High income and college costs question

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cshell2
Posts: 209
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cshell2 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:36 pm

NJdad6 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:16 pm


By definition Merit awards are NOT financial aid. They are awards based on performance/qualifications. Many of the higher rated schools do not offer Merit awards at all, only financial aid. This includes the ivies and at least a few others. Meaning if someone says they got a scholarship to Yale they most likely mean financial aid. It is based solely on need and not performance. The top performing student may get nothing and the last one in might get full tuition.

Other schools may use merit awards to attract high performing students. This has nothing to do with financial needs. Merit award information (how much, how to qualify,etc) is usually readily available on the college’s website. Some students might get both. Meaning they qualify for a merit award and still might get financial aid on top of it. The merit award was based on their qualifications not their financial need.

Each school is different so if merit is important you need to do the research to determine where you/student has the best shot at qualifying. There is a lot of money for those with top grades/scores. Gets less as you move down. Probably very little opportunity for a B/B- student.

This post is focused on Merit vs. financial aid. I am not addressing the other things like specific scholarship awards that might have unique qualifications or grants. These vary school to school and usually require separate applications and maybe interviews.
There are hybrid merit awards that incorporate need with merit. You still compete for them but have to demonstrate need as well.

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MaryO
Posts: 60
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Location: New Jersey

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MaryO » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:42 pm

cshell2 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:36 pm


There are hybrid merit awards that incorporate need with merit. You still compete for them but have to demonstrate need as well.
Yup. And ain't that a kick in the head. :annoyed

cshell2
Posts: 209
Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 10:29 am

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cshell2 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:07 pm

MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:42 pm
cshell2 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:36 pm


There are hybrid merit awards that incorporate need with merit. You still compete for them but have to demonstrate need as well.
Yup. And ain't that a kick in the head. :annoyed
I'm looking at this from the other side as we're a 0 EFC family, but I also feel more financial aid should have a merit component.

NJdad6
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:51 am

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by NJdad6 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:09 pm

fyre4ce wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:58 pm
krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:48 pm
I think liberal arts degree do not require the discipline and excellence they once did. STEM degrees mean you know something nowadays. Liberal arts degrees nowadays - and my degree was in Philosophy - mean that you spent four years and a quarter million dollars to get a piece of paper. I don't want to get into politics though but I think that's the reason many hold disdain and not respect for those degrees. In the past, yes, but not now.
What is the basis for saying that liberal arts programs are not as rigorous as they used to be? Not agreeing or disagreeing, just asking if you have references to back up this claim.
This is a difficult topic. There are too many variables and each student is different. Are we talking about the highly rated liberal arts schools like Amherst, Williams, Swartmore, etc.? Kids from here are “ivy” level are are recruited to great companies (JPMC for example). There tends to be a strong focus on writing, critical thought, etc. things that companies are looking for.

The less know schools might make it a bit more difficult but it depends on the student and what they want to do. I hear companies are looking for English majors for content and writing roles. The salary stats could be impacted by chosen career. If English majors want to be teachers the salary will be lower. If they go into business they will most likely be at par with their peers in their role.

A more interesting study would show salaries over a longer time period (20 years). Whether true or not the perception is that STEM majors might have a difficult time transitioning into more senior management roles. Maybe the liberal arts/non-STEM majors move up higher given their more general background. I know most C-levels I work with had non STEM backgrounds. Just a thought.

NJdad6
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:51 am

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by NJdad6 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:18 pm

cshell2 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:36 pm
NJdad6 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:16 pm


By definition Merit awards are NOT financial aid. They are awards based on performance/qualifications. Many of the higher rated schools do not offer Merit awards at all, only financial aid. This includes the ivies and at least a few others. Meaning if someone says they got a scholarship to Yale they most likely mean financial aid. It is based solely on need and not performance. The top performing student may get nothing and the last one in might get full tuition.

Other schools may use merit awards to attract high performing students. This has nothing to do with financial needs. Merit award information (how much, how to qualify,etc) is usually readily available on the college’s website. Some students might get both. Meaning they qualify for a merit award and still might get financial aid on top of it. The merit award was based on their qualifications not their financial need.

Each school is different so if merit is important you need to do the research to determine where you/student has the best shot at qualifying. There is a lot of money for those with top grades/scores. Gets less as you move down. Probably very little opportunity for a B/B- student.

This post is focused on Merit vs. financial aid. I am not addressing the other things like specific scholarship awards that might have unique qualifications or grants. These vary school to school and usually require separate applications and maybe interviews.
There are hybrid merit awards that incorporate need with merit. You still compete for them but have to demonstrate need as well.
Yes, they fall into to more college specific category. Students need to apply for them. They are financial aid prioritized by performance. There are other specific awards for things like diversity, leadership, in-state (even for private schools), out of state, etc. All this info will be on the colleges website. Some are very specific like 3.5-3.8 GPA with 28-30 ACT = $15,000/yr.

HereToLearn
Posts: 555
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:53 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by HereToLearn » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:28 pm

MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:33 pm
NJdad6 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:16 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:40 pm
MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:50 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:11 pm


Confusing. Thought merit scholarships did not depend on financial assets/income? Are you talking about elite schools only?
It's truly astounding to see how many merit scholarships are actually "need aware" merit. In general, the more elite the school, the less likely any merit is awarded without factoring in need. Even on campus jobs are reserved for kids getting need-based aid.
There is less "merit" money because more students need to be subsidized at private schools to prevent them from going to debtor's prison. The costs keep going up (very quickly).
By definition Merit awards are NOT financial aid. They are awards based on performance/qualifications. Many of the higher rated schools do not offer Merit awards at all, only financial aid. This includes the ivies and at least a few others. Meaning if someone says they got a scholarship to Yale they most likely mean financial aid. It is based solely on need and not performance. The top performing student may get nothing and the last one in might get full tuition.

Other schools may use merit awards to attract high performing students. This has nothing to do with financial needs. Merit award information (how much, how to qualify,etc) is usually readily available on the college’s website. Some students might get both. Meaning they qualify for a merit award and still might get financial aid on top of it. The merit award was based on their qualifications not their financial need.

Each school is different so if merit is important you need to do the research to determine where you/student has the best shot at qualifying. There is a lot of money for those with top grades/scores. Gets less as you move down. Probably very little opportunity for a B/B- student.

This post is focused on Merit vs. financial aid. I am not addressing the other things like specific scholarship awards that might have unique qualifications or grants. These vary school to school and usually require separate applications and maybe interviews.
When were you last looking at colleges? Most schools do, in fact, tie merit to need. It's called "need aware" merit. Pure merit scholarships are becoming more and more rare. Even many private scholarships not tied to colleges require the applicant submit parents' 1040. After the stock market tanked in 2007 many colleges dramatically altered their financial aid policy to favor need over merit. It was not a happy time to be looking for merit money, as much of it was moved into the need-based side. Without demonstrated need, top students were out of luck.

The Ivy League never gives merit. Not academic. Not Athletic. Not musical or other talent. It's all need-based.
Both of my children received merit awards and I never completed FAFSA. One received a full tuition plus another award that covered a third of the cost of room & board, again without filing FAFSA. He had to apply early and fly out for day and a half overnight stay with interviews on campus.

So there are true merit awards that do not look at parents' financials, but do require students to maintain a certain GPA. One child graduated recently and one is still in college, so the information is fairly current.

DIFAR31
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:51 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by DIFAR31 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:54 pm

bwalling wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:35 am
I'm going through this currently. My oldest is graduating a year early, and we've already been through a round of applications and conversations about costs. Most of the higher end private schools have some kind of offering along the lines of covering all of your need without the use of loans. Many of them base this on your FAFSA.
Most of the higher end private schools do not base eligibility for institutional need-based aid on FAFSA; they use the Profile form from CSS. FAFSA is predominately used to determine eligibility for federal aid (Pell grants, subsidized direct loans, federal work study, etc.), and, to a lesser degree, state aid.

DIFAR31
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:51 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by DIFAR31 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:57 pm

KingRiggs wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:04 pm
At your income/asset level, you will not qualify for merit scholarships.
A true merit scholarship has nothing to do with income or asset level. Did you mean to say need-based aid and not merit aid?

NJdad6
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:51 am

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by NJdad6 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:02 pm

MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:33 pm
NJdad6 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:16 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:40 pm
MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:50 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:11 pm


Confusing. Thought merit scholarships did not depend on financial assets/income? Are you talking about elite schools only?
It's truly astounding to see how many merit scholarships are actually "need aware" merit. In general, the more elite the school, the less likely any merit is awarded without factoring in need. Even on campus jobs are reserved for kids getting need-based aid.
There is less "merit" money because more students need to be subsidized at private schools to prevent them from going to debtor's prison. The costs keep going up (very quickly).
By definition Merit awards are NOT financial aid. They are awards based on performance/qualifications. Many of the higher rated schools do not offer Merit awards at all, only financial aid. This includes the ivies and at least a few others. Meaning if someone says they got a scholarship to Yale they most likely mean financial aid. It is based solely on need and not performance. The top performing student may get nothing and the last one in might get full tuition.

Other schools may use merit awards to attract high performing students. This has nothing to do with financial needs. Merit award information (how much, how to qualify,etc) is usually readily available on the college’s website. Some students might get both. Meaning they qualify for a merit award and still might get financial aid on top of it. The merit award was based on their qualifications not their financial need.

Each school is different so if merit is important you need to do the research to determine where you/student has the best shot at qualifying. There is a lot of money for those with top grades/scores. Gets less as you move down. Probably very little opportunity f or a B/B- student.

This post is focused on Merit vs. financial aid. I am not addressing the other things like specific scholarship awards that might have unique qualifications or grants. These vary school to school and usually require separate applications and maybe interviews.
When were you last looking at colleges? Most schools do, in fact, tie merit to need. It's called "need aware" merit. Pure merit scholarships are becoming more and more rare. Even many private scholarships not tied to colleges require the applicant submit parents' 1040. After the stock market tanked in 2007 many colleges dramatically altered their financial aid policy to favor need over merit. It was not a happy time to be looking for merit money, as much of it was moved into the need-based side. Without demonstrated need, top students were out of luck.

The Ivy League never gives merit. Not academic. Not Athletic. Not musical or other talent. It's all need-based.
Last few years and still looking. I have done extensive research on this. Merit awards are strictly based on merit. Anything that incorporates need based is financial aid no matter what they are being called. There are still a lot of merit awards available for high achieving students even at very highly rated private schools. My son (2018 graduate) received multiple merit awards from highly rated private and public schools. All without financials and all without asking. They came with his acceptance letter. Private schools ranged from $60k to $120k. Public ranged from $10k to full tuition (~$140k).

If flexible on where you go you can still get significant merit for a solid B+ student.

Yes, was told the same thing by an ivy that was recruiting my son for a sport. He could go there but full price. Was not a good fit for him so we didn’t consider.

Original discussion was about how to reduce cost for high income. Like the OP we do not qualify for any financial aid.

MathIsMyWayr
Posts: 1090
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Location: CA

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:36 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:54 pm
SchruteB&B wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:37 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:34 pm


Again, I wouldn't use the word special. Disciplined may be more suitable. You may mould an average person into a decent engineer.
That is an interesting opinion. From what I have seen both when I was in school and with my teenagers now, truly average people —people with 40-60% IQ scores and math aptitude scores—sometimes struggle to get through high school math. The idea that they could get through college level calculus is not realistic.
SchruteB&B,

I know of one person that did this. He was average or below average in intelligence. It took him 10 years to get his BSEE degree. He took almost all the courses twice. He showed up in the course and did all the works but not officially enroll in the course for the first time. Then, he redid the course the second time and officially enrolled.

KlangFool
Do we have to include those football players who have difficulty spelling their names after graduating from colleges?

mathwhiz
Posts: 801
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:58 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by mathwhiz » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:51 pm

The best merit scholarship if you are high income and have an exceptionally bright child is to heavily prep for the PSAT test/National Merit Scholarship contest. Dozens of Schools offer completely free 100% tuition and room and board for National Merit Semifinalists and Finalists. The only downside is these schools offering the free rides are looking to boost their stature in the US News rankings and are a step or two below the Ivy League level.

But if you can get a 100% free education at a respectable University it is something to consider vs. spending an insane $250k on a bachelors degree.

mathwhiz
Posts: 801
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:58 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by mathwhiz » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:55 pm

Engineers sometimes lack the "soft" skills necessary to get into the C suite. You need to be able to sell. Sell yourself. Sell your company. Sell your product. Sell. Sell. Sell. It's a different skill set. It's like asking an aeronautical engineer or computer scientists to run for Congress or star in a TV show. Some are great behind the computer but put them in front of a crowd as a speaker and they just don't have it.
A more interesting study would show salaries over a longer time period (20 years). Whether true or not the perception is that STEM majors might have a difficult time transitioning into more senior management roles. Maybe the liberal arts/non-STEM majors move up higher given their more general background. I know most C-levels I work with had non STEM backgrounds. Just a thought.

KlangFool
Posts: 14114
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by KlangFool » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:57 pm

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:36 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:54 pm
SchruteB&B wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:37 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:34 pm


Again, I wouldn't use the word special. Disciplined may be more suitable. You may mould an average person into a decent engineer.
That is an interesting opinion. From what I have seen both when I was in school and with my teenagers now, truly average people —people with 40-60% IQ scores and math aptitude scores—sometimes struggle to get through high school math. The idea that they could get through college level calculus is not realistic.
SchruteB&B,

I know of one person that did this. He was average or below average in intelligence. It took him 10 years to get his BSEE degree. He took almost all the courses twice. He showed up in the course and did all the works but not officially enroll in the course for the first time. Then, he redid the course the second time and officially enrolled.

KlangFool
Do we have to include those football players who have difficulty spelling their names after graduating from colleges?
MathIsMyWayr,

Only if they have an engineering degree.

KlangFool

User avatar
Matigas
Posts: 96
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Matigas » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:14 pm

If you have a high income, yet spawn below average kids, college will be expensive if you choose to pay.

marcopolo
Posts: 2487
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:22 am

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by marcopolo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:38 pm

NJdad6 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:02 pm
MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:33 pm
NJdad6 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:16 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:40 pm
MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:50 pm


It's truly astounding to see how many merit scholarships are actually "need aware" merit. In general, the more elite the school, the less likely any merit is awarded without factoring in need. Even on campus jobs are reserved for kids getting need-based aid.
There is less "merit" money because more students need to be subsidized at private schools to prevent them from going to debtor's prison. The costs keep going up (very quickly).
By definition Merit awards are NOT financial aid. They are awards based on performance/qualifications. Many of the higher rated schools do not offer Merit awards at all, only financial aid. This includes the ivies and at least a few others. Meaning if someone says they got a scholarship to Yale they most likely mean financial aid. It is based solely on need and not performance. The top performing student may get nothing and the last one in might get full tuition.

Other schools may use merit awards to attract high performing students. This has nothing to do with financial needs. Merit award information (how much, how to qualify,etc) is usually readily available on the college’s website. Some students might get both. Meaning they qualify for a merit award and still might get financial aid on top of it. The merit award was based on their qualifications not their financial need.

Each school is different so if merit is important you need to do the research to determine where you/student has the best shot at qualifying. There is a lot of money for those with top grades/scores. Gets less as you move down. Probably very little opportunity f or a B/B- student.

This post is focused on Merit vs. financial aid. I am not addressing the other things like specific scholarship awards that might have unique qualifications or grants. These vary school to school and usually require separate applications and maybe interviews.
When were you last looking at colleges? Most schools do, in fact, tie merit to need. It's called "need aware" merit. Pure merit scholarships are becoming more and more rare. Even many private scholarships not tied to colleges require the applicant submit parents' 1040. After the stock market tanked in 2007 many colleges dramatically altered their financial aid policy to favor need over merit. It was not a happy time to be looking for merit money, as much of it was moved into the need-based side. Without demonstrated need, top students were out of luck.

The Ivy League never gives merit. Not academic. Not Athletic. Not musical or other talent. It's all need-based.
Last few years and still looking. I have done extensive research on this. Merit awards are strictly based on merit. Anything that incorporates need based is financial aid no matter what they are being called. There are still a lot of merit awards available for high achieving students even at very highly rated private schools. My son (2018 graduate) received multiple merit awards from highly rated private and public schools. All without financials and all without asking. They came with his acceptance letter. Private schools ranged from $60k to $120k. Public ranged from $10k to full tuition (~$140k).

If flexible on where you go you can still get significant merit for a solid B+ student.

Yes, was told the same thing by an ivy that was recruiting my son for a sport. He could go there but full price. Was not a good fit for him so we didn’t consider.

Original discussion was about how to reduce cost for high income. Like the OP we do not qualify for any financial aid.
it depends o your definition of "highly rated", "very highlt rated", "elite", etc.

Merit aid is given by universities to attract students that are above the profile of their student body, and would go to a "better" school if they did not get aid here.

So, the very top schools (Harvard, MIT, Stanford, etc.) do not give ANY merit aid. They don't have to because there is no place higher to go.

But students with credentials to get into those schools will often get merit offers from school just below that level in hopes of "stealing" that talent away from a top school.

This same logic then flows down from there.

So, to take advantage of merit aid from the school, one has to go to a school at least a little less "good" then the level of school they would be able to get into. outside merit aid works differently
Last edited by marcopolo on Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

sd323232
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:45 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by sd323232 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:51 pm

mathwhiz wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:55 pm
Engineers sometimes lack the "soft" skills necessary to get into the C suite. You need to be able to sell. Sell yourself. Sell your company. Sell your product. Sell. Sell. Sell. It's a different skill set. It's like asking an aeronautical engineer or computer scientists to run for Congress or star in a TV show. Some are great behind the computer but put them in front of a crowd as a speaker and they just don't have it.
A more interesting study would show salaries over a longer time period (20 years). Whether true or not the perception is that STEM majors might have a difficult time transitioning into more senior management roles. Maybe the liberal arts/non-STEM majors move up higher given their more general background. I know most C-levels I work with had non STEM backgrounds. Just a thought.
Some engineers are too technical to play office politics it takes to move up in corporate ladder outside of engineering. They prefer to stay in engineering department and solve technical problems. it is more interesting to them, it is their job. Sell sell sell mentality, being on TV show, run for Congress has nothing to do with being an engineer.

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Harry Livermore
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:32 am

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Harry Livermore » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:09 pm

HereToLearn wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:28 pm
MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:33 pm
NJdad6 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:16 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:40 pm
MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:50 pm


It's truly astounding to see how many merit scholarships are actually "need aware" merit. In general, the more elite the school, the less likely any merit is awarded without factoring in need. Even on campus jobs are reserved for kids getting need-based aid.
There is less "merit" money because more students need to be subsidized at private schools to prevent them from going to debtor's prison. The costs keep going up (very quickly).
By definition Merit awards are NOT financial aid. They are awards based on performance/qualifications. Many of the higher rated schools do not offer Merit awards at all, only financial aid. This includes the ivies and at least a few others. Meaning if someone says they got a scholarship to Yale they most likely mean financial aid. It is based solely on need and not performance. The top performing student may get nothing and the last one in might get full tuition.

Other schools may use merit awards to attract high performing students. This has nothing to do with financial needs. Merit award information (how much, how to qualify,etc) is usually readily available on the college’s website. Some students might get both. Meaning they qualify for a merit award and still might get financial aid on top of it. The merit award was based on their qualifications not their financial need.

Each school is different so if merit is important you need to do the research to determine where you/student has the best shot at qualifying. There is a lot of money for those with top grades/scores. Gets less as you move down. Probably very little opportunity for a B/B- student.

This post is focused on Merit vs. financial aid. I am not addressing the other things like specific scholarship awards that might have unique qualifications or grants. These vary school to school and usually require separate applications and maybe interviews.
When were you last looking at colleges? Most schools do, in fact, tie merit to need. It's called "need aware" merit. Pure merit scholarships are becoming more and more rare. Even many private scholarships not tied to colleges require the applicant submit parents' 1040. After the stock market tanked in 2007 many colleges dramatically altered their financial aid policy to favor need over merit. It was not a happy time to be looking for merit money, as much of it was moved into the need-based side. Without demonstrated need, top students were out of luck.

The Ivy League never gives merit. Not academic. Not Athletic. Not musical or other talent. It's all need-based.
Both of my children received merit awards and I never completed FAFSA. One received a full tuition plus another award that covered a third of the cost of room & board, again without filing FAFSA. He had to apply early and fly out for day and a half overnight stay with interviews on campus.

So there are true merit awards that do not look at parents' financials, but do require students to maintain a certain GPA. One child graduated recently and one is still in college, so the information is fairly current.
This is 100% true. Our EFC is in the high 5-figures*, full-pay at just about every school on planet earth. And yet our son got a very nice $17K per year, guaranteed for 4 years, award. Nothing at all to with need. Now, do "most" schools that offer merit aid tie it to "financial need"? I have no idea. But I doubt it's "most".
Cheers
* and I stupidly included our retirement assets the first time I did the FAFSA ("list the net worth of your parents investments, minus the value of your home") so the EFC that year was something like $246K!
Last edited by Harry Livermore on Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Harry Livermore
Posts: 115
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Harry Livermore » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:14 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:38 pm
NJdad6 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:02 pm
MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:33 pm
NJdad6 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:16 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:40 pm


There is less "merit" money because more students need to be subsidized at private schools to prevent them from going to debtor's prison. The costs keep going up (very quickly).
By definition Merit awards are NOT financial aid. They are awards based on performance/qualifications. Many of the higher rated schools do not offer Merit awards at all, only financial aid. This includes the ivies and at least a few others. Meaning if someone says they got a scholarship to Yale they most likely mean financial aid. It is based solely on need and not performance. The top performing student may get nothing and the last one in might get full tuition.

Other schools may use merit awards to attract high performing students. This has nothing to do with financial needs. Merit award information (how much, how to qualify,etc) is usually readily available on the college’s website. Some students might get both. Meaning they qualify for a merit award and still might get financial aid on top of it. The merit award was based on their qualifications not their financial need.

Each school is different so if merit is important you need to do the research to determine where you/student has the best shot at qualifying. There is a lot of money for those with top grades/scores. Gets less as you move down. Probably very little opportunity f or a B/B- student.

This post is focused on Merit vs. financial aid. I am not addressing the other things like specific scholarship awards that might have unique qualifications or grants. These vary school to school and usually require separate applications and maybe interviews.
When were you last looking at colleges? Most schools do, in fact, tie merit to need. It's called "need aware" merit. Pure merit scholarships are becoming more and more rare. Even many private scholarships not tied to colleges require the applicant submit parents' 1040. After the stock market tanked in 2007 many colleges dramatically altered their financial aid policy to favor need over merit. It was not a happy time to be looking for merit money, as much of it was moved into the need-based side. Without demonstrated need, top students were out of luck.

The Ivy League never gives merit. Not academic. Not Athletic. Not musical or other talent. It's all need-based.
Last few years and still looking. I have done extensive research on this. Merit awards are strictly based on merit. Anything that incorporates need based is financial aid no matter what they are being called. There are still a lot of merit awards available for high achieving students even at very highly rated private schools. My son (2018 graduate) received multiple merit awards from highly rated private and public schools. All without financials and all without asking. They came with his acceptance letter. Private schools ranged from $60k to $120k. Public ranged from $10k to full tuition (~$140k).

If flexible on where you go you can still get significant merit for a solid B+ student.

Yes, was told the same thing by an ivy that was recruiting my son for a sport. He could go there but full price. Was not a good fit for him so we didn’t consider.

Original discussion was about how to reduce cost for high income. Like the OP we do not qualify for any financial aid.
it depends o your definition of "highly rated", "very highlt rated", "elite", etc.

Merit aid is given by universities to attract students that are above the profile of their student body, and would go to a "better" school if they did not get aid here.

So, the very top schools (Harvard, MIT, Stanford, etc.) do not give ANY merit aid. They don't have to because there is no place higher to go.

But students with credentials to get into those schools will often get merit offers from school just below that level in hopes of "stealing" that talent away from a top school.

This same logic then flows down from there.

So, to take advantage of merit aid from the school, one has to go to a school at least a little less "good" then the level of school they would be able to get into. outside merit aid works differently
This is also true. Our son got into a much more selective school that offered NO finaid; neither merit or need-based. $74K per year which was not an affordable choice for us, especially to stay on track to retirement and not be a burden on him and his siblings later in life. So he chose one of the several schools "one notch down" that he liked, and offered a nice award. And yes, it's obviously to raise their profile; his 34 ACT and 1460 SAT helps raise their average.
It's a big world, with lots of choices, and each family has to decide what's best for their situation.
Cheers

marcopolo
Posts: 2487
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:22 am

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by marcopolo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:56 pm

cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:36 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:06 pm
But, the vast majority of Liberal Arts majors do NOT go to law and med schools.
If you're a liberal arts major at a good school, you will most definitely be planning a post-graduate education--graduate school, med school, law school, MBA, teaching certificate, cooking school, military, etc. Go to the website of any liberal arts college and you will see statistics about how many students go to med school, law school and Ph.D. programs.

I'm getting the impression you are not speaking from experience.

This just does not seem likely to be true. So, I tried to find some data.

As of 2017, There were 16.8M undergraduate students in the US. In the same year, there were 3M graduate students in the US, including all the
professional schools.
https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cha.asp
https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_chb.asp

Hard to see how most liberal arts students go to graduate school.

Even among "good" schools, the undergraduate programs are always significantly larger than the graduate programs.
Many top liberal arts college do not even have graduate programs

So, unless these student from the "good" school are filling the graduate programs of the "not so good" schools, it seems very unlikely that "most" liberal art majors are going on to graduate/professional schools.

Do you have any data to back that up?
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:36 pm
I'm getting the impression you are not speaking from experience.
I get the impression that you are relying too much on your own (somewhat insular?) experience to make broad statements that are simply not supported by the data.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

inbox788
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by inbox788 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:03 am

marcopolo wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:56 pm
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:36 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:06 pm
But, the vast majority of Liberal Arts majors do NOT go to law and med schools.
If you're a liberal arts major at a good school, you will most definitely be planning a post-graduate education--graduate school, med school, law school, MBA, teaching certificate, cooking school, military, etc. Go to the website of any liberal arts college and you will see statistics about how many students go to med school, law school and Ph.D. programs.

I'm getting the impression you are not speaking from experience.

This just does not seem likely to be true. So, I tried to find some data.

As of 2017, There were 16.8M undergraduate students in the US. In the same year, there were 3M graduate students in the US, including all the
professional schools.
https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cha.asp
https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_chb.asp

Hard to see how most liberal arts students go to graduate school.

Even among "good" schools, the undergraduate programs are always significantly larger than the graduate programs.
Many top liberal arts college do not even have graduate programs

So, unless these student from the "good" school are filling the graduate programs of the "not so good" schools, it seems very unlikely that "most" liberal art majors are going on to graduate/professional schools.
Liberal Arts college, program or major? How do you count Biology or Physics major at LAC? History major ant Big State U? Some percentage of graduate programs are in the humanities and social sciences, and LAC graduates are likely over-represented. Couldn't readily find stats if they're underrepresented in the engineering and medical schools, but I'd guess history majors from any school are rare in these fields. Recall business school had a very wide variety of student backgrounds. A large number of masters are award in business and education (also look at the legal professions for doctorate). https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_ctb.asp

"Define 'liberal arts.'"
https://www.usnews.com/news/education-n ... themselves
[The part about schools shutting down is concerning, and there's a thread on school financial stability -- if you're looking at this path, you might want to cross reference the threads and schools]
National Liberal Arts Colleges
The National Liberal Arts Colleges, including schools like Colby College and Wesleyan University, emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in the liberal arts fields of study.
https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/ra ... s-colleges

These colleges have between a few hundred to a few that looked like 3000 students tops, but most were 1000 or 2000. A total of 223 schools listed (top 160 or so ranked), so less than half a million students in total. Do more than 200k or 250k attend post-bac programs? Maybe. That would mean somewhat less than 10% of 3M.

Mingya
Posts: 2
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Mingya » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:14 am

While your question is about financials, it is really important to understand your children's aspirations. There are so many programs and opportunities available now and worth exploring - you may ignite some inspiration. I would recommend visiting the local university and attending some events - important to let them visualize and understand the possibilities.

In terms of finances, it does make sense to look at the Net Price for the schools as a first step. Each is different and may provide some relief from the full price.

Additionally, Merit Scholarships are available. We were very pleasantly surprised to get nice offers at several places including IIT, RPI and Pratt. No application necessary.

Also, depending on the kids financial literacy there may be a wide range in actual expenses...

Finally, it is expensive - really expensive. So ensure that you find a program which is valuable for them and inspires them to greater future endeavors.

Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 21460
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Location: New York

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:36 am

Matigas wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:14 pm
If you have a high income, yet spawn below average kids, college will be expensive if you choose to pay.
Guess you haven’t heard, if you have a high income and have offspring with straight 4.0 “A” averages, extracurriculars, speak 4 languages; college will be expensive if you choose to pay at certain schools which offer no merit.

College has become a “money grab”, it’s up to the buyers to make rational choices when making the purchase.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

cshell2
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cshell2 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:28 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:36 am
Matigas wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:14 pm
If you have a high income, yet spawn below average kids, college will be expensive if you choose to pay.
Guess you haven’t heard, if you have a high income and have offspring with straight 4.0 “A” averages, extracurriculars, speak 4 languages; college will be expensive if you choose to pay at certain schools which offer no merit.

College has become a “money grab”, it’s up to the buyers to make rational choices when making the purchase.
But in that situation it's a choice. There will be affordable options for a kid like that.

stoptothink
Posts: 6497
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by stoptothink » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:03 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:36 am
Matigas wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:14 pm
If you have a high income, yet spawn below average kids, college will be expensive if you choose to pay.
College has become a “money grab”, it’s up to the buyers to make rational choices when making the purchase.
+100000000

smitcat
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by smitcat » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:10 am

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:36 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:54 pm
SchruteB&B wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:37 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:34 pm


Again, I wouldn't use the word special. Disciplined may be more suitable. You may mould an average person into a decent engineer.
That is an interesting opinion. From what I have seen both when I was in school and with my teenagers now, truly average people —people with 40-60% IQ scores and math aptitude scores—sometimes struggle to get through high school math. The idea that they could get through college level calculus is not realistic.
SchruteB&B,

I know of one person that did this. He was average or below average in intelligence. It took him 10 years to get his BSEE degree. He took almost all the courses twice. He showed up in the course and did all the works but not officially enroll in the course for the first time. Then, he redid the course the second time and officially enrolled.

KlangFool
Do we have to include those football players who have difficulty spelling their names after graduating from colleges?
In my experience the athletes were some of the highest academic achievers at the school(s) - different experiences for different folks.

SchruteB&B
Posts: 182
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by SchruteB&B » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:21 am

cshell2 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:28 am
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:36 am
Matigas wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:14 pm
If you have a high income, yet spawn below average kids, college will be expensive if you choose to pay.
Guess you haven’t heard, if you have a high income and have offspring with straight 4.0 “A” averages, extracurriculars, speak 4 languages; college will be expensive if you choose to pay at certain schools which offer no merit.

College has become a “money grab”, it’s up to the buyers to make rational choices when making the purchase.
But in that situation it's a choice. There will be affordable options for a kid like that.
There are affordable options for a below average kid too. Community college followed by two years at an in state school will certainly be affordable if you are high income. It’s always a choice to pay a lot for college, whether your child is below or above average.

KingRiggs
Posts: 316
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Location: Indiana

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by KingRiggs » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:29 am

friar1610 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:52 pm
KingRiggs wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:04 pm
At your income/asset level, you will not qualify for merit scholarships. I am paying full freight at an elite private university for a kid with 35 ACTs who was valedictorian of his HS class and had tons of extracurriculars.

Meanwhile, my son’s roommate is on a full-ride ROTC scholarship. It’s a major time commitment and he’s up at 5am most days for Physical Training, but that work is worth about $300k.

On the plus side, seeing the amount of work his roommate does has made my son extremely appreciative of NOT having that time drain so he can focus on studies.

There are many ways to defray the cost of a college education.
When a prospective student applies for financial aid, is s/he applying for consideration for ROTC scholarships as well? My impression has always been that this was an entirely separate process and that one didn't get "offered" an ROTC scolarship unless expressly applying for such. But kids in college is ancient history for me, things have undoubtedly changed and I confess complete ignorance about how things work these days.
Correct. ROTC must be sought out by the student. And the degree of support depends on availability and length of military commitment after graduation. Son's roommate will be in either active duty for a number of years or reserves for a longer period. Pretty good trade-off for a $300k education, if you're motivated to do it. He's an extremely sharp kid.
Advice = noun | Advise = verb | | Roth, not ROTH

KingRiggs
Posts: 316
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Location: Indiana

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by KingRiggs » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:31 am

DIFAR31 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:57 pm
KingRiggs wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:04 pm
At your income/asset level, you will not qualify for merit scholarships.
A true merit scholarship has nothing to do with income or asset level. Did you mean to say need-based aid and not merit aid?
Most of the high-level academic schools the OP seemed to be referring to do not offer merit scholarships. Every kid accepted there would "deserve" a merit scholarship. At his asset level, he will also not qualify for need-based scholarship. Best thing that will be offered will be loans.
Advice = noun | Advise = verb | | Roth, not ROTH

KingRiggs
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Location: Indiana

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by KingRiggs » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:38 am

cshell2 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:49 pm
KingRiggs wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:04 pm
At your income/asset level, you will not qualify for merit scholarships. I am paying full freight at an elite private university for a kid with 35 ACTs who was valedictorian of his HS class and had tons of extracurriculars.
Your kid could have certainly gotten tons of merit if you had not insisted on the "elite" part.
You seem nice. Who said anything about "insisted"? I find that remark rude, quite frankly.

My son was blessed with a great mind and a good work ethic. He took advantage of every difficult class and service opportunity in HS.

It was HIS desire to go to a more challenging/higher prestige school for college. I had been funding his 529 since the day I got his Social Security number, ans was fortunate to have a decade of good returns. I am happy to pay his way and deliver him out into the world debt-free.

While the state university was fine for me and my career goals, his university should allow him to achieve his goals. It's a very individual decision process.
Advice = noun | Advise = verb | | Roth, not ROTH

Xrayman69
Posts: 249
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Xrayman69 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:46 am

College applications and acceptance can be highly variable and more of an art then science. They attempt to apply scientific principles and best practices based upon past experiences. Times change and so does what society places and emphasis as “important”. Today’s valuable skill may be obsolete or oversupplied.

Education is an investment. I have always viewed my education as the best investment I can make and the thing I have the most direct control and best suited to assess its value. I was nothing special and still remain nothing special. I was a completely average student my entire life but graded above average. My life experiences although seemingly unique and “special” in my personal statements throughout my career were once again in hind site completely average.

What wasn’t easily identifiable when living in real time during various stages of education and career development was my internal drive and “work ethic”. I couldn’t control how natural and smart I was in my ability to grasp ideas or concepts but I could Spend more time learning or doing to catch up compared to the others who I viewed as more talented.

I was a STEM student and went to a community college without even considering a university as I could easily assess my competitiveness to be “special” compared to others at a university. Unbeknownst to me at that time but it was a business decision to hold off on investing my own capital in myself at that time. Went to a average state university where I learned to learn then to an average graduate program where I was still average academically but further learned how to learn.

The most important things I got from EVERY phase in retrospect was the joy of the process and developing deep meaningful friendships for which I still have a “best friend” for every phase. The process of higher education was an opportunity for me as the student to develop my process for how I would “work” the rest of my life.

I’ve been extremely fortunate and was able and been able to leverage my educational process to have some success. I mentor IVY league grads and can see that they in general have “natural” talent and skills. I also mentor those like me that were completely average and can clearly see the difference at that point in time. Does an “elite” college make you more capable, absolutely not but it’s an indicator of past selection for probability of “natural talent”. There will always be outliers but on the bell curve of life it’s been shown to be a helpful data point.

Our family will have the fortunate ability to cash flow our daughter’s higher education but she is completely average at best with regards to “book knowledge”. That being said she is my daughter and I love her and can appreciate and actually enjoy her enthusiasm for those “liberal arts” tendencies. My wife and I will support her and understand that patience may be needed for her to identify her “passion”.

We live in Washington and I would love it if she Chose and was selected To attend the University of Washington and represent our state. I would support a private “elite” school but will not likely support an average out of state private school or out of state “non elite state University” (Michigan , University of California’s elites ....) . This is now my business mentality kicking in. I know people who paid for their kids to attend university of Oregon, likely accepted to susbsidize in state students of Oregon. University of Washington does same thing, they accept out of state students who pay full so as to “subsidize” in State students.

I suspect that if I would just invest the 80k per year In broad based equity fund for undergrad and same for 3-4 year grad school for my daughter she would be fine after 30 years (640K principle” after permitting it to grow.
Last edited by Xrayman69 on Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

acegolfer
Posts: 1486
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by acegolfer » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:47 am

Dregob wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:24 pm
I told them how much I could help and if they wanted to go private the difference was on them.
This is exactly what I have in mind for my kids in future. If I were in their shoe, I'd pick in-state (w/ 0 debt) over mid-tier private school (w/ debt). But I don't know how kids think these days. If you don't mind, what was the thought process of your kids, when making decisions?
Last edited by acegolfer on Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

smitcat
Posts: 4292
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by smitcat » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:53 am

Xrayman69 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:46 am
College applications and acceptance can be highly variable and more of an art then science. They attempt to apply scientific principles and best practices based upon past experiences. Times change and so does what society places and emphasis as “important”. Today’s valuable skill may be obsolete or oversupplied.

Education is an investment. I have always viewed my education as the best investment I can make and the thing I have the most direct control and best suited to assess its value. I was nothing special and still remain nothing special. I was a completely average student my entire life but graded above average. My life experiences although seemingly unique and “special” in my personal statements throughout my career were once again in hind site completely average.

What wasn’t easily identifiable when living in real time during various stages of education and career development was my internal drive and “work ethic”. I couldn’t control how natural and smart I was in my ability to grasp ideas or concepts but I could Spend more time learning or doing to catch up compared to the others who I viewed as more talented.

I was a STEM student and went to a community college without even considering a university as I could easily assess my competitiveness to be “special” compared to others at a university. Unbeknownst to me at that time but it was a business decision to hold off on investing my own capital in myself at that time. Went to a average state university where I learned to learn then to an average graduate program where I was still average academically but further learned how to learn.

The most important things I got from EVERY phase in retrospect was the joy of the process and developing deep meaningful friendships for which I still have a “best friend” for every phase. The process of higher education was an opportunity for me as the student to develop my process for how I would “work” the rest of my life.

I’ve been extremely fortunate and was able and been able to leverage my educational process to have some success. I mentor IVY league grads and can see that they in general have “natural” talent and skills. I also mentor those like me that were completely average and can clearly see the difference at that point in time. Does an “elite” college make you more capable, absolutely not but it’s an indicator of past selection for probability of “natural talent”. There will always be outliers but on the bell curve of life it’s been shown to be a helpful data point.

Our family will have the fortunate ability to cash flow our daughter’s higher education but she is completely average at best with regards to “book knowledge”. That being said she is my daughter and I love her and can appreciate and actually enjoy her enthusiasm for those “liberal arts” tendencies. My wife and I will support her and understand that patience may be needed for her to identify her “passion”.

We live in Washington and I would love it if she Chose and was selected To attend the University of Washington and represent our state. I would support a private “elite” school but will not likely support an average out of state private school or out of state “non elite state University” (Michigan , University of California’s elites ....) . This is now my business mentality kicking in. I know people who paid for their kids to attend university of Oregon, likely accepted to susbsidize in state students of Oregon. University of Washington does same thing, they accept out of state students who pay full so as to “subsidize” in State students.

I suspect that if I would just invest the 80k per year In broad based equity fund for undergrad and same for 3-4 year grad school for my daughter she would be fine after 30 years (640K principle” after permitting it to grow.

"I suspect that if I would just invest the 80k per year In broad based equity fund for undergrad and same for 3-4 year grad school for my daughter she would be fine after 30 years (640K principle” after permitting it to grow."
4 years at $80K = 640 principal?

cshell2
Posts: 209
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cshell2 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:55 am

KingRiggs wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:38 am
cshell2 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:49 pm
KingRiggs wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:04 pm
At your income/asset level, you will not qualify for merit scholarships. I am paying full freight at an elite private university for a kid with 35 ACTs who was valedictorian of his HS class and had tons of extracurriculars.
Your kid could have certainly gotten tons of merit if you had not insisted on the "elite" part.
You seem nice. Who said anything about "insisted"? I find that remark rude, quite frankly.

My son was blessed with a great mind and a good work ethic. He took advantage of every difficult class and service opportunity in HS.

It was HIS desire to go to a more challenging/higher prestige school for college. I had been funding his 529 since the day I got his Social Security number, ans was fortunate to have a decade of good returns. I am happy to pay his way and deliver him out into the world debt-free.

While the state university was fine for me and my career goals, his university should allow him to achieve his goals. It's a very individual decision process.
Ok, so your kid insisted on the elite.

My point in posting that was to contradict your statement that at his income level he would not qualify for merit scholarships. He won't qualify for need-based aid, but certainly there would be a lot of merit for a kid like yours? Not at the elites, but that is just a handful of schools.

smitcat
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by smitcat » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:56 am

acegolfer wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:47 am
Dregob wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:24 pm
I told them how much I could help and if they wanted to go private the difference was on them.
This is exactly what I have in mind for my kids in future. If I were in their shoe, I'd pick in-state (w/ 0 debt) over mid-tier private school (w/ debt). But I don't know how kids think these days. If you don't mind, what was the thought process of kids, when making decisions?
"But I don't know how kids think these days. If you don't mind, what was the thought process of kids, when making decisions?"
Cannot say in most cases but our daughter was able to attend a mid tier private school for less or equal to the costs of a state school.
The methods were diverse including scholarships, work while at the college, work when not at college , local CC for some credits , RA, etc.
YMMV

User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 9529
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:17 am

KingRiggs wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:38 am
cshell2 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:49 pm
KingRiggs wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:04 pm
At your income/asset level, you will not qualify for merit scholarships. I am paying full freight at an elite private university for a kid with 35 ACTs who was valedictorian of his HS class and had tons of extracurriculars.
Your kid could have certainly gotten tons of merit if you had not insisted on the "elite" part.
You seem nice. Who said anything about "insisted"? I find that remark rude, quite frankly.
My son was blessed with a great mind and a good work ethic. He took advantage of every difficult class and service opportunity in HS.
It was HIS desire to go to a more challenging/higher prestige school for college. I had been funding his 529 since the day I got his Social Security number, ans was fortunate to have a decade of good returns. I am happy to pay his way and deliver him out into the world debt-free.
While the state university was fine for me and my career goals, his university should allow him to achieve his goals. It's a very individual decision process.
Good for you, KingRiggs! There is a prevalent reverse snobbism on BH that applies to education as strongly as it does to cars.

We were lucky enough to be able to cash flow college for our kids, and we let them bank their internship money (a form of parental bribery :D ). The one who went to an Ivy had mid 5 digit money in his brokerage account at graduation. A year into employment, his annual earnings exceed the cost of his 4 years of attendance, during which time he got a combined MS/BS.

Enjoy watching your hard working and talented son launch. I used to say that I smiled every time I wrote a tuition check; people thought I was insane. The payoff is watching him now. :sharebeer
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

deltaneutral83
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by deltaneutral83 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:20 am

I am convinced that Lori Loughlin has posted in this thread based on some of the responses. People stressed out about having only $60k per year per kid for college? This thread has been wildly entertaining so thanks to everyone!

Now back to reality, the riff raff in state option and working while in school (if no money saved) and definitely full boat in the summers still leaves you with a very small amount of debt (if any), particularly if you are in LCOL. While the "elite" Ivy schools still hold plenty of clout, I'd be looking at the major very closely if I were taking on debt. If you are a BH who finds $60k a year in the couch cushions of your work office, then that mitigates the risk completely and junior can major in beer pong. It is a numbers game now days if you are taking on debt, if not, it's still "find your passion" with no consequence. Depends from which side of the fence your view is.
Last edited by deltaneutral83 on Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:27 am

acegolfer wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:47 am
Dregob wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:24 pm
I told them how much I could help and if they wanted to go private the difference was on them.
This is exactly what I have in mind for my kids in future. If I were in their shoe, I'd pick in-state (w/ 0 debt) over mid-tier private school (w/ debt). But I don't know how kids think these days. If you don't mind, what was the thought process of kids, when making decisions?
Commonly expressed sentiment, but does not reflect the reality of college funding.

Students can get $5500 in federal loans freshman year, up to $7500 by senior year. They can't get any more loans without co-signers. So if you don't co-sign, they can't take out those loans.

No, I don't recommend co-signing. But the "if you want to pay more you'll have to take on the debt" statement is misleading. They can't do it. Better to say "this is what I will pay, let's find a way to make that much work."

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MaryO
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MaryO » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:45 am

NJdad6 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:02 pm

Last few years and still looking. I have done extensive research on this. Merit awards are strictly based on merit. Anything that incorporates need based is financial aid no matter what they are being called. There are still a lot of merit awards available for high achieving students even at very highly rated private schools. My son (2018 graduate) received multiple merit awards from highly rated private and public schools. All without financials and all without asking. They came with his acceptance letter. Private schools ranged from $60k to $120k. Public ranged from $10k to full tuition (~$140k).

If flexible on where you go you can still get significant merit for a solid B+ student.

Yes, was told the same thing by an ivy that was recruiting my son for a sport. He could go there but full price. Was not a good fit for him so we didn’t consider.

Original discussion was about how to reduce cost for high income. Like the OP we do not qualify for any financial aid.
You are claiming merit awards are based strictly on merit, but the colleges have moved away from this definition. Need aware is the new game in town. Throwing a $5k or $15k scholarship at kids in their acceptance letter is a marketing strategy. The real $$$ is in need based. Ever notice how some schools insist on students submitting a FAFSA or the CSS profile in order to actually claim that merit- based scholarship they dangled in front of your nose in the acceptance letter? It's a carefully calculated formula, fine-tuned for years, determining how little they can offer to financially comfortable families and still lure their kids to campus.
Picked these at random:
From NYU: Ranked #29 USNWR "Most scholarships at NYU are based on a combination of need and merit and require that applicants submit their financial aid applications on time for consideration."
From Boston U: Ranked #40 "91% of the aid BU gives is need-based. 9% is merit-based."

I think it's important to get the word out to parents of younger kids that their tippy top, exceptional grades/standardized test score kid may not get much scholarship money if your family is doing reasonably well. Even how close in age your kids are can make a big difference in how colleges view your financial health. Of course it depends on the school & one's flexibility. Even the major a kid chooses can have an impact on costs.

acegolfer
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by acegolfer » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:00 am

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:27 am
Students can get $5500 in federal loans freshman year, up to $7500 by senior year. They can't get any more loans without co-signers. So if you don't co-sign, they can't take out those loans.
TY. Didn't know this. Your statement suggests when ppl say they have a $100k student loan, most are private loans. Correct?

MathWizard
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MathWizard » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:12 am

am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:46 pm
Do you guys think that if someone can not get into an “elite school” that state school should be best option For most, especially schools Ike Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, etc given costs and reputation?

I am just wondering why someone would choose an expensive mid tier private school and pay so much more? Is it the curriculum, campus, something else? I have heard someone mention that there is a more desirable mix of students/families at some of the more expensive schools (whatever that means) . Guess they mean in terms of finding partners.
I told my kids that if they were going out of state that the school should be of a much higher caliber than the state schools
which were much cheaper. We have two level-1 research Universities.

We would have paid for Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, ... but going to another state's state university and paying prices like you were going to Harvard made no sense to me.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cshell2 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:13 am

acegolfer wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:00 am
NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:27 am
Students can get $5500 in federal loans freshman year, up to $7500 by senior year. They can't get any more loans without co-signers. So if you don't co-sign, they can't take out those loans.
TY. Didn't know this. Your statement suggests when ppl say they have a $100k student loan, most are private loans. Correct?
Usually private with a parent cosigner. Unless their parents took out Plus loans with the agreement with the student that they would be the one paying them back (even though legally they are the parent's debt). The only limit on Plus loans is the cost of attendance after other aid is applied.

Students can't afford to borrow much by themselves. Someone has to help.

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MaryO
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MaryO » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:27 am

cshell2 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:13 am
acegolfer wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:00 am
NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:27 am
Students can get $5500 in federal loans freshman year, up to $7500 by senior year. They can't get any more loans without co-signers. So if you don't co-sign, they can't take out those loans.
TY. Didn't know this. Your statement suggests when ppl say they have a $100k student loan, most are private loans. Correct?
Usually private with a parent cosigner. Unless their parents took out Plus loans with the agreement with the student that they would be the one paying them back (even though legally they are the parent's debt). The only limit on Plus loans is the cost of attendance after other aid is applied.

Students can't afford to borrow much by themselves. Someone has to help.
Often when we see stories in the news about six figure debt it involves grad school. A kid who couldn't find a job he liked decides to put the UG loan in deferment and then adds on more debt with grad school. I am not sure what the limits of grad school loans are, but an UG can't borrow more than $27K in federal loans. Unsubsidized loans (higher income families) start accruing interest the day the loan is disbursed. Forbearance, deferment, paying loans off at a snail's pace are all common reasons for the crazy debt even for those who avoid the private loans.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:29 am

Plan for the worst.....hope for the best. Years ago, I set a goal of saving $1M to pay both of my sons' college. So far, it's much cheaper than that. Fill out FAFSA and expect nothing and you might get pleasant surprises. After DS#1's first year at a mediocre engineering college, he applied to transfer to 3 much better engineering colleges. He got his first choice with no money and lost his merit scholarship (many colleges have a policy of giving no merit aid to transfer students). He was offered $13k from B.U. from 2 unknown scholarships. One sounded like a dorm. The other was a complete mystery. He went with #1 as the engineering program was far better. Some ways to reduce cost. Take state or community college courses in the summer and transfer them in. Check with the home college as to what is accepted. As senior year starts, consider going part time and taking any needed courses at community or state college and transfer in. In addition to only paying for the higher cost of private college courses, students don't have to pay all the graft-and-corruption fees that get added.

DS#2 is at community college and received a surprise scholarship from the state from having worked with an agency while at his high school. In his last semester of high school, he took a 1 night a week course at the community college. This cost $700 (normal tuition) and he received a $500 scholarship for filling out a form and writing an essay. All this required a FAFSA form to get the money. DS#2 also took a prep-course during the summer for math placement and was actually paid a stipend for doing this. His plan is to either work at the 2 year mark and later go back for a 4 year engineering degree at state college or possibly just go straight into 4 year. I think that depends on how life treats him in looking for a job he'd qualify for with only a 2 year degree. I did that, but that was back in the 70's before robots replaced us all.

One year, our EFC was $92k. This past year, it was $42k. I made the same.....I have no idea why.
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cshell2
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cshell2 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:35 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:29 am

One year, our EFC was $92k. This past year, it was $42k. I made the same.....I have no idea why.
Going from 1 to 2 in college will cut your EFC for each in half.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MaryO » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:36 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:29 am


One year, our EFC was $92k. This past year, it was $42k. I made the same.....I have no idea why.
Were both kids in school at the same time?

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by KingRiggs » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:46 am

cshell2 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:55 am
KingRiggs wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:38 am
cshell2 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:49 pm
KingRiggs wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:04 pm
At your income/asset level, you will not qualify for merit scholarships. I am paying full freight at an elite private university for a kid with 35 ACTs who was valedictorian of his HS class and had tons of extracurriculars.
Your kid could have certainly gotten tons of merit if you had not insisted on the "elite" part.
You seem nice. Who said anything about "insisted"? I find that remark rude, quite frankly.

My son was blessed with a great mind and a good work ethic. He took advantage of every difficult class and service opportunity in HS.

It was HIS desire to go to a more challenging/higher prestige school for college. I had been funding his 529 since the day I got his Social Security number, ans was fortunate to have a decade of good returns. I am happy to pay his way and deliver him out into the world debt-free.

While the state university was fine for me and my career goals, his university should allow him to achieve his goals. It's a very individual decision process.
Ok, so your kid insisted on the elite.

My point in posting that was to contradict your statement that at his income level he would not qualify for merit scholarships. He won't qualify for need-based aid, but certainly there would be a lot of merit for a kid like yours? Not at the elites, but that is just a handful of schools.
Re-read the OP's post. He asks about a school that costs 80k/year and kids that are "good but not great" students. He is in the 35% marginal tax bracket, so a good earner with (presumably) a decent net worth. Given those facts, I can feel pretty comfortable saying that the kids are not going to get merit scholarships at an "80k/year college" if they are "good" students. Local state university or community college? Perhaps. And there's nothing wrong with them/OP making that choice if it suits them.
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by stoptothink » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:55 am

MathWizard wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:12 am
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:46 pm
Do you guys think that if someone can not get into an “elite school” that state school should be best option For most, especially schools Ike Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, etc given costs and reputation?

I am just wondering why someone would choose an expensive mid tier private school and pay so much more? Is it the curriculum, campus, something else? I have heard someone mention that there is a more desirable mix of students/families at some of the more expensive schools (whatever that means) . Guess they mean in terms of finding partners.
I told my kids that if they were going out of state that the school should be of a much higher caliber than the state schools
which were much cheaper. We have two level-1 research Universities.

We would have paid for Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, ... but going to another state's state university and paying prices like you were going to Harvard made no sense to me.
A lot of times it is just because the kid wants it, there is no objective reason. I have an employee whose son got accepted into the local public U, which is pretty good and one of the cheapest universities in the country (<$7k tuition + fees per year). But he just had to go to the private school 30 miles north which is literally 5x the cost. FWIW, the private is lower ranked in almost every single program compared to the public and instead of living at home and commuting 3 miles to school, he's paying $1k/month to live in the dorms. She's now working two full-time jobs to try to limit the amount of debt when the alternative was attending (by most metrics) a superior institution and cash-flowing the whole thing with a part-time job.
Last edited by stoptothink on Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

cshell2
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cshell2 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:56 am

KingRiggs wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:46 am

Re-read the OP's post. He asks about a school that costs 80k/year and kids that are "good but not great" students. He is in the 35% marginal tax bracket, so a good earner with (presumably) a decent net worth. Given those facts, I can feel pretty comfortable saying that the kids are not going to get merit scholarships at an "80k/year college" if they are "good" students. Local state university or community college? Perhaps. And there's nothing wrong with them/OP making that choice if it suits them.
In that case, is it even likely to be an issue? Would there be an acceptance to the school if the student was just "good but not great"? Or are there non-elite schools that actually charge that much?

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MaryO » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:08 am

cshell2 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:56 am

In that case, is it even likely to be an issue? Would there be an acceptance to the school if the student was just "good but not great"? Or are there non-elite schools that actually charge that much?
Many non-elite schools are crazy expensive. I don't know about $80K, but definitely $65k - $70K.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Regattamom » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:11 am

Xrayman69 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:46 am
College applications and acceptance can be highly variable and more of an art then science. They attempt to apply scientific principles and best practices based upon past experiences. Times change and so does what society places and emphasis as “important”. Today’s valuable skill may be obsolete or oversupplied.

Education is an investment. I have always viewed my education as the best investment I can make and the thing I have the most direct control and best suited to assess its value. I was nothing special and still remain nothing special. I was a completely average student my entire life but graded above average. My life experiences although seemingly unique and “special” in my personal statements throughout my career were once again in hind site completely average.

What wasn’t easily identifiable when living in real time during various stages of education and career development was my internal drive and “work ethic”. I couldn’t control how natural and smart I was in my ability to grasp ideas or concepts but I could Spend more time learning or doing to catch up compared to the others who I viewed as more talented.

I was a STEM student and went to a community college without even considering a university as I could easily assess my competitiveness to be “special” compared to others at a university. Unbeknownst to me at that time but it was a business decision to hold off on investing my own capital in myself at that time. Went to a average state university where I learned to learn then to an average graduate program where I was still average academically but further learned how to learn.

The most important things I got from EVERY phase in retrospect was the joy of the process and developing deep meaningful friendships for which I still have a “best friend” for every phase. The process of higher education was an opportunity for me as the student to develop my process for how I would “work” the rest of my life.

I’ve been extremely fortunate and was able and been able to leverage my educational process to have some success. I mentor IVY league grads and can see that they in general have “natural” talent and skills. I also mentor those like me that were completely average and can clearly see the difference at that point in time. Does an “elite” college make you more capable, absolutely not but it’s an indicator of past selection for probability of “natural talent”. There will always be outliers but on the bell curve of life it’s been shown to be a helpful data point.

Our family will have the fortunate ability to cash flow our daughter’s higher education but she is completely average at best with regards to “book knowledge”. That being said she is my daughter and I love her and can appreciate and actually enjoy her enthusiasm for those “liberal arts” tendencies. My wife and I will support her and understand that patience may be needed for her to identify her “passion”.

We live in Washington and I would love it if she Chose and was selected To attend the University of Washington and represent our state. I would support a private “elite” school but will not likely support an average out of state private school or out of state “non elite state University” (Michigan , University of California’s elites ....) . This is now my business mentality kicking in. I know people who paid for their kids to attend university of Oregon, likely accepted to susbsidize in state students of Oregon. University of Washington does same thing, they accept out of state students who pay full so as to “subsidize” in State students.

I suspect that if I would just invest the 80k per year In broad based equity fund for undergrad and same for 3-4 year grad school for my daughter she would be fine after 30 years (640K principle” after permitting it to grow.
If your daughter is not accepted to UW (and most likely she will not be if she is a "completely average student") would you consider another Washington state school? Also, if she is an average student, her odds are not good for getting into any "elite" school. What is your/her back up plan? Lower level mid-tier private schools or lesser Washington state school?

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