If one doesn't need financial aid - will that increase chanc

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: April 2004 Archive: If one doesn't need financial aid - will that increase chanc
By Anxious_Mom (Anxious_Mom) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 12:37 am: Edit

Since most private colleges are not need blind, how much more likely is acceptance to a more competitive college for those that do not need financial aid? I'm guessing that many colleges would accept some students at the lower end statistically, if they can pay their own way.

(This could also be a factor in someone's chances, along with stats, and unique characteristics, etc.)

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 12:31 pm: Edit

It's my understanding that at some schools, the answer is a qualified yes. If two applicants have the same stats but one needs large amounts of financial aid, some schools will lean towards the student who doesn't. But it won't make much of a difference if your stats are significantly lower than the schools average stats.

However, determining WHICH schools are going to give the non-finaid applicant a boost is nearly impossible beforehand.

By Cooldude (Cooldude) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 12:36 pm: Edit

i can name one STANFORD

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 12:25 pm: Edit

My understanding of the financial aid process for non need blind school is that it works one of two ways.

In the first, they accept everyone that they can afford to accept, and then fill up their class with people who can pay their own way. If this happens, it's only about the last 3% of the class who gets in because they can pay. Hardly something worth getting stressed over - there is more variation in the way a student could present an application (essay quality for example) which would influence chances than not needing financial aid.

The other way is that admissions accepts everyone they want to accept, puts them in order (who they like most to least), and sends that over to financial aid. Fin. aid. then doles out all the money that they can, rejecting students at the end if there isn't enough to go around. This would probably only affect a handful of students each year - something that is statistically insignificant.

Either way, not that big of a difference.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 01:32 pm: Edit

In some of the top schools, including the UCs (rumor says) that asking for financial aid can even boost your application, particularly if you are from a family where resources are scant. Adcoms at top schools really dislike the silver spoon kid and do approach admission decisions looking at what the applicant made of his opportunities. A mediocre record at a top private schools and an unispiring resume dotted with paid for activities is not going to help anyone get into a highly selective school.

Also many of the schools that are not need blind offer the best financial aid packages to those they do accept and may also have some great merit awards. It really is not a simple choice just to avoid schools that are not need blind. In fact if you are a top drawer candidate, it could cost you some opportunities.

If you need financial aid, and it looks like you might qualify for some, by all means apply. If you really truly do not,then don't. You can check your family's eligibility by roughly filling in the numbers on several online services that will crunch out what the govt and some colleges think your family should pay. And if you have siblings coming along or some unusual situation looming on the horizon, it might be a good idea to have an aid app on file as some schools will not give aid later if you did not initially file.

When you apply to different colleges, if this is an issue that affects you, make sure that you do not put all of your eggs in one basket. You do not have to apply for aid for all schools--you select which schools you want to apply for aid. It is always recommended to have several financial options for college, because you never know what the situation will be 6 months after you apply for schools.

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