FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

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noco-hawkeye
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FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by noco-hawkeye »

Kiddo #1 is now applying to school and we are getting the typical recommendations that every one has to complete a FAFSA application. This being my first round through this, I am looking for the latest input & experiences.

Kiddo has very good test scores (4.2 gpa / 1470 sat iirc?) and I'm sure has a lot of great schools available to attend. Right now we are guessing anything from a free ride at a tier 2 state school up to some private schools that have sticker prices up to 70k. :shock: (YIKES!)

I believe we are outside of the ranges where we would get much of a benefit from FAFSA, but I know there are some angles where you might want to fill one out anyways. I am not opposed to completing one.

We have also saved up the cost of 4yrs at a state school (in a 529 plan).

My question is somewhat two-fold -
  • Have any higher incomes houses seen a benefit to FAFSA that you would not expect? Or maybe regretted it?
  • Is it reasonable to negotiate with higher priced schools? I find $60-70k completely unreasonable, and don't understand how schools get away with this. Would it be a good tactic to tell them "We will pay state school rates - take it or leave it" ?
Last edited by noco-hawkeye on Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
miamivice
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by miamivice »

I am questioning why you think that a state school will provide 4 year, 100% tuition scholarship to your child? That seems awfully optimistic.
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noco-hawkeye
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by noco-hawkeye »

miamivice wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:15 am I am questioning why you think that a state school will provide 4 year, 100% tuition scholarship to your child? That seems awfully optimistic.
We know the guidance with one of them and can project test scores with a fair amount of confidence. The 2nd tier state school would be free tuition at the least (and maybe more) - but we are still getting official info back from them. This is merit aid, not need based.
Kagord
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by Kagord »

I know a lot of lesser known privates do this, at least to hook you in, and maybe you can luck out for 4 years, but state, wow. What state school gives 100% merit with no FAFSA? Merit, let's assuming the top, meaning, top competitive college prep HS in state, top test scores, top 1% class rankings, great essay, massive extra currics, 20 AP classes...etc. Does this include housing, meals, books?
Last edited by Kagord on Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:03 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Data point. DS#2 started community college in the fall. Shortly after the start, he received a scholarship for tuition (don't get excited, state colleges have low tuition and make it up in fees....the tuition is only 10% of the cost). With the letter in hand, I called the school. They asked if we did FAFSA and I said no. They said they won't even look at this unless FAFSA was completed. The scholarship is NOT need based. I had my wife do FAFSA this year (I've done it every year for my other son and am done doing that). She spent about 4 hours on it, was nearly done. I came home after work and was able to finish it in about an hour and a half. Maybe a week later, FAFSA hit the school and the scholarship was credited to his account. We just got a check.

C/N: non-need based scholarship was not considered at school without FAFSA.
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Teague
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by Teague »

noco-hawkeye wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:09 am Would it be a good tactic to tell them "We will pay state school rates - take it or leave it" ?
Let us know if they can keep a straight face when you propose this.

Only realistic if this school cannot fill its entering class due to lack of demand. But in such case, would you really want your student to go there?
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Have any higher incomes houses seen a benefit to FAFSA that you would not expect? Or maybe regretted it?
High income household. Did not fill out FAFSA for need-based school, as well above income threshold (ie, > $250k). Did not fill out for high price private, as fit was perfect and we were not willing to go down a level for merit based aid. Btw, test stats were, in both cases, higher than you state for yours. Weighted GPA was higher for the need-based school, and lower for the Private than yours.
Is it reasonable to negotiate with higher priced schools? I find $60-70k completely unreasonable, and don't understand how schools get away with this. Would it be a good tactic to tell them "We will pay state school rates - take it or leave it" ?
You will quickly be “that parent.” Don’t do your kids that way. Whatever you may think, adcoms and FA officers have some self respect and a surplus of kids/parents wanting admission and aid. They do respond to respectful requests to re-evaluate aid, especially if you have a school of the same caliber that has offered more aid.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by delamer »

It is reasonable to negotiate with a school regarding your willingness/ability to pay.

But “this is how much we’ll pay, take it or leave it” is an ultimatum.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by TomatoTomahto »

noco-hawkeye wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:18 am
miamivice wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:15 am I am questioning why you think that a state school will provide 4 year, 100% tuition scholarship to your child? That seems awfully optimistic.
We know the guidance with one of them and can project test scores with a fair amount of confidence. The 2nd tier state school would be free tuition at the least (and maybe more) - but we are still getting official info back from them. This is merit aid, not need based.
You don’t mention your state or the second-tier state school, but that seems out of line with a 1470 SAT. What was the unweighted GPA and class rank?
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

1) Have you checked out which college is more generous in term of merit scholarship?

2) Both of my kids received a merit scholarship offer. No FAFSA is needed. In summary, it is highly on individual college. Some college will offer merit scholarship without FAFSA. Some don't.

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cshell2
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by cshell2 »

Kagord wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:40 am I know a lot of lesser known privates do this, at least to hook you in, and maybe you can luck out for 4 years, but state, wow. What state school gives 100% merit with no FAFSA? Merit, let's assuming the top, meaning, top competitive college prep HS in state, top test scores, top 1% class rankings, great essay, massive extra currics, 20 AP classes...etc. Does this include housing, meals, books?
There are schools with automatic merit based on just GPA and test scores. Alabama would be 100% free tuition with those stats at Tuscaloosa and Huntsville. AZ would be close I think.
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noco-hawkeye
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by noco-hawkeye »

Yeah the school I mentioned was free tuition with in state kids with a 3.5 GPA or higher. And as others have pointed out, tuition is only maybe a third of the overall cost. So it's decent / something to consider.
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:05 pm ...
You will quickly be “that parent.” Don’t do your kids that way. Whatever you may think, adcoms and FA officers have some self respect and a surplus of kids/parents wanting admission and aid. They do respond to respectful requests to re-evaluate aid, especially if you have a school of the same caliber that has offered more aid.
I have no problem being "that parent". In my opinion, there are not enough parents that push back on the cost of school. Just paying a higher tuition because we can afford it does not seem like a smart move imo. I went to a smaller private school, and my parents paid 2x what a state school would have been. I enjoyed my time there, but I really struggle to see how spending 2x for that experience and piece of paper was a good move. I've seen a couple of smaller private schools match prices for in state schools if your income is less than 200k. I'd really love for that to be a trend.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by Big Dog »

very few schools provide full rides. And of those, fewer are public state schools. That being said, a few states are generous with tuition grants for instate residents and even out of state residents (Alabama being one). to answer your questions:

1) the only real benefit is that some colleges want you to file FAFSA and exhaust any possible federal aid before they give you their own aid. (It's more like check-the-box.)

2) yes, you can always ask for more aid. (negotiation is a four-letter word to FinAid managers, however.) But, a take it or leave it discussion will not end well for you. Colleges will generally only discuss like for like. A private college will not be persuaded to give your kid more money just bcos the state public college is 1/3 the total cost. OTOH, privates don't like to lose out to a competitor, so, for example, Yale will figure out a way to make sure it at least matches Harvard or Princeton's need-based offers.

If you need merit money to attend a private make sure that your kid only applies to colleges where his stats put him in the top quartile of the matriculating class, and schools that provide merit money. (the federal IPEDS is a good source for test score data.)
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by miamivice »

I'm still dubious that a state college will extend a 4 year free ride scholarship. While a 1470 SAT is high, it's not tippy top high like a 1600...
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by cshell2 »

miamivice wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:08 pm I'm still dubious that a state college will extend a 4 year free ride scholarship. While a 1470 SAT is high, it's not tippy top high like a 1600...
Here's Huntsville's matrix for incoming out of state students - 100% tuition for 4.0 and 1390 SAT (they allow weighted GPA)

https://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/att ... aGuide.pdf

Arizona - 35K/year for 4.0 and 1420 SAT I'm not sure if they allow weighted GPA or not, but down to 3.75 GPA with that score is still 30K/year

https://financialaid.arizona.edu/types- ... n-transfer
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by OnTrack2020 »

The only kids I've seen get a full ride are those who are younger (maybe junior high school level) who have scored perfectly on the ACT test at a young age and the state school comes in and offers them a full ride when they graduate high school 4-5 years down the road. Those are the super smart kiddos.

For private schools, even being offered merit-based aid, we were required to fill out the FAFSA, or wouldn't receive their scholarship. For our other son attending a community college, we also filled it out even though I don't think it was necessary, as he's received a scholarship from an outside organization and we just wrote checks each semester.

Fill out the FAFSA and then be glad when it's over. I was just thrilled this was the last year. I expect our two younger children to attend community colleges, but am thinking the days of FAFSA are behind us.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by skeptical »

noco-hawkeye wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:09 am
My question is somewhat two-fold -
  • Have any higher incomes houses seen a benefit to FAFSA that you would not expect? Or maybe regretted it?
  • Is it reasonable to negotiate with higher priced schools? I find $60-70k completely unreasonable, and don't understand how schools get away with this. Would it be a good tactic to tell them "We will pay state school rates - take it or leave it" ?
I have two kids in college, and did not file. It was tempting, as everyone (schools, counselors, etc) all say you should file, with the argument that "it cannot hurt". My feeling was that I had zero chance of getting anything, and I did not want to provide all that information, especially for the that most schools now ask for anyway. Also, what I would get would almost certainly be a loan, which I would not take anyway.

Turns out, it might have been a positive for us not to file for aid.

Both of my kids received various merit aid from almost every schools they got in to, which surprised me as both had reasonable but not amazing grades/scores. Some of it was surprising good merit aid. And, no forms to fill out, you are automatically considered for it, and it was not a loan.

One piece of feedback I did get was that it is possible that the acceptance stats are in your favor if you are not asking for aid, as schools prefer those who can pay the full amount, and that it is quite possible that merit aid is offered by many schools for those who do not ask for grants because they can still get more $$$ in the end, as they know they are competing against other schools for your $$$. Schools are very savvy about their acceptance stats on offers in relation to other schools in their same bracket.

While I have no evidence of these last statements, I personally think there is some truth here, as I was surprised by the number of acceptances and the amount of merit aid freely offered.

I would go through the school aid calculators and see how close you are (though, from what I understand, the cutoff is pretty black and white).
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by skeptical »

OnTrack2020 wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:47 pm
For private schools, even being offered merit-based aid, we were required to fill out the FAFSA, or wouldn't receive their scholarship.
While I am not advocating not to file, non of the private schools we applied to required this, and most offered merit aid. They imply you should file these forms (they want this info), but I called the admissions office for each school that offered merit aid to verify that this was not a requirement, and they said that merit scholarships do not require FASFA or other forms.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by miamivice »

cshell2 wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:19 pm
miamivice wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:08 pm I'm still dubious that a state college will extend a 4 year free ride scholarship. While a 1470 SAT is high, it's not tippy top high like a 1600...
Here's Huntsville's matrix for incoming out of state students - 100% tuition for 4.0 and 1390 SAT (they allow weighted GPA)

https://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/att ... aGuide.pdf

Arizona - 35K/year for 4.0 and 1420 SAT I'm not sure if they allow weighted GPA or not, but down to 3.75 GPA with that score is still 30K/year

https://financialaid.arizona.edu/types- ... n-transfer
With regards to the Arizona Wilcat award, the fine print says that it is a highly competitive scholarship, not a scholarship automatically award to everyone. I assume this to be the case for Hunstville as well.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by cshell2 »

miamivice wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:58 pm
cshell2 wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:19 pm
miamivice wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:08 pm I'm still dubious that a state college will extend a 4 year free ride scholarship. While a 1470 SAT is high, it's not tippy top high like a 1600...
Here's Huntsville's matrix for incoming out of state students - 100% tuition for 4.0 and 1390 SAT (they allow weighted GPA)

https://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/att ... aGuide.pdf

Arizona - 35K/year for 4.0 and 1420 SAT I'm not sure if they allow weighted GPA or not, but down to 3.75 GPA with that score is still 30K/year

https://financialaid.arizona.edu/types- ... n-transfer
With regards to the Arizona Wilcat award, the fine print says that it is a highly competitive scholarship, not a scholarship automatically award to everyone. I assume this to be the case for Hunstville as well.
I'm not sure where you're seeing that? It states that the chart amounts are automatic minimum awards based on GPA and test only, but they are eligible to compete for higher awards than what is listed.

Huntsville I know is auto because my son applied last month and received his scholarship letter in the mail already.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by stoptothink »

noco-hawkeye wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:33 pm Just paying a higher tuition because we can afford it does not seem like a smart move imo. I went to a smaller private school, and my parents paid 2x what a state school would have been. I enjoyed my time there, but I really struggle to see how spending 2x for that experience and piece of paper was a good move. I've seen a couple of smaller private schools match prices for in state schools if your income is less than 200k. I'd really love for that to be a trend.
With this statement, I'm confused as to why you are hesitant to push your child towards the tier-2 state school.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by indi »

We are in the process of doing FAFSA. Started filling out info today. State schools indicated that they don't require second set of fin aid forms, which private schools want.

Something to be on the lookout for as you figure out the cost equation. In addition to $70k tuition for private school and how many of them are offering "tuition discounting" that is merit based, I'm surprised at how many aren't accepting all of the AP classes. My kiddo will have 7 upon graduation with scores of 4 and 5. First choice private school will only take 2 "because the courses are taught differently at each high school." My response, "yeah but you accept SAT and ACT, and they are standardized tests just like AP exam and you don't have a problem accepting them." State schools will accept all of the AP credits. Knocking a year off tuition is huge with these AP classes. Now we are investigating if we can get private school to accept all transfer credits.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by mhadden1 »

cshell2 wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:12 pm
miamivice wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:58 pm
cshell2 wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:19 pm
miamivice wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:08 pm I'm still dubious that a state college will extend a 4 year free ride scholarship. While a 1470 SAT is high, it's not tippy top high like a 1600...
Here's Huntsville's matrix for incoming out of state students - 100% tuition for 4.0 and 1390 SAT (they allow weighted GPA)

https://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/att ... aGuide.pdf

Arizona - 35K/year for 4.0 and 1420 SAT I'm not sure if they allow weighted GPA or not, but down to 3.75 GPA with that score is still 30K/year

https://financialaid.arizona.edu/types- ... n-transfer
With regards to the Arizona Wilcat award, the fine print says that it is a highly competitive scholarship, not a scholarship automatically award to everyone. I assume this to be the case for Hunstville as well.
I'm not sure where you're seeing that? It states that the chart amounts are automatic minimum awards based on GPA and test only, but they are eligible to compete for higher awards than what is listed.

Huntsville I know is auto because my son applied last month and received his scholarship letter in the mail already.
DS1 graduated from UAH with a BSCS, 100% tuition free, based on the requirements in force at the time he entered and maintenance of required GPA. I am very proud of him.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by WildBill »

noco-hawkeye wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:33 pm Yeah the school I mentioned was free tuition with in state kids with a 3.5 GPA or higher. And as others have pointed out, tuition is only maybe a third of the overall cost. So it's decent / something to consider.
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:05 pm ...
You will quickly be “that parent.” Don’t do your kids that way. Whatever you may think, adcoms and FA officers have some self respect and a surplus of kids/parents wanting admission and aid. They do respond to respectful requests to re-evaluate aid, especially if you have a school of the same caliber that has offered more aid.
I have no problem being "that parent". In my opinion, there are not enough parents that push back on the cost of school. Just paying a higher tuition because we can afford it does not seem like a smart move imo. I went to a smaller private school, and my parents paid 2x what a state school would have been. I enjoyed my time there, but I really struggle to see how spending 2x for that experience and piece of paper was a good move. I've seen a couple of smaller private schools match prices for in state schools if your income is less than 200k. I'd really love for that to be a trend.
Howdy

Interesting approach.

Keep us posted on how well it works for you.

W B
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by KlangFool »

noco-hawkeye wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:33 pm Yeah the school I mentioned was free tuition with in state kids with a 3.5 GPA or higher. And as others have pointed out, tuition is only maybe a third of the overall cost. So it's decent / something to consider.
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:05 pm ...
You will quickly be “that parent.” Don’t do your kids that way. Whatever you may think, adcoms and FA officers have some self respect and a surplus of kids/parents wanting admission and aid. They do respond to respectful requests to re-evaluate aid, especially if you have a school of the same caliber that has offered more aid.
I have no problem being "that parent". In my opinion, there are not enough parents that push back on the cost of school. Just paying a higher tuition because we can afford it does not seem like a smart move imo. I went to a smaller private school, and my parents paid 2x what a state school would have been. I enjoyed my time there, but I really struggle to see how spending 2x for that experience and piece of paper was a good move. I've seen a couple of smaller private schools match prices for in state schools if your income is less than 200k. I'd really love for that to be a trend.
noco-hawkeye,

That is a good thing. It is the same as anything else in life. Those that shop around and willing to negotiate got a better deal. Those great deals are subsidized by folks that pay full price.

This is not a problem. This is normal human behavior.

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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by MikeG62 »

My daughters are done with college (both graduated this decade). Filled out the FAFSA the first year (for my oldest daughter) because of the general advice to do it. Complete waste of my time. IIRC, the forms asking for my assets only included space for up to six figures (so I put in $999,999 even thought that was not correct). That pretty told me everything I needed to know - we weren't going to get any financial aid. My daughter did get an annual merit award (at around 20% of total annual cost). I don't believe my completing the FAFSA had anything to do with that. I believe she got the merit award when she received her acceptance letter (which was well before I completed the FAFSA, as far as I recall).
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by cshell2 »

Does your state offer any grants? Mine (MN) uses the FAFSA and the income limits are much higher for the state grant money than federal.

If no state grants and you really don't want to fill it out, I'd contact each individual school your child applies to and ask them their requirements. The one private school in our town requires FAFSA even for incoming auto-merit. I think they want to be assured you've exhausted all Federal/State aid options.

But really, it takes like 30 minutes to fill out. I'm not quite sure I get the angst about FAFSA. CSS Profile is a lot uglier.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by KlangFool »

cshell2 wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:51 am
I'm not quite sure I get the angst about FAFSA. CSS Profile is a lot uglier.
cshell2,

Call me paranoid. But, I am not willing to give out my financial information unless it is absolutely necessary and it is beneficial to me.

As per my experience, FAFSA is not needed. It does not help in getting any merit scholarship. So, it could only hurt in my case.

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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by SmileyFace »

We filled out FAFSA once for our first child entering college - it turned out it was a waste of time.
Thereafter I simply asked every school the kids were interested in if FAFSA was required for Merit Scholarship - the answer was always no. (sounds like others may have had different experiences) so we never filled it out again. Note that some schools would initially indicate yes but when pressed they said "Well, we recommend it highly" but when we pushed them on whether it was "required" for merit-aid - the answer was always no. So they seem to want you to fill it out but will back down when pressed. Our kids got merit scholarships without FAFSA.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by stoptothink »

DaftInvestor wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:54 pm We filled out FAFSA once for our first child entering college - it turned out it was a waste of time.
Thereafter I simply asked every school the kids were interested in if FAFSA was required for Merit Scholarship - the answer was always no. (sounds like others may have had different experiences) so we never filled it out again. Note that some schools would initially indicate yes but when pressed they said "Well, we recommend it highly" but when we pushed them on whether it was "required" for merit-aid - the answer was always no. So they seem to want you to fill it out but will back down when pressed. Our kids got merit scholarships without FAFSA.
I put myself through 11yrs of school, my ex through her final year of undergrad and all of dental school, and now just finishing up putting my (forever) wife through undergrad. I've covered ~20yrs of higher education myself and never filled out a FAFSA, the ex and I received pretty significant merit aid along the way (unfortunately it's not really available at wife's school, but it's very cost-effective).
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

indi wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:25 pm We are in the process of doing FAFSA. Started filling out info today. State schools indicated that they don't require second set of fin aid forms, which private schools want.

Something to be on the lookout for as you figure out the cost equation. In addition to $70k tuition for private school and how many of them are offering "tuition discounting" that is merit based, I'm surprised at how many aren't accepting all of the AP classes. My kiddo will have 7 upon graduation with scores of 4 and 5. First choice private school will only take 2 "because the courses are taught differently at each high school." My response, "yeah but you accept SAT and ACT, and they are standardized tests just like AP exam and you don't have a problem accepting them." State schools will accept all of the AP credits. Knocking a year off tuition is huge with these AP classes. Now we are investigating if we can get private school to accept all transfer credits.
Selective colleges often won't even accept college courses from transfer students. (my son transferred) And courses (as you indicated) are not all the same. This even includes courses that you might erroneously assume are the same everywhere. Like Physics, Chemistry and Calculus. My son retook calc courses because at the new, more intense private college, looking through the syllabus, there were a lot of topics his old school did not cover. So although accepted for credit, he re-took calc 2. Back in the stone age, I took physics in community college. It was not accepted at my private 4 year college. So I re-took physics 1 and it was about 80% brand new to me. The courses were nothing alike.

Here's the other thing you run into. You ask about the private school accepting state school credit for AP courses that the state school ok'd. If your kid is transferring, throw all your merit aid out the window. Most private schools make it very, very, very clear that transfer students are offered no merit aid.

It's also possible that out of state, state colleges may not accept your state AP classes.

I'm one of those parents who did pay full price for private college whose current cost full time on campus is over $70k. Fortunately, my son's just finishing courses. One more to go at about $4200.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by TomatoTomahto »

indi wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:25 pm [snip...] I'm surprised at how many aren't accepting all of the AP classes. My kiddo will have 7 upon graduation with scores of 4 and 5. First choice private school will only take 2 "because the courses are taught differently at each high school." My response, "yeah but you accept SAT and ACT, and they are standardized tests just like AP exam and you don't have a problem accepting them." State schools will accept all of the AP credits. Knocking a year off tuition is huge with these AP classes. Now we are investigating if we can get private school to accept all transfer credits.
I’m not surprised. At my son’s college, they would give credit under very specific circumstances, most involving passing a school exam with high scores, and they strongly discouraged entering with (I think they called it) Advanced Standing. He had gotten 800s in the SAT subject tests for those subjects. In any case, it’s not a race and we could afford the tuition, so he used the APs as a way to skip some prerequisites in some subjects. He had busted his butt to get into the school, so why not get his four years of reward?

If you think that a 4 or a 5 is equivalent to taking the course at a selective and competitive college, forget it. Especially a 4. Yes, Physics is Physics, but even a good college’s Physics 101 will blow away Physics AP.

The good news is that the prerequisites he avoided taking through AP courses enabled him to graduate after 4 years with a combined MS/BS, so it all worked out. :D
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by AllMostThere »

Interesting thread. Especially being that DD will be starting her Freshman year at a state college next month. I too believe that FAFSA was a total waste of time as she received zero aid. DW & I make too much money and we have large assets (i know rough position to be in :mrgreen: ) We basically get to pay full rack rate with no type of merit offering. I am curious if others have been successful with negotiating tuition at a reduced rate? Her 2nd choice state school offered ~ $1k per year in merit last October, which was not enough to entice her to attend. Today, she received another letter from 2nd choice state school bumping the merit aid up to $3,500 / yr with a maximum $14K over 4 years. That's basically a 25% reduction in tuition. She has lost interest in 2nd choice school, but I am curious if we can show this merit aid letter to school choice no.1 for a matching offer? Has anyone been successful with this approach? What process did you use and who should be contacted at the school?
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by 92irish »

Add me to the list of the FAFSA complete waste of time (and the CSS profile). I've gone through this twice recently.

1) If you are looking at elite private schools and you have good income/assets - just forget about. Their idea of financial aid are loans. They have people lined up around the block who will pay full boat. If you want your kids to have some skin in the game with some loans then great, but don't fool yourself you are getting any need based aid by filing the FAFSA or CSS profile. Many schools have an expected financial contribution calculator which shows you all you need to know if you have a reasonably good income.

2) If you are looking at non-elite private schools, then you might get some "merit aid" even with a decent income - which is really just knocking a few dollars off the $70K sticker price. It kind of feels like a used car lot.

3) If you are applying to an in-state public school, just get your check book out unless you want your kids to take out some loans. Free money is not there if you have money.

That's my experience.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by delamer »

AllMostThere wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:11 pm Interesting thread. Especially being that DD will be starting her Freshman year at a state college next month. I too believe that FAFSA was a total waste of time as she received zero aid. DW & I make too much money and we have large assets (i know rough position to be in :mrgreen: ) We basically get to pay full rack rate with no type of merit offering. I am curious if others have been successful with negotiating tuition at a reduced rate? Her 2nd choice state school offered ~ $1k per year in merit last October, which was not enough to entice her to attend. Today, she received another letter from 2nd choice state school bumping the merit aid up to $3,500 / yr with a maximum $14K over 4 years. That's basically a 25% reduction in tuition. She has lost interest in 2nd choice school, but I am curious if we can show this merit aid letter to school choice no.1 for a matching offer? Has anyone been successful with this approach? What process did you use and who should be contacted at the school?
In my experience, your daughter is being offered merit aid at her 2nd choice because she is at the high end of its applicant pool — SAT/ACT scores and GPA are well above the school’s average.

In contrast, at her first choice school she is probably middle-of-the pack and so not a student that they want enough to entice with merit aid. (This is in no way a commentary on your daughter and her abilities.)
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by LuckyGuy »

I was under the assumption I had fill out the FAFSA. Both my kids get academic scholarships but no chance of need based scholarships. I always feel like the FAFSA is a conduit for the loan sharks to get in touch with me. Both my kids colleges push the FAFSA. I will look into this more. Thanks for making me think.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by delamer »

LuckyGuy wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:22 pm I was under the assumption I had fill out the FAFSA. Both my kids get academic scholarships but no chance of need based scholarships. I always feel like the FAFSA is a conduit for the loan sharks to get in touch with me. Both my kids colleges push the FAFSA. I will look into this more. Thanks for making me think.
Some schools require a FAFSA/CSS even for merit aid, but not all do.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by LuckyGuy »

delamer wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:27 pm
LuckyGuy wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:22 pm I was under the assumption I had fill out the FAFSA. Both my kids get academic scholarships but no chance of need based scholarships. I always feel like the FAFSA is a conduit for the loan sharks to get in touch with me. Both my kids colleges push the FAFSA. I will look into this more. Thanks for making me think.
Some schools require a FAFSA/CSS even for merit aid, but not all do.
Thank you.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

True.

We have never had any chance for anything beyond Staffords. One of our sons was in a state program helping kids with disabilities. Upon application to Community College, he received free tuition (don't get excited, tuition is 1/10th of the cost). Required FAFSA. We had not bothered and when asking the school, they informed me that FAFSA was required. I verified with the state agency. Nothing to do with need in this case.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by SimonJester »

So I will provide a few example of where FAFSA was actual useful even though my kids both received basically no aid when completing FAFSA.

For my oldest merit based scholarship he was REQUIRED to fill out FAFSA. It sucked but that was the requirements for the scholarship.

My state's 529 plan offers a scholarship and requires the FAFSA SAR report. Basically anyone within a pretty generous EFC (expected family contribution) range automatically gets the scholarship, so filling out the FAFSA was a good thing there.

Last and most important my youngest son received a CARES ACT grant (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) automatically from his school due to his FAFSA report. He didn't apply or even know they were going to hand them out. It was given out to student to assist with COVID related expenses.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by DIFAR31 »

AllMostThere wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:11 pm Interesting thread. Especially being that DD will be starting her Freshman year at a state college next month. I too believe that FAFSA was a total waste of time as she received zero aid. DW & I make too much money and we have large assets (i know rough position to be in :mrgreen: ) We basically get to pay full rack rate with no type of merit offering. I am curious if others have been successful with negotiating tuition at a reduced rate? Her 2nd choice state school offered ~ $1k per year in merit last October, which was not enough to entice her to attend. Today, she received another letter from 2nd choice state school bumping the merit aid up to $3,500 / yr with a maximum $14K over 4 years. That's basically a 25% reduction in tuition. She has lost interest in 2nd choice school, but I am curious if we can show this merit aid letter to school choice no.1 for a matching offer? Has anyone been successful with this approach? What process did you use and who should be contacted at the school?
Your daughter has already enrolled and (presumably) sent in a deposit, and you are asking if you should now try to negotiate a lower tuition? What leverage do you have?
AllMostThere
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by AllMostThere »

DIFAR31 wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:15 pm Your daughter has already enrolled and (presumably) sent in a deposit, and you are asking if you should now try to negotiate a lower tuition? What leverage do you have?
Maybe a little more backstory is necessary. Being in Sales for past 20 years I always disliked the term "leverage" over one of the parties. This implies that one party has undue advantage in the negotiation and will WIN while other LOSES. Not true in this case, both parties (DD & College) came to agreeable satisfaction - 1) College said "NO" aid, but we want you; 2) DD said you have a culture and degree I want, so "YES" I will attend your school even with no financial aid. Ultimately, the college "VALUE PROPOSITION" is there, so rack tuition rate is there - Mutual agreement was made. In today's COVID environment, college No.1 has made many many video webcasts over past 2 months indicating school will be open in fall and Freshman classes will be priority for Face-to-Face instructed classes. Well last week DD received her final class schedule and 4 of 5 classes are planned for on-line instruction! I consider this a breach of good-faith negotiation & agreement, plus the VALUE of School No.1 has now diminished being she is expected to sit in her dorm room and take classes all at the same full rack rate. Low and behold, School No.2 now ups their aid offer in what appears to be a method of getting her on their campus. No.2 understand the VALUE PROPOSITION methodology and are willing to adjust. Being that No.1 has now invalidated the mutual agreement with having too many on-line classes, this opens the door for DD to counter. They can either reject or accept. I guess it depends upon how many other incoming Freshman or Upper Classman notice a loss in VALUE with on-line instruction and decide to take a gap year or go to another school.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by teen persuasion »

AllMostThere wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:11 pm Interesting thread. Especially being that DD will be starting her Freshman year at a state college next month. I too believe that FAFSA was a total waste of time as she received zero aid. DW & I make too much money and we have large assets (i know rough position to be in :mrgreen: ) We basically get to pay full rack rate with no type of merit offering. I am curious if others have been successful with negotiating tuition at a reduced rate? Her 2nd choice state school offered ~ $1k per year in merit last October, which was not enough to entice her to attend. Today, she received another letter from 2nd choice state school bumping the merit aid up to $3,500 / yr with a maximum $14K over 4 years. That's basically a 25% reduction in tuition. She has lost interest in 2nd choice school, but I am curious if we can show this merit aid letter to school choice no.1 for a matching offer? Has anyone been successful with this approach? What process did you use and who should be contacted at the school?
My DS2 was successful negotiating a larger financial aid package. His second choice school offered a bit higher aid package than his first choice school. He emailed first choice and told them how much he wanted to attend there, but school #2 offered more aid, and money might just be the deciding factor. Could they match? They asked him to fax a copy of school #2's offer. They didn't just match, they beat the offer. He was very pleased.

In his case, he hadn't accepted either school yet. They are direct competitors.

DD1 also tried this, but was unsuccessful. Her first choice school gapped her 50% compared to her second choice. When she appealed, they merely offered parent loans. When we refused those, they suggested she might be happier elsewhere. She was very happy at school #2, and we were pleased it was closer to home, making transportation much easier.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by DIFAR31 »

AllMostThere wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:59 am Maybe a little more backstory is necessary. Being in Sales for past 20 years I always disliked the term "leverage" over one of the parties. This implies that one party has undue advantage in the negotiation and will WIN while other LOSES. Not true in this case, both parties (DD & College) came to agreeable satisfaction - 1) College said "NO" aid, but we want you; 2) DD said you have a culture and degree I want, so "YES" I will attend your school even with no financial aid. Ultimately, the college "VALUE PROPOSITION" is there, so rack tuition rate is there - Mutual agreement was made. In today's COVID environment, college No.1 has made many many video webcasts over past 2 months indicating school will be open in fall and Freshman classes will be priority for Face-to-Face instructed classes. Well last week DD received her final class schedule and 4 of 5 classes are planned for on-line instruction! I consider this a breach of good-faith negotiation & agreement, plus the VALUE of School No.1 has now diminished being she is expected to sit in her dorm room and take classes all at the same full rack rate. Low and behold, School No.2 now ups their aid offer in what appears to be a method of getting her on their campus. No.2 understand the VALUE PROPOSITION methodology and are willing to adjust. Being that No.1 has now invalidated the mutual agreement with having too many on-line classes, this opens the door for DD to counter. They can either reject or accept. I guess it depends upon how many other incoming Freshman or Upper Classman notice a loss in VALUE with on-line instruction and decide to take a gap year or go to another school.
You previously wrote that your daughter has "lost interest in 2nd choice school," meaning to me that she is emotionally connected to school #1 as well as being committed through the payment of a deposit. If this is in fact the case, you have no serious bargaining chip; all you can do is bluff. Good luck with that. The best time to try this stuff is before a final choice is made and a deposit is paid. If you try to "negotiate" and school #1 calls your bluff, you either disappoint your daughter and lose the deposit by telling her she has to disenroll and attend the 2nd choice school, or you suck it up and pay sticker price for school #1. If school #1 considers the 2nd choice school to be a peer school, they may bend, especially depending on the enrollment projections for the upcoming year, as you mention. Just be NICE about the way you go about things.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by Bobby206 »

DIFAR31 wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:53 am
AllMostThere wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:59 am Maybe a little more backstory is necessary. Being in Sales for past 20 years I always disliked the term "leverage" over one of the parties. This implies that one party has undue advantage in the negotiation and will WIN while other LOSES. Not true in this case, both parties (DD & College) came to agreeable satisfaction - 1) College said "NO" aid, but we want you; 2) DD said you have a culture and degree I want, so "YES" I will attend your school even with no financial aid. Ultimately, the college "VALUE PROPOSITION" is there, so rack tuition rate is there - Mutual agreement was made. In today's COVID environment, college No.1 has made many many video webcasts over past 2 months indicating school will be open in fall and Freshman classes will be priority for Face-to-Face instructed classes. Well last week DD received her final class schedule and 4 of 5 classes are planned for on-line instruction! I consider this a breach of good-faith negotiation & agreement, plus the VALUE of School No.1 has now diminished being she is expected to sit in her dorm room and take classes all at the same full rack rate. Low and behold, School No.2 now ups their aid offer in what appears to be a method of getting her on their campus. No.2 understand the VALUE PROPOSITION methodology and are willing to adjust. Being that No.1 has now invalidated the mutual agreement with having too many on-line classes, this opens the door for DD to counter. They can either reject or accept. I guess it depends upon how many other incoming Freshman or Upper Classman notice a loss in VALUE with on-line instruction and decide to take a gap year or go to another school.
You previously wrote that your daughter has "lost interest in 2nd choice school," meaning to me that she is emotionally connected to school #1 as well as being committed through the payment of a deposit. If this is in fact the case, you have no serious bargaining chip; all you can do is bluff. Good luck with that. The best time to try this stuff is before a final choice is made and a deposit is paid. If you try to "negotiate" and school #1 calls your bluff, you either disappoint your daughter and lose the deposit by telling her she has to disenroll and attend the 2nd choice school, or you suck it up and pay sticker price for school #1. If school #1 considers the 2nd choice school to be a peer school, they may bend, especially depending on the enrollment projections for the upcoming year, as you mention. Just be NICE about the way you go about things.
I was thinking similar with the emotional connection. The fact is these are 18 year old KIDS we are talking about. They have already bought the sweatshirts, bumperstickers, and maybe even met their future roommates online. No kid is willing changing their college right now a month before school starts. Good luck with that!
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by robphoto »

miamivice wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:08 pm I'm still dubious that a state college will extend a 4 year free ride scholarship. While a 1470 SAT is high, it's not tippy top high like a 1600...
I'm not sure of the current awards, but when our son applied to University of Rhode Island, he was offered a merit-based Centennial (now Presidential) scholarship for full tuition, renewable each year if you kept up good grades and continuous enrollment. The criteria were high SATs and grades. I told him I'd buy him a car if he went there, but he didn't go for it.

We did need to fill out the FAFSA form at least once for our kids, one of the more painful forms I've completed.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by balbrec2 »

miamivice wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:15 am I am questioning why you think that a state school will provide 4 year, 100% tuition scholarship to your child? That seems awfully optimistic.
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Re: FAFSA question (It's FAFSA season again!)

Post by goodenyou »

KlangFool wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:44 am
cshell2 wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:51 am
I'm not quite sure I get the angst about FAFSA. CSS Profile is a lot uglier.
cshell2,

Call me paranoid. But, I am not willing to give out my financial information unless it is absolutely necessary and it is beneficial to me.

As per my experience, FAFSA is not needed. It does not help in getting any merit scholarship. So, it could only hurt in my case.

KlangFool
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