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Hoggirl

More than one kid in college at the same time, CSS Profile, and what the family has to pay?

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Ugh.  Remember my friend whose daughter got into Yale? They have an older daughter and she and the younger will overlap in college one year.  Yale told her what the family will have to contribute will double for younger daughter’s sophomore - senior years.  I understand that, but Mom only indicated that there would be another child in college next year and did not indicate what they are paying for the older sister.  She said providing the amount was optional, and she didn’t fill it out.  They pay $0 for older because she is on a full-ride at an in-state school (not the flagship). So, did Yale make an assumption as to the amount they are paying?  Knowing that there is a kid who overlaps in and of itself doesn’t tell Yale anything.  The family could be paying anywhere between $0 and $70,000 per year for older daughter.  Why is that question “optional”??? 

So, now they feel they cannot justify that much money at all, and the daughter is looking at her other options.  And, they are all bummed.

Thanks for sticking with me.  I have no personal experience with financial aid at all.  I have learned a lot through her journey.  I wish I had more specifics on their personal finances, but it’s just too personal to ask. 

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When my kids overlapped while in college, none of their schools asked to know how much we actually paid for the other kid. I assume they have their formula for what aid they give if x siblings attend college simultaneously; it is probably not feasible to base it on what aid the sibling may or may not receive. 

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I have two dc in college this year and both get a combination of merit and financial aid. They have not asked what we pay for each child. I assume the school uses what Fafsa spits out (not PROFILE schools) as far as what our efc is. So the Fafsa figures that out according to their calculations.  I expect my second son’s financial aid grant to decrease when oldest graduates even though the reality is we pay close to nothing for the oldest and we won’t really be much better off.

I realize you are talking about Yale, though, so they will not be straight Fafsa. But sometimes I reply because so many people lurk and could possibly use the information.

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Well, I did provide how much my son would be paying since the 2nd would hopefully lower the cost of the first.

In your friend's case, I'd call the schools financial aid office directly and ask some questions and see if you can get some real numbers. They should be able to provide a reasonable estimate of what would change when the oldest graduates. 

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They did.  They told her what they spit out for them to pay this year would double after the older graduates. She talked to them. 

I feel like I failed my friend.  I asked over and over again if they were comfortable with what they were seeing on NPCs.  “We’ll make it work.”  It’s so hard to press when personal finances are involved.  😢

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Schools didn't ask when ds was applying and his sister was graduating in Aug. Either the CSS or FAFSA asked # of student in school in July and the other # in Aug or Sept. I can't remember the exact details but our answers were different bc she was graduating something like Aug 14 (and from a CC.) Case called me and asked why the different answers. I explained and the crazy thing is that they gave him whatever their full credit was for overlapping siblings. So, no, where and how much doesn't matter.

FWIW, NOOOO! You did not let down your friend. Finances are familial issues and you talked to them about NPCs, so it is what it is. And whatever that is, it is not your fault.

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Yale’s projected increase for going from 2 to 2 is significantly more than what we are experiencing. We are currently doing the reverse. Next year we will have two in CSS schools. Our net pay for the oldest dropped 20%. I believe that we had to include on DD2’s FASFA (maybe also on the CSS) where the oldest was attending but on DD1’s, of course, we only put that her sister was going to college. 

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My guess is every school does it their own way. We will face this in 2020-21. I can see now what the current college asks for on their forms: name of student, name of college, expected graduation year, full time or half time, undergrad or grad, non-need based aid amount. You update the school once the sibling has decided where to attend and then it gets verified in September. But we don't know how they use the info. This is a meets full need school that uses the CSS profile for incoming students and then uses its own forms thereafter.

We are running the NPCs with just one in college and as a family of 3 to get an idea of what years 2-4 will look like for our younger student.

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@mom1720 - The way your information is asked for seems much more reasonable and thorough to me.  It’s hard for me to understand why all schools wouldn’t be as specific as yours. 
 

Since I haven’t seen what Yale asked on its forms, I can only go by what she is telling me which was that she was asked about any siblings and had the option of including costs.  She did not fill the cost part out. I would assume (though many of my assumptions have clearly been false!) that their award information for Yale for the younger’s freshman year would have then been the same, or at least much closer to what they are saying her sophomore - senior years will be. That likely would have saved many months (she was accepted SCEA) of angst and hand-wringing.  As would her understanding of how outside scholarships would be applied when they were seeing their NPC numbers. Sigh. 

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8 minutes ago, Hoggirl said:

@mom1720 - The way your information is asked for seems much more reasonable and thorough to me.  It’s hard for me to understand why all schools wouldn’t be as specific as yours. 
 

Since I haven’t seen what Yale asked on its forms, I can only go by what she is telling me which was that she was asked about any siblings and had the option of including costs.  She did not fill the cost part out. I would assume (though many of my assumptions have clearly been false!) that their award information for Yale for the younger’s freshman year would have then been the same, or at least much closer to what they are saying her sophomore - senior years will be. That likely would have saved many months (she was accepted SCEA) of angst and hand-wringing.  As would her understanding of how outside scholarships would be applied when they were seeing their NPC numbers. Sigh. 

Knowing that outside scholarships reduce institutional grant $$ and parent  contribution remains fixed should be a given at meets need schools (some will reduce student contribution first). If she didn't listen to you about that (which I know you must have shared), they were approaching this via lala land thinking.

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I do believe Princeton asked us specifics about the school costs for our older daughter (overlap of one year), though they use a different supplemental aid form and not the CSS. They also provided opportunity to flesh out our financial situation in general and unusual expenses we have had. I’ve described the high medical costs incurred for a family member who is no longer technically a dependent and this year I went on at some length about earthquake damage 🙂

It sounds like Yale may have some sort of formula that presumes some level of cost incurred by a dependent child regardless of actual school charges? Does seem odd.

It’s a drag it’s not working out for them. The financial aid piece of the college puzzle sure can be eye opening.

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On ‎4‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 5:10 AM, Arch at Home said:

Yale’s projected increase for going from 2 to 2 is significantly more than what we are experiencing. We are currently doing the reverse. Next year we will have two in CSS schools. Our net pay for the oldest dropped 20%. I believe that we had to include on DD2’s FASFA (maybe also on the CSS) where the oldest was attending but on DD1’s, of course, we only put that her sister was going to college. 

@Hoggirl, sorry for my delay in getting back to you...I meant that that the doubling when going from 2 to 1 student is more that we are currently experience when going from 1 to 2 for 100%  though not for Yale. Does that clarify it?

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