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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-21-2005, 07:40 AM   #21
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Re: College financial aid planning

I once owned some acreage with a small hunting cabin.
It needed lots of work. The property was in a flood
zone and after some high water it was declared
a "disaster" with federal money available for repairs, etc.
Aha, I thought..........a chance to get some cheap money
to fix up the cabin. I arrived at the temp. fed. office to pick up the application paperwork. Took one look and left.
I could see at a glance the aggravation could not possibly be worth my time.

JG
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-21-2005, 09:14 AM   #22
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Re: College financial aid planning

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Nords -- Your approach is great for Double Income Single Kid...

Multiply what you've done by three on a single income and the task can be daunting...
Good point. Although I know that Yelnad's university offers a great group discount!
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-21-2005, 11:04 AM   #23
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Re: College financial aid planning

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Golly - Did I stutter-er-er? - I've been through the process more than a few times...
Thank you, but I know the answer for us... YMMV
Yes, I think you are stuttering, because I don't understand what you're saying at all. Maybe someone can explain it to me.

We have thousands of dollars in scholarship money each year that goes unawarded. This is free money with no strings attached. It's not "aid." No repayment. All we ask is that the students send a thank you letter to the private donor. If students would just file the FAFSA then they would be considered for these awards. Some are need based and others are merit based. Some are specifically for run-of-the-mill solid "C" average students. Some are for students from certain counties or who are studying certain subjects. We struggle to give this money away each year because people refuse to file a form that could give their kids a few extra grand in their pockets.

It's your choice not to file the form, but you kid could be missing out on some well deserved awards.
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-22-2005, 05:50 AM   #24
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Re: College financial aid planning

I understand your logic. Really, I do. Merit awards shouldn't require any of that other information. But it just doesn't work that way. Maybe the FA officers get $1 off their own kids tuition every FAFSA turned in? :P
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-22-2005, 07:06 AM   #25
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Re: College financial aid planning

Hello folks,

There are rules for distributing aid. Follow the rules and by definition you are deserving if you get it. If you don't want the aid or to give out the financial info or submit to the financial proctoscope, that's fine, do as you like. These useful discussions regularly seem to migrate to an obtuse moral discussion of right and wrong or a useless discussion of how people were so manly back in the day... Please! :

Thanks,

Chris

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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-22-2005, 07:07 AM   #26
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Re: College financial aid planning

Yenlad,

I can't quite figure out how scholarships go unused. Certainly someone is filling out these forms. Why would the folks that do fill out the forms ~not~ get the scholarships? This makes the process even more arbitrary in my mind.

Thanks,

Chris
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-22-2005, 07:34 AM   #27
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Re: College financial aid planning

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Certainly someone is filling out these forms.
No, Chris, as hard as it may be to believe, that's not correct. I share Yelnad's experience.

When I was on active duty I spent some time with the folks on the USS BOWFIN Submarine Memorial scholarship board. Each year they give away 10-12 scholarships of up to $2500 each, and this sum makes the difference between getting a degree now or having to wait for another shore tour.

The initial plan was for the scholarships to be needs-based but, faced with a huge bureaucratic task of avoiding discrimination accusations, they decided to rank the candidates on their written & interview skills and then give scholarships to the top group. This isn't some neglected estate with a careless trustee-- this is old veteran submariners doing good things for young submariners.

Eligibility is to be a submariner or the immediate family of a submariner. Keep in mind that this tends to be a relatively smart, highly motivated group of fund-seeking weasels (I mean that in a good way) with solid presentation skills. Just the kind of people you want to have working with expensive engineering plants and high explosives.

Every year the scholarships went begging for candidates. Every year 50-75% of the funds went to my guys because we created a fill-in-the-blank template which was submitted with my (personalized) fill-in-the-blank recommendation. We called it a "$1000/page package". I took the time to check that the interested people were going to make the deadlines.

It's not that submariners are so well organized, because the rest of my command could have plagiarized our system and did not. The difference is that motivated yet ignorant college candidates were shown and system and then gently nagged to follow through.

In a couple years my kid will be following the same route. I'll fill out a FAFSA because it carries a high degree of profitability (especially considering that I'm paid nothing for my time). I'll also be checking the latest tactics with people like Yelnad and scouring the net for scholarships. I suspect that it'll be as easy as picking up pennies off the sidewalk, only a lot more profitable.
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-22-2005, 10:57 AM   #28
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Re: College financial aid planning

"No, Chris, as hard as it may be to believe, that's not correct. I share Yelnad's experience."

Yikes! Is it that the category is so restricted? It wouldn't seem that way to me from your description. Is there a problem with finding the right folks or knowing about it? Is it a problem with writting the essay? Holy smokes. A group that's hungry to give money away can't find that certain special someone! Yikes again!

Chris

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Find a penny, pick it up...
Old 04-22-2005, 12:01 PM   #29
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Yikes! *Is it that the category is so restricted? *It wouldn't seem that way to me from your description. *Is there a problem with finding the right folks or knowing about it? *Is it a problem with writting the essay? *Holy smokes. *A group that's hungry to give money away can't find that certain special someone! *Yikes again! Chris
You're telling me. The nation's largest submarine homeport, plenty of publicity in both military & civilian channels, and a group of guys that earned dozens of college degrees (and a few officer's commissions) during my five years there. Anyone could have used our stuff had they wanted to.

I think it's like telling your co-workers how to ER. Most of them go "Wow! Cool!" but never change their behavior. Every once in a while someone comes by your desk for more information. About once a decade someone actually does something with it.

Or maybe it's a societal problem. We walk through our neighborhood streets a couple times a week and we never fail to pick up a coin or two. I tell the kid that we're saving for her college fund.

Last month we walked by the drivethrough lane of a Taco Bell and found that people were throwing their spare change into the bushes. Thank goodness they were just hibiscus and not bougainvillea or roses! We'll be back.

Maybe it's good to live in a country where everyone's not fixated on grubbing for money. Or maybe it's the reason for the rich getting richer and the poor... not.
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-22-2005, 01:28 PM   #30
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Re: College financial aid planning

Wow... A little digging come college time may be fruitful...

Cheers,

Chris
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-22-2005, 01:54 PM   #31
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Re: College financial aid planning

Some of the scholarships are pretty obscure. The donors often put restrictions on them. For instance, a scholarship might be for a business student with a 2.0-2.7 GPA (less than mediocre), from a certain county in rural PA, with an interest in working in non-profits.

Many of our students here don't qualify for financial aid and parents are often paying the full ride. So, when we ask the students to fill out a scholarship application they sometimes shrug it off because they know that mom and dad will just pay up. They're spoiled and LAZY.
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-22-2005, 02:24 PM   #32
 
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Re: College financial aid planning

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Each year they give away 10-12 scholarships of up to $2500 each ... Every year the scholarships went begging for candidates.
Am I understanding correctly that you are saying that you got fewer than 10 applications for these scholarships?
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-22-2005, 06:34 PM   #33
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Re: College financial aid planning

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Am I understanding correctly that you are saying that you got fewer than 10 applications for these scholarships?
Yup. The applications actually went to the USS BOWFIN Submarine Memorial scholarship committee. An active-duty military guy had to write a letter, have a recommendation from his chain of command, and answer questions at an interview. Since my command at the time was shore duty, it wasn't exactly a scheduling challenge and we made sure that they didn't have any workplace conflicts.

A family member had to write a letter and go to an interview. Again mostly an exercise in overcoming shyness.

I had it on my annual schedule and we were usually getting ready before the solicitation announcement even came out. One year six of my guys got scholarships between $1000-$2500. An interviewer commented within the hearing of one of them "Wow, another package with this Nords' recommendation. What are they doing over there?!?" My guy replied "Getting a degree and getting promoted. We appreciate your support!"
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-23-2005, 03:08 PM   #34
 
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Re: College financial aid planning

That's interesting to know, thanks.

My daughter will be sending out about 30 scholarship applications altogether, but she feels that there will be so many other people applying, that she doesn't have much chance. I'm pretty optimistic that a few will come through.
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-23-2005, 10:39 PM   #35
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Re: College financial aid planning

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My daughter will be sending out about 30 scholarship applications altogether, but she feels that there will be so many other people applying, that she doesn't have much chance. * I'm pretty optimistic that a few will come through. *
Maybe a good hard Internet search and yelnad's tips will find more prospects. Otherwise it sounds like she's already writing a lot of essays...
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-24-2005, 08:31 AM   #36
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Re: College financial aid planning

I have gone through the college aid process a few times as I have one in grad school, one a senior and one that will start shortly. FAFSA is for determining need based aid. Most of the state institutions use it to determine qualification for work-study and loans. Private scholarship money will use FAFSA to determine need based scholarships. You do not have to live very much above the poverty line to not qualify for aid -- other than loans and work study.

My experience is that for my kids, any aid made available came/will come in the form of merit scholarships. These are based on a kid's academic and activities resume from jr. high through high school. A rigorous academic curriculum in high school with a lot of advanced placement courses (which if done well and marks high enough on the AP exam at the end of year yields college credit), excellent grades, high class rank and ACT scores at 30 or above, generally will yield some form of merit award, at least for in state universities. At least in my home state of Missouri, FAFSA is not required to obtain these these types of available merit awards based on a kid's high school and test performance. Any subsequent awards given while in college based on merit do not require FAFSA. A FAFSA is often required though if you child trys to obtain an on campus job as many of those are reserved for kids qualifying for work study based on FAFSA.

There is private merit based money available, but it is seriously competitive since everyone looks at the same web sites and submits essays for the same scholarships. You might be lucky and stumble across one like Nords for submariners that has few applicants.

Just a word on merit scholarships. They can take care of a portion or all of tuition costs. You are often left with the expense of room and board and books, which is not inconsequential; especially if your kid/young adult wants to live off campus the last couple of years in school.

As for me, went the FAFSA route on my oldest, learned the drill and do not even bother requesting the forms any more. But that is just me.

Easy

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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 04-24-2005, 03:36 PM   #37
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Re: College financial aid planning

re: requiring the FAFSA for merit based aid....

Not only does it depend on the state, but it could depend on the particular institution. Always do your homework.
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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 05-05-2005, 06:44 PM   #38
 
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Re: College financial aid planning

Two days ago my daughter was explaining to me that she had no chance for national scholarships, especially the ones listed on FastWeb.com (a clearinghouse for scholarships) because there's just too much competition.

The next day we got word that she won a $1,000 scholarship from Prom Wishes -- a national scholarship.* They award 11 of these, and there are thousands of applicants.

Some other local ones that we thought she had a good chance of getting did not come through.* So you never can tell -- apply to as many as possible.

I've put a thermometer display on the wall with $40,000 at the top.* We're up to $5,000 so far.

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Re: College financial aid planning
Old 05-05-2005, 08:32 PM   #39
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Re: College financial aid planning

Don't forget local sources either...Freshman year I got $500 from the Rotatry club - I didn't apply for it so I guess someone must have nominated me (note to parents - make friends with people on committees). High schools sometimes know about scholarships but may not know who is interested (my high school History teacher pulled me aside one day after class and asked if I was considering XYZ school because as an alum he was encouraged to nominate prospective students for scholarships - I wasn't but one of my friends who didn't take his class was and I introduced them). Our local credit union gives out several $1K scholarships per year to kids of members. Dad's company has some scholarships - I didn't get one of those but I did apply for and get a One month Foreign Summer Student Exchange to Germany with airfare and 3 days in Berlin/3 days in Washington DC paid for by the company.

Oh, yes, the FAFSA - I got merit scholarships I didn't even know existed..definately a fan of the form (DH got State Grants I didn't think we were eligible for when he went back to school).

DrLLLong
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