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Old 08-24-2012, 07:06 PM   #91
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I agree with you about visiting a school that you think they might not like. In our case, we visited a state school that I didn't think I would like (for him). Turns out that he loved it, and I liked it better than I thought I would. It is near the top of the list now!

Can you further explain what you said about the FAFSA and how they do not count the first $40+K if a parent is 45 or older? Are you talking about money in savings- or assets combined? My DH will be 47 in October

I am really nervous about the whole money thing. My DS has savings bonds that face value total about $15,000 but they aren't mature. My DH has a 401K, we have about ten grand in savings in our name. DS17 has about two grand in savings, and DS13 has about the same. Will they really count DS13's savings against us?! That is awful!! Between the two of us, we work 3 jobs and make about $60K a year. We aren't rolling in it.... To make matters probably worse, I don't think DS will be getting any merit aid-
From everything I've seen with people around me, you have to be fairly dirt poor to get any grant money. While I'm sure that you feel strapped at $60,000 annually, by FAFSA's standards, I don't think you're poor enough.

And, yep, they will include you child's savings in the calculation. That's what this is about--determining how much to loan or grant people for college. If you've been able to save money, they want you to use it. Grants are really for people that are so strapped that no matter what they did, they couldn't save.

I got a Pell Grant once for college. I was newly married to an E-3 in the military and could not get a job myself because we lived in a remote area. I kid you not, I was B.R.O.K.E. I could barely afford to buy groceries. It was terrible. Even with that and it was the more generous 1980s, I still didn't get enough grants to cover it all.

My friend's niece did get Pell Grants for most of her tuition but that was because her dad was a lifelong welfare recipient and her mother hardly made any money and lived in a high cost of living area, plus had 3 kids. Her mother then unexpectedly died and she started receiving full Pell Grants.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:18 PM   #92
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Well, we have made a few modifications to our list. After really looking at Evansville's course requirements, we have decided to drop it from the list. I know it has a good theatre reputation, but there is a lot of core for a BFA. We have schools like that here and would get in state tuition plus HOPE. So, that has been dropped.

I have given so much thought to CMU vs University of the Arts. Although I know UArts gives good aid, I've also heard from quite a few that it just isn't enough. Although I think she has no shot at CMU, I am just about leaning toward going for it. We will already be visiting Pittsburgh for Point Park at some time, so why not just shoot for CMU, too? It's the ultimate stretch (even beyond UNCSA and Purchase, I think), but if she doesn't try, we'll never know.
I am so glad you added CMU to your list; I know it is extremely hard to get into but so worth it if your daughter ends up getting in. Good Luck
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:18 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by ugadog99 View Post
Well, we have made a few modifications to our list. After really looking at Evansville's course requirements, we have decided to drop it from the list. I know it has a good theatre reputation, but there is a lot of core for a BFA. We have schools like that here and would get in state tuition plus HOPE. So, that has been dropped.

I have given so much thought to CMU vs University of the Arts. Although I know UArts gives good aid, I've also heard from quite a few that it just isn't enough. Although I think she has no shot at CMU, I am just about leaning toward going for it. We will already be visiting Pittsburgh for Point Park at some time, so why not just shoot for CMU, too? It's the ultimate stretch (even beyond UNCSA and Purchase, I think), but if she doesn't try, we'll never know.
CMU= Carnegie Mellon? My friends son goes there. He is a junior this year. He loves it, but it is quite pricey. He got a good aid package.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:28 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by marcyinPA View Post
CMU= Carnegie Mellon? My friends son goes there. He is a junior this year. He loves it, but it is quite pricey. He got a good aid package.
Yes, Carnegie Mellon, but we have to do more research into what is required in the portfolio before finally deciding if she will apply. CMU is a top notch theatre school and beyond competitive, so I don't know....we'll see.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:05 PM   #95
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Just dropped off son#1 at school - so exciting!

The only word of advice I have (and MarcyPA - your situation sounds a lot like ours) is that all this talk about moving money around for FAFSA is really not worth it. Our EFC was about 28% or so of our gross reported to IRS. No - that is not the formula - that was just our experience. We had about $20,000 or so in savings at the time, and our son had $6000 in a college savings plan through USAA. The difference in our EFC and the total bill from his school was about $8,000 or so. We were offered LOANS. I don't know why folks think they are going to get grants - or free money. Even if you can't afford it , it is a LOAN for most. And of course us giving up 28% of our gross, or having saved at that rate for the last 18 years is a bit crazy. Said son was almost 3 before our yearly gross went over $50,000.

Your yearly income has to be extremely low to receive free money from the gov't as a result of your FAFSA, However, some colleges (especially private) may use this info to extend money to you. Our state school doesn't do this. Just be sure your sitting down when your EFC is calculated. It's a hoot!

This was just our experience - I wrongly thought that financial need = grants when I heard about FAFSA. Nope, it's loans for most. However, we did fill out the FAFSA because the school required it for any financial aid including small private scholarships. He did receive a $1,000 scholarship from an alum from his HS that went through the same program at his college. We will also fill it out next year because we will unfortunately probably need a loan, and there are small subsidized loans offered.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:24 PM   #96
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What would you do differently? We are all open to learning from others experiences.

Our DD is a junior but we have already started the process. Her summers are packed as is her school year so we have to do things slowly as there is time.
We always have stressed a good education to DS, it seems as far back as kindergarten DS was always a good student, not GAP in younger years but a solid A/B student. He took some honors classes in HS, no AP classes. In his younger years he did a lot of community service but it dropped off as he got older. He did work throughout HS. That is a bit of background. However, what I would do different is take a step back and listen to his wants. It is ok to encourage and suggest ideas but remember that this is their journey. DH and I got so hung up on what others were doing and what THEY thought we (and DS) should do. I feel that we were pushing him too hard to do what we thought...more so our dream and not his.

DS always said he wanted a D3 school for sports as he didn't play baseball for the HS as he didn't like how it ran. He wanted to be a walk on player. DH and I were on him so much as if he was trying for ivy league. Nearly badgering to do community service or take AP classes. Our HS is highly ranked and he had 450 graduates...he was ranked in the top 20% In the end he was accepted at 6 of the 7 schools he applied to. He did what he needed to do for him but we went nuts and should have listened more to what he wanted. For the schools he wanted he had the SAT scores well above where he needed to be first shot out yet I had him taking them 4 times and the ACTs 3 times. This sort of thing. It all created more stress than needed to be.

Talking to my neighbor who has a high school senior this year she and DH offered to by their DS a car if he went to community college. Basically to save money. A no go. But she said the same thing it is their journey. We are there to guide them but it's time for them to start being more responsible.

We know people that have made their boys become eagle scouts, dragging them through as it was the parents dream. Point being, sometimes it's hard to let them start living their life

Now that I've rambled on, hope that makes sense and helps
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:31 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by ColoradoMom!! View Post
Just dropped off son#1 at school - so exciting!

The only word of advice I have (and MarcyPA - your situation sounds a lot like ours) is that all this talk about moving money around for FAFSA is really not worth it. Our EFC was about 28% or so of our gross reported to IRS. No - that is not the formula - that was just our experience. We had about $20,000 or so in savings at the time, and our son had $6000 in a college savings plan through USAA. The difference in our EFC and the total bill from his school was about $8,000 or so. We were offered LOANS. I don't know why folks think they are going to get grants - or free money. Even if you can't afford it , it is a LOAN for most. And of course us giving up 28% of our gross, or having saved at that rate for the last 18 years is a bit crazy. Said son was almost 3 before our yearly gross went over $50,000.

Your yearly income has to be extremely low to receive free money from the gov't as a result of your FAFSA, However, some colleges (especially private) may use this info to extend money to you. Our state school doesn't do this. Just be sure your sitting down when your EFC is calculated. It's a hoot!

This was just our experience - I wrongly thought that financial need = grants when I heard about FAFSA. Nope, it's loans for most. However, we did fill out the FAFSA because the school required it for any financial aid including small private scholarships. He did receive a $1,000 scholarship from an alum from his HS that went through the same program at his college. We will also fill it out next year because we will unfortunately probably need a loan, and there are small subsidized loans offered.
Totally agree with you. We went through it last year for the first time and were stunned. The EFC was laughable. DS was offered a subsidized and unsubsidized stafford LOAN. We had even gone to several financial aid meetings and do not believe things are presented in such a way that it is made clear that most do not get grants. Unless we needed a seminar for dummies. I do not know anyone that has gotten grants.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:47 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by ColoradoMom!! View Post
Just dropped off son#1 at school - so exciting!

The only word of advice I have (and MarcyPA - your situation sounds a lot like ours) is that all this talk about moving money around for FAFSA is really not worth it. Our EFC was about 28% or so of our gross reported to IRS. No - that is not the formula - that was just our experience. We had about $20,000 or so in savings at the time, and our son had $6000 in a college savings plan through USAA. The difference in our EFC and the total bill from his school was about $8,000 or so. We were offered LOANS. I don't know why folks think they are going to get grants - or free money. Even if you can't afford it , it is a LOAN for most. And of course us giving up 28% of our gross, or having saved at that rate for the last 18 years is a bit crazy. Said son was almost 3 before our yearly gross went over $50,000.

Your yearly income has to be extremely low to receive free money from the gov't as a result of your FAFSA, However, some colleges (especially private) may use this info to extend money to you. Our state school doesn't do this. Just be sure your sitting down when your EFC is calculated. It's a hoot!

This was just our experience - I wrongly thought that financial need = grants when I heard about FAFSA. Nope, it's loans for most. However, we did fill out the FAFSA because the school required it for any financial aid including small private scholarships. He did receive a $1,000 scholarship from an alum from his HS that went through the same program at his college. We will also fill it out next year because we will unfortunately probably need a loan, and there are small subsidized loans offered.
I think the conventional wisdom is that the EFC will generally be around 1/3 of your income.(rough estimate, not an absolute). To get a Pell grant (free money from the government) you have to be pretty low income. I think there are other qualifiers like if a parent is on disability, etc.

There are online EFC calculators that you can run to get an idea of what you will be dealing with. I think some schools have these on their websites as well.
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:57 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by allison443 View Post
I think the conventional wisdom is that the EFC will generally be around 1/3 of your income.(rough estimate, not an absolute). To get a Pell grant (free money from the government) you have to be pretty low income. I think there are other qualifiers like if a parent is on disability, etc.

There are online EFC calculators that you can run to get an idea of what you will be dealing with. I think some schools have these on their websites as well.
Colleges and universities are legally required to have a EFC calculator on their websites.
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:01 PM   #100
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I'm back, again. The list has been modified once more!

We sat down this morning and really looked at the portfolio requirements for CMU. She doesn't have the material to even consider applying. Their requirements are just at a different level than others. I think she would be a great asset to their program, but she hasn't been involved in a program here that allows the design experiences that CMU requires. It would have been amazing to have been accepted, but we have to be realistic, somewhat, anyway.

We have found two schools that require NO math for its BFA students: Purchase and Otterbein. Purchase was already on the list, but Otterbein is a new addition. (Well, not new but back on the list now.) Purchase is going to be very difficult for admission (not grades but artistically), but Otterbein may be a bit easier.

I'm still really up in the air about University of the Arts. It is so, so expensive, but they do have a reputation of giving great aid. However, I've also been told by several that the great aid is still not enough because the COA is just so high. I don't know, I guess it wouldn't hurt to try.

So, another weekend of applications for her and for me another weekend of trying to get the binder organized, letters requested, and maybe, just maybe a schedule of visitations arranged.
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:08 PM   #101
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We always have stressed a good education to DS, it seems as far back as kindergarten DS was always a good student, not GAP in younger years but a solid A/B student. He took some honors classes in HS, no AP classes. In his younger years he did a lot of community service but it dropped off as he got older. He did work throughout HS. That is a bit of background. However, what I would do different is take a step back and listen to his wants. It is ok to encourage and suggest ideas but remember that this is their journey. DH and I got so hung up on what others were doing and what THEY thought we (and DS) should do. I feel that we were pushing him too hard to do what we thought...more so our dream and not his.

DS always said he wanted a D3 school for sports as he didn't play baseball for the HS as he didn't like how it ran. He wanted to be a walk on player. DH and I were on him so much as if he was trying for ivy league. Nearly badgering to do community service or take AP classes. Our HS is highly ranked and he had 450 graduates...he was ranked in the top 20% In the end he was accepted at 6 of the 7 schools he applied to. He did what he needed to do for him but we went nuts and should have listened more to what he wanted. For the schools he wanted he had the SAT scores well above where he needed to be first shot out yet I had him taking them 4 times and the ACTs 3 times. This sort of thing. It all created more stress than needed to be.

Talking to my neighbor who has a high school senior this year she and DH offered to by their DS a car if he went to community college. Basically to save money. A no go. But she said the same thing it is their journey. We are there to guide them but it's time for them to start being more responsible.

We know people that have made their boys become eagle scouts, dragging them through as it was the parents dream. Point being, sometimes it's hard to let them start living their life

Now that I've rambled on, hope that makes sense and helps
Thank you for your candor. This is a good reminder and I hope I can keep this in mind throughout the process.
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Old 08-25-2012, 03:25 PM   #102
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I thought when you took the ACT you selected what universities to send the results directly to.
Most people don't take advantage of the free results sent because they want to see their scores before sending their best ones to the college of their choice. I know my son & daughter have both done that. It costs $10 per school to send later -- well worth it for many students.

My DS has been accepted to 1 rolling admissions school already (sister goes there so its a bit lower on his list), one rolling we are waiting for the school to send transcripts (don't start til Monday) and 3 schools that all accept the common app. He hasn't even started the essays yet and 2 of those are his top schools. Yikes! Between soccer everyday but Sunday & school starting, I hope he makes the time this weekend as promised.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:31 AM   #103
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How are those applications coming? Everyone surviving the process?

One application done here, many more to go! Two angry outbursts, one tearful moment, and yet DD survived the one application. Well, I assume she survived, she grabbed her cat and is cuddling in her room with it, possible still crying.

Poor kid, I know she is nervous about all the changes, but she is making herself a mess with her sudden indecision! She was back and forth on her choice of major on the application, because she suddenly doesn't know if she wants to study Elementary Education or Psychology! I thought she figured this out this summer, but now she is second guessing herself.

She is worried about her grades, wishing she had gone in for more help in Honors Chemistry sophomore year, because that "D" is not looking so good!

And on it goes, so much pressure.

Elder DD's college application process was traumatic because she was just such a terrible procrastinator, and put off getting everything done until the weekend before it was due! And she only applied to one school, but luckily got in!

Younger DD is not the procrastinator, but she instead puts so much pressure on herself to do everything "perfectly", that she just falls apart worrying about the decisions she makes. These next couple of weekends of college applications are not going to be fun, because she has 5 schools she is applying to, and fears not getting into any of them!

I am staying out of this as much as possible, because I know she isn't mad at me, just mad at the fear of the future, but nothing I say will help at this time, so I am going to go and bake some cookies for when she calms back down.

Some days, I am glad I only had two children!
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:14 PM   #104
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How are those applications coming? Everyone surviving the process?

One application done here, many more to go! Two angry outbursts, one tearful moment, and yet DD survived the one application. Well, I assume she survived, she grabbed her cat and is cuddling in her room with it, possible still crying.

Poor kid, I know she is nervous about all the changes, but she is making herself a mess with her sudden indecision! She was back and forth on her choice of major on the application, because she suddenly doesn't know if she wants to study Elementary Education or Psychology! I thought she figured this out this summer, but now she is second guessing herself.

She is worried about her grades, wishing she had gone in for more help in Honors Chemistry sophomore year, because that "D" is not looking so good!

And on it goes, so much pressure.

Elder DD's college application process was traumatic because she was just such a terrible procrastinator, and put off getting everything done until the weekend before it was due! And she only applied to one school, but luckily got in!

Younger DD is not the procrastinator, but she instead puts so much pressure on herself to do everything "perfectly", that she just falls apart worrying about the decisions she makes. These next couple of weekends of college applications are not going to be fun, because she has 5 schools she is applying to, and fears not getting into any of them!

I am staying out of this as much as possible, because I know she isn't mad at me, just mad at the fear of the future, but nothing I say will help at this time, so I am going to go and bake some cookies for when she calms back down.

Some days, I am glad I only had two children!
Oh goodness, can we relate to this here! I want to offer up my thoughts on El Ed vs. psychology. My DS17 is interested in psychology with a counseling concentration, but he knows he wants to go to seminary after to be a youth pastor. Everyone we have talked to who is in the field has said you really can't do too much with a bachelors in psych. In order to find a decent job, you have to go on for your masters. Some have even gone as far as to say that a bachelors in psych is useless. Just something to keep in mind as she decides.

El Ed was my major- but I graduated at a time when jobs for teachers were scarce. It is looking like we are back in those kind of times again- but she might be OK if she is willing to teach in an inner city environment.

My DS has two apps started and saved- but it's the essays that he is dragging his feet on. He is a big time procrastinator. We have also had the tears, the angry outbursts and the "just let me do it my way" conversations. I know he is afraid and this is how it is coming out. In fact, I know he is terrified. He approaches every new situation with trepidation, so of course, this is a HUGE new situation. I just keep telling him we are here to back him up, etc. etc.

Best of luck to your DD throughout the process!!
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:31 PM   #105
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How are those applications coming? Everyone surviving the process?

One application done here, many more to go! Two angry outbursts, one tearful moment, and yet DD survived the one application. Well, I assume she survived, she grabbed her cat and is cuddling in her room with it, possible still crying.
Not a good weekend for us at all!!! It is 4:30 on Sunday afternoon with ZERO apps done!

Right now she is (under extreme force) practicing for ACT. I realize that the "theatre" schools don't put a lot of weight on grades and test scores, but seriously, she has to get a higher score than she did the first go round in June. Her attitude SUCKS this weekend. Everything we do is wrong, we are all against her, she hates us, yada, yada......

The idea this weekend was to try to narrow our list, but instead it has grown by one school. I will be so glad when this year is over and she is off somewhere. We have always had a difficult relationship, but this year is going to test us beyond anything we've ever done.
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