Getting Financial Aid if Your Parents Have Good Jobs
Note: This is part 7 of the transcript of the information contained in the video from VanderbiltUniversity about Applying for College – an Insiders Guide for Getting Into a Good College and it’s about getting Financial Aid if your parents have good jobs.
For the previous segment:
College Admissions Stress: How to Ease Your Stress During the College Admissions Process.
No need to over stress yourself in the college admissions process. Read More.
My parents have good jobs, but we haven’t saved much for college. Will I be able to get financial aid?
The first thing that I will tell you, independent, there are so many myths about “Will I get financial aid?” “Will I not get financial aid?” That my number one piece of advice is fill out the federal form that is required for all federal programs, and most schools, they take the federal form and then some will also have an additional of what’s called profile.
Fill those out because what I find students end up doing is; “Mom, here’s our next door neighbor. Didn’t get aid.” And they’ve made the impression in their mind that we must have more money than them so if they didn’t get it, we surely won’t get it.
It’s free, it’s takes an hour and a half to fill out. But I would highly first recommend that.
The other thing that they may do is depending on the student. Someone may not get a Pell Grant or a SEOG or some of the federal program. But institutions have need-based aid too. Particularly the school like Vanderbilt. We’re one of 25 to 30 schools in the United States that meets full demonstrated need and we’re hundred per cent need-blind.
So what that means is if you can afford to come based on our methodology, not based on what your parents think. So there’s a divide there. We’re going to make that up and gift a loan to you. Filling out the form at least let you know what you might get.
The other thing is that people confuse institutional funds with federal funds and a school like Vanderbilt, our average gift award is $30,000 a year per student. So that’s a lot of money. So some are getting more and some are getting less. But that’s the average gift.
And so apply and see first what you can get. You might not get any gift money but you may look at some structured loans, how they work and start a combination of what you can earn during the school year, what little your parents may or may not have set aside for you. How you will take some loans that are deferred, meaning you don’t have to start paying those back until upon graduation and all that.
So really applying is the first thing instead of what other families do is kind of psych themselves out of anything to begin with. Now that may end up being the case in the end. But you never know. I’ve just seen families who didn’t apply and then two years later I am talking to them like why you didn’t apply and they would’ve gotten something.
But they make assumptions of where their wealth is to the neighbor. Remember, a lot of federal aid and institutional aid has to do with income, number of dependents, extenuating circumstances, equity of homes, equity of assets, and it’s a complex picture that just making the judgment they didn’t get and I won’t. I sure – don’t find yourself in that spot.
Is a private school always more expensive than a state school?
That’s really hard to tell because what you really work at is the net cost to you after everything is paid. So a lot of times, in the state program, the tuition and the total cost is less but there’s less aid to give.
In a private education that costs us more, but then it’s adjusted for your income, and so to some degree, you can actually be equal or in some instances actually may be cheaper to go to in private school than a public school based on their financial aid policies. And so what you want to do is to make sure you’ve taken advantage of those three opportunities and analysis so you know.
The other thing is that sometimes families get really caught into where they think a lot of life is. And part of college is pointing out your bootstraps and changing that.
So if your family was here, whatever here is, and you have a sight you want to be here, the only way that you are going to get there is you got to be a full contributing member in this group of schools that will help get you there.