Choosing a school before financial aid awards?

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chisoxfan
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:30 pm

Choosing a school before financial aid awards?

Postby chisoxfan » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:31 pm

I apologize if this has been asked before. I haven't seen anything exactly like this, so I thought I'd put it out there. I've been looking at financial aid pages at a number of schools and financial aid award letters seem to come mid-April or later.

How do you pick a school before getting your aid letters? Or is the assumption that if you've already been advised about any merit aid you'll get, the rest will be loans?

Any and all advise on this much appreciated!

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ATOIsp07
Posts: 333
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 9:53 pm

Re: Choosing a school before financial aid awards?

Postby ATOIsp07 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:35 pm

I'm selecting my schools based on:

1.) Location
2.) Rankings
3.) Alumni feedback

However, when the finaid award decisions are doled out, these things could change.

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pleasetryagain
Posts: 762
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 1:04 am

Re: Choosing a school before financial aid awards?

Postby pleasetryagain » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:38 pm

ATOIsp07 wrote:I'm selecting my schools based on:

1.) Location
2.) Rankings
3.) Alumni feedback

However, when the finaid award decisions are doled out, these things could change.


That doesn't quite answer the question.

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ATOIsp07
Posts: 333
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 9:53 pm

Re: Choosing a school before financial aid awards?

Postby ATOIsp07 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:40 pm

pleasetryagain wrote:
ATOIsp07 wrote:I'm selecting my schools based on:

1.) Location
2.) Rankings
3.) Alumni feedback

However, when the finaid award decisions are doled out, these things could change.


That doesn't quite answer the question.



Actually, it does. RC FAIL.

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pleasetryagain
Posts: 762
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 1:04 am

Re: Choosing a school before financial aid awards?

Postby pleasetryagain » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:43 pm

ATOIsp07 wrote:
Actually, it does. RC FAIL.


I will concede that it answers one of the questions.

but not this one

Or is the assumption that if you've already been advised about any merit aid you'll get, the rest will be loans?


To which the answer is probably "check with the schools."

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vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Choosing a school before financial aid awards?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:00 pm

Last cycle I heard from every school I was applying to before April 1 regarding financial aid. It is fairly safe to assume that if you don't receive any merit scholarships, most schools are going to just give you loans. However, some schools are pretty late on scholarships (last cycle, both UVA and BC waited until late March to notify me of merit aid).

Also, if you hear back from one school that you have qualified for Stafford/GradPLUS loans, you should expect to also receive them at any other schools, since they're federally-backed and involve the same simple credit check no matter where you go.

There may be a few schools that won't give you information before April 1, but you can contact them at some point in March and tell them you need to know by April 1 if possible so you can make an informed decision about where you're attending this fall. That should encourage them to let you know a little more quickly at least.




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