Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)

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djpeteski
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by djpeteski »

nisiprius wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 6:42 pm Ours didn't, and I am still bitter at basically having been bullied by the kids' high school advisors and others into applying for the FAF and the FAFSA,...
This. We stood up to them and did not bother. More than net worth, I think it comes down to income. Our daughter even had one of her classes interrupted by college FA advisers encouraging students to take loans. Hello we are paying for biology, not a "how to get into debt" class.

It seems like the OP is pretty well prepared. For us it was a matter of community college and state university. Our son paid his own way by first working at fast food, and then as a state trooper. He is currently in law school, and it will cost about 12k total for which we are paying. We paid the bills for our daughter, but she had several of her own responsibilities. Paying for community college is like having a car payment (about $400/month), and University about double. Very doable to do without loans.

Something most people miss is that you do not have to have the entire tuition saved ahead of time to avoid debt, only the first semester. If you can save faster then the college bills coming do, then you only need a few hundred dollars to start.
MnD
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by MnD »

My elite student only got "big" offers from schools where she would have been in top few percent of admittees on the basis of scores and grades and nothing from private elite schools. She ended up taking a 25% off offer from the most rigorous in-state State U.
My average student got offers like $700 off from 2nd tier smaller in-state State U's that would continue if they maintained a B average or better.
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sailaway
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by sailaway »

When I worked at a university, a lot of students got scholarshios because they were the only ones to apply for then. These were often departmental or program specific, $1-2k at a time, but that is a thousand dollars or more for a couple of hours of work.
afan
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by afan »

It was mentioned above but ignored.

Many private colleges below the top tier struggle to enroll enough paying students to meet budget. So they give partial scholarships to students who else families can pay full freight. This encourages the families to choose that college and the college still gets a lot of tuition money coming in after the discount. Ideally college counsellors would be able to guide you to the places that play this game. Apparently it is very common. I don't know how forthcoming the colleges are about this, so I doubt you could look it up in their websites.
Last edited by afan on Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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bryansmile
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by bryansmile »

Just went through the college application process. The answer is no, unless you have some kind of "hooks" (first generation college attendee, underrepresented minority, etc), and it seems you are the "wrong" kind of minority being Asian. The merit scholarships offered by colleges directly - from my experience, they are usually colleges below you level. This year, my kid got free rides and half off tuition from both public and private schools, and the schools are clearly below his level and he would have been the kind of student to boost their freshmen class statistics (average SAT, GPA, etc).
InMyDreams
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by InMyDreams »

Did you google something like, "non-fafsa scholarships"? Ask the HS counselor?

Scholarships/loans for women outside of FAFSA
www.peointernational.org/peo-projectsphilanthropies
and the regional chapter frequently has additional scholarship monies.

Technical degrees/certifications are often less expensive, and can lead to good paying jobs, too.
ct2018
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by ct2018 »

Yes, son received a " full ride". It is the highest scholarship the university offer and it is based on merit.
randomguy
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by randomguy »

The answer is: It depends. The upper middle class family making 150k/year with 3 kids in college is not the same as the upper middle class family making 400k with 1 kid in school. The first family is likely. The second not so much.

You would also have to define what "average upper middle class kid" is. Are we talking someone with a B average and 1100 SATs or some A-/1300 SAT student who is the "average" kid in his private prep school's honor class. For the first kid the options are much smaller than the latter. There are tons of places that give out scholarships for kids with high test scores. But those in general those are second tier (not bad but the notch below the top 25 or so) schools. And as you move down schools become a lot more interested in attracting bodies versus being highly selective.
welldone
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by welldone »

randomguy wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 10:53 am The answer is: It depends. The upper middle class family making 150k/year with 3 kids in college is not the same as the upper middle class family making 400k with 1 kid in school. The first family is likely. The second not so much.

You would also have to define what "average upper middle class kid" is. Are we talking someone with a B average and 1100 SATs or some A-/1300 SAT student who is the "average" kid in his private prep school's honor class. For the first kid the options are much smaller than the latter. There are tons of places that give out scholarships for kids with high test scores. But those in general those are second tier (not bad but the notch below the top 25 or so) schools. And as you move down schools become a lot more interested in attracting bodies versus being highly selective.
An aside, but it cracks me up when I see people refer to schools outside of the "Top 25" (on which ranking site?) or so as "second tier". There are ~4000 colleges and universities in the US. I think many need to open their eyes to the fact there are a lot more schools in the 1st tier than just 25. If we take the top 10% of colleges and universities in the US, we have around 400 schools that should at the very least be understood as "top tier".

OP, you should take a look at the thread on college and scholarships authored by timmy that started a couple of years ago. In that, a full pay family talked about their high stats (GPA & test scores) son search for the right combination of school prestige, fit and cost. His son ended up going to Notre Dame but I think the family was surprised on the results of pursuing 'free money'.

Your best bet to get 'free money' is from colleges and universities themselves, as grants. I second the recommendation to take this question over to college confidential and also to realize that many of the best offers of 'free money' that have been offered in the past decade or so have massively changed. To try to figure out what the landscape will look like in another decade is an exercise [somewhat] in futility.

My best advice is to figure out what you are willing to do for your children well before it is time to find a college. And let them know the game plan so they understand their options before emotion of 'dream schools' gets in the way. Expect to be expected to pay more than you thought you would ever have to when you first thought of college for your children.
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gasman
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by gasman »

"Typically students who opt to join universities where they would be in Top 1% - 2% of the student body based on Grades/Test Scores/ECs get merit aid. Usually a student who has average stats for any university, will have to look at other universities 30 - 50 ranks below to become Top 1% - 2% of the student body and try for merit aid. So a student whose stats are worthy of HYPSM, can expect merit aid from universities ranked around 40s - 50s where the student will be among top 1% - 2%. Similarly a student whose stats are average for university ranked around 50's will have to look at universities ranked 100+ to be among top 1% - 2% of student body."

Totally agree with this. My kid was a national merit scholar. Got lots of unsolicited offers for free/significant discount from non top 50 schools in the country in terms of competitiveness. We paid full price for a competitive name brand school.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

welldone wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:15 am
randomguy wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 10:53 am The answer is: It depends. The upper middle class family making 150k/year with 3 kids in college is not the same as the upper middle class family making 400k with 1 kid in school. The first family is likely. The second not so much.

You would also have to define what "average upper middle class kid" is. Are we talking someone with a B average and 1100 SATs or some A-/1300 SAT student who is the "average" kid in his private prep school's honor class. For the first kid the options are much smaller than the latter. There are tons of places that give out scholarships for kids with high test scores. But those in general those are second tier (not bad but the notch below the top 25 or so) schools. And as you move down schools become a lot more interested in attracting bodies versus being highly selective.
An aside, but it cracks me up when I see people refer to schools outside of the "Top 25" (on which ranking site?) or so as "second tier". There are ~4000 colleges and universities in the US. I think many need to open their eyes to the fact there are a lot more schools in the 1st tier than just 25. If we take the top 10% of colleges and universities in the US, we have around 400 schools that should at the very least be understood as "top tier".

OP, you should take a look at the thread on college and scholarships authored by timmy that started a couple of years ago. In that, a full pay family talked about their high stats (GPA & test scores) son search for the right combination of school prestige, fit and cost. His son ended up going to Notre Dame but I think the family was surprised on the results of pursuing 'free money'.

Your best bet to get 'free money' is from colleges and universities themselves, as grants. I second the recommendation to take this question over to college confidential and also to realize that many of the best offers of 'free money' that have been offered in the past decade or so have massively changed. To try to figure out what the landscape will look like in another decade is an exercise [somewhat] in futility.

My best advice is to figure out what you are willing to do for your children well before it is time to find a college. And let them know the game plan so they understand their options before emotion of 'dream schools' gets in the way. Expect to be expected to pay more than you thought you would ever have to when you first thought of college for your children.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=194755&p=3893779&hi ... e#p3893779

Here's the link to Timmy.
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

gasman wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:35 am "Typically students who opt to join universities where they would be in Top 1% - 2% of the student body based on Grades/Test Scores/ECs get merit aid. Usually a student who has average stats for any university, will have to look at other universities 30 - 50 ranks below to become Top 1% - 2% of the student body and try for merit aid. So a student whose stats are worthy of HYPSM, can expect merit aid from universities ranked around 40s - 50s where the student will be among top 1% - 2%. Similarly a student whose stats are average for university ranked around 50's will have to look at universities ranked 100+ to be among top 1% - 2% of student body."

Totally agree with this. My kid was a national merit scholar. Got lots of unsolicited offers for free/significant discount from non top 50 schools in the country in terms of competitiveness. We paid full price for a competitive name brand school.
Would you advise that for someone who plans on going to graduate school?
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BuckyBadger
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by BuckyBadger »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:35 am
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=194755&p=3893779&hi ... e#p3893779

Here's the link to Timmy.
I had no idea about that thread and don't even know what it's about, and don't have time to read 12+ pages...

But...

Timmy's going to my alma mater!!

So - Go Irish, Go Timmy!
BuckyBadger
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by BuckyBadger »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:36 am
gasman wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:35 am "Typically students who opt to join universities where they would be in Top 1% - 2% of the student body based on Grades/Test Scores/ECs get merit aid. Usually a student who has average stats for any university, will have to look at other universities 30 - 50 ranks below to become Top 1% - 2% of the student body and try for merit aid. So a student whose stats are worthy of HYPSM, can expect merit aid from universities ranked around 40s - 50s where the student will be among top 1% - 2%. Similarly a student whose stats are average for university ranked around 50's will have to look at universities ranked 100+ to be among top 1% - 2% of student body."

Totally agree with this. My kid was a national merit scholar. Got lots of unsolicited offers for free/significant discount from non top 50 schools in the country in terms of competitiveness. We paid full price for a competitive name brand school.
Would you advise that for someone who plans on going to graduate school?
Depends on what they're going for. While it's true that if you get a job where your advanced degree is important, they're only really going to care about where you did that post graduate work, you still need to get INTO the post graduate program. A name school will often help with that.

No one in my field cares that I went to Notre Dame. But did Notre Dame help me get into my PhD program? Probably.
Cheyenne
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by Cheyenne »

Now they can work at Walmart part time and earn a degree for $1 per day. Walmart even pays for books and supplies.
3funder
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by 3funder »

DIFAR31 wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 8:49 pm
3funder wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 7:39 pm
nisiprius wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 6:42 pm Ours didn't, and I am still bitter at basically having been bullied by the kids' high school advisors and others into applying for the FAF and the FAFSA, miserable paperwork and a lot of personal information I didn't particularly want to share. I kept saying "This is ridiculous. No college is going to give us aid knowing that we basically have enough to pay for at least three years, already saved up." And everyone kept saying O no, you don't know that, you have to apply, there's no way to tell, lots of people who can afford it can get aid.

So we applied. And got told that our expected family contribution was $40,000 per year per kid. At a time when top-tier private school tuition was about $33,000.

I won't even tell you about the "seminar" we attended on how to apply for college tuition aid, except to say that I felt dirty after attending.

My daughter got a $1,000 from a local fraternal organization, I forget why, but I thought it was very nice and I was very proud of her, as we had no connection whatsover with that organization. She didn't apply, it just came out of the blue.
I totally agree with you. As a high school teacher, I refuse to tell every student to complete the FAFSA. It's not there for folks who can afford college. As for those parents who tell their children to complete the FAFSA while they drive around in their new luxury automobiles, go learn how to "adult".
Practically any student who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident (green card holder) is eligible for federal direct loans, regardless of financial need, but in order to get the loans the FAFSA must be submitted. For whatever reason, a parent who is wealthy (or who appears to be wealthy) may want or need their child to fund at least some of their college education with federal direct loans. Setting your judgment aside, there may be a valid reason for that parent driving around in a new luxury automobile to ask their child to complete FAFSA.
People squander their money on silly crap all the time. I don't buy it (no pun intended).
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

BuckyBadger wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:40 am
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:36 am
gasman wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:35 am "Typically students who opt to join universities where they would be in Top 1% - 2% of the student body based on Grades/Test Scores/ECs get merit aid. Usually a student who has average stats for any university, will have to look at other universities 30 - 50 ranks below to become Top 1% - 2% of the student body and try for merit aid. So a student whose stats are worthy of HYPSM, can expect merit aid from universities ranked around 40s - 50s where the student will be among top 1% - 2%. Similarly a student whose stats are average for university ranked around 50's will have to look at universities ranked 100+ to be among top 1% - 2% of student body."

Totally agree with this. My kid was a national merit scholar. Got lots of unsolicited offers for free/significant discount from non top 50 schools in the country in terms of competitiveness. We paid full price for a competitive name brand school.
Would you advise that for someone who plans on going to graduate school?
Depends on what they're going for. While it's true that if you get a job where your advanced degree is important, they're only really going to care about where you did that post graduate work, you still need to get INTO the post graduate program. A name school will often help with that.

No one in my field cares that I went to Notre Dame. But did Notre Dame help me get into my PhD program? Probably.
It only helped if Notre Dame provided an education that created a competent individual in your chosen field. Getting in is not a lock on obtaining a PhD, masters or any other higher educational level. It's what the individual does that accomplishes that.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
BuckyBadger
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by BuckyBadger »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:58 am
BuckyBadger wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:40 am
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:36 am
gasman wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:35 am "Typically students who opt to join universities where they would be in Top 1% - 2% of the student body based on Grades/Test Scores/ECs get merit aid. Usually a student who has average stats for any university, will have to look at other universities 30 - 50 ranks below to become Top 1% - 2% of the student body and try for merit aid. So a student whose stats are worthy of HYPSM, can expect merit aid from universities ranked around 40s - 50s where the student will be among top 1% - 2%. Similarly a student whose stats are average for university ranked around 50's will have to look at universities ranked 100+ to be among top 1% - 2% of student body."

Totally agree with this. My kid was a national merit scholar. Got lots of unsolicited offers for free/significant discount from non top 50 schools in the country in terms of competitiveness. We paid full price for a competitive name brand school.
Would you advise that for someone who plans on going to graduate school?
Depends on what they're going for. While it's true that if you get a job where your advanced degree is important, they're only really going to care about where you did that post graduate work, you still need to get INTO the post graduate program. A name school will often help with that.

No one in my field cares that I went to Notre Dame. But did Notre Dame help me get into my PhD program? Probably.
It only helped if Notre Dame provided an education that created a competent individual in your chosen field. Getting in is not a lock on obtaining a PhD, masters or any other higher educational level. It's what the individual does that accomplishes that.
Of course - I felt like actually doing well in the chosen program was implied.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by celia »

Think of it as a competition and who your child is competing against. Since you need to be one of the best students to get into the top colleges, admission and grants will not be offered to any average students. But if your child is the best (or best at something in particular) out of everyone applying, he/she will be preferred over those who are not as good.

The "Friends" of our local library (a fundraising org) give 2 small scholarships a year, but they usually go to students who volunteered a lot at the library (before senior year).
Twood
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by Twood »

An actionable aside. I suggest using an email address you don't plan to want when you're done, for all of your scholarship hunting and school applications. My experience was that we got buried in emails, and it doesn't stop even when kid has completed college.
DIFAR31
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by DIFAR31 »

3funder wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:51 am
DIFAR31 wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 8:49 pm
3funder wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 7:39 pm
nisiprius wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 6:42 pm Ours didn't, and I am still bitter at basically having been bullied by the kids' high school advisors and others into applying for the FAF and the FAFSA, miserable paperwork and a lot of personal information I didn't particularly want to share. I kept saying "This is ridiculous. No college is going to give us aid knowing that we basically have enough to pay for at least three years, already saved up." And everyone kept saying O no, you don't know that, you have to apply, there's no way to tell, lots of people who can afford it can get aid.

So we applied. And got told that our expected family contribution was $40,000 per year per kid. At a time when top-tier private school tuition was about $33,000.

I won't even tell you about the "seminar" we attended on how to apply for college tuition aid, except to say that I felt dirty after attending.

My daughter got a $1,000 from a local fraternal organization, I forget why, but I thought it was very nice and I was very proud of her, as we had no connection whatsover with that organization. She didn't apply, it just came out of the blue.
I totally agree with you. As a high school teacher, I refuse to tell every student to complete the FAFSA. It's not there for folks who can afford college. As for those parents who tell their children to complete the FAFSA while they drive around in their new luxury automobiles, go learn how to "adult".
Practically any student who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident (green card holder) is eligible for federal direct loans, regardless of financial need, but in order to get the loans the FAFSA must be submitted. For whatever reason, a parent who is wealthy (or who appears to be wealthy) may want or need their child to fund at least some of their college education with federal direct loans. Setting your judgment aside, there may be a valid reason for that parent driving around in a new luxury automobile to ask their child to complete FAFSA.
People squander their money on silly crap all the time. I don't buy it (no pun intended).
I agree that no teacher (or anyone besides a parent, for that matter) should be telling every student to complete a FAFSA. But unless you know a family's specific financial situation, or the reasons a student takes certain steps to fund a college education, it's ridiculous to pass judgment on a parent who drives a new luxury automobile because they ask their child to complete FAFSA.
bltn
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by bltn »

ytrewq wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 6:28 pm Typically students who opt to join universities where they would be in Top 1% - 2% of the student body based on Grades/Test Scores/ECs get merit aid. Usually a student who has average stats for any university, will have to look at other universities 30 - 50 ranks below to become Top 1% - 2% of the student body and try for merit aid. So a student whose stats are worthy of HYPSM, can expect merit aid from universities ranked around 40s - 50s where the student will be among top 1% - 2%. Similarly a student whose stats are average for university ranked around 50's will have to look at universities ranked 100+ to be among top 1% - 2% of student body.
This is the current situaton. Kids with pretty good records get scholarship offers at the level of school desiring that level of student. Much like the admissions process itself. My kids got wait listed at some high level universities, accepted at some private schools with no offers of financial aid and full scholarship offers at nearby state universities.
Because of the extremely high cost of my son s college, after his first year, I went
through the fafsa process to apply for merit based aid. Thought I-might qualify. Might have fudged the numbers a bit!?! I got a polite one paragraph response saying we didn t qualify for grant money, but a loan would be available.
Upper middle class families with good, not great, high school students are the main source of tuition income for-many schools. You may as well accept that fact of college life. Feed the 529 plans and decide which level of college the kids will attend.
DIFAR31
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by DIFAR31 »

bltn wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 12:26 pm Because of the extremely high cost of my son s college, after his first year, I went
through the fafsa process to apply for merit based aid. Thought I-might qualify. Might have fudged the numbers a bit!?! I got a polite one paragraph response saying we didn t qualify for grant money, but a loan would be available.
The FAFSA is not how you apply for merit aid; it's primary purpose is to determine eligibility for government need-based aid. Some schools do require that a FAFSA be submitted as part of the merit aid process, but that's only to make sure that otherwise available need-based aid is not being left on the table. Merit aid is based on academic achievement, athletic ability, or some other kind of talent that the student has demonstrated. None of that is measured by or reported on FAFSA.
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novemberrain
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by novemberrain »

Nice!
Last edited by novemberrain on Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
3funder
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by 3funder »

DIFAR31 wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 12:15 pm
3funder wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:51 am
DIFAR31 wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 8:49 pm
3funder wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 7:39 pm
nisiprius wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 6:42 pm Ours didn't, and I am still bitter at basically having been bullied by the kids' high school advisors and others into applying for the FAF and the FAFSA, miserable paperwork and a lot of personal information I didn't particularly want to share. I kept saying "This is ridiculous. No college is going to give us aid knowing that we basically have enough to pay for at least three years, already saved up." And everyone kept saying O no, you don't know that, you have to apply, there's no way to tell, lots of people who can afford it can get aid.

So we applied. And got told that our expected family contribution was $40,000 per year per kid. At a time when top-tier private school tuition was about $33,000.

I won't even tell you about the "seminar" we attended on how to apply for college tuition aid, except to say that I felt dirty after attending.

My daughter got a $1,000 from a local fraternal organization, I forget why, but I thought it was very nice and I was very proud of her, as we had no connection whatsover with that organization. She didn't apply, it just came out of the blue.
I totally agree with you. As a high school teacher, I refuse to tell every student to complete the FAFSA. It's not there for folks who can afford college. As for those parents who tell their children to complete the FAFSA while they drive around in their new luxury automobiles, go learn how to "adult".
Practically any student who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident (green card holder) is eligible for federal direct loans, regardless of financial need, but in order to get the loans the FAFSA must be submitted. For whatever reason, a parent who is wealthy (or who appears to be wealthy) may want or need their child to fund at least some of their college education with federal direct loans. Setting your judgment aside, there may be a valid reason for that parent driving around in a new luxury automobile to ask their child to complete FAFSA.
People squander their money on silly crap all the time. I don't buy it (no pun intended).
I agree that no teacher (or anyone besides a parent, for that matter) should be telling every student to complete a FAFSA. But unless you know a family's specific financial situation, or the reasons a student takes certain steps to fund a college education, it's ridiculous to pass judgment on a parent who drives a new luxury automobile because they ask their child to complete FAFSA.
Nothing wrong with asking your child to complete the FAFSA--if you legitimately need them to do so.
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GreenGrowTheDollars
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars »

Many less selective private colleges give merit scholarships to half or more of the entering class. Better students can get bigger scholarships, but I see a lot of B- students who get significant merit money if they apply to the right colleges.

Financial aid varies tremendously -- I've seen families with incomes well over $200K get grant aid (not merit aid) from highly selective and very generous colleges, and families earning $80K not get any grant aid from public colleges with a $30K cost of attendance. Net Price Calculators (found on each college's website) can be helpful unless the parents are divorced or business owners. I look at a family's income and list of schools before advising them to fill out financial aid forms. If I know that aid is very unlikely, they may reasonably not want to invest the time or share the data.

Going against the current can also be much cheaper: In my area, a majority of college-bound seniors would love to go to college in California. California colleges have a plethora of applicants, and less need to significantly discount tuition through merit scholarships. Some wonderful colleges in the Midwest, Upper Midwest and South can be tremendously more affordable, but that may not be where applicants think to look.

Public universities in your own state can vary quite a bit in price. Exploring all the options might let you find some much less expensive options.

A number of states participate in consortiums with nearby states that allow students from those states to attend some public universities at a discounted rate. In the west, we have the Western Undergraduate Exchange. Students who receive the WUE scholarship will be charged no more than 150% of in-state student tuition. (Room & board, books & supplies,... don't vary based on residency.) A Colorado student who gets a WUE scholarship at Montana State saves around $12-13K/year.
Last edited by GreenGrowTheDollars on Thu May 31, 2018 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DIFAR31
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by DIFAR31 »

3funder wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 1:00 pm
DIFAR31 wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 12:15 pm
3funder wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:51 am
DIFAR31 wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 8:49 pm
3funder wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 7:39 pm

I totally agree with you. As a high school teacher, I refuse to tell every student to complete the FAFSA. It's not there for folks who can afford college. As for those parents who tell their children to complete the FAFSA while they drive around in their new luxury automobiles, go learn how to "adult".
Practically any student who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident (green card holder) is eligible for federal direct loans, regardless of financial need, but in order to get the loans the FAFSA must be submitted. For whatever reason, a parent who is wealthy (or who appears to be wealthy) may want or need their child to fund at least some of their college education with federal direct loans. Setting your judgment aside, there may be a valid reason for that parent driving around in a new luxury automobile to ask their child to complete FAFSA.
People squander their money on silly crap all the time. I don't buy it (no pun intended).
I agree that no teacher (or anyone besides a parent, for that matter) should be telling every student to complete a FAFSA. But unless you know a family's specific financial situation, or the reasons a student takes certain steps to fund a college education, it's ridiculous to pass judgment on a parent who drives a new luxury automobile because they ask their child to complete FAFSA.
Nothing wrong with asking your child to complete the FAFSA--if you legitimately need them to do so.
If wealthy parents ask their child to complete FAFSA so that she can take federal loans in order to "have some skin in the game," is that legitimate?
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by 3funder »

DIFAR31 wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 1:14 pm
3funder wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 1:00 pm
DIFAR31 wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 12:15 pm
3funder wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:51 am
DIFAR31 wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 8:49 pm

Practically any student who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident (green card holder) is eligible for federal direct loans, regardless of financial need, but in order to get the loans the FAFSA must be submitted. For whatever reason, a parent who is wealthy (or who appears to be wealthy) may want or need their child to fund at least some of their college education with federal direct loans. Setting your judgment aside, there may be a valid reason for that parent driving around in a new luxury automobile to ask their child to complete FAFSA.
People squander their money on silly crap all the time. I don't buy it (no pun intended).
I agree that no teacher (or anyone besides a parent, for that matter) should be telling every student to complete a FAFSA. But unless you know a family's specific financial situation, or the reasons a student takes certain steps to fund a college education, it's ridiculous to pass judgment on a parent who drives a new luxury automobile because they ask their child to complete FAFSA.
Nothing wrong with asking your child to complete the FAFSA--if you legitimately need them to do so.
If wealthy parents ask their child to complete FAFSA so that she can take federal loans in order to "have some skin in the game," is that legitimate?
In my opinion, it is not; however, it is subjective, and people are welcome to disagree. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not a fan of dynastic wealth or anything like that. I just don't see why one's child should take on debt to pay for college if it's not financially necessary to do so (of course, this is assuming he/she has chosen a college that is an appropriate match and a reasonably good value).
Last edited by 3funder on Thu May 31, 2018 1:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by randomguy »

welldone wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:15 am

An aside, but it cracks me up when I see people refer to schools outside of the "Top 25" (on which ranking site?) or so as "second tier". There are ~4000 colleges and universities in the US. I think many need to open their eyes to the fact there are a lot more schools in the 1st tier than just 25. If we take the top 10% of colleges and universities in the US, we have around 400 schools that should at the very least be understood as "top tier".

OP, you should take a look at the thread on college and scholarships authored by timmy that started a couple of years ago. In that, a full pay family talked about their high stats (GPA & test scores) son search for the right combination of school prestige, fit and cost. His son ended up going to Notre Dame but I think the family was surprised on the results of pursuing 'free money'.

Your best bet to get 'free money' is from colleges and universities themselves, as grants. I second the recommendation to take this question over to college confidential and also to realize that many of the best offers of 'free money' that have been offered in the past decade or so have massively changed. To try to figure out what the landscape will look like in another decade is an exercise [somewhat] in futility.

My best advice is to figure out what you are willing to do for your children well before it is time to find a college. And let them know the game plan so they understand their options before emotion of 'dream schools' gets in the way. Expect to be expected to pay more than you thought you would ever have to when you first thought of college for your children.
Top is more like 1% (and no I don't really care if you want to use top 50 or top 25. I would argue we are talking about the 2600 or so accreddited colleges and not ITT tech:)) as the drop off is very, very sharp. For example using 1 stat and a couple of schools and using the some what subjective US&New reports

1 Princeton 1540
100 University of Vermont 1265
200 Nova Southeastern University - 1108

Average SAT in 2017 was 1083. So by the time you get to 200, you have gone from dealing with the top 2% of students to ones that are right about average.

There is nothing wrong with 2nd tier schools. You can get a good education there and even worse (calculus at community college is still Calc) Some schools have programs that far outstrip their rankings. Or have regional cachet that far outstrips their national one.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by Pdxnative »

OP, there is indeed 'free money' available to truly middle class students at schools that meet full need. At Princeton, Stanford, MIT, for example, more than half of students receive need-based aid and families with incomes as high as $160k do not pay any tuition. The hitch is that those schools are also among the most selective in the country, so an average student has a low probability of admission. The other hitch is that a family with 'a few million' in savings, unless we're talking retirement funds, is not considered middle class by any of those schools.

For the scenario you're asking about, planning to save for full price at the state flagship is the best bet.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars »

Students can complete a FAFSA without providing parental information. If the student is a dependent student* AND a financial aid administrator at the student's college determines (however they do that) that the parents have not provided support for the student and are unwilling to provide FAFSA data, the administrator can then authorize the student for an unsubsidized (interest-accruing while a student is in college) federal direct loan.

*Dependency in FAFSA terms has nothing to do directly with whether the parents provide support. A student is presumed as dependent unless they meet at least one of the very specific criteria to be independent:
- Already earned a bachelor's degree
- Age 24 by December 31st of the award year
- Married
- Parent of a child for whom the student provides more than half the support
- In the military
- A veteran
- Homeless, with certification by a McKinney-Vento coordinator or the director of a youth homeless shelter
- Orphaned
- Ward of the Court age 13 or after
- In foster care after age 13 or after
- Emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state
- Or, under special circumstances, as determined by a financial aid officer at a college (I have seen this one use where the only living parent was incarcerated.)
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by CnC »

novemberrain wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 8:07 pm
annielouise wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 7:20 pm I would say that "average" students, regardless of family situation, get very little in the way of scholarships. One has to be exceptional in some way (academics, athletics, musical talent, entrepreneurship, etc) to get more than small scholarships.

Our son got a full ride based on academics to a well known smaller school. He was a national merit finalist, valedictorian, and involved in numerous activities.

Growing up poor, all 6 of us got need based scholarships, but we were also all top students with excellent SAT scores. We also got academic scholarships that were unrelated to need. What we got just because we were poor were good rates on student loans. Good rates, in those days, were under 6%!
I see. Thanks. I am hoping and planning for my kids to be exceptional (just like every parent on planet earth). But just was wondering what if that doesn't happen.
Well hate to be "that guy" but if a child is average or below intelligence it is very possible that college is not for them.

Careers in trucking pay twice what an "average" college graduate can expect to earn. At some point without natural ability getting that piece of paper will not mean much.

Also remember the average person who goes to college never graduates.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by Tamarind »

You won't get any need based aid. You probably won't get any merit said if they are truly an average student (mostly Bs & C's).

However there are a lot of small "character" and "affiliation" scholarships to be had if your kids are motivated to write a very large number of short essays about the value of different character traits and professions. Consider local fraternal organizations, local corporations, professional organizations for fields that are interesting to your kid, and regional or national interest groups. The return on investment is not great, and if your kid is average they may actually find it challenging to write all the essays.

Someone above said an average kid would need to attend a lower tier school to get merit aid. While this may be true it will probably not benefit your kids to choose this route. Your average kid will benefit from being surrounded by the brightest and most motivated peers possible. That doesn't mean they have to go to an incredibly competitive school, but they should go to a school with a decent program in their field of interest and good overall academics, even if it will cost more due to no aid. State schools usually fit the bill.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by DIFAR31 »

3funder wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 1:16 pm Don't get me wrong -- I'm not a fan of dynastic wealth or anything like that. I just don't see why one's child should take on debt to pay for college if it's not financially necessary to do so (of course, this is assuming he/she has chosen a college that is an appropriate match and a reasonably good value).
I can probably come up with lots of reasons why it might make sense for a student from a wealthy family to be at least partially financially responsible for their own college education, to include summer employment earnings and federal loans, depending on the circumstances. My point has been that every family is different, so using a broad brush to paint as out of touch any parent driving a new luxury automobile who has their child complete FAFSA is not rationale.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by 3funder »

DIFAR31 wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 2:26 pm
3funder wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 1:16 pm Don't get me wrong -- I'm not a fan of dynastic wealth or anything like that. I just don't see why one's child should take on debt to pay for college if it's not financially necessary to do so (of course, this is assuming he/she has chosen a college that is an appropriate match and a reasonably good value).
I can probably come up with lots of reasons why it might make sense for a student from a wealthy family to be at least partially financially responsible for their own college education, to include summer employment earnings and federal loans, depending on the circumstances. My point has been that every family is different, so using a broad brush to paint as out of touch any parent driving a new luxury automobile who has their child complete FAFSA is not rationale.
Indeed every family is different; I just might not agree with their priorities.
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student
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by student »

White Coat Investor wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 10:15 pm
novemberrain wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 6:11 pm
2. We are an upper middle class family when my kids apply for college (i.e. a few million dollar net worth).
Where does upper class start again? Funny thing about Americans, no matter our socioeconomic status, we all think we're middle class.
This is very true. This reminds me of the following joke.

Person A: We need to raise tax on the rich to cover the essentials.
Person B: Who are the rich?
Person A: Everybody who earns more that I do.
bryansmile
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by bryansmile »

When comparing and selecting colleges, I often see people mentioning ivys as being the best schools. As a parent who just went thru the college application process, I can tell you that can't be further from the truth.
For a student who's studying, say biomedical engineering, the top college will not be any of the ivys. The top choice in the field is Georgia Tech, followed by Johns Hopkins. Surprising?! The major field of study is more important than name brand. Try to compare engineering programs from Yale, Brown or Dartmouth to those offered by, say, Georgia Tech. The program offerings and resources available are vastly different, there's no comparison. But if you were looking at other majors, then the above ivys may indeed be a better choice.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by dogagility »

welldone wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:15 am My best advice is to figure out what you are willing to do for your children well before it is time to find a college. And let them know the game plan so they understand their options before emotion of 'dream schools' gets in the way. Expect to be expected to pay more than you thought you would ever have to when you first thought of college for your children.
This^

There is no free money out there for upper middle class families unless one of the following is true of your spawn:
1) national merit finalist
2) attends a private college where the stated cost of attendance is just a sticker price and "merit aid" is just a marketing tool to attract top students
3) has a high enough GPA and test score combination for merit aid (see UK and U of Alabama financial aid websites as two examples)
4) superior D1/2 athlete
5) really special talent

My own kids now in college had excellent GPAs (above 4.0 weighted) and test scores (30 ACT). We didn't qualify for need-based aid. Both applied to private colleges and received some "merit aid", but this wasn't enough to bring the cost of attendance below the full cost at our in-state flagship. Both are attending the in-state flagship and are full pay.

The cheapest route to getting a bachelors degree is to attend the local community college for two years and live at home followed by the local state university for the final two years.

Conclusion: There is no free lunch. Save for your kids' college unless you want to take out loans.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by gotlucky »

Tamarind wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 2:20 pm Someone above said an average kid would need to attend a lower tier school to get merit aid. While this may be true it will probably not benefit your kids to choose this route. Your average kid will benefit from being surrounded by the brightest and most motivated peers possible. That doesn't mean they have to go to an incredibly competitive school, but they should go to a school with a decent program in their field of interest and good overall academics, even if it will cost more due to no aid. State schools usually fit the bill.
I agree with the research out there that says you should go to a school where you can work to be in the top 10-15%. At every school, the best students get access to better resources. Professors likely do not want to work with entitled or lazy students no matter how brilliant they are.

I went to a top undergraduate engineering school that was extremely competitive. I may have had the aptitude but I didn't have the discipline or work habits, so I struggled for 3.5 years and barely graduated. It made me feel really incompetent and almost made me drop out. My grades and attitude were poor, so I definitely didn't get much interaction with professors or opportunities to do research. As a Freshman, I had such a tough time grasping differential equations whereas most my classmates and friends breezed through it. That early experience really affected my confidence and my remaining college experience. At least now, I feel like it was good to humbled like that. In high school, I didn't have to work hard for good grades and AP exams and SATs were relatively easy to "game". I'd be even more insufferable had I breezed through undergrad.

Malcolm Gladwell writes about this in David vs Goliath. With regards to publishing research papers, he argues that the top 5% of most universities go on to publish a disproportionate amount and that the bottom 30% of best research universities hardly publish anything.

Unless you are going into big law, finance or politics, I'd stick to an undergrad program that you have the possibility of be a shining star if you are willing to work hard. I think the "best", say, 300 schools have brilliant students at the top. Maybe the better ones go deeper, but you will always find smart people at "mediocre" schools.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by RetiredCSProf »

novemberrain wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 6:11 pm Hello,

Assumptions
1. my kids grow up to be average " students.
2. We are an upper middle class family when my kids apply for college (i.e. a few million dollar net worth).
3. Have some 529 balances. Say $75k each kid

Do kids like these typically get any "free" money from colleges or any other organizations ?
No need-based scholarships at public schools in California. The current cut-off is $165K in assets and / or $165K in annual income. Assets in retirement accounts do not count. Home ownership does not count. Nor does mortgage on primary residence. Secondary real estate counts toward assets.

For the coming year, the estimated cost of attendance at a University of California (Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, ...) is about $37K, including tuition, fees, room and board, personal expenses, travel.

Private schools are the most generous with scholarships. Out-of-state universities are the least generous.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by afan »

welldone wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:15 am

An aside, but it cracks me up when I see people refer to schools outside of the "Top 25" (on which ranking site?) or so as "second tier". There are ~4000 colleges and universities in the US. I think many need to open their eyes to the fact there are a lot more schools in the 1st tier than just 25. If we take the top 10% of colleges and universities in the US, we have around 400 schools that should at the very least be understood as "top tier".
I suppose it depends on your frame of reference. On the one hand, there are lots of very well educated people with successful careers who attended a huge number of different schools. One need not graduate from a top tier college.

On the other hands, when I hear the term "top tier" I think of far fewer than 25 colleges and universities that would fit that description. All famous. Some of the Ivies. Stanford and MIT. Two or three of the top liberal arts colleges. That is about it for "top tier" for me.

Maybe 10 total...
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by stoptothink »

gotlucky wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 7:27 pm Malcolm Gladwell writes about this in David vs Goliath. With regards to publishing research papers, he argues that the top 5% of most universities go on to publish a disproportionate amount and that the bottom 30% of best research universities hardly publish anything.
I don't wholeheartedly agree with Gladwell's stance on this, but I do totally agree that the actual ROI on going to an expensive (even if "elite") university for undergrad is almost never there. Myself, I turned down acceptance to many "elite" universities to go to "average" universities because the financial situation was better (I wasn't getting any parental financial aid) and it turned out well for me. I also hire a ton of kids who just finished their STEM undergrad education. I have individuals on my staff who did their undergrad at Stanford, Brown, CAL, Northwestern, to name a few and by far the top performers are from two local (far from "elite") universities. Three of those employees, all still currently doing contract work for me, are now at Stanford, Baylor, and UT-Southwestern med schools on pretty significant scholarship. My current superstar came to me from Utah Valley University, right up the road, with a list of publications as long as her arm. Most of my employees from the "elites" didn't come to me with a single publication and she is smarter and more productive than all of them.

When it comes to university education, there is some severe elitism on this board. My children will make the call, but they will be nudged towards the two local, and very cheap, universities. If they want to go somewhere else, I say good luck figuring out how to cover the cost disparity (currently in the several tens of thousands a year).
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by carolinaman »

Our granddaughter had very good grades, but a notch below where the serious scholarship money was doled out. She also had an impressive extracurricular record. She was editor of school newspaper which won several national awards and was rated best in the South, plus numerous other accomplishments. She only got one scholarship for $1,000. She went out of state, so scholarships would have helped. The top students got multiple full scholarship offers. Fortunately her parents, with a little help from grandparents, are able to cover her costs. Our hope is the next one will be top tier student or get scholarship for sports. She starts 9th grade in Fall.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by Operon »

Have them search online for scholarships that involve writing essays. I can't tell you how many times I hear my students talk about skipping those, how many times I point out "that means those are the scholarships where you have much less competition!" to little effect. Except for the one kid who does listen from time to time, and scores more of them than they expected.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by TomatoTomahto »

All famous. Some of the Ivies. Stanford and MIT. Two or three of the top liberal arts colleges. That is about it for "top tier" for me.

Maybe 10 total...
Yup. And, in my personal experience, ROI is off the charts. My son’s first year compensation out of school plus internships matches total full freight 4 year cost.

OP: I don’t mean this as snarky as it probably sounds, but break your heart, spend some of those few million on your kids’ college costs.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by welldone »

afan wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:23 am
welldone wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:15 am

An aside, but it cracks me up when I see people refer to schools outside of the "Top 25" (on which ranking site?) or so as "second tier". There are ~4000 colleges and universities in the US. I think many need to open their eyes to the fact there are a lot more schools in the 1st tier than just 25. If we take the top 10% of colleges and universities in the US, we have around 400 schools that should at the very least be understood as "top tier".
I suppose it depends on your frame of reference. On the one hand, there are lots of very well educated people with successful careers who attended a huge number of different schools. One need not graduate from a top tier college.

On the other hands, when I hear the term "top tier" I think of far fewer than 25 colleges and universities that would fit that description. All famous. Some of the Ivies. Stanford and MIT. Two or three of the top liberal arts colleges. That is about it for "top tier" for me.

Maybe 10 total...
In some ways, I think this is a conversation very reminiscent of the middle class, upper middle class, upper upper middle class (there are very few willing to admit to "weathly", "rich" and "it's kind of obscene how much money we have"). Top 1% of American income earners earn at least $630k a year. Top 0.1% earn an astronomical amount yearly. To get in the top 10%, you need something like $125k a year in earnings.

Top 10% is still top tier. Entrance into that tier may be a lot easier than reaching the pinnacle of the tier, but it is all in the top tier.

If we are talking about the best of the best of the best (with honors! lol) schools, that is a significantly different list of schools than the "top tier". And I say this as someone who went to one of the schools I think most of you would consider "top tier" (usually ranked 2nd/3rd in most US News and other ranking systems). It is a wonderful school, I learned a lot and then went into Investment Banking and promptly met a metric ton of very smart, very capable co-workers who went to 'lesser' schools that 30 years later still wouldn't cracked the top 150 ranked schools in the US.

If you want a name school, there isn't any 'free money' for someone who will have several million in assets at the time of attendance. I agree with TomatoTomahto that it can very well be worth spending the money on that type of education, I don't regret the money that I (and my family) spent on mine.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

welldone wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:34 pm
afan wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:23 am
welldone wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 11:15 am

An aside, but it cracks me up when I see people refer to schools outside of the "Top 25" (on which ranking site?) or so as "second tier". There are ~4000 colleges and universities in the US. I think many need to open their eyes to the fact there are a lot more schools in the 1st tier than just 25. If we take the top 10% of colleges and universities in the US, we have around 400 schools that should at the very least be understood as "top tier".
I suppose it depends on your frame of reference. On the one hand, there are lots of very well educated people with successful careers who attended a huge number of different schools. One need not graduate from a top tier college.

On the other hands, when I hear the term "top tier" I think of far fewer than 25 colleges and universities that would fit that description. All famous. Some of the Ivies. Stanford and MIT. Two or three of the top liberal arts colleges. That is about it for "top tier" for me.

Maybe 10 total...
In some ways, I think this is a conversation very reminiscent of the middle class, upper middle class, upper upper middle class (there are very few willing to admit to "weathly", "rich" and "it's kind of obscene how much money we have"). Top 1% of American income earners earn at least $630k a year. Top 0.1% earn an astronomical amount yearly. To get in the top 10%, you need something like $125k a year in earnings.

Top 10% is still top tier. Entrance into that tier may be a lot easier than reaching the pinnacle of the tier, but it is all in the top tier.

If we are talking about the best of the best of the best (with honors! lol) schools, that is a significantly different list of schools than the "top tier". And I say this as someone who went to one of the schools I think most of you would consider "top tier" (usually ranked 2nd/3rd in most US News and other ranking systems). It is a wonderful school, I learned a lot and then went into Investment Banking and promptly met a metric ton of very smart, very capable co-workers who went to 'lesser' schools that 30 years later still wouldn't cracked the top 150 ranked schools in the US.

If you want a name school, there isn't any 'free money' for someone who will have several million in assets at the time of attendance. I agree with TomatoTomahto that it can very well be worth spending the money on that type of education, I don't regret the money that I (and my family) spent on mine.
Let's not put the horse before the cart. First, one must gain admittance into such a Top Tier school, then and only then can one either pay for it outright or finance that education. How many students are there in the collegiate population? How many are actually attending those Top Tier schools? What's the percentage? Right, the vast majority are not attending those schools not because of cost, but because they were not admitted.

If you are not admitted to a Top Tier school, there is nothing wrong with the level you are admitted. Go where you are admitted and do an above average job while there, in the end, you will have a successful life.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
wrongfunds
Posts: 2534
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by wrongfunds »

The kid gets scholarship to the school which she does NOT want to attend :-) The scholarship is the way school wants to sweeten the pot for her to attend.

This is like any other transaction. Does school need that student more than the student wants to attend that school? It depends upon who has the upper hand. Why would school waste their precious dollars on somebody who would jump at joy to attend at full cost. I mean as a concept, this should be intuitive to anybody who understand how world works.
bonfire
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:44 pm

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by bonfire »

123 wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 6:34 pm Some private colleges are "generous" with respect to giving many potential students partial scholarships if they attend. However this is sometimes just a mechanism to entice students to attend partly due to the glory of receiving a partial scholarship if they do. These schools may use an inflated tuition rate to allow these "Scholarships", since few, if any students likely actually pay the rack rate. Just something to be aware of and to carefully consider all college expenses when making college decisions. We've had friends send their kinds to colleges partially to take advantage of these scholarships because it was such a deal compared to the "list price", the schools wouldn't do it unless it worked at least some of the time.
My son got $30,000/yr to Tulane under this premise.....it worked and convinced him
stoptothink
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Post by stoptothink »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:20 pm
All famous. Some of the Ivies. Stanford and MIT. Two or three of the top liberal arts colleges. That is about it for "top tier" for me.

Maybe 10 total...
Yup. And, in my personal experience, ROI is off the charts. My son’s first year compensation out of school plus internships matches total full freight 4 year cost.

OP: I don’t mean this as snarky as it probably sounds, but break your heart, spend some of those few million on your kids’ college costs.
Your son is an extreme outlier, even among Yale graduates, of which I work with many. You might as well say the ROI of not graduating from Alta Loma High School is off the charts because one of the wealthiest people I personally know is a drop-out of that high school.
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