Need vs Merit based fee waiver

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UMich11
Posts: 409
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:34 pm

Need vs Merit based fee waiver

Postby UMich11 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:45 pm

i posted this on the URM forum for some stupid reason and realized this is likely the better spot.

I received a number of Merit based fee waivers but i also applied for, and received a ton of Need based fee waivers (only denied by 1 out of the 15 applied for, mostly T14). Since i am not an URM or a 1st gen college student, do any schools take into account that you have applied for a need based waiver and received one - ie financial need, financial hardship in your background, etc? I wrote an essay about what has caused the recent economic challenges in my life and sent one to each school, but i was curious if the need based fee waiver part helps at all. is that just one of the softs they consider or is it a bump similar to something an URM might get? ie i paid for school (started my own business to do this [i think this is unique], help support my parents and siblings, help my parents pay for my siblings education, etc)

If you look at my resume, where i went to school, where i grew up, the sports i play and my current job you wouldn't be able to tell my past/current financial hardship so i felt the need to elaborate in an Addendum. They all have my tax returns and application for fee waiver so they can review it with the application but i was just curious.

There is always a section for Race, but nothing about your economic background except for Berkeley/UCLA otherwise the PS is where you'd likely articulate this. I didn't so i wrote and addendum and sent that in later on (like this week).

B90
Posts: 264
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:08 pm

Re: Need vs Merit based fee waiver

Postby B90 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:59 am

You seem to have two questions here: "is socioeconomic status considered in acceptance?" and "is it considered in financial aid?" As for acceptance, you are on the right track in thinking of it as a soft of sorts. Basically, it's diversity; you can explain it in a DS or a PS.
As far as financial aid, schools that give need-based aid will judge your "worthiness" from your fafsa or need access forms. Most schools that give significant need-based aid (as much as such a thing exists) require need access. I have found it's a good rule of thumb to think that if they don't ask you fill out need access, they give more merit-based than need-based aid. YMMV

B90
Posts: 264
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:08 pm

Re: Need vs Merit based fee waiver

Postby B90 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:04 am

Also, as far as I know the fact that you paid for your application via fee waiver isn't part of your actual application, so adcoms don't see it. It would sort of be unethical for them to know that, actually.

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nygrrrl
Posts: 4948
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:01 am

Re: Need vs Merit based fee waiver

Postby nygrrrl » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:29 am

UMich11 wrote:i posted this on the URM forum for some stupid reason and realized this is likely the better spot.

Yup, it's better here. Since TLS does not allow posters to start multiple threads on the same topic, I will lock the other one.




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