Is most aid merit or need? Should I apply for need?

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.

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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:58 am

Is most aid merit or need? Should I apply for need?

Postby atikhomi » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:03 pm

Hi guys, I'm in a situation I think many of us have been in.

I am looking to apply for financial aid, and some of the schools I just got into (like UVA) require parental income disclosures. My parents are fairly well off, and paid my undergrad, but will not be helping me out for law school. I have a few questions.

a) Should I bother applying for need based aid? I would say that we are upper-middle-class.

b) If I don't apply for need based aid, will I be ineligible for loans?

c) Is most aid need or merit based? When someone says "I got 25k from cornell" do they mean that as need based or merit based?

d) Is there any chance that parents' income will hurt for merit based aid?

Thanks in advance for your help!


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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Is most aid merit or need? Should I apply for need?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:20 pm

a) It doesn't hurt to apply, but you probably won't qualify.

b) They're separate considerations. As long as you submit a FAFSA, you're eligible for government loans.

c) Most aid is merit-based, but a number of T14 schools calculate aid on the basis of need and merit. So sometimes it's impossible to know whether your financial need increased the amount of a scholarship over what you would have received for merit alone.

d) No.

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