Shopping for college

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Topic Author
manatee2005
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Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:17 pm

Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

fwellimort wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:17 pm To OP, US college process is quite confusing and requires a lot of research.

The sticker price might not always be the actual price.


First of all, keep in mind privates tend to have more money than public. So don't just discard privates as 'more expensive'.
Also, the US News ranking for some reason is roughly quite accurate with the financial aid ranking for privates:
(My/Peers experience being: Harvard/Princeton has best financial aid followed by Yale then Columbia then Stanford then MIT and so on. And each drop can be a huge difference in financial aid in the US News ranking)

A lot of private college sticker price has to do:
1. Family income
2. Student's GPA
3. Student's SAT/ACT
Yes, I understand ACT/SAT is optional and it's quite iffy this year with covid. However, many scholarships/financial aid depend on high test scores. Some schools give a lot if the child did well even on just the PSATs.

You will have to go to each school's site individually and plug and chug numbers. Note, each school's financial aid system is different. Some schools count your house as cash. Other schools consider your first house as 'not an asset'. Some schools (many) put a threshold on the cost of a home before being considered disposable cash (if house if $900k and school considers first $350k as 'not cash', then your family asset is only $550k) and so on.

Easiest example would be Harvard (note, Harvard/Princeton are not the norm when it comes to financial aid but it's a simple example):
Everyone accepted to Harvard will automatically be considered for financial aid scholarship. It's part of the acceptance letter.
You would shove in some numbers : https://college.harvard.edu/financial-a ... calculator
and get a result. Note, that result is not final. It's just an estimate and can be really off sometimes. You could make $150k and only pay $11k a year. Or you could make $150k in the very same school and depending on family circumstance, be asked to pay $78k a year. Nothings set in stone.

Then outside financial aid scholarships, there are some schools that offer merit scholarships. USC/Vanderbilt/WustL are pretty famous for this. Lots of half/full tuition scholarships if the student scores high on SAT/ACT and has a good GPA.
And some state schools such as U of Alabama does this too : 3.5+, 32+.

Of course, if the child is unwilling to take ACT/SAT due to covid this year, I wouldn't expect much of merit scholarships.
And if OP has a high family income, just note, outside merit scholarships, in-state schools are probably the best deals.
Yes, neither me nor my wife went to US undergrad so this is new to us.
And the HS counselors who might be able to help are online and not very available.

My plan now is to make a spreadsheet with gpas, SATs, acceptance rate, cost, application deadlines etc and then focus on them one by one. University of California campuses are due first I believe, on November 30th.
Topic Author
manatee2005
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

fullplay2024 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:05 pm We live in Illinois and my son unfortunately got denied an admission to UIUC, our state flagship. He's currently a Computer Science freshman at UMich. Son was a National Merit finalist and had a full ride from a lower ranked school. Other than that, we received no funding from UMich or other public/private schools he got into. We're paying a full out-of-state sticker price of $65K per year. UMich is a great school, but $65K a year is a steep price to pay for a college education.
What about 2 years of community college then transferring to UIUC. I used to work in Chicago and saw some resumes with that, thought it was a pretty smart thing to do.
$65k per year is $300k for a 4 year degree. That seems like a highway robbery to me.
otinkyad
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by otinkyad »

manatee2005 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:26 pm Yeah University of Arizona gives WUE only for 2 majors, mining and agriculture. Doesn’t help me much. Out of state is 36k plus room and board, $50k per year. Ouch.
ASU tuition is 28k, and as an example my son got 15k in merit aid (with a 1480 SAT and commensurate rigor and grades), making it cheaper than the UCs. He got 24k at a 40k private school in the Midwest, and 12k at a 36k out-of-state public school. Prejudging based on sticker prices is not that useful. Going lower in the rankings will get you more merit aid. Wealthier private schools and small but solvent LACs may get you more need-based aid (grants as well as loans). Room and board is close to constant everywhere.
fwellimort
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by fwellimort »

manatee2005 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:32 pm What about 2 years of community college then transferring to UIUC. I used to work in Chicago and saw some resumes with that, thought it was a pretty smart thing to do.
$65k per year is $300k for a 4 year degree. That seems like a highway robbery to me.
2 year community -> 2 year state flagship is a very smart choice in a pure ROI sense. That said, I generally hesitate to recommend these routes because from what I noticed, many of them end up not having made friends during college. However, when it comes to jobs (pure ROI), it is the more sensical approach. Either that or graduating ASAP (one of my friends graduated from his in-state flagship in 2.5 years and is doing very well for himself).

I think it becomes easier to make advices when there's more information about the student. However, I'm not sure if it's appropriate for this forum and whether you would feel comfortable sharing to others online.

I would recommend visiting collegeconfidential on some throwaway account (the site is quite toxic with lots of lies [use it as a potential reference/resource only]) and posting about:
GPA (out of 4.0 conversion [unweighted] and weighted [if your school has this])
in-state student is at (if there is in-state)
intended major
family income
approximate total assets outside 401k and other tax advantaged vehicles like pension/ira/hsa/etc
nationality (Asian/Hispanic/Caucasian/etc.)
extra-curriculars/leadership/awards/sports/volunteer work/etc
And how much you can realistically contribute

It's just difficult otherwise to recommend anything concrete.
Opportunities are very different between a 4.0 + 36/36 + SAT2s + APs + AMC/AIME/USAMO/etc and a 1.0 + 1/36 (and everyone in between).

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the members here can give much better recommendations than those in collegeconfidential. However, I'm not sure if the mods would be fine with such (and if you want to let your account be known with your child's stats/your family's personal income)
That said, do note the high school one attends do matter too. Schools have quotas of how many students are accepted to certain schools. This is especially true for highly competitive schools. I would be rather surprised if schools don't have past data already available to the students (something like 'naviance')?
Last edited by fwellimort on Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
otinkyad
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by otinkyad »

manatee2005 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:29 pm My plan now is to make a spreadsheet with gpas, SATs, acceptance rate, cost, application deadlines etc and then focus on them one by one. University of California campuses are due first I believe, on November 30th.
Our spreadsheet had 38 columns and 98 rows (we included every school that send mail, though the grid wasn’t completely filled out). ;-)

Some schools have earlier deadlines for merit aid, early decision, or early action. Our earliest was 11/1. We staggered applications to hit merit deadlines, spread out essays and honors applications, and get an early response from a safety to reduce tension from December through April.
manatee2005 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:32 pm What about 2 years of community college then transferring to UIUC. I used to work in Chicago and saw some resumes with that, thought it was a pretty smart thing to do.
$65k per year is $300k for a 4 year degree. That seems like a highway robbery to me.
Sure, in California two years of community college then two years of a local Cal State is a good education at a very cheap price. Two years of non-local UC instead of CSU is better value for the money, at an increased cost. Lots of value judgements to be made. Last I looked, on average a college degree was worth $800k. If you’re too wealthy for need, not smart enough for merit, and pay sticker at the most expensive schools in country, it’s an investment in intrinsic value. Otherwise, it’s one of the best deals of your life.
FoolStreet
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by FoolStreet »

Minty wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:01 am Dear Spouse and I are in our sixth year of paying for 8 years of undergraduate education for our children, who applied to a wide range of public and private colleges. Our experience was that at most levels of objective qualifications, most applicants will have a choice of paying full freight at a higher ranked school, or getting a discount at a school ranked a notch or two below. In addition, we received need-based financial aid, including grants, even when our gross income exceeded $350,000, particularly when we had two in school simultaneously. All of this is to say that for many applicants it is well worth it to engage in a thoughtful, national, market test.
How does that work? Can you elaborate? Why was there that big scandal about paying bribes to get into better schools if the parents could have just paid the school full freight directly?
Topic Author
manatee2005
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

fwellimort wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:59 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:32 pm What about 2 years of community college then transferring to UIUC. I used to work in Chicago and saw some resumes with that, thought it was a pretty smart thing to do.
$65k per year is $300k for a 4 year degree. That seems like a highway robbery to me.
2 year community -> 2 year state flagship is a very smart choice in a pure ROI sense. That said, I generally hesitate to recommend these routes because from what I noticed, many of them end up not having made friends during college. However, when it comes to jobs (pure ROI), it is the more sensical approach. Either that or graduating ASAP (one of my friends graduated from his in-state flagship in 2.5 years and is doing very well for himself).

I think it becomes easier to make advices when there's more information about the student. However, I'm not sure if it's appropriate for this forum and whether you would feel comfortable sharing to others online.

I would recommend visiting collegeconfidential on some throwaway account (the site is quite toxic with lots of lies [use it as a potential reference/resource only]) and posting about:
GPA (out of 4.0 conversion [unweighted] and weighted [if your school has this])
in-state student is at (if there is in-state)
intended major
family income
approximate total assets outside 401k and other tax advantaged vehicles like pension/ira/hsa/etc
nationality (Asian/Hispanic/Caucasian/etc.)
extra-curriculars/leadership/awards/sports/volunteer work/etc
And how much you can realistically contribute

It's just difficult otherwise to recommend anything concrete.
Opportunities are very different between a 4.0 + 36/36 + SAT2s + APs + AMC/AIME/USAMO/etc and a 1.0 + 1/36 (and everyone in between).

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the members here can give much better recommendations than those in collegeconfidential. However, I'm not sure if the mods would be fine with such (and if you want to let your account be known with your child's stats/your family's personal income)
That said, do note the high school one attends do matter too. Schools have quotas of how many students are accepted to certain schools. This is especially true for highly competitive schools. I would be rather surprised if schools don't have past data already available to the students (something like 'naviance')?
My sons high school stopped using Naviance I think 3 years ago. They were supposed to replace it with something else but never did. You know how I found out that quite a few kids go to SMU and TCU from his high school? I was watching the graduation pictures from 2019 and saw them put the college they're going to on their cap and quite a few had SMU and TCU on their caps. I’ve never heard of SMU and TCU before but after doing some research I quite like them.
The High school has been no help at all. And also other parents are so secretive, it’s ridiculous.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by TomatoTomahto »

FoolStreet wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:55 pm
Minty wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:01 am Dear Spouse and I are in our sixth year of paying for 8 years of undergraduate education for our children, who applied to a wide range of public and private colleges. Our experience was that at most levels of objective qualifications, most applicants will have a choice of paying full freight at a higher ranked school, or getting a discount at a school ranked a notch or two below. In addition, we received need-based financial aid, including grants, even when our gross income exceeded $350,000, particularly when we had two in school simultaneously. All of this is to say that for many applicants it is well worth it to engage in a thoughtful, national, market test.
How does that work? Can you elaborate? Why was there that big scandal about paying bribes to get into better schools if the parents could have just paid the school full freight directly?
I think you misunderstood Minty’s post. If you get into A, at full freight, you could likely be accepted to B with some merit aid if B is a “lesser” school. It does not mean the student would be accepted at A.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
fullplay2024
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by fullplay2024 »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:00 pm @Fullplay2024, that’s what my son did. Combined MS/BS in 4 years, for no additional expense. And, since by some reckoning he wasn’t “only” an undergrad, he was eligible for some paid TA work that he might not otherwise have gotten.
Thank you for sharing your son's experience at Yale.
Minty
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by Minty »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:56 am
FoolStreet wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:55 pm
Minty wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:01 am Dear Spouse and I are in our sixth year of paying for 8 years of undergraduate education for our children, who applied to a wide range of public and private colleges. Our experience was that at most levels of objective qualifications, most applicants will have a choice of paying full freight at a higher ranked school, or getting a discount at a school ranked a notch or two below. In addition, we received need-based financial aid, including grants, even when our gross income exceeded $350,000, particularly when we had two in school simultaneously. All of this is to say that for many applicants it is well worth it to engage in a thoughtful, national, market test.
How does that work? Can you elaborate? Why was there that big scandal about paying bribes to get into better schools if the parents could have just paid the school full freight directly?
I think you misunderstood Minty’s post. If you get into A, at full freight, you could likely be accepted to B with some merit aid if B is a “lesser” school. It does not mean the student would be accepted at A.
Right. I will add that I suggest looking at graduation rates, and the Forbes financial health grades.
Core Four w/ nominal bonds & TIPS. Refi Rampage: Purchase: 3.875% 30 -> R1 3% 20 -> R2 2.375% 15 -> R3 1.99% 15
FoolStreet
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by FoolStreet »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:56 am
FoolStreet wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:55 pm
Minty wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:01 am Dear Spouse and I are in our sixth year of paying for 8 years of undergraduate education for our children, who applied to a wide range of public and private colleges. Our experience was that at most levels of objective qualifications, most applicants will have a choice of paying full freight at a higher ranked school, or getting a discount at a school ranked a notch or two below. In addition, we received need-based financial aid, including grants, even when our gross income exceeded $350,000, particularly when we had two in school simultaneously. All of this is to say that for many applicants it is well worth it to engage in a thoughtful, national, market test.
How does that work? Can you elaborate? Why was there that big scandal about paying bribes to get into better schools if the parents could have just paid the school full freight directly?
I think you misunderstood Minty’s post. If you get into A, at full freight, you could likely be accepted to B with some merit aid if B is a “lesser” school. It does not mean the student would be accepted at A.
Ok, With the current financial challenges, I thought Minty was saying colleges would prefer a student who can pay full freight than students who can’t afford it.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by TomatoTomahto »

FoolStreet wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:51 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:56 am
FoolStreet wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:55 pm
Minty wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:01 am Dear Spouse and I are in our sixth year of paying for 8 years of undergraduate education for our children, who applied to a wide range of public and private colleges. Our experience was that at most levels of objective qualifications, most applicants will have a choice of paying full freight at a higher ranked school, or getting a discount at a school ranked a notch or two below. In addition, we received need-based financial aid, including grants, even when our gross income exceeded $350,000, particularly when we had two in school simultaneously. All of this is to say that for many applicants it is well worth it to engage in a thoughtful, national, market test.
How does that work? Can you elaborate? Why was there that big scandal about paying bribes to get into better schools if the parents could have just paid the school full freight directly?
I think you misunderstood Minty’s post. If you get into A, at full freight, you could likely be accepted to B with some merit aid if B is a “lesser” school. It does not mean the student would be accepted at A.
Ok, With the current financial challenges, I thought Minty was saying colleges would prefer a student who can pay full freight than students who can’t afford it.
That’s probably the case for the schools without massive endowments. Full freight students are always appreciated, but I believe that schools like HYPMS truly accept students and then look at financial aid as an unrelated exercise.

Lesser schools want to improve their ranking. They do that by “bribing” better students to attend and using their better stats to raise their averages.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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cockersx3
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by cockersx3 »

manatee2005 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:54 am
Bobby206 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:57 pm Some good info above.

We live out west and can go to WUE schools and pay in-state + 50%. That's about 8 western states and about 100 4 year schools. I noticed many other state universities have similar programs for neighboring states. So look around as that increases your pool of schools if you want public.

Generally public will be cheaper than private.

Each school website has a net cost calculator but I have heard they are not that accurate.

I have heard private schools might negotiate a bit but probably just second tier and below.

Figure state schools (with room/board) are $25k-35k a year and private is $50k-70k. It's easy to qualify for scholarships at second tier private schools but they will generally still be more expensive than public. Each school different and each kid different so just generalizing here.

Every school has great online programs right now. Check a few out to learn about the schools.

SAT/ACT is optional at almost all schools this year but to me you should find a way for your kid to take the test if possible. Some scholarships still require it, even if school doesn't, though that may change. I would do some online practice and/or tutoring as your score can raise a lot and that helps at all schools!

Good luck!
It looks like SAT is not optional at U of Alabama so he’ll have to take it.

WUE is not that great. One of my friends paid $50k for one year of university of Oregon. His kid was so depressed by cloudy weather that he took every chance to fly home to California. Ended up dropping out after 1 year. $50k down the drains
Regarding U of Alabama - my daughter and I were just down there for a campus tour, and they indicated in their presentation that they are considering going test-optional depending on the number of kids that can take a test. Also, they indicated that they were implementing a "conditional acceptance" plan for current seniors and also delaying the test due date - ie you could apply and get "conditionally" accepted based solely on your GPA, with confirmation once they get your SAT scores in the spring. In our case it's not a huge help because DD would need merit aid to go there, which still (for now anyway) requires an SAT score. But still, I thought it was a creative approach.
Topic Author
manatee2005
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

cockersx3 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:18 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:54 am
Bobby206 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:57 pm Some good info above.

We live out west and can go to WUE schools and pay in-state + 50%. That's about 8 western states and about 100 4 year schools. I noticed many other state universities have similar programs for neighboring states. So look around as that increases your pool of schools if you want public.

Generally public will be cheaper than private.

Each school website has a net cost calculator but I have heard they are not that accurate.

I have heard private schools might negotiate a bit but probably just second tier and below.

Figure state schools (with room/board) are $25k-35k a year and private is $50k-70k. It's easy to qualify for scholarships at second tier private schools but they will generally still be more expensive than public. Each school different and each kid different so just generalizing here.

Every school has great online programs right now. Check a few out to learn about the schools.

SAT/ACT is optional at almost all schools this year but to me you should find a way for your kid to take the test if possible. Some scholarships still require it, even if school doesn't, though that may change. I would do some online practice and/or tutoring as your score can raise a lot and that helps at all schools!

Good luck!
It looks like SAT is not optional at U of Alabama so he’ll have to take it.

WUE is not that great. One of my friends paid $50k for one year of university of Oregon. His kid was so depressed by cloudy weather that he took every chance to fly home to California. Ended up dropping out after 1 year. $50k down the drains
Regarding U of Alabama - my daughter and I were just down there for a campus tour, and they indicated in their presentation that they are considering going test-optional depending on the number of kids that can take a test. Also, they indicated that they were implementing a "conditional acceptance" plan for current seniors and also delaying the test due date - ie you could apply and get "conditionally" accepted based solely on your GPA, with confirmation once they get your SAT scores in the spring. In our case it's not a huge help because DD would need merit aid to go there, which still (for now anyway) requires an SAT score. But still, I thought it was a creative approach.
Nice! Thank you for the update.

How did the tour seem? Did you tour any other colleges?
just_learning
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by just_learning »

fwellimort wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:59 pm family income
approximate total assets outside 401k and other tax advantaged vehicles like pension/ira/hsa/etc
nationality (Asian/Hispanic/Caucasian/etc.)
....
What impact does money in the parent's 401k, IRA, HSA have? Are they considered as available for college expenses?
wandering_aimlessly
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by wandering_aimlessly »

Lots of interesting information in this thread. I am in the middle of the college quagmire (first daughter is a junior in a private engineering school in NE, second is a HS senior). One interesting learning from the first was the value of the unknown. During older daughters application process I made well above the level for need (~$500k/yr) and though her grades were good they weren't great (think top 10% of class not top 10 indivuduals) but the school offered her about 50% in merit scholarship $s for the full 4 years - bringing them almost in line with a local state school. Only reason I could think of was geography - we live in South Carolina and the school is in Ma. but as I stated the real reason is always unknown. Now the second one is shooting for Ivy's and similar and I very much doubt there will be anything attached to that (she is in the top few of her class but so will be everyone else) - but the learning from the first is don't assume anything financially until you have gotten all the details...Best of luck to everyone else going through the process...
Minty
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by Minty »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:55 pm
FoolStreet wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:51 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:56 am
FoolStreet wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:55 pm
Minty wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:01 am Dear Spouse and I are in our sixth year of paying for 8 years of undergraduate education for our children, who applied to a wide range of public and private colleges. Our experience was that at most levels of objective qualifications, most applicants will have a choice of paying full freight at a higher ranked school, or getting a discount at a school ranked a notch or two below. In addition, we received need-based financial aid, including grants, even when our gross income exceeded $350,000, particularly when we had two in school simultaneously. All of this is to say that for many applicants it is well worth it to engage in a thoughtful, national, market test.
How does that work? Can you elaborate? Why was there that big scandal about paying bribes to get into better schools if the parents could have just paid the school full freight directly?
I think you misunderstood Minty’s post. If you get into A, at full freight, you could likely be accepted to B with some merit aid if B is a “lesser” school. It does not mean the student would be accepted at A.
Ok, With the current financial challenges, I thought Minty was saying colleges would prefer a student who can pay full freight than students who can’t afford it.
That’s probably the case for the schools without massive endowments. Full freight students are always appreciated, but I believe that schools like HYPMS truly accept students and then look at financial aid as an unrelated exercise.

Lesser schools want to improve their ranking. They do that by “bribing” better students to attend and using their better stats to raise their averages.
Yes. There are by my count 21 elite schools which admit students without regard to need and commit to meet full financial need. That is to say that many highly other ranked schools will reject some students who cannot pay the sticker price in favor of less qualified (in their view) applicants who who can,will require them to borrow more money, or deny them aid entirely. So top students, particularly those with financial need, should consider applying to 568 group members preferentially or in addition to to other fine schools.
Core Four w/ nominal bonds & TIPS. Refi Rampage: Purchase: 3.875% 30 -> R1 3% 20 -> R2 2.375% 15 -> R3 1.99% 15
Minty
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by Minty »

just_learning wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:20 pm
fwellimort wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:59 pm family income
approximate total assets outside 401k and other tax advantaged vehicles like pension/ira/hsa/etc
nationality (Asian/Hispanic/Caucasian/etc.)
....
What impact does money in the parent's 401k, IRA, HSA have? Are they considered as available for college expenses?
401K and IRA are not reported or counted for FAFSA, but are reported on the CSS Profile, the much more intrusive form used by some private schools.
Core Four w/ nominal bonds & TIPS. Refi Rampage: Purchase: 3.875% 30 -> R1 3% 20 -> R2 2.375% 15 -> R3 1.99% 15
Topic Author
manatee2005
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

Minty wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:09 pm
just_learning wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:20 pm
fwellimort wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:59 pm family income
approximate total assets outside 401k and other tax advantaged vehicles like pension/ira/hsa/etc
nationality (Asian/Hispanic/Caucasian/etc.)
....
What impact does money in the parent's 401k, IRA, HSA have? Are they considered as available for college expenses?
401K and IRA are not reported or counted for FAFSA, but are reported on the CSS Profile, the much more intrusive form used by some private schools.
My recent Zoom, Tesla and Shopify gains in my taxable account are going to kill my FAFSA haha
brad.clarkston
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by brad.clarkston »

just_learning wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:20 pm
fwellimort wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:59 pm family income
approximate total assets outside 401k and other tax advantaged vehicles like pension/ira/hsa/etc
nationality (Asian/Hispanic/Caucasian/etc.)
....
What impact does money in the parent's 401k, IRA, HSA have? Are they considered as available for college expenses?
It only matters if you do not have any. Most schools make money from pushing them into the student loan office.
We are into the 3rd year of our son's college and have payed in full from his 529 fund. That doesn't get you any discounts at S&T.
just_learning
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by just_learning »

Minty wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:09 pm
just_learning wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:20 pm
fwellimort wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:59 pm family income
approximate total assets outside 401k and other tax advantaged vehicles like pension/ira/hsa/etc
nationality (Asian/Hispanic/Caucasian/etc.)
....
What impact does money in the parent's 401k, IRA, HSA have? Are they considered as available for college expenses?
401K and IRA are not reported or counted for FAFSA, but are reported on the CSS Profile, the much more intrusive form used by some private schools.
Thanks. So, I think you are saying hey are considered as available for use on the CSS profile...
Topic Author
manatee2005
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

California judge just ruled today that University of California can’t use SAT/ACT tests.
Minty
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by Minty »

just_learning wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:25 am
Minty wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:09 pm
just_learning wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:20 pm
fwellimort wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:59 pm family income
approximate total assets outside 401k and other tax advantaged vehicles like pension/ira/hsa/etc
nationality (Asian/Hispanic/Caucasian/etc.)
....
What impact does money in the parent's 401k, IRA, HSA have? Are they considered as available for college expenses?
401K and IRA are not reported or counted for FAFSA, but are reported on the CSS Profile, the much more intrusive form used by some private schools.
Thanks. So, I think you are saying hey are considered as available for use on the CSS profile...
I actually don't know what schools do with the CSS information, there is no formula as there is with FAFSA and EFC (expected family contribution). I assume some schools expect parents to cash in retirement, and others do not.
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fwellimort
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by fwellimort »

Minty wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:23 pm I actually don't know what schools do with the CSS information, there is no formula as there is with FAFSA and EFC (expected family contribution). I assume some schools expect parents to cash in retirement, and others do not.
It's all a mystery. Your forced to fill out all those forms for every school but you don't know which values the school actually uses for its calculation.
Doesn't help every school seems to have their own formula: some just completely disregard certain fields.
That said, in general, the financial aid calculators tend to be somewhat accurate. However, I had schools that were off by over $40k a year. And a school that gave financial aid of $20k more per year than the calculators suggested. It's... something. Like imagine paying $20k less a year for 4 years: that's 80k less than initial planning. But then again, imagine $40k more a year for 4 years: that's $160k additional. Quite crazy if you think about it.
chipperd
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by chipperd »

manatee2005 wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:45 am California judge just ruled today that University of California can’t use SAT/ACT tests.
Good.
Given that standardized tests offer high predictive value for students who are high achievers from upper middle and high income levers, there is little additional information to assist in the admissions process for that type of student.
Given the lack of predictive value for post high school student performance for the high achieving student from the lower socioeconomic strata,standardized tests also offer, at best little assistance, and at worst, misleading information, in the admissions process. (Many students from lower socioeconomic areas, with high h.s. grades, combined with low standardized test scores go on, to have successful college careers).
I never understood why these tests were given such consideration.
It seems to me that AP test results in high school, from high performing students in lower socioeconomic areas, would be a stronger indicator of their academic potential in college, at least relative to those students in the same cohort that same year. Admissions is a stand alone competition each year rather than a competition relative to prior admission years.
Kudos to the standardized test marketing department.
Sorry for the rant.
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-buzz-
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by -buzz- »

Great thread. Reading with interest since our oldest is a senior in HS this year and we are engaging this process for the first time.
fwellimort wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:17 pm
Of course, if the child is unwilling to take ACT/SAT due to covid this year, I wouldn't expect much of merit scholarships.
And if OP has a high family income, just note, outside merit scholarships, in-state schools are probably the best deals.
In our case, it is not that the student is unwilling to take the tests. We have been signed up for every test date since March and every one has been cancelled. Our son has a pretty good ACT score already, but has the potential to go higher. We really need those tests to get back on track so he has the best shot at a scholarship.

We paid for our second oldest, now a junior, to take a week long ACT prep course in June, expecting to have the test the following Saturday. Test cancelled.

They started in person school in our area this week. Hopefully that means ACT testing will resume as well.
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cockersx3
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by cockersx3 »

manatee2005 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:06 pm
cockersx3 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:18 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:54 am
Bobby206 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:57 pm Some good info above.

We live out west and can go to WUE schools and pay in-state + 50%. That's about 8 western states and about 100 4 year schools. I noticed many other state universities have similar programs for neighboring states. So look around as that increases your pool of schools if you want public.

Generally public will be cheaper than private.

Each school website has a net cost calculator but I have heard they are not that accurate.

I have heard private schools might negotiate a bit but probably just second tier and below.

Figure state schools (with room/board) are $25k-35k a year and private is $50k-70k. It's easy to qualify for scholarships at second tier private schools but they will generally still be more expensive than public. Each school different and each kid different so just generalizing here.

Every school has great online programs right now. Check a few out to learn about the schools.

SAT/ACT is optional at almost all schools this year but to me you should find a way for your kid to take the test if possible. Some scholarships still require it, even if school doesn't, though that may change. I would do some online practice and/or tutoring as your score can raise a lot and that helps at all schools!

Good luck!
It looks like SAT is not optional at U of Alabama so he’ll have to take it.

WUE is not that great. One of my friends paid $50k for one year of university of Oregon. His kid was so depressed by cloudy weather that he took every chance to fly home to California. Ended up dropping out after 1 year. $50k down the drains
Regarding U of Alabama - my daughter and I were just down there for a campus tour, and they indicated in their presentation that they are considering going test-optional depending on the number of kids that can take a test. Also, they indicated that they were implementing a "conditional acceptance" plan for current seniors and also delaying the test due date - ie you could apply and get "conditionally" accepted based solely on your GPA, with confirmation once they get your SAT scores in the spring. In our case it's not a huge help because DD would need merit aid to go there, which still (for now anyway) requires an SAT score. But still, I thought it was a creative approach.
Nice! Thank you for the update.

How did the tour seem? Did you tour any other colleges?
She loved it! Had low expectations heading to the school, but she went there and was totally blown away. She's wants to be an engineer (just like her dad!) and was really impressed with the engineering part of campus. It's a beautiful campus, and their students really seem to like it there - definitely a strong sense of community. Liked how it was spread out as well - it's obviously a huge school, but by spreading out the campus we're hoping the density won't be as bad.

We also checked out Auburn and she liked it there too, for mostly the same reasons. Tough decisions coming to be sure - just need to get her SAT scores back (early next week?) and get a better sense of where she will be competitive.
niagara_guy
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by niagara_guy »

I confess I did not read all the replies before replying. Google "work colleges." I have a relative who is low income and is at a work college (there are several across the US). Tuition and room and board is very near zero. Not sure what they do for upper income families. I also have a friend who was at Cottey College (girls only) that provides subsidized tuition for needy students.
Topic Author
manatee2005
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

cockersx3 wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:52 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:06 pm
cockersx3 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:18 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:54 am
Bobby206 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:57 pm Some good info above.

We live out west and can go to WUE schools and pay in-state + 50%. That's about 8 western states and about 100 4 year schools. I noticed many other state universities have similar programs for neighboring states. So look around as that increases your pool of schools if you want public.

Generally public will be cheaper than private.

Each school website has a net cost calculator but I have heard they are not that accurate.

I have heard private schools might negotiate a bit but probably just second tier and below.

Figure state schools (with room/board) are $25k-35k a year and private is $50k-70k. It's easy to qualify for scholarships at second tier private schools but they will generally still be more expensive than public. Each school different and each kid different so just generalizing here.

Every school has great online programs right now. Check a few out to learn about the schools.

SAT/ACT is optional at almost all schools this year but to me you should find a way for your kid to take the test if possible. Some scholarships still require it, even if school doesn't, though that may change. I would do some online practice and/or tutoring as your score can raise a lot and that helps at all schools!

Good luck!
It looks like SAT is not optional at U of Alabama so he’ll have to take it.

WUE is not that great. One of my friends paid $50k for one year of university of Oregon. His kid was so depressed by cloudy weather that he took every chance to fly home to California. Ended up dropping out after 1 year. $50k down the drains
Regarding U of Alabama - my daughter and I were just down there for a campus tour, and they indicated in their presentation that they are considering going test-optional depending on the number of kids that can take a test. Also, they indicated that they were implementing a "conditional acceptance" plan for current seniors and also delaying the test due date - ie you could apply and get "conditionally" accepted based solely on your GPA, with confirmation once they get your SAT scores in the spring. In our case it's not a huge help because DD would need merit aid to go there, which still (for now anyway) requires an SAT score. But still, I thought it was a creative approach.
Nice! Thank you for the update.

How did the tour seem? Did you tour any other colleges?
She loved it! Had low expectations heading to the school, but she went there and was totally blown away. She's wants to be an engineer (just like her dad!) and was really impressed with the engineering part of campus. It's a beautiful campus, and their students really seem to like it there - definitely a strong sense of community. Liked how it was spread out as well - it's obviously a huge school, but by spreading out the campus we're hoping the density won't be as bad.

We also checked out Auburn and she liked it there too, for mostly the same reasons. Tough decisions coming to be sure - just need to get her SAT scores back (early next week?) and get a better sense of where she will be competitive.
How's your daughter's application process? My son found out this week that he got into ASU (Arizona State) and University of Alabama. We just found out through the portals and emails so we didn't get any officials letters yet with scholarship information. My son is applying to every major college south of Nashville, he is applying without test scores so he didn't think he would get admittance decisions so early. I think he'll slow down now and only apply to the ones he really wants like UTexas Austin, University of California (campuses in LA and Santa Barbara) , Auburn and Clemson.
vinhodoporto
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by vinhodoporto »

Parent of a current college freshman here, with a different perspective...

Don’t worry about the cost of attendance until you get in. Or at least don’t eliminate any schools due to cost until you have acceptances, FA awards, and have tried to negotiate. Otherwise you may be taking a good option off the table unnecessarily.

For maximum ROI focus all the effort now on:
1. making the application as strong as possible (grades, rigor, test scores, activities, essays etc)
2. figuring out where to apply (major, school rank/reputation, likelihood of admission, urban vs rural, big vs small, sports if applicable etc).
3. figuring out any “games” the school plays e.g. you need to apply ED to have a realistic shot at getting in

If you’re not fully comfortable with the above, I’d still do it but also apply to 1 or 2 “financial safeties” - typically in state schools where your student is above the median grades/test scores
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cockersx3
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by cockersx3 »

manatee2005 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:41 am
cockersx3 wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:52 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:06 pm
cockersx3 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:18 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:54 am

It looks like SAT is not optional at U of Alabama so he’ll have to take it.

WUE is not that great. One of my friends paid $50k for one year of university of Oregon. His kid was so depressed by cloudy weather that he took every chance to fly home to California. Ended up dropping out after 1 year. $50k down the drains
Regarding U of Alabama - my daughter and I were just down there for a campus tour, and they indicated in their presentation that they are considering going test-optional depending on the number of kids that can take a test. Also, they indicated that they were implementing a "conditional acceptance" plan for current seniors and also delaying the test due date - ie you could apply and get "conditionally" accepted based solely on your GPA, with confirmation once they get your SAT scores in the spring. In our case it's not a huge help because DD would need merit aid to go there, which still (for now anyway) requires an SAT score. But still, I thought it was a creative approach.
Nice! Thank you for the update.

How did the tour seem? Did you tour any other colleges?
She loved it! Had low expectations heading to the school, but she went there and was totally blown away. She's wants to be an engineer (just like her dad!) and was really impressed with the engineering part of campus. It's a beautiful campus, and their students really seem to like it there - definitely a strong sense of community. Liked how it was spread out as well - it's obviously a huge school, but by spreading out the campus we're hoping the density won't be as bad.

We also checked out Auburn and she liked it there too, for mostly the same reasons. Tough decisions coming to be sure - just need to get her SAT scores back (early next week?) and get a better sense of where she will be competitive.
How's your daughter's application process? My son found out this week that he got into ASU (Arizona State) and University of Alabama. We just found out through the portals and emails so we didn't get any officials letters yet with scholarship information. My son is applying to every major college south of Nashville, he is applying without test scores so he didn't think he would get admittance decisions so early. I think he'll slow down now and only apply to the ones he really wants like UTexas Austin, University of California (campuses in LA and Santa Barbara) , Auburn and Clemson.
She's been accepted to Alabama and Arizona! Also admitted to WVU and other schools. We have initial scholarship offers back from the first two, both in line with auto merit tables and with costs in line with our State U. Hoping to hear offer from WVU next month. Have to say, having several college acceptance letters and good merit this early is a very good place to be.

She is still waiting for other colleges but probably won't hear more until January. That said, the three schools listed are very high on her list. She's already asking me whether we can check out Arizona in person...watched the virtual presentations (including the one specially for the engineering school) and came away impressed. Right now I think Alabama is at the top of the list primarily because that's the only college to which she's been accepted that she has actually seen in person, but we'll see what the next few months brings.

Best of luck with your son's college applications! It will be an interesting spring, to be sure....!
Boulder92
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by Boulder92 »

I recommend "Who gets in and Why", a new book with valuable info, I listened to it last week and learned a great deal. The middle section is dry but does a deep dive into how we got to where we are in regards to college admissions -- a bit depressing. The last 1/4 though has some very practical tips.
texasdiver
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Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Shopping for college

Post by texasdiver »

Another parent here with a HS senior, our middle daughter so we already did all this once with the oldest child who just graduated from University of Arkansas were we paid full freight out of state tuition all 4 years. Here is our journey to date.

Daughter #2 had applied to 4 state schools and 5 private schools here in the Pacific Northwest. She has a 3.96 unweighted GPA (straight As with one A-) and respectable extra curriculars and such. Also good SATs which don't much matter this year. We are WA residents for tuition purposes. She is mainly interested in biology and molecular biology but not 100% positive and kind of undecided. Our earnings are such (over $200k) that we would not likely qualify for any need-based aid except perhaps small token amounts from the most expensive institutions.

STATE SCHOOLS: University of Washington, Washington State, Western Washington, and University of Oregon. WSU, WWU and UO have already sent acceptance letters and merit scholarship awards. WSU and WWU have offered merit awards in the $4,000-$5,000 year range. UO offered a $10,000/year merit award but their out-of-state tuition premium is $25,000/year so UO would still be $15,000/yr more expensive than paying full in-state tuition at WA schools. Of the state schools she applied to, her first choice is most likely UW but they don't typically send acceptance letters until March.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Whitman, Lewis & Clark, University of Puget Sound, Gonzaga, and Occidental. None of them have responded with acceptance letters or aid awards yet. Not really expecting that until Feb/March. We deliberately applied to a suite of private schools that are known for providing merit aid. Based on college confidential, all of these schools typically award merit aid for good students in the $25,000/year range, which would pull them down into the $40-$45,000/year price or about $10,000 more than full cost at UW. This is in contrast to more prestigious and competitive west coast schools like Reed, Pomona, Stanford, and USC which typically offer no merit aid, and for which we'd be on the hook for $75,000+ per year.

LESSONS SO FAR: Merit aid has nothing to do with merit. It is how colleges attract students who would otherwise attend higher rated schools. The top schools like the Ivies and all of their direct competitors like Stanford, USC and Pomona here on the west coast know they are already at the top and need provide no incentives to attract top students. So they don't. The schools that are a step or two below them in the rankings offer merit aid in order to attract Stanford and USC-bound students away. The same thing happens with state schools. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the University of Washington is easily the premier public university. It offers almost no merit aid of any kind, other than a few quirky awards for really exceptional applicants. They don't have to because they are already at the top. Their competition like WSU, WWU, UO, etc. all need to sweeten the pot to draw top students away from UW. While UW doesn't have to do anything to draw top students away from say WSU.

Bottom line? If she decides on a big state school than UW will be the top choice if she gets in. Otherwise it will probably be between WSU and WWU because they will both be about $20,000/year cheaper than sending her to UO out of state. If she gets into all her private school choices then all things being equal, Whitman is probably her top choice. But it will also be an issue of cost. If one of the others offers an exceptional award then it would rise to the top. We don't expect to be able to do any bargaining with UW. They don't really do that. And we can afford the in-state tuition there. If any of the private schools really rise to the top I will, of course, see what kind of bargaining I can do to increase any merit awards. Especially if one of their direct competitors offers a better award that we can point to. We are hoping that some or most will be back open by late spring so she can actually visit and get a sense of the vibe. Because most of these schools we have just visited covid-closed campuses on our own and just walked around to look at the places with a few skateboarders and dog walkers and no one else around.

Also this daughter pretty much put the brakes on trying to get into any ultra-competitive schools like Stanford. She announced that she just wasn't interested in that "rat race" and wanted to go somewhere where she could have a more normal and rounded life and not feel like she is always endlessly competing. I'm fine with that. I think she is smarter than I am in that respect.
Last edited by texasdiver on Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
manatee2005
Posts: 1719
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:17 pm

Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

cockersx3 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:34 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:41 am
cockersx3 wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:52 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:06 pm
cockersx3 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:18 pm

Regarding U of Alabama - my daughter and I were just down there for a campus tour, and they indicated in their presentation that they are considering going test-optional depending on the number of kids that can take a test. Also, they indicated that they were implementing a "conditional acceptance" plan for current seniors and also delaying the test due date - ie you could apply and get "conditionally" accepted based solely on your GPA, with confirmation once they get your SAT scores in the spring. In our case it's not a huge help because DD would need merit aid to go there, which still (for now anyway) requires an SAT score. But still, I thought it was a creative approach.
Nice! Thank you for the update.

How did the tour seem? Did you tour any other colleges?
She loved it! Had low expectations heading to the school, but she went there and was totally blown away. She's wants to be an engineer (just like her dad!) and was really impressed with the engineering part of campus. It's a beautiful campus, and their students really seem to like it there - definitely a strong sense of community. Liked how it was spread out as well - it's obviously a huge school, but by spreading out the campus we're hoping the density won't be as bad.

We also checked out Auburn and she liked it there too, for mostly the same reasons. Tough decisions coming to be sure - just need to get her SAT scores back (early next week?) and get a better sense of where she will be competitive.
How's your daughter's application process? My son found out this week that he got into ASU (Arizona State) and University of Alabama. We just found out through the portals and emails so we didn't get any officials letters yet with scholarship information. My son is applying to every major college south of Nashville, he is applying without test scores so he didn't think he would get admittance decisions so early. I think he'll slow down now and only apply to the ones he really wants like UTexas Austin, University of California (campuses in LA and Santa Barbara) , Auburn and Clemson.
She's been accepted to Alabama and Arizona! Also admitted to WVU and other schools. We have initial scholarship offers back from the first two, both in line with auto merit tables and with costs in line with our State U. Hoping to hear offer from WVU next month. Have to say, having several college acceptance letters and good merit this early is a very good place to be.

She is still waiting for other colleges but probably won't hear more until January. That said, the three schools listed are very high on her list. She's already asking me whether we can check out Arizona in person...watched the virtual presentations (including the one specially for the engineering school) and came away impressed. Right now I think Alabama is at the top of the list primarily because that's the only college to which she's been accepted that she has actually seen in person, but we'll see what the next few months brings.

Best of luck with your son's college applications! It will be an interesting spring, to be sure....!
Congratulations to your daughter! We didn't get the scholarship letters because we applied pretty late. I always though acceptances only come in March and April because that's what University of California does, never knew that other schools do rolling admissions. I have a lot of friends and coworkers who had their kids apply to college in last 3 years and none of them told me this. This board is giving me a lot more information than my IRL friends. Very thankful to this board on Thansgiving!

You should definitely check out Arizona. We live in SoCal but have only been to Phoenix once, on the way to Grand Canyon so we'll have to make a trip there too.
Topic Author
manatee2005
Posts: 1719
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:17 pm

Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

vinhodoporto wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:08 am Parent of a current college freshman here, with a different perspective...

Don’t worry about the cost of attendance until you get in. Or at least don’t eliminate any schools due to cost until you have acceptances, FA awards, and have tried to negotiate. Otherwise you may be taking a good option off the table unnecessarily.

For maximum ROI focus all the effort now on:
1. making the application as strong as possible (grades, rigor, test scores, activities, essays etc)
2. figuring out where to apply (major, school rank/reputation, likelihood of admission, urban vs rural, big vs small, sports if applicable etc).
3. figuring out any “games” the school plays e.g. you need to apply ED to have a realistic shot at getting in

If you’re not fully comfortable with the above, I’d still do it but also apply to 1 or 2 “financial safeties” - typically in state schools where your student is above the median grades/test scores
This is a great point. A lot of people look at the price of school and it's 75k and they don't even apply. But they don't know that they could get a full ride scholarship until they apply. Paying $70 application fee is a small price to pay to find this out. Especially in these covid times when the admissions stats are thrown on their heads. No SATs, ECs are impacted by shutdowns, who knows who will get in and get full rides this year.
Topic Author
manatee2005
Posts: 1719
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:17 pm

Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

texasdiver wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:53 pm Another parent here with a HS senior, our middle daughter so we already did all this once with the oldest child who just graduated from University of Arkansas were we paid full freight out of state tuition all 4 years. Here is our journey to date.

Daughter #2 had applied to 4 state schools and 5 private schools here in the Pacific Northwest. She has a 3.96 unweighted GPA (straight As with one A-) and respectable extra curriculars and such. Also good SATs which don't much matter this year. We are WA residents for tuition purposes. She is mainly interested in biology and molecular biology but not 100% positive and kind of undecided. Our earnings are such (over $200k) that we would not likely qualify for any need-based aid except perhaps small token amounts from the most expensive institutions.

STATE SCHOOLS: University of Washington, Washington State, Western Washington, and University of Oregon. WSU, WWU and UO have already sent acceptance letters and merit scholarship awards. WSU and WWU have offered merit awards in the $4,000-$5,000 year range. UO offered a $10,000/year merit award but their out-of-state tuition premium is $25,000/year so UO would still be $15,000/yr more expensive than paying full in-state tuition at WA schools. Of the state schools she applied to, her first choice is most likely UW but they don't typically send acceptance letters until March.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Whitman, Lewis & Clark, University of Puget Sound, Gonzaga, and Occidental. None of them have responded with acceptance letters or aid awards yet. Not really expecting that until Feb/March. We deliberately applied to a suite of private schools that are known for providing merit aid. Based on college confidential, all of these schools typically award merit aid for good students in the $25,000/year rang which would pull them down into the $40-$45,000/year range or about $10,000 more than full cost at UW. This is in contrast to more prestigious and competitive west coast schools like Reed, Pomona, Stanford, and USC which typically offer no merit aid and for which we'd be on the hook for $75,000+ per year.

LESSONS SO FAR: Merit aid has nothing to do with merit. It is how colleges attract students who would otherwise attend higher rated schools. The top schools like the Ivies and all of their direct competitors like Stanford, USC and Pomona her on the west coast know they are already at the top and need provide no incentives to attract top students. So they don't. The schools that are a step or two below them in the rankings offer merit aid in order to attract Stanford and USC-bound students away. The same thing happens with state schools. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the University of Washington is easily the premier public university. It offers almost no merit aid of any kind, other than a few quirky awards for really exceptional applicants. They don't have to because they are already at the top. Their competition like WSU, WWU, UO, etc. all need to sweeten the pot to draw top students away from UW. While UW doesn't have to do anything to draw top students away from say WSU.

Bottom line? If she decides on a big state school than UW will be the top choice if she gets in. Otherwise it will probably be between WSU and WWU because they will both be about $20,000/year cheaper than sending her to UO out of state. If she gets into all her private school choices then all things being equal, Whitman is probably her top choice. But it will also be an issue of cost. If one of the others offers an exceptional award then it would rise to the top. We don't expect to be able to do any bargaining with UW. They don't really do that. And we can afford the in-state tuition there. If any of the private schools really rise to the top I will, of course, see what kind of bargaining I can do to increase any merit awards. Especially if one of their direct competitors offers a better award that we can point to. We are hoping that some or most will be back open by late spring so she can actually visit and get a sense of the vibe. Because most of these schools we have just visited covid-closed campuses on our own and just walked around to look at the places with a few skateboarders and dog walkers and no one else around.

Also this daughter pretty much put the brakes on trying to get into any ultra-competitive schools like Stanford. She announced that she just wasn't interested in that "rat race" and wanted to go somewhere where she could have a more normal and rounded life and not feel like she is always endlessly competing. I'm fine with that. I think she is smarter than I am in that respect.
Congrats on your daughter's aceeptances! We Iive in a district where everyone wants their kid to go to Harvard so we got caught up in that rat race. Then in 10th grade we decided it's not worth it. You can have just as good of a life, maybe better going to a school where not everyone wants to be a CEO.

I had the same experience as you when touring University of California campuses on labor day, just drove and walked around to get a vibe of the school and how close it is to major cities, but didn't get much out of it. University of California Merced is the funniest school ever. Brand new buildings in the middle of nowhere. It's not even close to Merced, bunch of empty fields separate it!

We're also hoping that once we get the scholarship info by March that we can plan some tours during spring break and make a decision then.

My son has never lived in a place with snow so we are sticking with the southern schools.
texasdiver
Posts: 3633
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Shopping for college

Post by texasdiver »

manatee2005 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:58 pm
Congrats on your daughter's aceeptances! We Iive in a district where everyone wants their kid to go to Harvard so we got caught up in that rat race. Then in 10th grade we decided it's not worth it. You can have just as good of a life, maybe better going to a school where not everyone wants to be a CEO.

I had the same experience as you when touring University of California campuses on labor day, just drove and walked around to get a vibe of the school and how close it is to major cities, but didn't get much out of it. University of California Merced is the funniest school ever. Brand new buildings in the middle of nowhere. It's not even close to Merced, bunch of empty fields separate it!

We're also hoping that once we get the scholarship info by March that we can plan some tours during spring break and make a decision then.

My son has never lived in a place with snow so we are sticking with the southern schools.
We did a big college road trip down through CA in mid-August and got caught in the first big round of fires which put a damper on things. Driving from Redding south it was smoke everywhere. We visited USF, Santa Clara, USC, the Claremont Colleges, and Occidental. No UC schools because what is the point if you are out of state. The only CA school she decided to apply to was Occidental, partly because it is Obama's Alma Matter, and partly because it was the nicest campus and the nicest setting/neighborhood of any of the CA schools that we visited. USF was too urban and concrete. Santa Clara was kind of meh. The surrounding town is pretty suburban and she didn't find it very interesting. USC is kind of a fortress with big walls in the middle of a nondescript urban part of LA. She thought the Claremont colleges felt too "southern country club" and felt like the surrounding neighborhoods looked too much like North Dallas upscale suburbs. Occidental was the only school with a comfortable scenic campus in an interesting urban neighborhood of LA. She liked the Eagle Rock and Highland Park neighborhoods surrounding Occidental and thought it was a much nicer and more interesting place to go to school than Pomona way out in the edge of the suburbs. I think frankly she'll stay in the Pacific Northwest unless Occidental comes through with a really attractive offer which I don't think is particularly likely. It feels like the kind of place where you need a big checkbook. The Loyola Marymount campus was locked down and we couldn't visit. And we didn't bother to check out Stanford.
Topic Author
manatee2005
Posts: 1719
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

texasdiver wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:51 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:58 pm
Congrats on your daughter's aceeptances! We Iive in a district where everyone wants their kid to go to Harvard so we got caught up in that rat race. Then in 10th grade we decided it's not worth it. You can have just as good of a life, maybe better going to a school where not everyone wants to be a CEO.

I had the same experience as you when touring University of California campuses on labor day, just drove and walked around to get a vibe of the school and how close it is to major cities, but didn't get much out of it. University of California Merced is the funniest school ever. Brand new buildings in the middle of nowhere. It's not even close to Merced, bunch of empty fields separate it!

We're also hoping that once we get the scholarship info by March that we can plan some tours during spring break and make a decision then.

My son has never lived in a place with snow so we are sticking with the southern schools.
We did a big college road trip down through CA in mid-August and got caught in the first big round of fires which put a damper on things. Driving from Redding south it was smoke everywhere. We visited USF, Santa Clara, USC, the Claremont Colleges, and Occidental. No UC schools because what is the point if you are out of state. The only CA school she decided to apply to was Occidental, partly because it is Obama's Alma Matter, and partly because it was the nicest campus and the nicest setting/neighborhood of any of the CA schools that we visited. USF was too urban and concrete. Santa Clara was kind of meh. The surrounding town is pretty suburban and she didn't find it very interesting. USC is kind of a fortress with big walls in the middle of a nondescript urban part of LA. She thought the Claremont colleges felt too "southern country club" and felt like the surrounding neighborhoods looked too much like North Dallas upscale suburbs. Occidental was the only school with a comfortable scenic campus in an interesting urban neighborhood of LA. She liked the Eagle Rock and Highland Park neighborhoods surrounding Occidental and thought it was a much nicer and more interesting place to go to school than Pomona way out in the edge of the suburbs. I think frankly she'll stay in the Pacific Northwest unless Occidental comes through with a really attractive offer which I don't think is particularly likely. It feels like the kind of place where you need a big checkbook. The Loyola Marymount campus was locked down and we couldn't visit. And we didn't bother to check out Stanford.
Thanks for the description of CA private colleges. We didn't tour any CA private colleges this time, my son is mostly focused on UCs since we are in state.
I was on USC campus before and know people who went there and they all say it's not in a good part of town. I met someone who goes to film school there, it's great for that, but otherwise I wouldn't send my son there.
The town of Santa Clara is very boring, I have friends who work in Silicon Valley and they all complain how dead it is. I think the befit of going to Santa Clara would be that it's easy to network with silicon valley people.
I've never been to Occidental but I've been to Pasadena and the area around the Hollywood sign and it's pretty nice.

We were at Stanford 5-10 years ago just to check it out, it has a nice quad and tower but that's about it.

Seems like you got a really good feel of the colleges and neighborhoods during your visit.

We were also there around the time of fires and we wanted to take the 101 by the coast from SF to LA but there was a fire at Big Sur so we had to take the boring I-5.
Topic Author
manatee2005
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

texasdiver wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:51 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:58 pm
Congrats on your daughter's aceeptances! We Iive in a district where everyone wants their kid to go to Harvard so we got caught up in that rat race. Then in 10th grade we decided it's not worth it. You can have just as good of a life, maybe better going to a school where not everyone wants to be a CEO.

I had the same experience as you when touring University of California campuses on labor day, just drove and walked around to get a vibe of the school and how close it is to major cities, but didn't get much out of it. University of California Merced is the funniest school ever. Brand new buildings in the middle of nowhere. It's not even close to Merced, bunch of empty fields separate it!

We're also hoping that once we get the scholarship info by March that we can plan some tours during spring break and make a decision then.

My son has never lived in a place with snow so we are sticking with the southern schools.
We did a big college road trip down through CA in mid-August and got caught in the first big round of fires which put a damper on things. Driving from Redding south it was smoke everywhere. We visited USF, Santa Clara, USC, the Claremont Colleges, and Occidental. No UC schools because what is the point if you are out of state. The only CA school she decided to apply to was Occidental, partly because it is Obama's Alma Matter, and partly because it was the nicest campus and the nicest setting/neighborhood of any of the CA schools that we visited. USF was too urban and concrete. Santa Clara was kind of meh. The surrounding town is pretty suburban and she didn't find it very interesting. USC is kind of a fortress with big walls in the middle of a nondescript urban part of LA. She thought the Claremont colleges felt too "southern country club" and felt like the surrounding neighborhoods looked too much like North Dallas upscale suburbs. Occidental was the only school with a comfortable scenic campus in an interesting urban neighborhood of LA. She liked the Eagle Rock and Highland Park neighborhoods surrounding Occidental and thought it was a much nicer and more interesting place to go to school than Pomona way out in the edge of the suburbs. I think frankly she'll stay in the Pacific Northwest unless Occidental comes through with a really attractive offer which I don't think is particularly likely. It feels like the kind of place where you need a big checkbook. The Loyola Marymount campus was locked down and we couldn't visit. And we didn't bother to check out Stanford.
Did you get any admittances yet? So far we got University of Iowa, ASU Tempe, University of Alabama and UNLV. We’re still waiting for UT Austin, Clemson and U Georgia, those 3 are his top choices.
We don’t have much faith in UCs since they will want out of state students to charge them higher tuition to make up the budget losses.
Topic Author
manatee2005
Posts: 1719
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:17 pm

Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

cockersx3 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:34 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:41 am
cockersx3 wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:52 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:06 pm
cockersx3 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:18 pm

Regarding U of Alabama - my daughter and I were just down there for a campus tour, and they indicated in their presentation that they are considering going test-optional depending on the number of kids that can take a test. Also, they indicated that they were implementing a "conditional acceptance" plan for current seniors and also delaying the test due date - ie you could apply and get "conditionally" accepted based solely on your GPA, with confirmation once they get your SAT scores in the spring. In our case it's not a huge help because DD would need merit aid to go there, which still (for now anyway) requires an SAT score. But still, I thought it was a creative approach.
Nice! Thank you for the update.

How did the tour seem? Did you tour any other colleges?
She loved it! Had low expectations heading to the school, but she went there and was totally blown away. She's wants to be an engineer (just like her dad!) and was really impressed with the engineering part of campus. It's a beautiful campus, and their students really seem to like it there - definitely a strong sense of community. Liked how it was spread out as well - it's obviously a huge school, but by spreading out the campus we're hoping the density won't be as bad.

We also checked out Auburn and she liked it there too, for mostly the same reasons. Tough decisions coming to be sure - just need to get her SAT scores back (early next week?) and get a better sense of where she will be competitive.
How's your daughter's application process? My son found out this week that he got into ASU (Arizona State) and University of Alabama. We just found out through the portals and emails so we didn't get any officials letters yet with scholarship information. My son is applying to every major college south of Nashville, he is applying without test scores so he didn't think he would get admittance decisions so early. I think he'll slow down now and only apply to the ones he really wants like UTexas Austin, University of California (campuses in LA and Santa Barbara) , Auburn and Clemson.
She's been accepted to Alabama and Arizona! Also admitted to WVU and other schools. We have initial scholarship offers back from the first two, both in line with auto merit tables and with costs in line with our State U. Hoping to hear offer from WVU next month. Have to say, having several college acceptance letters and good merit this early is a very good place to be.

She is still waiting for other colleges but probably won't hear more until January. That said, the three schools listed are very high on her list. She's already asking me whether we can check out Arizona in person...watched the virtual presentations (including the one specially for the engineering school) and came away impressed. Right now I think Alabama is at the top of the list primarily because that's the only college to which she's been accepted that she has actually seen in person, but we'll see what the next few months brings.

Best of luck with your son's college applications! It will be an interesting spring, to be sure....!
Did your daughter hear from any other schools? We got $9k from ASU Tempe, kind of disappointing since it’s $49k before scholarships so it would be $40k per year for ASU.
texasdiver
Posts: 3633
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Shopping for college

Post by texasdiver »

manatee2005 wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 7:14 pm
texasdiver wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:51 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:58 pm
Congrats on your daughter's aceeptances! We Iive in a district where everyone wants their kid to go to Harvard so we got caught up in that rat race. Then in 10th grade we decided it's not worth it. You can have just as good of a life, maybe better going to a school where not everyone wants to be a CEO.

I had the same experience as you when touring University of California campuses on labor day, just drove and walked around to get a vibe of the school and how close it is to major cities, but didn't get much out of it. University of California Merced is the funniest school ever. Brand new buildings in the middle of nowhere. It's not even close to Merced, bunch of empty fields separate it!

We're also hoping that once we get the scholarship info by March that we can plan some tours during spring break and make a decision then.

My son has never lived in a place with snow so we are sticking with the southern schools.
We did a big college road trip down through CA in mid-August and got caught in the first big round of fires which put a damper on things. Driving from Redding south it was smoke everywhere. We visited USF, Santa Clara, USC, the Claremont Colleges, and Occidental. No UC schools because what is the point if you are out of state. The only CA school she decided to apply to was Occidental, partly because it is Obama's Alma Matter, and partly because it was the nicest campus and the nicest setting/neighborhood of any of the CA schools that we visited. USF was too urban and concrete. Santa Clara was kind of meh. The surrounding town is pretty suburban and she didn't find it very interesting. USC is kind of a fortress with big walls in the middle of a nondescript urban part of LA. She thought the Claremont colleges felt too "southern country club" and felt like the surrounding neighborhoods looked too much like North Dallas upscale suburbs. Occidental was the only school with a comfortable scenic campus in an interesting urban neighborhood of LA. She liked the Eagle Rock and Highland Park neighborhoods surrounding Occidental and thought it was a much nicer and more interesting place to go to school than Pomona way out in the edge of the suburbs. I think frankly she'll stay in the Pacific Northwest unless Occidental comes through with a really attractive offer which I don't think is particularly likely. It feels like the kind of place where you need a big checkbook. The Loyola Marymount campus was locked down and we couldn't visit. And we didn't bother to check out Stanford.
Did you get any admittances yet? So far we got University of Iowa, ASU Tempe, University of Alabama and UNLV. We’re still waiting for UT Austin, Clemson and U Georgia, those 3 are his top choices.
We don’t have much faith in UCs since they will want out of state students to charge them higher tuition to make up the budget losses.
She has admittance letters and merit scholarship offers from Western Washington, Washington State, and University of Oregon. Still waiting to hear from University of Washington (her top choice) and all the private schools she applied to.
Topic Author
manatee2005
Posts: 1719
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:17 pm

Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

texasdiver wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 2:39 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 7:14 pm
texasdiver wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:51 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:58 pm
Congrats on your daughter's aceeptances! We Iive in a district where everyone wants their kid to go to Harvard so we got caught up in that rat race. Then in 10th grade we decided it's not worth it. You can have just as good of a life, maybe better going to a school where not everyone wants to be a CEO.

I had the same experience as you when touring University of California campuses on labor day, just drove and walked around to get a vibe of the school and how close it is to major cities, but didn't get much out of it. University of California Merced is the funniest school ever. Brand new buildings in the middle of nowhere. It's not even close to Merced, bunch of empty fields separate it!

We're also hoping that once we get the scholarship info by March that we can plan some tours during spring break and make a decision then.

My son has never lived in a place with snow so we are sticking with the southern schools.
We did a big college road trip down through CA in mid-August and got caught in the first big round of fires which put a damper on things. Driving from Redding south it was smoke everywhere. We visited USF, Santa Clara, USC, the Claremont Colleges, and Occidental. No UC schools because what is the point if you are out of state. The only CA school she decided to apply to was Occidental, partly because it is Obama's Alma Matter, and partly because it was the nicest campus and the nicest setting/neighborhood of any of the CA schools that we visited. USF was too urban and concrete. Santa Clara was kind of meh. The surrounding town is pretty suburban and she didn't find it very interesting. USC is kind of a fortress with big walls in the middle of a nondescript urban part of LA. She thought the Claremont colleges felt too "southern country club" and felt like the surrounding neighborhoods looked too much like North Dallas upscale suburbs. Occidental was the only school with a comfortable scenic campus in an interesting urban neighborhood of LA. She liked the Eagle Rock and Highland Park neighborhoods surrounding Occidental and thought it was a much nicer and more interesting place to go to school than Pomona way out in the edge of the suburbs. I think frankly she'll stay in the Pacific Northwest unless Occidental comes through with a really attractive offer which I don't think is particularly likely. It feels like the kind of place where you need a big checkbook. The Loyola Marymount campus was locked down and we couldn't visit. And we didn't bother to check out Stanford.
Did you get any admittances yet? So far we got University of Iowa, ASU Tempe, University of Alabama and UNLV. We’re still waiting for UT Austin, Clemson and U Georgia, those 3 are his top choices.
We don’t have much faith in UCs since they will want out of state students to charge them higher tuition to make up the budget losses.
She has admittance letters and merit scholarship offers from Western Washington, Washington State, and University of Oregon. Still waiting to hear from University of Washington (her top choice) and all the private schools she applied to.
Awesome? Can I ask how much was the scholarship for university of Oregon? You can PM me if you don’t want it on this thread.
Wishing your daughter good luck for UWashingon.

We won’t know about UCalifornia until March.
texasdiver
Posts: 3633
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Shopping for college

Post by texasdiver »

manatee2005 wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 2:44 pm
texasdiver wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 2:39 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 7:14 pm
texasdiver wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:51 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:58 pm
Congrats on your daughter's aceeptances! We Iive in a district where everyone wants their kid to go to Harvard so we got caught up in that rat race. Then in 10th grade we decided it's not worth it. You can have just as good of a life, maybe better going to a school where not everyone wants to be a CEO.

I had the same experience as you when touring University of California campuses on labor day, just drove and walked around to get a vibe of the school and how close it is to major cities, but didn't get much out of it. University of California Merced is the funniest school ever. Brand new buildings in the middle of nowhere. It's not even close to Merced, bunch of empty fields separate it!

We're also hoping that once we get the scholarship info by March that we can plan some tours during spring break and make a decision then.

My son has never lived in a place with snow so we are sticking with the southern schools.
We did a big college road trip down through CA in mid-August and got caught in the first big round of fires which put a damper on things. Driving from Redding south it was smoke everywhere. We visited USF, Santa Clara, USC, the Claremont Colleges, and Occidental. No UC schools because what is the point if you are out of state. The only CA school she decided to apply to was Occidental, partly because it is Obama's Alma Matter, and partly because it was the nicest campus and the nicest setting/neighborhood of any of the CA schools that we visited. USF was too urban and concrete. Santa Clara was kind of meh. The surrounding town is pretty suburban and she didn't find it very interesting. USC is kind of a fortress with big walls in the middle of a nondescript urban part of LA. She thought the Claremont colleges felt too "southern country club" and felt like the surrounding neighborhoods looked too much like North Dallas upscale suburbs. Occidental was the only school with a comfortable scenic campus in an interesting urban neighborhood of LA. She liked the Eagle Rock and Highland Park neighborhoods surrounding Occidental and thought it was a much nicer and more interesting place to go to school than Pomona way out in the edge of the suburbs. I think frankly she'll stay in the Pacific Northwest unless Occidental comes through with a really attractive offer which I don't think is particularly likely. It feels like the kind of place where you need a big checkbook. The Loyola Marymount campus was locked down and we couldn't visit. And we didn't bother to check out Stanford.
Did you get any admittances yet? So far we got University of Iowa, ASU Tempe, University of Alabama and UNLV. We’re still waiting for UT Austin, Clemson and U Georgia, those 3 are his top choices.
We don’t have much faith in UCs since they will want out of state students to charge them higher tuition to make up the budget losses.
She has admittance letters and merit scholarship offers from Western Washington, Washington State, and University of Oregon. Still waiting to hear from University of Washington (her top choice) and all the private schools she applied to.
Awesome? Can I ask how much was the scholarship for university of Oregon? You can PM me if you don’t want it on this thread.
Wishing your daughter good luck for UWashingon.

We won’t know about UCalifornia until March.
She got the $10,000/yr. out-of-state Summit Award for having GPA above 3.9 (she had a 3.96). Apparently they only used GPA and not SAT scores this year. Since the out-of-state tuition premium at UO is $25,000 on top of the regular tuition, that drops the total cost down to $15,000 above being in-state. So for us it would still be about $15,000 more than going in-state to UW. She also applied for the Stamps scholarship which is a separate application and larger, but hasn't heard about that. I would be shocked if she got it as it is very competitive.

She also got $4,000 and $5,000 in-state merit awards from WWU and WSU. So those would be about $20,000/year cheaper than UO. Reportedly UW doesn't do much in the way of merit awards. They don't have to. She doesn't dislike the other options, but UW is her first choice.
Last edited by texasdiver on Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Thegame14
Posts: 1863
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Shopping for college

Post by Thegame14 »

manatee2005 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:01 pm My son is a HS senior and will be applying to colleges soon.

I’ve heard that if you get accepted, the colleges will send you something like a cost of attendance sheet that lists any financial aid the student will get. I’ve also heard that this can be negotiated.

Has anyone done this few months ago for their 2020/2021 freshman?

Also, can people tell me true cost of attendance with room and board? I see tuition of say 15k but by the time you add room and board it’s $30k. And some colleges give scholarship so a school that’s listed as $50k actually costs $20k.

Any help this parents of 2020/2021 freshmen can provide would be great.
Make sure you check FEES!!!! This sounds dumb, but schools now hide the true cost with INSANE fees, so for example you make take a stated cost of $500 per credit and think ok a three credit course then is $1,500, ok, how about add another $1,000 in fees and it is really $2,500 or $800 per credit...
texasdiver
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Shopping for college

Post by texasdiver »

Thegame14 wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:54 am
manatee2005 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:01 pm My son is a HS senior and will be applying to colleges soon.

I’ve heard that if you get accepted, the colleges will send you something like a cost of attendance sheet that lists any financial aid the student will get. I’ve also heard that this can be negotiated.

Has anyone done this few months ago for their 2020/2021 freshman?

Also, can people tell me true cost of attendance with room and board? I see tuition of say 15k but by the time you add room and board it’s $30k. And some colleges give scholarship so a school that’s listed as $50k actually costs $20k.

Any help this parents of 2020/2021 freshmen can provide would be great.
Make sure you check FEES!!!! This sounds dumb, but schools now hide the true cost with INSANE fees, so for example you make take a stated cost of $500 per credit and think ok a three credit course then is $1,500, ok, how about add another $1,000 in fees and it is really $2,500 or $800 per credit...
Every college and university web site has published cost-of-attendance estimates including the fees for in-state and out-of-state students. Sometimes they break it down further for on-campus housing, off-campus housing, living at home, etc. This is UW-Seattle https://admit.washington.edu/costs/coa/ So you can do apples-to-apples comparisons of different schools and create your own spread sheet. Obviously it is an estimate as each student takes different loads and has different housing/meal costs. Sometimes they use different estimates for things like transportation and incidentals so you can adjust them to make it consistent across schools to get a real idea. You may have to drill down to find the fees in the fine print. But they do publish them. Here is the fee table for UO, for example: https://registrar.uoregon.edu/costs/tui ... continuing Fees are $787/semester for undergrads this fall. By contrast another school we are looking at includes fees in the tuition part of the cost of attendance estimate.

What you can't do is estimate how much they will go up in 2022, 2023, 2024, etc. No one can know that. But I expect the higher education marketplace to be more harsh post-Covid, so higher tuitions and fees in many states. Something has to give.
Topic Author
manatee2005
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

texasdiver wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:50 am
manatee2005 wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 2:44 pm
texasdiver wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 2:39 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 7:14 pm
texasdiver wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:51 pm

We did a big college road trip down through CA in mid-August and got caught in the first big round of fires which put a damper on things. Driving from Redding south it was smoke everywhere. We visited USF, Santa Clara, USC, the Claremont Colleges, and Occidental. No UC schools because what is the point if you are out of state. The only CA school she decided to apply to was Occidental, partly because it is Obama's Alma Matter, and partly because it was the nicest campus and the nicest setting/neighborhood of any of the CA schools that we visited. USF was too urban and concrete. Santa Clara was kind of meh. The surrounding town is pretty suburban and she didn't find it very interesting. USC is kind of a fortress with big walls in the middle of a nondescript urban part of LA. She thought the Claremont colleges felt too "southern country club" and felt like the surrounding neighborhoods looked too much like North Dallas upscale suburbs. Occidental was the only school with a comfortable scenic campus in an interesting urban neighborhood of LA. She liked the Eagle Rock and Highland Park neighborhoods surrounding Occidental and thought it was a much nicer and more interesting place to go to school than Pomona way out in the edge of the suburbs. I think frankly she'll stay in the Pacific Northwest unless Occidental comes through with a really attractive offer which I don't think is particularly likely. It feels like the kind of place where you need a big checkbook. The Loyola Marymount campus was locked down and we couldn't visit. And we didn't bother to check out Stanford.
Did you get any admittances yet? So far we got University of Iowa, ASU Tempe, University of Alabama and UNLV. We’re still waiting for UT Austin, Clemson and U Georgia, those 3 are his top choices.
We don’t have much faith in UCs since they will want out of state students to charge them higher tuition to make up the budget losses.
She has admittance letters and merit scholarship offers from Western Washington, Washington State, and University of Oregon. Still waiting to hear from University of Washington (her top choice) and all the private schools she applied to.
Awesome? Can I ask how much was the scholarship for university of Oregon? You can PM me if you don’t want it on this thread.
Wishing your daughter good luck for UWashingon.

We won’t know about UCalifornia until March.
She got the $10,000/yr. out-of-state Summit Award for having GPA above 3.9 (she had a 3.96). Apparently they only used GPA and not SAT scores this year. Since the out-of-state tuition premium at UO is $25,000 on top of the regular tuition, that drops the total cost down to $15,000 above being in-state. So for us it would still be about $15,000 more than going in-state to UW. She also applied for the Stamps scholarship which is a separate application and larger, but hasn't heard about that. I would be shocked if she got it as it is very competitive.

She also got $4,000 and $5,000 in-state merit awards from WWU and WSU. So those would be about $20,000/year cheaper than UO. Reportedly UW doesn't do much in the way of merit awards. They don't have to. She doesn't dislike the other options, but UW is her first choice.
With 3.96 your daughter will definitely get in UW.

UCs in state are still 40k and if you make a lot of money you don’t get any aid. And good UCs have 15-20% acceptance rate. And most have only a few majors. YC system is terrible.
I’m jealous of people who live in South Carolina, Georgia, Iowa. Arizona etc that have good and affordable state schools.
IMO
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Re: Shopping for college

Post by IMO »

Arizona is part of WUE and seems to offer most of its major universities up for attendance. CA is pretty crappy at what they bring to the table for WUE.

I always think just the tuition should be discused. Housing is housing, a kid not going to college is still going pay housing/living expenses. Right now just grocery store food for kid comes in at $350/month or $4200/yr. I dont think thats a fair comparison to having a college meal plan which is more like buying fast food prepared for them at every meal.

Many kids (and parents) choose to not to try to get into CA state or UC school that is reasonably within commuting distance from their home. Choose is the operative word. Very few places in CA dont have a UC or state school nearby. I get it, the college experience...

We dont hear people complain about how their 18 to 22 yr old who took a blue collar job and how they have to pay for room and board for those 4 yrs.

BUT I GET IT, I am shopping for colleges for a kid now. Yeah housing cost matter, but part of me feels "well they'd have to pay for housing in the real world if they weren't in college." And then I ask how much is just the tuition and fees part? For many instate tuition rates, its about what daycare was when they were a kid 17 yrs ago (before adjusting that for inflation).

Edit: just looked up random Cal State tuition $7000 and UC $13000 in state . And out of curiosty 17 yrs ago that would be $5000 and $9000 back then which would be in line with our daycare then in a MCOL area at that time.

Even more intersting if I did the math right, that adjusts back down to $346/month and $500/month tuition rates when I was back in those particular brands of college. If thats correct, doesnt make for great click bait on in-state tuition and the issues with college tuition costs nowadays. Had to check my math, is that right ? Now private schools, that can be a different topic.
Topic Author
manatee2005
Posts: 1719
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:17 pm

Re: Shopping for college

Post by manatee2005 »

IMO wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:26 am Arizona is part of WUE and seems to offer most of its major universities up for attendance. CA is pretty crappy at what they bring to the table for WUE.

I always think just the tuition should be discused. Housing is housing, a kid not going to college is still going pay housing/living expenses. Right now just grocery store food for kid comes in at $350/month or $4200/yr. I dont think thats a fair comparison to having a college meal plan which is more like buying fast food prepared for them at every meal.

Many kids (and parents) choose to not to try to get into CA state or UC school that is reasonably within commuting distance from their home. Choose is the operative word. Very few places in CA dont have a UC or state school nearby. I get it, the college experience...

We dont hear people complain about how their 18 to 22 yr old who took a blue collar job and how they have to pay for room and board for those 4 yrs.

BUT I GET IT, I am shopping for colleges for a kid now. Yeah housing cost matter, but part of me feels "well they'd have to pay for housing in the real world if they weren't in college." And then I ask how much is just the tuition and fees part? For many instate tuition rates, its about what daycare was when they were a kid 17 yrs ago (before adjusting that for inflation).

Edit: just looked up random Cal State tuition $7000 and UC $13000 in state . And out of curiosty 17 yrs ago that would be $5000 and $9000 back then which would be in line with our daycare then in a MCOL area at that time.

Even more intersting if I did the math right, that adjusts back down to $346/month and $500/month tuition rates when I was back in those particular brands of college. If thats correct, doesnt make for great click bait on in-state tuition and the issues with college tuition costs nowadays. Had to check my math, is that right ? Now private schools, that can be a different topic.
My biggest problem with UCs is how they don’t offer big majors in every location. My son is going for business and a lot of UC campuses don’t even have a business major. Only Berkeley, Irvine and Riverside do. This is the most populous state in the country and only three campuses offer business majors. Then you have Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, UC Irvine that are almost impossible to get in and have high rejection rates. Riverside, Santa Cruz and Merced aren’t regarded as high quality compared to those previous ones. And riverside and Merced campuses are terrible.
Then you have cal states which are mostly a joke. Who wants to go to Cal state Bakersfield??
Cal poly SLO and Cal Poly Pomona are good ones but also not easy to get into even though they are part of cal state system.
And even San Diego state which 20 years ago would accept anyone who knew how to spell fish taco, is all of a sudden very selective because of so much interest in California schools.
Sorry for being negative, my son has went through California school system from K to 12 and I feel like there’s no good business program for him in the largest state in the Union. We’re stuck with out of state or private schools.
texasdiver
Posts: 3633
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Shopping for college

Post by texasdiver »

IMO wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:26 am Arizona is part of WUE and seems to offer most of its major universities up for attendance. CA is pretty crappy at what they bring to the table for WUE.

I always think just the tuition should be discused. Housing is housing, a kid not going to college is still going pay housing/living expenses. Right now just grocery store food for kid comes in at $350/month or $4200/yr. I dont think thats a fair comparison to having a college meal plan which is more like buying fast food prepared for them at every meal.

Many kids (and parents) choose to not to try to get into CA state or UC school that is reasonably within commuting distance from their home. Choose is the operative word. Very few places in CA dont have a UC or state school nearby. I get it, the college experience...

We dont hear people complain about how their 18 to 22 yr old who took a blue collar job and how they have to pay for room and board for those 4 yrs.

BUT I GET IT, I am shopping for colleges for a kid now. Yeah housing cost matter, but part of me feels "well they'd have to pay for housing in the real world if they weren't in college." And then I ask how much is just the tuition and fees part? For many instate tuition rates, its about what daycare was when they were a kid 17 yrs ago (before adjusting that for inflation).

Edit: just looked up random Cal State tuition $7000 and UC $13000 in state . And out of curiosty 17 yrs ago that would be $5000 and $9000 back then which would be in line with our daycare then in a MCOL area at that time.

Even more intersting if I did the math right, that adjusts back down to $346/month and $500/month tuition rates when I was back in those particular brands of college. If thats correct, doesnt make for great click bait on in-state tuition and the issues with college tuition costs nowadays. Had to check my math, is that right ? Now private schools, that can be a different topic.
As a WA resident we looked into WUE but ultimately decided not to apply to any WUE schools. The only out-of-state public school she applied to was UO which isn't part of WUE. The WUE school that most heavily recruited my daughter was Montana State. She got at least a dozen mailing from them and it seems a pretty popular choice for some students from her HS, especially for athletes who don't get into Pac-12 schools.

I agree, AZ seems to bring the most to the table. University of Utah sort of participates in the program. Essentially they offer merit scholarships to students from WUE states who have at least a 3.0 that are equal to 150% of the in-state tuition: https://financialaid.utah.edu/types-of- ... change.php So Utah is probably worth a look for CA residents too. It's a reputable Pac-12 school. In-state tuition at Utah is $9,286 and out of state tuition is $29,996. If I'm doing the math right, the WUE merit scholarship would bring tuition for WUE students down to $13,929 which is the equivalent of a $16,000/year merit scholarship.

Here in the Pacific Northwest I would suggest that Western Washington University is the top choice for WUE schools. It is popular with Alaskans use use WUE to attend but seems off the radar for students from outside the Pacific NW.
texasdiver
Posts: 3633
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Shopping for college

Post by texasdiver »

manatee2005 wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:44 am
IMO wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:26 am Arizona is part of WUE and seems to offer most of its major universities up for attendance. CA is pretty crappy at what they bring to the table for WUE.

I always think just the tuition should be discused. Housing is housing, a kid not going to college is still going pay housing/living expenses. Right now just grocery store food for kid comes in at $350/month or $4200/yr. I dont think thats a fair comparison to having a college meal plan which is more like buying fast food prepared for them at every meal.

Many kids (and parents) choose to not to try to get into CA state or UC school that is reasonably within commuting distance from their home. Choose is the operative word. Very few places in CA dont have a UC or state school nearby. I get it, the college experience...

We dont hear people complain about how their 18 to 22 yr old who took a blue collar job and how they have to pay for room and board for those 4 yrs.

BUT I GET IT, I am shopping for colleges for a kid now. Yeah housing cost matter, but part of me feels "well they'd have to pay for housing in the real world if they weren't in college." And then I ask how much is just the tuition and fees part? For many instate tuition rates, its about what daycare was when they were a kid 17 yrs ago (before adjusting that for inflation).

Edit: just looked up random Cal State tuition $7000 and UC $13000 in state . And out of curiosty 17 yrs ago that would be $5000 and $9000 back then which would be in line with our daycare then in a MCOL area at that time.

Even more intersting if I did the math right, that adjusts back down to $346/month and $500/month tuition rates when I was back in those particular brands of college. If thats correct, doesnt make for great click bait on in-state tuition and the issues with college tuition costs nowadays. Had to check my math, is that right ? Now private schools, that can be a different topic.
My biggest problem with UCs is how they don’t offer big majors in every location. My son is going for business and a lot of UC campuses don’t even have a business major. Only Berkeley, Irvine and Riverside do. This is the most populous state in the country and only three campuses offer business majors. Then you have Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, UC Irvine that are almost impossible to get in and have high rejection rates. Riverside, Santa Cruz and Merced aren’t regarded as high quality compared to those previous ones. And riverside and Merced campuses are terrible.
Then you have cal states which are mostly a joke. Who wants to go to Cal state Bakersfield??
Cal poly SLO and Cal Poly Pomona are good ones but also not easy to get into even though they are part of cal state system.
And even San Diego state which 20 years ago would accept anyone who knew how to spell fish taco, is all of a sudden very selective because of so much interest in California schools.
Sorry for being negative, my son has went through California school system from K to 12 and I feel like there’s no good business program for him in the largest state in the Union. We’re stuck with out of state or private schools.
Look at WUE for University of Utah, Arizona State, and Arizona would be my suggestion.
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