A general financial aid question, please help. HIGHLY CURIOU

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: January 2004 Archive: A general financial aid question, please help. HIGHLY CURIOU
By Pacman (Pacman) on Saturday, January 10, 2004 - 10:02 pm: Edit

Hi, I'm a sophomore in college now. I plan to transfer to a different college next year, most likely Harvard or MIT.

They use "need based financial aid" system, which means the amount of money I get depends solely on my family economic power. My current estimate is that my family will need to contribute about $20000 annually (given their income and many others in my area that has been through it)

However, I've won many private scholarships. The total is almost $30000. What do you think this will do to me? Will the school just take away the aid they give to my family because I've won a lot of scholarships? I REALLY hope they give financial aid only considering the family income and not any other factors. Because I REALLY want my parents to not pay a penny.

Someone please help.

By Succor101 (Succor101) on Saturday, January 10, 2004 - 10:17 pm: Edit

congrats on getting lots of scholarships!
sorry to say, but as far as my knowledge goes, colleges subtract scholarship money you get from financial aid package
maybe you could declare yourself independent to get aid...

anyway, I'm really not sure...

By Pacman (Pacman) on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 11:37 pm: Edit

Let me get this straight...so...

let's say Mike got into Harvard. Due to Mike's family's income, Harvard gave Mike some financial aide. Now Mike only need to pay 20000 a year rather than 40000.

But Mike is a great student, he got 10000 in scholarships from private organizations. So you are saying Mike's family still have to pay 20000 a year, the scholarship only benefits Harvard, since it only has to give away 10000(rather than 20000) in aide. Then what's the point of trying so hard for scholarships?

Or is that wrong?

By Tout (Tout) on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 01:17 am: Edit

I suggest you go online and read the info booklets published by both MIT and Harvard. From my understanding, they subtract from your EFC first if you win outside scholarships.

By Sailor_420 (Sailor_420) on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 12:05 pm: Edit

If I'm not mistaken they take in to consideration both the EFC and the scholarships you've won, so while your family won't end up paying nothing, they may still give you a fair bit of aid. I guess if you make a good enough case to show that your family can't afford it, you may actually get quite a bit. I don't claim to be an expert on this, as an International student, I can't, but this is what I've gathered from all the literature I've read during the last 5 months, for my applications.

By Hnbui (Hnbui) on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 01:30 pm: Edit

i know that this is off topic but how much aid would an individual coming from a single parent house (less than 18,000.00 a year. Also have a brother and a sister in college.) get from a college that cost about 30-40 grand a year to attend? this is need based now.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 02:42 pm: Edit

Most colleges would subtract out your scholarships from the financial aid package starting with loans and workstudy. You have to understand that financial aid is for need--not merit. If you can get money from any other resource, it will reduce what you will get from financial aid so that someone else can get the money. There simply is not enough money for everyone.
When I went to college, students were able to "double dip" as you wish to do (and as I did). Some talented kids were able to make money from the scholarship scene that way which is against the entire idea of financial aid. Now if you get a merit scholarship from a college (Harvard and MIT do not give any) and get additional merit scholarships outside of the colleges, the amounts will not be affected because the whole thing is based on merit not need. I do not like to compare financial aid to welfare because of negative ramifications in doing so, but in a sense, they operate similarly in that any money someone gets reduces the amount from the program because it is supposed to be a last resort not a resource. Although schools do package financial aid with an eye for merit at times (merit within need), need is the key word. You are not being rewarded, you are being assisted.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 02:47 pm: Edit

Pacman, you ask why someone should try hard for scholarships. I did not address that aspect in my above post. The reason merit aid is better than financial aid, is because it does not have a loan or work study component and financial aid packages almost always do. For instance if you get $20000 of aid, you would probably get loans of about $5000 and work study of $2000. If you get a $10000 outside scholarship you would lose $3000 of scholarship but would no longer need the $5000 in loans or the $2000 in work study. You can then take out non subsidised loans and work on your own to make additional money. Most of the time a family's idea of EFC is very different from a college's, and by doing things this way you can get closer to what your family can affford to pay. Also that $3000 is in the pot for some other needy student.

By Freak4korn72 (Freak4korn72) on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 03:19 pm: Edit

Still, scholarships help no matter what. I know there are not many people who can easily afford $40,000 or whatever their EFC is determined to be. I have a feeling my EFC is going to be at least double what I think I am going to be able to afford with my parents (Hoping for $15,000 or less. Expecting $25,000 EFC). If I get enough scholarships to reduce the loans and work study portion 0, then I can focus the money that would have gone to loans, to help out the EFC more. [Basically paying my parents back for whatever additional money they had to scrounge up besides what was originally planned]

Maybe I am way off on the thought, but it still will help out either way.

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