however they would like. I know our experienced parents on here know this and point it out all the time but my very smart friend got caught up in not understanding the nuances of this. She thought she was doing the right thing by seeking out the schools that promised to meet need. Now she is scrambling trying to figure out what to do for her senior and wondering how the college her oldest is at will recalculate her bill. She was expecting it to be cut dramatically but now she realizes these schools aren't going by FAFSA and they can determine need their own way. I feel bad for my friend (though I know I tried to point this out, I am not sure I realized that there could be that big of a difference between the methodologies). She has been telling her high achiever that they could afford all these amazing schools and they have researched, visited, etc. I understand the answer is to drop down in rankings and compromise some of the dream school desires regarding location, prestige, etc. but this family is extremely rankings and prestige focused and they just don't want to hear any of that. I feel bad for her but it is a hard conversation for me to have. Thousands and thousands of students cannot afford their dream schools. Her family is not alone in this. They are just out of reach for most families. My kids don't have the option of having dream schools at all and I don't feel guilty or bitter or slighted over that. It is just reality. There are lots of things we can't afford. I know there is nothing new here. It is just on my mind because she is a good friend and was just devastated yesterday when the pieces came together for her and she figured this out. Edited October 4, 2017 by teachermom2834 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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