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

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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 »

stoptothink wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:06 pm
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).
There is a world of difference between the FACULTY of a top tier university, which is what defines its reputation, and the quality of education that all students receive. The most productive research faculty skew heavily to the top universities. This does not tell you anything about the quality of the education an individual student receives. The things that make faculty members tops in their fields have essentially nothing to do with undergrad education. Anyone who has any business holding a faculty position had better be prepared to teach an undergrad course in their field. Even at the most elite colleges only a tiny fraction of the students will be so far advanced as undergrads that the ability to do research with a National Academy member is better than doing it with some other tenured professor. For the vast majority of students the presence of research superstars on campus is kind of cool, but does not matter.

That is why a lot of graduates of the top liberal arts colleges can do so well in grad school and academic careers. As undergraduates they needed undergraduate educations. They did not need to get lectures from a Nobel laureate in a sophomore course.

The quality of education has much more to do with the fit of a student with a college, the student's ability and motivation and whether they need to spend a lot of time working in order to pay the bills.

This thread was about average students, so the superstars don't matter. But the superstars are qualitatively different than the rest of us.

I read an old report from MIT, that the absolute tippy top of the academic students overwhelmingly went to a tiny number of famous top tier colleges. By the "top" students, they meant the 300 most talented kids applying to college in a year from around the world. They said that MIT was third, behind Harvard and Stanford, in attracting those kids. Based on the numbers, that would imply a huge proportion of these superstars went to just those three colleges. Similar to the distribution of where the Math and Physics Olympiad students go. THAT is top tier.

But, as I said, this is only relevant to a tiny fraction of the students even at my small list of top tier colleges. They are the truly brilliant. The other undergrads at these top colleges are simply bright people, not geniuses. On average, they could get just as good education plenty of other places.
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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 »

Your son is an extreme outlier, even among Yale graduates, of which I work with many.
Perhaps, but many of his friend group are doing very well after graduation. Even the “less ambitious/successful” of his classmates have a reasonable ROI.
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 goodenyou »

Merit money hard to come by unless kid is really accomplished. Universities are really pushing for debt-free for some based on stratified need. The rub I have for merit based is that there is little out there for the very good student who gets no merit aid on the admission, outperforms the merit kid at the university-level and still gets no aid. My kid was an excellent student in high school, good, but not outstanding SATs, goes to a top 10 engineering school with straight 4.0 for 2 years. No offer of merit aid. I guess no need to entice him to attend or stay at the university. I don’t waste time on FAFSA since my EFC would be > $99k/year. I just write the check out of the 529.
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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 »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:52 pm
Your son is an extreme outlier, even among Yale graduates, of which I work with many.
Perhaps, but many of his friend group are doing very well after graduation. Even the “less ambitious/successful” of his classmates have a reasonable ROI.
That is wonderful, but the relative return vs a less prestigious college could only be decided by looking at kids with similar abilities who went to such colleges. Compare those who majored in the same field and graduated at a time of historically low unemployment.

When Dale and Krueger did this (across years, so not only in good economic times) they found that being admitted to a top college did imply a higher income, but that controlling for that attending the top college did not. Students who got in the higher ranked place, but went to the lower ranked one, for a better price or other reasons, did just as well in compensation.

We cash flowed our kids educations and we think it was worth it. But I have no way of knowing whether they would be equally or more successful had they gone elsewhere. They are happy well educated people. That is what we payed for and that is what we got.
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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 retired recently »

Due to grade inflation in high schools accompanied with the SAT being made easier it is difficult for the top kids to differentiate themselves. Even the SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

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retired recently wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:42 pm Due to grade inflation in high schools accompanied with the SAT being made easier it is difficult for the top kids to differentiate themselves. Even the SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it.
Are you sure? I find it hard to believe. I understand that there is grade inflation at the SAT but I am surprised at your claim that SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it. I certainly do not see it at my school. https://blog.prepscholar.com/good-sat-score-for-2018
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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 »

student wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:53 pm
retired recently wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:42 pm Due to grade inflation in high schools accompanied with the SAT being made easier it is difficult for the top kids to differentiate themselves. Even the SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it.
Are you sure? I find it hard to believe. I understand that there is grade inflation at the SAT but I am surprised at your claim that SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it. I certainly do not see it at my school. https://blog.prepscholar.com/good-sat-score-for-2018
I think you’re confusing the (pardon the old nomenclature) achievement tests and aptitude tests. An 800 on the Math 2 Achievement test is 79th percentile recently, in large part because only highly accomplished math students take it; lesser students take either Math 1 or don’t take the test at all. An 800 on the Aptitude test is typically a 99th percentile, or thereabouts.
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 student »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:06 pm
student wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:53 pm
retired recently wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:42 pm Due to grade inflation in high schools accompanied with the SAT being made easier it is difficult for the top kids to differentiate themselves. Even the SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it.
Are you sure? I find it hard to believe. I understand that there is grade inflation at the SAT but I am surprised at your claim that SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it. I certainly do not see it at my school. https://blog.prepscholar.com/good-sat-score-for-2018
I think you’re confusing the (pardon the old nomenclature) achievement tests and aptitude tests. An 800 on the Math 2 Achievement test is 79th percentile recently, in large part because only highly accomplished math students take it; lesser students take either Math 1 or don’t take the test at all. An 800 on the Aptitude test is typically a 99th percentile, or thereabouts.
I see. But this is still not the claim from "retired recently," "SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it." Perhaps he meant 75th percentile.
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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 goodenyou »

retired recently wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:42 pm Due to grade inflation in high schools accompanied with the SAT being made easier it is difficult for the top kids to differentiate themselves. Even the SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it.
Another reason to give merit aid to ongoing students who are at the top of their UNIVERSITY class.
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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 »

goodenyou wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:16 pm
retired recently wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:42 pm Due to grade inflation in high schools accompanied with the SAT being made easier it is difficult for the top kids to differentiate themselves. Even the SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it.
Another reason to give merit aid to ongoing students who are at the top of their UNIVERSITY class.
At my school, there are merit scholarships for students who are already enrolled but they are small. The big ones are for freshmen and transfer students.
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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 goodenyou »

student wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:23 pm
goodenyou wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:16 pm
retired recently wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:42 pm Due to grade inflation in high schools accompanied with the SAT being made easier it is difficult for the top kids to differentiate themselves. Even the SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it.
Another reason to give merit aid to ongoing students who are at the top of their UNIVERSITY class.
At my school, there are merit scholarships for students who are already enrolled but they are small. The big ones are for freshmen and transfer students.
Yes. My point. In my opinion, the universities should reward performance and give the largest rewards to those who perform at the university. They might even curry favor with those high achievers at the collge level when they get out and do very well in their careers. They may even be inclined to give back.
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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 »

goodenyou wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:36 pm
student wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:23 pm
goodenyou wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:16 pm
retired recently wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:42 pm Due to grade inflation in high schools accompanied with the SAT being made easier it is difficult for the top kids to differentiate themselves. Even the SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it.
Another reason to give merit aid to ongoing students who are at the top of their UNIVERSITY class.
At my school, there are merit scholarships for students who are already enrolled but they are small. The big ones are for freshmen and transfer students.
Yes. My point. In my opinion, the universities should reward performance and give the largest rewards to those who perform at the university. They might even curry favor with those high achievers at the collge level when they get out and do very well in their careers. They may even be inclined to give back.
I understand your argument. At most universities, especially mid-tier ones, it is almost impossible for faculty members to get decent raises unless there is an outside offer. It would seem that this is how they operate, from scholarships for students to faculty salaries.

What the top students do score are paid summer research positions.
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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 bubbadog »

I have a daughter who might have the grades and test scores to be academically competitive for one of the top tier/
ivy schools (4.+ GPA, SAT 1520, second in her high school class of 400).

She does not have any other special talent/circumstance that would set her apart from other applicants.

If we have a net worth of 3 million and I make between 250-300K/year, does she have any chance for financial aid from any of these schools?

My guess it is extremely unlikely.
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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 »

bubbadog wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:04 pm I have a daughter who might have the grades and test scores to be academically competitive for one of the top tier/
ivy schools (4.+ GPA, SAT 1520, second in her high school class of 400).

She does not have any other special talent/circumstance that would set her apart from other applicants.

If we have a net worth of 3 million and I make between 250-300K/year, does she have any chance for financial aid from any of these schools?

My guess it is extremely unlikely.
Probably unlikely other than a limited amount. You can try https://college.harvard.edu/financial-a ... calculator
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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 mnnice »

student wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:15 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:06 pm
student wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:53 pm
retired recently wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:42 pm Due to grade inflation in high schools accompanied with the SAT being made easier it is difficult for the top kids to differentiate themselves. Even the SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it.
Are you sure? I find it hard to believe. I understand that there is grade inflation at the SAT but I am surprised at your claim that SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it. I certainly do not see it at my school. https://blog.prepscholar.com/good-sat-score-for-2018
I think you’re confusing the (pardon the old nomenclature) achievement tests and aptitude tests. An 800 on the Math 2 Achievement test is 79th percentile recently, in large part because only highly accomplished math students take it; lesser students take either Math 1 or don’t take the test at all. An 800 on the Aptitude test is typically a 99th percentile, or thereabouts.
I see. But this is still not the claim from "retired recently," "SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it." Perhaps he meant 75th percentile.
If an 800 is the 79th%tile then only about 21% of the test takers should score an 800 or better. That’s what %tiles mean. Some wires are crossed here somewhere :?
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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 »

mnnice wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:15 pm
student wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:15 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:06 pm
student wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:53 pm
retired recently wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:42 pm Due to grade inflation in high schools accompanied with the SAT being made easier it is difficult for the top kids to differentiate themselves. Even the SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it.
Are you sure? I find it hard to believe. I understand that there is grade inflation at the SAT but I am surprised at your claim that SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it. I certainly do not see it at my school. https://blog.prepscholar.com/good-sat-score-for-2018
I think you’re confusing the (pardon the old nomenclature) achievement tests and aptitude tests. An 800 on the Math 2 Achievement test is 79th percentile recently, in large part because only highly accomplished math students take it; lesser students take either Math 1 or don’t take the test at all. An 800 on the Aptitude test is typically a 99th percentile, or thereabouts.
I see. But this is still not the claim from "retired recently," "SAT Math II score of 800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it." Perhaps he meant 75th percentile.
If an 800 is the 79th%tile then only about 21% of the test takers should score an 800 or better. That’s what %tiles mean. Some wires are crossed here somewhere :?
I agree with you and I am conveying the same point here. 79th percentile means 800 is awarded to 21% of the test takers. But "retired recently" said "800 is awarded to 75% of the kids who take it" which means 25th percentile.
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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 staythecourse »

novemberrain wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 7:58 pm
Captain kangaroo wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 6:54 pm Race is a factor as well.

Are you white or a minority?
Minority. But the wrong kind of minority :) - from India :) I don't believe we are eligible for Affirmative Action.
Actually in reality it is likely A LOT worse then that. There is likely reverse discrimination for asians applying to elite schools. If you are asian and get into HYPS+ MIT you truly have danced on the top of pin head.

Good luck.
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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 GuyInFL »

In my area, most average kids get their scholarships from the lottery-funded scholarships like "Hope" and "Bright Futures". At High School awards night, it seems like most of the other merit scholarships are presented to a few number of top students.
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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 livesoft »

bubbadog wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:04 pmIf we have a net worth of 3 million and I make between 250-300K/year, does she have any chance for financial aid from any of these schools?
Of course not.

OK, maybe her siblings are sextuplets and will enter college the following year, so maybe then.
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Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

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GuyInFL wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:50 pm In my area, most average kids get their scholarships from the lottery-funded scholarships like "Hope" and "Bright Futures". At High School awards night, it seems like most of the other merit scholarships are presented to a few number of top students.
Interesting. This is probably getting too far away from the topic here. I find many places "abuse" the word scholarship. Personally, I think only merit based award should be called scholarship. Other types of awards should be called financial aid. (BTW, this is not directed at you. It is just my observation in general.)
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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 staythecourse »

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.
I don't think anyone is doubting going to Yale and going into finance will make you money (I believe that is correct for your child). The honest answer is folks in life will get paid based on their career choice. That simple. A Yale grad who is works in civil service is not going to make as much as doctor who immigrated from a 3rd world country.

So it is NOT the school, but the choice of career. How much are the art degree folks making coming out of Yale?

The question then becomes do the folks coming out of elite colleges have a higher chance of high paying careers vs. those that don't. That is a different argument all together.

Good luck.
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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 LadyGeek »

Please stay on-topic.
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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 wootwoot »

To the op the answer is a simple no, no they do not.
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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 cockersx3 »

Here's a link from 2015 to an interactive chart that shows actual net cost of various colleges, broken out by family income. The charts include sticker price as well for reference. Not sure about the "average student" part, but this link demonstrates that even higher-income people can get money off the college's sticker price. So, yes - there is money (ie discounts) out there for us.

Even with an "average" student, if you plan ahead and are prepared to pay for college I would think that you have some negotiating leverage that you use. At the end of the day, those schools are going to want your money and (as this chart demonstrates) it appears that they're willing to take discounts off sticker price to get it.

Totally agree with previous posters on the need to establish a college funding plan and communicate it to your kids early, before they have their heart set on colleges that are out of reach financially. We've communicated to our kids that we will be willing to for 8 semesters' worth of tuition, room, and board at our state's flagship college provided that they demonstrate to us that this makes sense for them and us Among other things, this means maintaining a certain high school and college GPA, enrolling at a program that has a reasonable chance at post-college employability, etc. Despite this, we are still tracking the overall cost of non-state colleges, since in our state (as in many states) admission to our state universities are getting very competitive. We may end up having to pay for a private college, but my sense is that the "in state flagship school" cost is becoming a de-facto metric that private colleges seem to gravitate towards on net price, even for higher earners.

Also agree with the poster on challenging whether college is automatically the right choice for "average" kids. Our society seems to bias towards that for everyone, but I am not so sure. Most parents in our upper-middle-class neighborhood have stories of kids (either their own or acquaintances) that have dropped out of college , and / or changed majors very late, and/or have degrees in subjects that are basically unmarketable and are therefore un/under-employed. Seems like such a waste to me. With this in mind, we've constantly reminded our kids that college isn't the only option, and also that our promise to pay for college doesn't have an expiration date. I would almost rather have them go out and get a job after high school, and spend time "growing up" before spending massive amounts of money on an option that may not necessarily be right for them.
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Nice!
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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 GuyInFL »

GuyInFL wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:50 pm
In my area, most average kids get their scholarships from the lottery-funded scholarships like "Hope" and "Bright Futures". At High School awards night, it seems like most of the other merit scholarships are presented to a few number of top students.
Interesting. This is probably getting too far away from the topic here. I find many places "abuse" the word scholarship. Personally, I think only merit based award should be called scholarship. Other types of awards should be called financial aid. (BTW, this is not directed at you. It is just my observation in general.)
The lottery-funded scholarships I am familiar with all have various levels of award based on academic performance.
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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 »

GuyInFL wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:35 pm
GuyInFL wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:50 pm
In my area, most average kids get their scholarships from the lottery-funded scholarships like "Hope" and "Bright Futures". At High School awards night, it seems like most of the other merit scholarships are presented to a few number of top students.
Interesting. This is probably getting too far away from the topic here. I find many places "abuse" the word scholarship. Personally, I think only merit based award should be called scholarship. Other types of awards should be called financial aid. (BTW, this is not directed at you. It is just my observation in general.)
The lottery-funded scholarships I am familiar with all have various levels of award based on academic performance.
Thank you for the clarifications.
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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 livesoft »

cockersx3 wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:21 pm Here's a link from 2015 to an interactive chart that shows actual net cost of various colleges, broken out by family income. The charts include sticker price as well for reference. Not sure about the "average student" part, but this link demonstrates that even higher-income people can get money off the college's sticker price. So, yes - there is money (ie discounts) out there for us.

Even with an "average" student, if you plan ahead and are prepared to pay for college I would think that you have some negotiating leverage that you use. At the end of the day, those schools are going to want your money and (as this chart demonstrates) it appears that they're willing to take discounts off sticker price to get it.
Thanks for the link. I looked at the 2 universities that my children attended. The interactive chart is optimistically false for my personal experience over the past 8 years. If you think the link demonstrates that even higher-income people can get money off the college's sticker price that may only be true if they have absolutely nothing saved up and perhaps other kids in college at the same time.

Furthermore, my youngest could be considered an "average student" grade-wise and SAT-wise. The link shows that his public university attracted lower income students, awarded more Pell grants, gave out more financial aid, but still the students had more debt when graduating than the private elite university that my daughter attended that cost about 2.5 times more.

I would say that you cannot have the resources that the OP or that our family had in order to get any breaks on sticker prices.
Last edited by livesoft on Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:57 am, edited 1 time 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 Misenplace »

For me, this was the most interesting response to OP. I say this as a full-pay parent of a highly-qualified student at a top-tier Liberal Arts College in the NE.
AerialWombat wrote: Wed May 30, 2018 9:44 pm I guess I'll be that guy. :)

Do they really need to go to college? Many jobs of the future, including the "hottest" in-demand jobs right now, can be obtained by completing 3-6 month "boot camps" -- code schools, data mining intensives, etc.

If they're truly average, is college even the best idea for them? Trade school is a fine option, and there are plenty of decent paying jobs available.

Or, does an "average" kid really need to go to a $40,000 a year school? Many community colleges now offer either in-house 4-year degrees, or have relationships with state universities to do 2+2 programs. This drastically lowers the cost of a college education. At my local community college, there are limited BA/BS offerings, of course, but they do include business and computer science. Cost of four years works out to about $10k-$12k in tuition and fees at current rates for students that graduated from an in-state high school with a GPA above 3.2 or so (I realize not all states offer these kicker programs).

If it's just the piece of paper they're after, and they're a good test taker, it's amazing how many semester hours one can test out of. In fact, it's possible to complete an entire college degree in less than a year simply by testing out of everything. Cost will run about $7k-$8k. Plenty of info on The Google about how to do this.

When I got my engineering degree, I tested out of about 1/4 of my BS requirements (all general ed stuff), completed another 1/4 online (and this was 16 years ago), and just under half was transfer credit from military training. The small balance I finished out over a 2-year period going super-part-time to a state university, as a "working adult".

Just pointing out that there are plenty of alternatives to spending a small fortune to send kids to expensive colleges.

I shall now slither away into the dust....
It got me wondering- am I stuck in the past? In my previous capacity at MegaCorp, I had the occasion (opportunity/chore/etc.) to hire many highly skilled, highly compensated employees. In reviewing resumes, the first pass was a combination of "where did they go"? and/or "what have they done/accomplished?" I have to admit, a degree from the one of those tippy top 5 schools tended to get applicants more of the benefit of the doubt when the "accomplishments" category was a bit thin. But upon reflection, it shouldn't have, because the "accomplishments" category was best indicative of the value that person brought to the table. We had plenty of Harvard Law grads who were damn fun to speak with and work with, but also were not always as talented, and often did not accomplish nearly as much, as their colleagues with less prestigious laurels.

Wombat's post highlights the issue for me- it's not where you come from, or who you are, but what you accomplish with what you have. The world is changing, and survivors adapt.
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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 »

staythecourse wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:09 pm
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.
I don't think anyone is doubting going to Yale and going into finance will make you money (I believe that is correct for your child). The honest answer is folks in life will get paid based on their career choice. That simple. A Yale grad who is works in civil service is not going to make as much as doctor who immigrated from a 3rd world country.

So it is NOT the school, but the choice of career. How much are the art degree folks making coming out of Yale?

The question then becomes do the folks coming out of elite colleges have a higher chance of high paying careers vs. those that don't. That is a different argument all together.

Good luck.
So you mean my sister with an IVY undergrad and graduate degrees from Oxford and NYU, who makes less than all her siblings (including the two who didn't graduate high school), didn't get a good ROI even though apparently she was taught by a far better faculty?
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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 »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:52 pm
Your son is an extreme outlier, even among Yale graduates, of which I work with many.
Perhaps, but many of his friend group are doing very well after graduation. Even the “less ambitious/successful” of his classmates have a reasonable ROI.
And the overwhelming majority of my IVY (and Oxford and NYU) educated sister's friends are not doing particularly well (kinda like her, early 30's and living with their parents trying to pay their debt), despite their Ivy educations...that tends to happen when you study a combination of English lit and art history, and follow it up with graduate degrees in areas with even less (and lower paying) job prospects. Your son is a high performer, who went into a field that pays well, and surrounded himself with similar individuals; I would bet my life he, and his friends, would be doing well regardless of where they completed their undergrad.
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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 shawndoggy »

bubbadog wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:04 pm I have a daughter who might have the grades and test scores to be academically competitive for one of the top tier/
ivy schools (4.+ GPA, SAT 1520, second in her high school class of 400).

She does not have any other special talent/circumstance that would set her apart from other applicants.

If we have a net worth of 3 million and I make between 250-300K/year, does she have any chance for financial aid from any of these schools?

My guess it is extremely unlikely.
For the ivies the answer is absolutely positively no. There's no way that your demonstrated need for fafsa purposes is less than the true cost of attendance. Actually from ANY school. Financial aid is based on demonstrated NEED. Your kid don't have it.

That said, there are definitely well regarded (if not HYPS/MIT/CalTech) schools where your daughter would get merit scholarships. Aim down a tier from that, and there are schools where your daughter could get a full ride (Alabama and Utah come to mind, but there are definitely others)

But unfortunately I think you may be surprised about whether your daughter is actually competitive at those top schools. everyone applying to those schools is straight As+APs+top test scores. And the admission rate is still 5%. She may be qualified to buy the lottery ticket, but that's no guarantee of winning.
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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 bubbadog »

shawndoggy wrote: Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:09 am
bubbadog wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:04 pm I have a daughter who might have the grades and test scores to be academically competitive for one of the top tier/
ivy schools (4.+ GPA, SAT 1520, second in her high school class of 400).

She does not have any other special talent/circumstance that would set her apart from other applicants.

If we have a net worth of 3 million and I make between 250-300K/year, does she have any chance for financial aid from any of these schools?

My guess it is extremely unlikely.
For the ivies the answer is absolutely positively no. There's no way that your demonstrated need for fafsa purposes is less than the true cost of attendance. Actually from ANY school. Financial aid is based on demonstrated NEED. Your kid don't have it.

That said, there are definitely well regarded (if not HYPS/MIT/CalTech) schools where your daughter would get merit scholarships. Aim down a tier from that, and there are schools where your daughter could get a full ride (Alabama and Utah come to mind, but there are definitely others)

But unfortunately I think you may be surprised about whether your daughter is actually competitive at those top schools. everyone applying to those schools is straight As+APs+top test scores. And the admission rate is still 5%. She may be qualified to buy the lottery ticket, but that's no guarantee of winning.
Thanks for your reply.

I agree that her academic achievements may get her a lottery ticket but acceptance is still a long shot.

I am not convinced that even if she got into one of the top tier/ivy schools, it is worth the premium over a highly regarded flagship state school.
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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 timmy »

It depends:

Athletic scholarships are a whole other thing. My comments don't take these into account.

Does the school operate need based or merit based? Most of the private elite schools are need based now. In short, they have a formula for determining what you'll pay. For example, if your household income is 60K/year, you won't pay anything to attend Harvard or Yale. If it's 250K/year, you'll pay 30K to 40K/year to attend. Higher incomes will tend to pay full sticker price. (Using round numbers here.)

The exception on need and low income would be high net worth individuals. If your income is 70K/year and your net worth is $5M, you pay full sticker price.

Some merit programs are black and white. If you have X GPA and Y ACT, you'll get Z funds.

Most merit is a bit more supply and demand. For example, take a female and male with 4+ GPA and near perfect scores (ACT, SAT), a female applying to U of I's computer science program will likely receive merit/ full ride. The male will not. Why? The program (enrollment) is heavily tilted male, and the school is trying to address the mix.

My advice:

Understand the landscape. How does the school or program give out funds?

Tilt the odds in your favor (to the degree that it fits your goals). Schools consider grades, scores, activities, special skills, demographics. Go to where you stand out/ are special.

Good luck.
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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 shawndoggy »

bubbadog wrote: Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:20 am I am not convinced that even if she got into one of the top tier/ivy schools, it is worth the premium over a highly regarded flagship state school.
Me neither, at least for those of us who would have to pay full-boat. $300k vs "free"? My kids were in the same range as your daughter. Oldest got substantial scholarships to out of state public U in a LCOL city, youngest got "full ride" (but remember housing is never covered without demonstrated financial need) to out of state well regarded (if not "highly regarded") private U in a VHCOL area. Oldest's 4 year degree cost <$50000; we anticipate youngest will be about $65K (much much higher housing costs). Still a far cry from full-price at Stanford.
Go to where you stand out/ are special.
This. Zactly.
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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 GuyInFL »

ROTC scholarships are the typical "large" scholarships Ive seen at awards nights. They depend on majors. They are certainly easier to get than full-ride national merit scholarships, but I'm not sure an average student will qualify. Probably can find cut-offs at collegeconfidential.com
They have a service committment, so they aren't technically free, but financial need is not a requirement.
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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 SimonJester »

DIFAR31 wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 1:14 pm
3funder wrote: Thu May 31, 2018 1:00 pm 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?
Actually it IS the student who fills out the FAFSA. It is all done online under the SSN of the student. They will need the parents Tax forms & SSN and the parent must create a FAFSA ID in order to Sign the FAFSA at the end. The online system is also supposed to be able to go out to the IRS and pull in all the tax data but it was not able to do so for my son this past year. Of course the parent will need to be sitting with the student to help fill in the blanks.
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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 SimonJester »

Another thing to keep in mind, my niece is salutatorian in her graduating class with a 4.0+ GPA. She has received a "full ride" merit based scholarship to her chosen college. This equates to paying 4 years of tuition and fees but NOT room and board. Room and board is now 1/2 the price of a college education in many areas.
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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 staythecourse »

stoptothink wrote: Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:49 am
staythecourse wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:09 pm
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.
I don't think anyone is doubting going to Yale and going into finance will make you money (I believe that is correct for your child). The honest answer is folks in life will get paid based on their career choice. That simple. A Yale grad who is works in civil service is not going to make as much as doctor who immigrated from a 3rd world country.

So it is NOT the school, but the choice of career. How much are the art degree folks making coming out of Yale?

The question then becomes do the folks coming out of elite colleges have a higher chance of high paying careers vs. those that don't. That is a different argument all together.

Good luck.
So you mean my sister with an IVY undergrad and graduate degrees from Oxford and NYU, who makes less than all her siblings (including the two who didn't graduate high school), didn't get a good ROI even though apparently she was taught by a far better faculty?
I think you may have misunderstood my post or maybe directed to the poster I was responding to? All I was saying is any discussion of ROI does not have to do with simply college cost, but the field one chooses. Your example is a perfect example of that point. Of course, on a ROI your sister is not going to match up due to the career she chose.

Good luck.
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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 Dontwasteit »

My original post was...My daughter received a 50% scholarship to a fine private college. I wanted to add it was merit based.
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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 mervinj7 »

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

Assumptions
1. my kids grow up to be average " students.
2. We are an upper middle class family when my kids apply b he b for college (i.e. a few million dollar net worth).
3. Have some 529 balances. Say $75k each kind i but w
Can
Do kids like these typically get any "free" money Fromm you in be h s colleges or any other organizations ? readying you ever ees in
Thanks. so we
:twisted: u
Dontwasteit wrote:. U
My original post was...My daughter received a 50% scholarship to a fine private college. I wanted to add it was meri r bb bbt bas ie be h up hd.
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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 staythecourse »

Love the discussion thus far and very informative for the rest of us who have no gone through the process thus far.

I would think INTUITIVELY that the posts about candidates more likely to get free money if they go to schools where their numbers place them in the top 1% of the incoming class.

Can the folks who got free money based on merit who responded thus far describe if this was what happened in their situation? If not, I don't see how someones son or daughter got grades or scores similar to other incoming freshman/ outside of the top 1% of academic achievment and received 50-100% tuition when the other folks didn't. Does that makes sense or am I missing something (more then possible since I have no experience on this aspect).

Thanks in advance.

Good luck.
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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 ks289 »

stoptothink wrote: Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:08 am
TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:52 pm
Your son is an extreme outlier, even among Yale graduates, of which I work with many.
Perhaps, but many of his friend group are doing very well after graduation. Even the “less ambitious/successful” of his classmates have a reasonable ROI.
And the overwhelming majority of my IVY (and Oxford and NYU) educated sister's friends are not doing particularly well (kinda like her, early 30's and living with their parents trying to pay their debt), despite their Ivy educations...that tends to happen when you study a combination of English lit and art history, and follow it up with graduate degrees in areas with even less (and lower paying) job prospects. Your son is a high performer, who went into a field that pays well, and surrounded himself with similar individuals; I would bet my life he, and his friends, would be doing well regardless of where they completed their undergrad.
Bet your life?

There are too many uncertainties in life to bet anything substantial on talent resulting in success, particularly in the narrow monetary definition you focused on. In other words, crap happens. It would be riskier IMO to try to achieve success by always taking the most difficult path and not taking full advantage of opportunities when they are earned.

The fact that you believe going to the expense and trouble of completing an undergraduate degree at all already demonstrates that you believe having this credential has benefits (not guaranteed of course) over having no degree. Take that premise just a wee bit further and this is the basis for asserting that Harvard is not equivalent to Devry University.
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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 staustin »

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.


Exactly my experience... Very frustrating. I asked and asked, explaining that I KNEW there was zero chance we'd qualify for need based aid. So, we disclosed quite a bit of very private information, only to be told that we we had no need.. I decided to call the financial aid office at one of the universities to inquire if this process was really necessary and why. The nice lady ultimately admitted that the process was necessary for students to receive federal loans in their 'aide' packages.

My daughter worked hard and was accepted to quite a number of elite schools but was not offered any aide. Her "financial aid" package received from all three elite schools consisted of un-subsidized student loans. She simply needed to click the accept button on the webpage to incur 70 thousand dollars in student loans annually. It was the "invest in yourself" option. I find this disgusting honestly. She'll be attending a well regarded state school this 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 munemaker »

staustin wrote: Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:28 am
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.


Exactly my experience... Very frustrating. I asked and asked, explaining that I KNEW there was zero chance we'd qualify for need based aid. So, we disclosed quite a bit of very private information, only to be told that we we had no need.. I decided to call the financial aid office at one of the universities to inquire if this process was really necessary and why. The nice lady ultimately admitted that the process was necessary for students to receive federal loans in their 'aide' packages.

My daughter worked hard and was accepted to quite a number of elite schools but was not offered any aide. Her "financial aid" package received from all three elite schools consisted of un-subsidized student loans. She simply needed to click the accept button on the webpage to incur 70 thousand dollars in student loans annually. It was the "invest in yourself" option. I find this disgusting honestly. She'll be attending a well regarded state school this fall.
Our experience as well. I was pretty much ignoring the schools persistent requests to complete the FASFA, but then a couple friends of ours encouraged it as well, saying "You might be surprised." We are the "Millionaire Next Door" type, and our friends have no idea of our financial assets. Still, I completed the form once for first child and no, we were not surprised. Never filled out the form again for either of our children, and was mad at myself for giving up personal information and receiving nothing in return. Was a waste of time, and I should have gone with my instincts.
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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 livesoft »

We also filled out the FAFSA once. The resultant EFC (expected family contribution) was larger than our taxable income.
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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 cockersx3 »

munemaker wrote: Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:39 am
staustin wrote: Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:28 am
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.


Exactly my experience... Very frustrating. I asked and asked, explaining that I KNEW there was zero chance we'd qualify for need based aid. So, we disclosed quite a bit of very private information, only to be told that we we had no need.. I decided to call the financial aid office at one of the universities to inquire if this process was really necessary and why. The nice lady ultimately admitted that the process was necessary for students to receive federal loans in their 'aide' packages.

My daughter worked hard and was accepted to quite a number of elite schools but was not offered any aide. Her "financial aid" package received from all three elite schools consisted of un-subsidized student loans. She simply needed to click the accept button on the webpage to incur 70 thousand dollars in student loans annually. It was the "invest in yourself" option. I find this disgusting honestly. She'll be attending a well regarded state school this fall.
Our experience as well. I was pretty much ignoring the schools persistent requests to complete the FASFA, but then a couple friends of ours encouraged it as well, saying "You might be surprised." We are the "Millionaire Next Door" type, and our friends have no idea of our financial assets. Still, I completed the form once for first child and no, we were not surprised. Never filled out the form again for either of our children, and was mad at myself for giving up personal information and receiving nothing in return. Was a waste of time, and I should have gone with my instincts.
As a "millionaire next door type," do your children know your approximate net worth? Have read several posts on this thread that imply that students see everything that goes in the application, so I'm curious how this would work if (like us) you haven't shared that kind of info with your kids. If you have to share that info to do the FAFSA, in our case that would be a very strong argument for not filling it out. Like you, i do not expect any need based aid.

Man, I am dreading this whole experience already. Only a few years away too :oops:
986racer
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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 986racer »

Short answer: no

Long answer: there are basically two ways to get "free" money for college.

1) Financial aid. This is purely need based, and if you are upper middle class, then the only way you would qualify would be to have multiple children in college at the same time. Something like 47% of AGI is expected to go to paying for college and 5.6% of any non-retirement accounts are also expected to go to paying for college. Let's take a hypothetical upper class family with 400K in a variety of savings accounts and a 200K income. The EFC (expected family contribution) would be somewhere around 116K (400K * 5.6% + 200K * 47%). Obviously this is more expensive than school for a single student but could be cheaper than two children both going to expensive private universities.

Now, with that being said, you might not still get "free" money. It just means that you would now be eligible for subsidized loans. It's possible that you may get a couple thousand in grants that don't need to be paid back, but I wouldn't count on it.

2) Merit aid: as others said, for an average kid to get merit aid, it is likely going to be at one of two types of schools... Either a school you've never heard of or a school that basically charges too much and gives everybody merit aid so that everybody feels special.

BTW, there is a lot of nonsense that most schools have a sticker price and that nobody pays sticker (similar to how nobody pays sticker on a new car). I suggest you look up something called the "Common Data Set" for whatever school you are considering. The Common Data Set is a set of questions that every school needs to answer and it gives a incredibly wide set of statistics on the school. One of the things it shows is how many people at the school get merit aid and roughly how much aid. A surprisingly large percentage of people are paying the full amount for school.

For the longest time I put my head in the sand and thought that I'd get some amount of aid for my children and have finally realized that there would not be aid coming. I wish I had started saving when they were born, but instead I've been saving a large amount for the past six years. Because I waited so long to start saving, the compounding hasn't helped as nearly as much as it otherwise could have.
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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 livesoft »

@cockersx3, My kids know our approximate net worth which has grown since the last FAFSA went in. I think their reaction was "Whatever, let me go back to watching TV and texting." Was that kind of your question of "how would this work"?

They know how the world works and understand why some of their friends' families have lots more money than we do and why some have lots less money and why some have about the same. I never worried about them knowing about our net worth nor incomes. Nothing to dread.

Also, my kids are adults now with their college degrees. They ask me for investing and tax help about once a year which means we talk financial stuff occasionally. Do you talk to your kids now about financial stuff? I think you should if you don't.
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Spooky
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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 Spooky »

I got scholarships for my undergraduate degree from a community foundation and from the university. The community foundation scholarship was mostly based on academics and the university scholarship more based on music skills. We did not have any significant financial need.

I went to the flagship state university during the 1990s.
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