Originally Posted by fh2000
Many ER board members may be similar to me, with enough assets and income so our EFC is $99,999. DD got in some nationally ranked 20 private schools but received no aids other than $5,500 stafford loan. She decided to go to a relatively high ranking UC instead. The cost of UC is 1/2 of those privates.
So, maybe if DD applied for much lower ranking private schools and got accepted, she might get some aids.
When DS applied, he went to UCs only. No privates knowing he won't get anything.
So, the above known fact is not true in our case.
This post really isn't for you, since you have already been through the process, but for those with pre-college-aged kids.
Two things I recommend:
- Do good research on not just the ranking of schools but their financial awards. One way to do this would be to figure out per capita endowment for schools you are interested in.
- Make sure you write an appeal letter as soon as you get your award. Let them know how much DD/DS wants to attend their school but wouldn't be able to given the current award. Then describe any material circumstances or special qualities of DD/DS again.
School selection based on typical size of awards and appealing awards are the key, especially if your kid was good enough to get accepted but didn't get the award package you needed.
Some great schools will award merit with a 27 ACT but others want a 32. Look at the average scores of incoming students to get a feel for their selectivity. If you DD/DS has less than a 27, it gets more challenging and an inexpensive state school may be the best choice.
My main point here is that people shouldn't write off expensive private schools because it is the net cost that matters, not the sticker price. I know a kid that was planning to go to state school but was convinced to apply at Northwestern and got accepted--with a lower net cost than the state school he would have went to. And it was merit aid and work-study.
Of course every situation is different but it is foolish not to investigate.