Harvard Financial Aid Q

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delusional
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Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby delusional » Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:53 pm

I had more or less ruled out Harvard as a possibility, but after a conversation with a 3L about their need-based aid, I'm not sure, it may be back in the running. Can someone tell me if these numbers make any sense?

My spouse and I both work, but we will both have to stop working to go to Cambridge. We have assets of about $100,000 including bank, 401k, mutual fund, and home equity. Split that in half because apparently they use only 50% for married students, and that's $50,000, or an expected contribution of roughly $15,000 a year (because they let you save a little for emergencies.) I am over 29, so my parents don't count.

Because I have married and two children, I am seemingly allowed to add on allowances of $14,400 for my wife, and another $14,400 for my kids to my COA of 70,100. Tack on $7500 for insurance for them, and $2,000 because I'm allowed to have a car, and my grand total COA is about $108,000
Subtract my expected contribution of $15,000 and the minimum loan contribution of $38,600 and my total loans are 53,600 - and my total aid is full tuition.

Let me say that again. According to what I can gather, it seems like I would qualify for a full ride at Harvard, despite owning a house and having had two incomes until this September. Can that possibly be true? If I'm missing something, what is it?

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:54 pm

Couldn't the Harvard finaid office give you a definitive answer on this?

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Nom Sawyer
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby Nom Sawyer » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:00 pm

Max grant at HLS is something around 26 to 32 thousand per year. Thus it sounds like you might qualify for close to the max grant, but it won't be a full tuition scholarship like you stated (although still a substantial amount)

delusional
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby delusional » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:10 pm

Nom Sawyer wrote:Max grant at HLS is something around 26 to 32 thousand per year. Thus it sounds like you might qualify for close to the max grant, but it won't be a full tuition scholarship like you stated (although still a substantial amount)

I understand the irony of asking for advice and then disagreeing with it, but if I'm reading this right, the minimum contribution is $38,600, and on a COL of $70,500that means the maximum grant is $32,000. But theoretically, if you have a higher COL because of allowances, the grant can go up to full tuition.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby delusional » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:11 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:Couldn't the Harvard finaid office give you a definitive answer on this?

Well, I'm sure they could, but I'd rather have my bubble burst by the warm fuzzies on TLS. Also, it's Sunday, and I just had this discussion a few minutes ago. I will call tomorrow.

The Real Jack McCoy
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby The Real Jack McCoy » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:15 pm

Nom Sawyer wrote:Max grant at HLS is something around 26 to 32 thousand per year. Thus it sounds like you might qualify for close to the max grant, but it won't be a full tuition scholarship like you stated (although still a substantial amount)


+1

I got max grant or incredibly close to it and was in this range for financial aid.

The Real Jack McCoy
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby The Real Jack McCoy » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:17 pm

delusional wrote:
Nom Sawyer wrote:Max grant at HLS is something around 26 to 32 thousand per year. Thus it sounds like you might qualify for close to the max grant, but it won't be a full tuition scholarship like you stated (although still a substantial amount)

I understand the irony of asking for advice and then disagreeing with it, but if I'm reading this right, the minimum contribution is $38,600, and on a COL of $70,500that means the maximum grant is $32,000. But theoretically, if you have a higher COL because of allowances, the grant can go up to full tuition.


There is also the $2, 500 minimum contribution.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:17 pm

I think your expected contribution might be higher than just $15,000. Though you'll be giving up your jobs to move, they'll be basing this year's aid off of your 2010 tax returns.

rundoxierun
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby rundoxierun » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:19 pm

The Real Jack McCoy wrote:
Nom Sawyer wrote:Max grant at HLS is something around 26 to 32 thousand per year. Thus it sounds like you might qualify for close to the max grant, but it won't be a full tuition scholarship like you stated (although still a substantial amount)


+1

I got max grant or incredibly close to it and was in this range for financial aid.


No. Op is correct on this one. The max grant for some with the standard COA is $29,800. The OP is in a situation where he will get a COA adjustment. Theoretically, the actual max grant is full tuition as the OP says.

Either way, just send in your stuff to the SFS office it only takes them like 10-15 days to get back to you.

ETA: I assumed Harvard policy was similar to Yale's... bad assumption on this one it appears.
Last edited by rundoxierun on Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:20 pm

tkgrrett wrote:
Either way, just send in your stuff to the SFS office it only takes them like 10-15 days to get back to you.


You think this, until they somehow lose files and you're delayed trying to fix their mistakes and it's over a month since you submitted stuff and you still have no reply....

rundoxierun
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby rundoxierun » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:24 pm

After a quick review.. It looks like OP has the Harvard policy confused with the Yale policy. While Yale policy is to automatically increase COA, it seems Harvard's policy is to give allowances toward income but not automatically adjust COA. Like others have said, You have a shot at a max grant but thats all (unless you can successfully get the COA adjustment).

Source: http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... rried.html

For the future, Harvard's sfs site answers pretty much any question you could have.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby delusional » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:26 pm

Here's what the website says about the cap. Earlier, it says:
Although financial aid packages vary in composition from one year to the next, some basic guidelines are followed each year. Student need is calculated by subtracting the available resources from a standard budget, which is set at $72,600 for 2011–12.


Later, it says in reference to people with a higher COA:
Any remaining need beyond the base loan amount is met with institutional grant aid. Grant eligibility is always capped at the rate of tuition, or $47,600 for 2011–12. Students with dependent children whose expenses create a grant need in excess of the rate of tuition will receive a subsidized HLS loan to meet that amount of additional need.


It would be really cool if I'm right. It could make moving to Cambridge as manageable or more manageable than commuting to Penn.

Either way, this whole setup (if I understand it right) results in the curious circumstance where if you get a SA job in the summer, you get to keep 7,200 dollars, and the rest of it goes to Harvard. It's a weird incentive to do PI.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby delusional » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:31 pm

tkgrrett wrote:After a quick review.. It looks like OP has the Harvard policy confused with the Yale policy. While Yale policy is to automatically increase COA, it seems Harvard's policy is to give allowances toward income but not automatically adjust COA. Like others have said, You have a shot at a max grant but thats all (unless you can successfully get the COA adjustment).

Source: http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... rried.html

For the future, Harvard's sfs site answers pretty much any question you could have.

Okay, so that's what I missed. All the allowances would not raise my COA but it would eliminate my expected contribution more or less. So my aid would end up being closer to the $32,000 range.

I had this question AFTER reading the SFS site. It's pretty dense, but it appears you cleared that up for me.

The Real Jack McCoy
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Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby The Real Jack McCoy » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:45 pm

tkgrrett wrote:
The Real Jack McCoy wrote:
Nom Sawyer wrote:Max grant at HLS is something around 26 to 32 thousand per year. Thus it sounds like you might qualify for close to the max grant, but it won't be a full tuition scholarship like you stated (although still a substantial amount)


+1

I got max grant or incredibly close to it and was in this range for financial aid.


No. Op is correct on this one. The max grant for some with the standard COA is $29,800. The OP is in a situation where he will get a COA adjustment. Theoretically, the actual max grant is full tuition as the OP says.

Either way, just send in your stuff to the SFS office it only takes them like 10-15 days to get back to you.

ETA: I assumed Harvard policy was similar to Yale's... bad assumption on this one it appears.


Sorry, OP, I should have read more carefully before posting. For the record, my grant was with standard COA, though the point seems moot now (unless you do get the COA adjustment).

delusional
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Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Harvard Financial Aid Q

Postby delusional » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:57 pm

delusional wrote:
tkgrrett wrote:After a quick review.. It looks like OP has the Harvard policy confused with the Yale policy. While Yale policy is to automatically increase COA, it seems Harvard's policy is to give allowances toward income but not automatically adjust COA. Like others have said, You have a shot at a max grant but thats all (unless you can successfully get the COA adjustment).

Source: http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... rried.html

For the future, Harvard's sfs site answers pretty much any question you could have.

Okay, so that's what I missed. All the allowances would not raise my COA but it would eliminate my expected contribution more or less. So my aid would end up being closer to the $32,000 range.

I had this question AFTER reading the SFS site. It's pretty dense, but it appears you cleared that up for me.

Okay. so here's the end of the story: I consulted with the SFS office, and they confirmed the way that allowances and changes to COA are calculated. The main point was that the COA stays the same unless you have dependent children. If you do, and your allowances for those children exceed your expected contribution, they will adjust your COA, which is how it is possible to get a grant for full tuition.




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