Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Chris in VA

EFC is...big. Ugh. (FAFSA content)

Recommended Posts

So we finally got our Expected contribution numbers. It's over 22K. Yikes. 

Commiseration, anyone? 

 

AND a question--

 

So does that mean that expenses beyond that would constitute financial need? IOW, if dd picks a school that is more than that, would she qualify for need-based scholarships to cover the rest?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IOW, if dd picks a school that is more than that, would she qualify for need-based scholarships to cover the rest?

If the school guarantees to cover 100% of need, I think they will offer something (loans, grants, work study) to cover the rest. I don't think that means you won't have loans for the rest.

 

And for colleges that don't guarantee to cover all need, you can be on the line for any more.

 

Sorry to hear the number is so high, but each college will really decide for themselves what your "need" is - higher or lower than that amount.

https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2017-09-21/colleges-that-claim-to-meet-full-financial-need

Edited to add link

Edited by RootAnn
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So we finally got our Expected contribution numbers. It's over 22K. Yikes. 

Commiseration, anyone? 

 

AND a question--

 

So does that mean that expenses beyond that would constitute financial need? IOW, if dd picks a school that is more than that, would she qualify for need-based scholarships to cover the rest?

 

Simple answer?  No.  FAFSA EFC simply determines Pell eligibility and with that EFC, your student is obviously not Pell eligible.

 

Complicated answer?  Most schools do not offer grant aid or meet need.  Schools that meet need typically do not use FAFSA but the CSS Profile which requires a bigger financial picture (investment income, retirement yrly contributions, home equity, value of cars.......)  Your familial contribution based on the CSS may be larger than FAFSA's efc.

 

If your student is competitive enough to be accepted into a meets full need school, they are more than likely competitive for merit at lower ranked schools that can make them cheaper than having need met.

 

ETA:  That 22K number is pretty meaningless by itself.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the school guarantees to cover 100% of need, I think they will offer something (loans, grants, work study) to cover the rest. I don't think that means you won't have loans for the rest.

 

And for colleges that don't guarantee to cover all need, you can be on the line for any more.

 

Sorry to hear the number is so high, but each college will really decide for themselves what your "need" is - higher or lower than that amount.

https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2017-09-21/colleges-that-claim-to-meet-full-financial-need

Edited to add link

 

Sorry, nope.  That was about our EFC.  The one school that dd applied to that 'met full need' dodged that by simply recalculating our 'need' so that we were expected to pay $45K - more than double our EFC!   :eek:  That's not including what dd would be expected to take out in student loans and work study, btw - that's the parent contribution. I called to make sure they realized we had TWO kids in school, to top it off, and hadn't meant to cut that number in half.  Nope, they said, you should take out a home equity line or use your 401K money, by our calculations that should do it. Or one of those nifty Parent Plus loans.  Needless to say, she did not attend that school - that was, by far actually, the hugest parent contribution expected by any school she applied to.

 

Most 100% need schools have their own formula - and I do know people (even at that same school) who have had the formula work to their benefit, but do not assume because they 'meet full need' they'll meet your EFC, or even close.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I talk with students (or parents) who have a high EFC they don't feel they can pay, I tell them to do two things.  First, look for merit aid, because that usually doesn't depend upon financial need (some schools differ, but they really should call their merit a hybrid or something).  Second, if their student has high enough stats and desire, run some Net Price Calculators at the tippy top schools because they often calculate aid needed differently and more in favor of those who get similar numbers.  They don't use federal aid for this.  They use huge endowments.

 

99% of the time it's the merit aid that works the best toward helping as not very many are competitive for the really good with aid schools.

 

The fairly good news is there are many schools that have decent merit aid IF the student is in the top 5 - 15% of students going to those schools.  The bad news is there are several hoping to get that aid (usually), so they're competitive.  Still, I've seen kids get decent aid, so it's worth pursuing.  Just don't count on it until you see the paper award in hand.

 

To be totally honest, many schools seem to get their numbers down to match what state schools would cost in our state, so you might want to look at those numbers in your state to get a fairly realistic idea of what might happen.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Run the College Board EFC estimator as well. Most people have a higher CSS/Profile EFC than FAFSA EFC, but yours might be lower if you rent your home and don't have an unexpected amount of assets. In either case, it's good to know where you stand with both formulas. You may want to prioritize or avoid Profile schools if your two EFCs vary significantly.

 

2. If 22K is affordable (by if-we-stretch-we-can-make-it affordable), then the College Board Big Future search engine lets you search on schools that meet 80% or more of need. (You can only search on need met in 20% increments.) Note that most schools will take your money (and any Pell grant you qualify for) and give your student a federal student loan of 3,000 - 5,500 before they contribute any of their own funds. Meets full need rarely means "no loans." However, you can look at the green/blue pie charts on Big Future (click on Paying, then select "Financial Aid by the Numbers" -- the bigger the green area of the pie chart, the better. You will see schools that meet need with 80% grants/20% loans, 60/40, 50/50, etc.

 

3. If 22K is ridiculous, you are looking for big merit aid if your student has good stats or a lower price tag school (such as an in-state public, a school your child can commute to, or community college then transfer). You should ask carefully how the school calculates things like class rank for merit if your student is homeschooled. Some schools can overlook homeschooled kids for merit, especially if the child applies test-optional.

Edited by JanetC
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So does that mean that expenses beyond that would constitute financial need? IOW, if dd picks a school that is more than that, would she qualify for need-based scholarships to cover the rest?

 

Sorry, no, that is not a given. 

 

Will she qualify for some need-based aid at most expensive schools? Yes, but you will often (usually?) be "gapped" - there will be a gap in between EFC + aid and actual cost. 

 

There are schools that state there meet 100% of need, but they mean they meet 100% of what they consider to be your need, which can be painfully higher than your EFC. 

 

As 8 pointed out, you have to have excellent stats to even get into a meets full needs school, which means that chasing merit is something such a student should definitely consider. I don't know of any non-selective schools that are full needs (which, again, does not mean they only expect your EFC). 

 

For us, the potential for annual change in need-based aid was a source of anxiety, as were the competitive scholarships that didn't give you an answer until the last minute. My kids are the type that want to know where they're attending by March, rather than attending a competitive scholarship day in March and getting an answer in April. I mean,  my oldest was registered for classes the first week in April, lol. We are big fans of schools that have guaranteed merit aid (meet this ACT score and this GPA, and you will get this amount of money). 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can commiserate. The first year we sent kids off to college, our EFC was $80K. Not a typo. We did have weird circumstances that year which made us look ridiculously rich (we're not), and the following years have had much lower EFC's. But yeah, that first year was ridiculous.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, this is a 2017 news article put out by USNews that talks about full need schools and gives a rather good list of them IMO.  If an EFC is affordable, these are worth a look to see if they fit the student and are worth applying to:

 

https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2017-09-21/colleges-that-claim-to-meet-full-financial-need

 

Personally, I'd run their NPC (the specific college NPC) to see if the number that arrived at matched the federal EFC because many of these do calculate on their own.  Their number could be worse - or better.  If worse, you'd have to decide if an application were worth the time hoping something different happened.  If better, it could really mean it's worth trying if the school otherwise fits.

 

From students I've seen, definitely make sure the school fits.  If it really doesn't (no desired major, totally wrong atmosphere or type, too far from home for preference, whatever), it's not really worth staying on the list.  I've seen bad things happen when the school really doesn't fit the student (not meaning just a second or third choice).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FAFSA seems to think we have an extra $3k per month in our budget that somehow we don't know anything about :glare: The only way we could make our EFC affordable would be for me to resume paid employment, but then the higher income would just raise our EFC to something unaffordable again.

 

It's why my oldest is on the associate's-and-transfer to a UC path. She is a very good standardized test taker so she could potentially be competitive for merit aid. But the schools that offer generous merit aid I don't think are any better than Berkeley or UCLA.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FAFSA seems to think we have an extra $3k per month in our budget that somehow we don't know anything about :glare: The only way we could make our EFC affordable would be for me to resume paid employment, but then the higher income would just raise our EFC to something unaffordable again.

 

It's why my oldest is on the associate's-and-transfer to a UC path. She is a very good standardized test taker so she could potentially be competitive for merit aid. But the schools that offer generous merit aid I don't think are any better than Berkeley or UCLA.

 

We're in a similar boat and looking at that same approach if we stay in CA.

 

Question since you're in CA. Have you looked at some of the good privates here in terms of merit aid? I'm talking about schools like Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount, etc..? 

 

We also have friends in CA whose kids go to school in the PNW and like their schools (public and private). We've heard some of these out of state privates are more generous with merit aid. So we've thought about those well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC, Santa Clara gave about 10k in merit money to a high stats low need student I know. Student had perfect scores across-the-board. Chose SCU to be close to home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC, Santa Clara gave about 10k in merit money to a high stats low need student I know. Student had perfect scores across-the-board. Chose SCU to be close to home.

 

Yes, that sounds pretty consistent with what I've heard. They don't offer much unfortunately when compared to other expensive privates. 10k is pretty low when considering the high overall cost and the student's high stats in this case. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that sounds pretty consistent with what I've heard. They don't offer much unfortunately when compared to other expensive privates. 10k is pretty low when considering the high overall cost and the student's high stats in this case. 

 

SCU includes a merit estimate in the NPC (even when there is low need).  I have no idea how accurate that is, but the amount it spit out jives with what the school counselor told us (merit very common for students from this Jesuit high school)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're in a similar boat and looking at that same approach if we stay in CA.

 

Question since you're in CA. Have you looked at some of the good privates here in terms of merit aid? I'm talking about schools like Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount, etc..?

 

We also have friends in CA whose kids go to school in the PNW and like their schools (public and private). We've heard some of these out of state privates are more generous with merit aid. So we've thought about those well.

Would USF give out better merit aid than SCU since it seems like it's ranked lower and not really a STEM school like SCU. $10k is not enough.

 

I should have started DD in soccer at 3 yo, lol. We've met a few soccer players at USF with full ride athletic scholarships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC, Santa Clara gave about 10k in merit money to a high stats low need student I know. Student had perfect scores across-the-board. Chose SCU to be close to home.

I meant to quote you too. That's actually really depressing to read. So perfect scores and still only $10k? I thought SCU is a lower ranked private school, so more merit aid to attract top students. That's one of the schools I was looking at but not with only $10k.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would USF give out better merit aid than SCU since it seems like it's ranked lower and not really a STEM school like SCU. $10k is not enough.

 

I don't know the answer to this, but I'd try the NPCs and see what they say, even if you are still a few years out.  The SCU NPC includes merit.  Our school counselor said the range he usually sees is 10-25k, with the high end being for the very top students (Naviance has >30 kids apply each yr from this high school, with >20 accepted, so a decent sample size) - it sounds like this high school's results may be a little different than the results of local public high schools.

 

Also, FWIW, SCU posted the profile for class of 2021 only in the past week or two. https://www.scu.edu/admission/undergraduate/choosing-scu/class-profile/  (scroll down to the stats by school and see Engineering)

 

Demonstrated interest is very important to SCU (first words out of the admissions officer's mouth at our visit) and my guess, from reading the early threads this year, is that they've got a bit of Tufts Syndrome going on.  Maybe they're eyeing the rankings, maybe trying to make the jump from regional to national like Villanova did last year.

Edited by wapiti
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I meant to quote you too. That's actually really depressing to read. So perfect scores and still only $10k? I thought SCU is a lower ranked private school, so more merit aid to attract top students. That's one of the schools I was looking at but not with only $10k.

 

I agree with wapiti. Try the NPC. I'd rather not say which class this student belongs to (not 2021). The parents are well-to-do.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're in a similar boat and looking at that same approach if we stay in CA.

 

Question since you're in CA. Have you looked at some of the good privates here in terms of merit aid? I'm talking about schools like Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount, etc..? 

 

We also have friends in CA whose kids go to school in the PNW and like their schools (public and private). We've heard some of these out of state privates are more generous with merit aid. So we've thought about those well.

 

The assistant coach of my youngest's special needs soccer team ended up having to go to a LAC in New York because none of the LAC's in CA or the PNW that he applied to could come anywhere close to the merit aid his family needed (his older sister has Intellectual Disability and the parents have to support her as she's not capable of living independently or working at a mainstream job). He was a member of a nationally ranked color guard team in addition to doing the SN soccer coaching and having good grades & test scores.

 

With the high COL here, there are just too many smart kids chasing the limited merit scholarships available at West Coast colleges.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with wapiti. Try the NPC. I'd rather not say which class this student belongs to (not 2021). The parents are well-to-do.

Ok, I think I’m beginning to understand this. Dd is in 7th grade, but after reading the other thread, I’ve been thinking more about how to pay for college.

 

Rough entering of numbers into NPC for USF, not SCU yet, and it’s more than $25k. There wasn’t a merit space for USF. We look better on paper than what we actually are. I need to smoke some cannabis now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We look better on paper than what we actually are.

 

You and me both. :grouphug:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The assistant coach of my youngest's special needs soccer team ended up having to go to a LAC in New York because none of the LAC's in CA or the PNW that he applied to could come anywhere close to the merit aid his family needed (his older sister has Intellectual Disability and the parents have to support her as she's not capable of living independently or working at a mainstream job). He was a member of a nationally ranked color guard team in addition to doing the SN soccer coaching and having good grades & test scores.

 

With the high COL here, there are just too many smart kids chasing the limited merit scholarships available at West Coast colleges.

 

We're actually considering moving out of state during these quickly approaching college years for similar reasons. The high COL is hitting us from all sides more than ever. We're probably not the only parents with multiple kids approaching college considering similar things. But I realize its harder for some than others to pull up tent stakes and move somewhere new.

 

One of the things we really like about WA are their good public U's which are not as impacted as CA such as UW-Bothell, UW-Tacoma and WWU. 

 

While our son could probably find good merit aid in another state far, far away, he strongly desires to stay on or near the West Coast. Some place like AZ 'may' be acceptable to him. Otherwise, he pretty much wants to remain local nearer the coast. So if in CA, its looking like it will end up being public U's such as Cal Poly SLO, San Jose State, UC Davis, etc... 

 

The other factor we're considering is where will they want to live not only during school but upon graduation? Coastal CA is so expensive for young ppl especially in the Bay area. Its really hard to launch a career and eventually have a young family here. KWIM?

Edited by dereksurfs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to pile on to your sticker shock OP, but for others reading the thread...

 

One thing I think is misunderstood with EFC as well is that it doesn't really tell you what is going to make up the gap.

 

Pell grants apply to poor families, but they don't go up based on the price of the school. The MAXIMUM Pell Grant is around $6k. That's your main need grant. That's the max. If you are an orphan (foster alum), your parent is disabled, and you go to an expensive school, like not CC, you get the max. If your school costs less or your parents have almost any income at all, you're not getting that whole $6k! 

 

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types

 

Beyond that, in many expensive states, you might get a state need grant, to cover the gap. For example, in Seattle, there are grants to make up the difference at the Seattle community colleges, because the COL is far too high for Pell grants to cover tuition at CC much less the entire cost of attendance.

 

But even if you have an EFC of $0, you still may end up with student loans. That's because Pell only goes so far, and then other need grants cover some more, but the rest of the cost must be paid with loans and work.

 

The winning strategy is save and work and save and work. Merit aid can make up the gap. The amount you get in aid is so measly compared to what any able-bodied adult could feasibly save over just 5 years, that it doesn't pay not to save. Even if you have a moderately low income, say $50k, unless your child is Harvard material, you want to save, because Pell just won't make up the gap.

 

It has been a big deceit to the middle class, to imply that loans are "aid". While helpful, that's not what people are counting on when they choose not to save for college.

 

Whether your EFC is $20k instead of $26k, or $15k instead of $50k, guess what? You're not getting Pell to finish off the rest. You are getting loans and mayyyybe some grants if it's a private school, and then kids have to wash dishes and nanny and wait tables over the summer.

 

Unless it affects your family's nutrition and basic needs or education now, you and your kid should save for college. The "aid" at the end of the rainbow is high-interest, horrible terms loans, unless you are in such dire poverty that advice doesn't even apply because you have no choice.

 

Save, save, save.

Edited by Tsuga
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experiences on this board, it's usually those in HCOL areas that are really affected by the EFC.  I suspect the program needs to be reworked to account for higher housing prices, but I doubt that will ever actually happen.  I know when the discussion comes up in our area, the common thought is "Those folks should just move.  If they want to live in a pricey area, then they need to pay for it."

 

EFC is not exactly awesome for many in our area.  Paying it can be a stretch, esp if parents already have debt or other payments they are making besides a mortgage or rent (and for some here, it's impossible), but far more can pay for it if they choose to than what I hear about from HCOL areas.  Our area seems to have plenty of students who can take on "basic" student loans (meaning graduating with 25K or so of loans - the price of a new car) with parents or grant/merit aid making up the rest.  It may not be that way at any school they want (like us with Furman), but with some careful applying, it tends to work out somewhere for many - not all - but many - as long as their parents will pay their share and/or fill out the Fafsa.  Some won't even though they could.  (Obviously I don't know everyone's finances!  I only know what kids share with me or within my circles of folks.  Some kids tell me their parents won't fill out the Fafsa or pay anything toward college.  Fortunately, most aren't in that boat.  I feel for those who are.)

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is the HCOL areas that get killed on the EFC calculations: https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-cash-101/2010/04/06/5-big-financial-aid-lies

 

I think many parents wait too long to determine the EFC and then they are in for a rude awakening. When I talk to parents of prospective students at my university, I encourage them to run the numbers right away. But everyone should really do it as early as freshman year of high school.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experiences on this board, it's usually those in HCOL areas that are really affected by the EFC. I suspect the program needs to be reworked to account for higher housing prices, but I doubt that will ever actually happen. I know when the discussion comes up in our area, the common thought is "Those folks should just move. If they want to live in a pricey area, then they need to pay for it."

 

EFC is not exactly awesome for many in our area. Paying it can be a stretch, esp if parents already have debt or other payments they are making besides a mortgage or rent (and for some here, it's impossible), but far more can pay for it if they choose to than what I hear about from HCOL areas. Our area seems to have plenty of students who can take on "basic" student loans (meaning graduating with 25K or so of loans - the price of a new car) with parents or grant/merit aid making up the rest. It may not be that way at any school they want (like us with Furman), but with some careful applying, it tends to work out somewhere for many - not all - but many - as long as their parents will pay their share and/or fill out the Fafsa. Some won't even though they could. (Obviously I don't know everyone's finances! I only know what kids share with me or within my circles of folks. Some kids tell me their parents won't fill out the Fafsa or pay anything toward college. Fortunately, most aren't in that boat. I feel for those who are.)

This is not our experience (and we do not live in a HCOL area.) Most people we know personally and most of the homeschoolers who have attended my workshops and have shared with me have expressed complete inability to pay their familial contribution. The vast majority of their students live at home and commute to the local CC or university. A few pursue merit scholarships and attend a 4 yr university. Of those, most attend in-state publics with large scholarships. A handful attend private schools on scholarship. Catholic schools like Benedictine with their full-tuition NM scholarship are a very small minority. Edited by 8FillTheHeart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not our experience. Most people we know personally and most of the homeschoolers who have attended my workshops and have shared with me have expressed complete inability to pay their familial contribution. The vast majority of their students live at home and commute to the local CC or university. A few pursue merit scholarships and attend a 4 yr university. Of those, most attend in-state publics with large scholarships. A handful attend private schools on scholarship. Catholic schools like Benedictine with their full-tuition NM scholarship are a very small minority.

 

It could easily be different in homeschooling communities, esp if one parent stays at home or only works part time.  I mostly deal with the ps community and both parents having full time jobs is far more common.  I only work part time, but hubby has a decent enough income for our COL area that our EFC works - stretches for sure taking a third to a half of our income - but works. We can still pay for our needs and pay it, albeit, we're not paying into retirement right now (though could if we cut travel).  If we had to pay the mortgages and higher food costs HCOL areas have, it wouldn't.  I just googled.  Our income is just a little bit over the median for our county, so I still don't think we're unusual or that I'm hearing inaccurate reports from the seniors (or returning students) I talk with.  I googled the median income for San Diego.  It's only 3K more than my own county.  There's no way that 3K can pay for the additional COL costs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could easily be different in homeschooling communities, esp if one parent stays at home or only works part time. I mostly deal with the ps community and both parents having full time jobs is far more common. I only work part time, but hubby has a decent enough income for our COL area that our EFC works - stretches for sure taking a third to a half of our income - but works. We can still pay for our needs and pay it, albeit, we're not paying into retirement right now (though could if we cut travel). If we had to pay the mortgages and higher food costs HCOL areas have, it wouldn't. I just googled. Our income is just a little bit over the median for our county, so I still don't think we're unusual or that I'm hearing inaccurate reports from the seniors (or returning students) I talk with. I googled the median income for San Diego. It's only 3K more than my own county. There's no way that 3K can pay for the additional COL costs!

Those medians include retirees and students. That skews it downwards especially in cities where you see fewer kids. And other people with kids, you are right, just can't save.

 

I don't agree with it.

 

My point was primarily that even if you have a low EFC be very conscious of what makes up your aid package. In some schools you may be asked to co sign for a ton of debt.

 

The initial investment to apply to many colleges and scholarships really pays off especially in the low EFC case.

 

High EFC, you will pay, but you can't turn back the clock and save in retrospect so all I have for you are hugs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those medians include retirees and students. That skews it downwards especially in cities where you see fewer kids. And other people with kids, you are right, just can't save.

 

I don't agree with it.

 

My point was primarily that even if you have a low EFC be very conscious of what makes up your aid package. In some schools you may be asked to co sign for a ton of debt.

 

The initial investment to apply to many colleges and scholarships really pays off especially in the low EFC case.

 

High EFC, you will pay, but you can't turn back the clock and save in retrospect so all I have for you are hugs.

 

Ok, so I googled census data for my county and San Diego county.  The percent in the work force (age 16+) is 64% male and 59% female for my county.  For San Diego it's 63% male, 57% female.  I'm not convinced that extra 1 and 2% make up the total difference in median income being the same.  COL certainly differs considerably.

 

But I agree with your points.  For anyone less than willing full pay, college searches need to be done in depth to assure something affordable is there because many schools don't even pretend to come down to one's EFC, much less without loans.  If one can pay their EFC, it definitely helps with the search.  If not, 'tis much tougher.

 

My only point is it's easier to potentially meet one's EFC if they don't live in a high COL area and that seems to be true in stats I've looked up as well as my personal experience with students.  A median income here stretches far more than it will in a high COL area and FAFSA doesn't differentiate as best I can tell.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I should have started DD in soccer at 3 yo, lol. We've met a few soccer players at USF with full ride athletic scholarships.

 

If it makes you feel any better, full ride soccer scholarships aren't technically impossible to get, but in reality they are almost non-existent. Division 1 men's soccer teams are restricted to the equivalent of 9 full ride scholarships, and these can be divided any way the coach wishes. The usual method is to divide each scholarship among multiple players, with most schools having a roster of 28-30 players. 

 

The equivalency method is in place for almost all sports (though the total amount of scholarship money varies). 

 

I would be surprised if you met multiple soccer players at one school with full ride soccer scholarships. Not that they are lying to you, but people are often confused about the details (yes, even of their own offers). For example, people often conflate merit aid and grant aid.

 

ime, when people talk about a full ride athletic scholarship in an equivalency sport, they are most often referring to one of two things. One, an award that totals the amount of full tuition, as opposed to an actual full ride. Or two, they are referring to their entire offer, including athletic scholarships, academic scholarships, and grant money. 

 

This has turned into a long response to what was probably an offhand comment, but I'm going to post it anyway. There are so many parents and kids who think there is a decent shot at a full ride in sports like soccer, baseball, or swimming, when in reality it's easier to catch a unicorn. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The vast majority of their students live at home and commute to the local CC or university. .

This isn't just the vast majority of your community. This is the majority of every community. Having the financial and college savvy to shop for schools nationwide and then actually have the money to go is not the norm.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isn't just the vast majority of your community. This is the majority of every community. Having the financial and college savvy to shop for schools nationwide and then actually have the money to go is not the norm.

Yes, I know and agree. I do not believe that many families are actually able to afford their expected contribution at most colleges. I think Creekland's realm of people she is around are outside of the norm. Most middle class families we know cannot afford both tuition/fees/books and room and board. It really comes down to paying for either one or the other but not both.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those medians include retirees and students. That skews it downwards especially in cities where you see fewer kids. And other people with kids, you are right, just can't save.

 

I don't agree with it.

 

My point was primarily that even if you have a low EFC be very conscious of what makes up your aid package. In some schools you may be asked to co sign for a ton of debt.

 

The initial investment to apply to many colleges and scholarships really pays off especially in the low EFC case.

 

High EFC, you will pay, but you can't turn back the clock and save in retrospect so all I have for you are hugs.

 

You are very correct in that even if someone has a low EFC, it might not help with particular schools. We have a fairly low EFC, pell-eligible and all that. DD has just begun her college search in earnest (she's a sophomore). One university we just ran the Net Price on says, "OK, you can cut $3000 off the price with Pell, $5000 off with student loans. Well, that leaves you $36,000 in a parent PLUS loan". Sorry, that's not a solution I can get behind! 

 

I've never had anxiety problems, but this college search is making me lose sleep. I'm sure we'll find a nice place for her and all, but wowza! some of the prices are giving me heart palpitations. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isn't just the vast majority of your community. This is the majority of every community. Having the financial and college savvy to shop for schools nationwide and then actually have the money to go is not the norm.

 

Maybe every community that isn't rural.  I know it's common for most students even in my district to stay within 3 hours of home, usually because they don't want to go further and not a cost issue, but the number who commute or who go to the cc first (before a 4 year) definitely isn't the vast majority.  It isn't even close to a majority.  There are some.  There are more who go to cc just for the 2 year (+/-) programs they provide (like nursing) - students graduating from high school and non-traditional students looking to make changes.

 

I seriously doubt my community is the odd one (except for being rural - which leads to not much diversity too).  Whenever I compare actual statistics, we're about as close to average as one can get.

 

Four year state schools tend to get the highest number of students - and not the highlight schools like Penn St or Pitt.  I'd have to check real stats to see if I lumped all the state schools together with the private schools to see if they were the majority or not.  It'd be iffy, but that's because in PA our state schools aren't cheap (3rd highest in the nation when I checked last) and many privates are pretty good at knowing what number they need to come down to in order to be comparable if they want a student.  Some of ours go to other state schools like in MD or NJ because the cost ends up comparable too.  

 

I suspect in most communities, state schools have the majority of students due to cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I know and agree. I do not believe that many families are actually able to afford their expected contribution at most colleges. I think Creekland's realm of people she is around are outside of the norm. Most middle class families we know cannot afford both tuition/fees/books and room and board. It really comes down to paying for either one or the other but not both.

 

FWIW, EFC at most colleges (what they say a parent can pay) and EFC as per FAFSA (what the gov't feels one can pay) are two different things at many schools.  I agree with you regarding what most colleges say one can pay.  When one can pay their EFC, it's easier to find schools, but that's not the same as saying it's easy and choose any one you want.  Furman didn't even come close to our EFC.  Other schools did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are very correct in that even if someone has a low EFC, it might not help with particular schools. We have a fairly low EFC, pell-eligible and all that. DD has just begun her college search in earnest (she's a sophomore). One university we just ran the Net Price on says, "OK, you can cut $3000 off the price with Pell, $5000 off with student loans. Well, that leaves you $36,000 in a parent PLUS loan". Sorry, that's not a solution I can get behind! 

 

I've never had anxiety problems, but this college search is making me lose sleep. I'm sure we'll find a nice place for her and all, but wowza! some of the prices are giving me heart palpitations. 

 

If you think she'll have the stats, you can take a closer look at these schools:

 

https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2017-09-21/colleges-that-claim-to-meet-full-financial-need

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once again I got curious and came across this article:

 

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/03/26/nearly-half-four-year-college-graduates-attended-two-year-college

 

It says 46% of four year college graduates attended a two year college with 65% of those enrolled at least three semesters.  My guess is the other 35% include students who do DE even for a course or two, but not for at least three semesters.  (All three of mine would fit into those stats even though they "did" traditional 4 year schools for "college.")

 

That puts one third of four year college graduates attending a two year college for at least three semesters (full time or DE) first.  ;)

 

No conclusion - just a curiosity for some of us who found our minds wondering.

 

I suspect regions play a big part in that with places with good CCs getting much higher percentages TBH.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Thanks, I did run across that list last week or so, and she's researching those colleges to see which ones interest her. 

 

I doubt she will be high stats since she has severe test anxiety and a learning disability. She is rocking her community college classes though and her professors love her, but "big college" (her words) terrifies her and thinking about the transition causes her anxiety to soar, so it's going to be tough to find a fit for her. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should have searched a little bit longer.  This site is even better with stats: (It agrees with other studies showing CC enrollment down, which surprises me TBH as I'd have expected the opposite, but this uses actual numbers, so...)

 

https://www.ccidinc.org/single-post/2017/05/04/Community-College-Enrollment-and-Completion

 

"In fall 2015, nearly 6.3 million students were enrolled in public, two-year colleges. About 2.3 million were full-time students and nearly 4 million were part-time. About 6.9 million students were enrolled in all two-year and less-than-two-year colleges, public and private, down from 7.2 million in fall 2014 (NCES, Enrollment and Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2015 and Fall 2014)."

 

"In fall 2015, 38 percent of undergraduate students attended public and private two-year colleges. Of full-time undergraduates, 24 percent attended community colleges (NCES, Enrollment and Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2015).

Among all students who completed a degree at a four-year college in 2015–16, 49 percent had enrolled at a two-year college in the previous 10 years, including high school students dual enrolled in community college courses. Of those, 22 percent were enrolled for only one term, but 63 percent were enrolled at a two-year public institution for three or more terms (National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 2017)."

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, I did run across that list last week or so, and she's researching those colleges to see which ones interest her. 

 

I doubt she will be high stats since she has severe test anxiety and a learning disability. She is rocking her community college classes though and her professors love her, but "big college" (her words) terrifies her and thinking about the transition causes her anxiety to soar, so it's going to be tough to find a fit for her. 

 

Does she have decent advising at her CC?  If so, they ought to be able to help her find affordable, good fit, colleges.  It'd be worth it to check with them to see what they suggest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's public to private enrollment.  No surprises here.  Public beats private roughly 3 to 1.  I'm not going to check each state, but I suspect it's higher where public is less expensive and lower where public is more expensive because for many, cost matters and then you have all the folks who realize that many publics are just as good as (or better than, esp for engineering) privates - it all depends upon the school. I think in all states public will win. 

 

Student enrollment is expected to increase over the next few years.  No surprises there either TBH.  So many places require a college degree now.  So that leaves paying for it... and folks sharing information to try to help each other out.

 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/183995/us-college-enrollment-and-projections-in-public-and-private-institutions/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing I ever suggest is running some net price calculators or at least looking up their income range on the college scorecard website before deciding if the school is or is not affordable. Because of the way the system works, they may find that a private school is competitive in price either because their state system is even worse at meeting EFC or because their kid's stats put them in line for better merit in a different applicant pool. There is so much that is illogical about college pricing!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing I ever suggest is running some net price calculators or at least looking up their income range on the college scorecard website before deciding if the school is or is not affordable. Because of the way the system works, they may find that a private school is competitive in price either because their state system is even worse at meeting EFC or because their kid's stats put them in line for better merit in a different applicant pool. There is so much that is illogical about college pricing!

 

I've heard the calculators are *very* rough when compared to what the school 'actually' ends up offering in terms of merit aid. They don't really include special scholarships or other aid which may be offered because the school needs x number of type y students that particular year, for example. So, to find out the real numbers students need to apply which can also be very time consuming and expensive. But its obviously worth it if they receive unexpected aid.

Edited by dereksurfs
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes -- the NPC is not perfect. But you can't apply to all your schools hoping to get those extra special merit awards. You need to balance safet, match, and reach schools along both admissions and affordability on your final list.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard the calculators are *very* rough when compared to what the school 'actually' ends up offering in terms of merit aid. They don't really include special scholarships or other aid which may be offered because the school needs x number of type y students that particular year, for example. So, to find out the real numbers students need to apply which can also be very time consuming and expensive. But its obviously worth it if they receive unexpected aid.

 

NPCs aren't perfect, but in non-self-employed/no rental properties/no non-custodial parent households, you should consider them in the general ballpark if they ask a decent number of questions.  Applying to lots of schools b/c you have heard that NPCs don't give real numbers and you are hoping they are off by more than a couple of thousand dollars is unlikely to lead to happy results if that is what applications are banking on.

 

Applying knowing that a school is only affordable if they are awarded that competitive scholarship that is only awarded to a handful of students......definitely pick a couple of those and let your student pour their efforts into those couple....after their other applications are completed. But, it is not a good primary application strategy in general.  Applying to schools that you know you can afford straight-up based on given information should always be the students first applications.  Then, merit applications where they stand a very strong chance based on their stats and profile. Then the reach applications where you are hoping additional merit aid will come through.

 

Application and essay fatigue should not be underestimated.  They are real phenomenon.  Kids get absolutely sick of applying and the process and just want to be done.  If they put their best efforts into the least likely options and then just throw things together for the ones where they actually had the strongest shot....it shows and application readers will pick up on it in a heartbeat.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Application and essay fatigue should not be underestimated.  They are real phenomenon.  Kids get absolutely sick of applying and the process and just want to be done.  If they put their best efforts into the least likely options and then just throw things together for the ones where they actually had the strongest shot....it shows and application readers will pick up on it in a heartbeat.

 

Yes, yes, yes. This was something that blindsided me. I had thought the harder apps (more essays, scholarship essays,....) could be done more easily and more effectively later, after my sons had "practiced" on the easier ones first. Big mistake. It takes a ton of stamina to get through college apps.

 

I also failed to take into consideration how many additional essays, interviews, etc. there would be for merit and specialized scholarships, after the initial college applications were submitted.

 

 

ETA: We didn't blindly apply to a multitude of colleges. Just completing the apps to our fairly short list of colleges was more time consuming than I'd anticipated. For my dd, we'll factor a bigger chunk of time for application into her fall semester of senior year.

Edited by yvonne
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone on here actually suggested kids should apply to multiple places without considering finances and just hope for the best? I know I tell kids they are free to have a dream school or two in their applications as one never knows, but that's totally different. When it's a dream school, not many get fatigued applying.

 

I never recommend more than two safeties due to fatigue, and one is fine as long as they are happy going there. Love thy safety. Not so many matches are needed either. Only those that beat the safety and seem worth the effort.

 

Dream schools aren't even needed. They just aren't wrong if a student knows the odds and still wants to try and see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER & RECEIVE A COUPON FOR
10% OFF
We respect your privacy.You’ll hear about new products, special discounts & sales, and homeschooling tips. *Coupon only valid for first-time registrants. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer. Entering your email address makes you eligible to receive future promotional emails.
0 Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin
×