|By Bojolo52 (Bojolo52) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 09:25 pm: Edit|
Financial Aid Statistics
* Total first-year enrollment: 1019
* Number who applied for need-based aid: 742
* Number who were judged to have need: 637
* Number who were offered aid: 637
* Number who had full need met: 637
* Average percent of need met: 100%
* Average financial aid package: 22,464
* Average need-based loan: 2,855
* Average need-based gift aid: 20,659
* Average non-need based aid: 8,158
* Average indebtedness at graduation: 20,580
Can someone explain to me what all this means? How can 100% of people's needs be met yet they still have an average indebtedness of 20,580? What is need? What is finanical aid pacakge? I just don't understand.
|By Teefore247 (Teefore247) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 09:29 am: Edit|
A short course in financial aid
Hopefully this will reduce your confusion. Some schools (MIT included) call themselves need-blind - meaning admissions is not based on ability to pay. When they say they meet 100% of demonstrated need they use the FAFSA and some use the CSS profile. With the FAFSA you will know what your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is. This for many of us is shock number 1 – since it often is a number far higher than we thought we could afford. The CSS profile takes into account other assets (most notably home equity) so if your salary poor and house rich this could bite you.
Since schools use the CSS profile differently I won’t address that here – just know that if your FAFSA EFC is low and you have lots of assets not counted there you may get an unpleasant surprise. And some schools – no ivies - offer merit scholarships. (I don’t think MIT does either but I can’t say for sure). That’s another story I won’t get into here.
Next the school looks at the difference between your EFC and expenses. If your EFC is higher than annual costs for attending you get no financial aid. If it’s lower you are given a financial aid package to make up the difference. Now it gets tricky - because that aid package is often comprised of grants (free money you don’t need to repay) loans (guess what – you do need to repay these) and work study (student is expected to work and contribute too). This is one of the reasons for the 100% needs met, yet there is loan debt.
The other reason for loans outstanding is that the EFC for two income families earning middle class incomes is (in my opinion) very high. Unless you have large savings to tap, or plan on living an extremely frugal life, it is difficult to build an extra 40 thousand a year into your budget. The answer – you guessed it - student loans.
Make no mistake about it – colleges, even the well-endowed ones, expect you to make sacrifices to attend. I have a very vivid memory at an ivy info session where a distraught parent from New York was saying that they had very little disposable income but their home was worth 600 thousand. Did the school expect them to tap that – second mortgage, home equity loans – that simply wasn’t fair!!!
The financial aid officer said they would not tell them to do any of those things, that was up to them to decide. What they would tell them is we’ve analyzed you assets (including your home equity) and here’s what you can afford to pay. How you get it is up to you.
Hope this helps.
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