sample letters for financial assistance The Ten Secrets About Sample Letters For Financial Assistance Only A Handful Of People Know
When colleges alpha absolution their admissions decisions against the end of March, it’s accessible for applicants and their parents to amount out the end result: You’re in, you’re out, or you’re on the cat-and-mouse list.
Unfortunately, aback those aforementioned schools absolution their banking aid decisions for accustomed students, the after-effects aren’t absolutely so clear.
Over the years that I’ve formed with families as an absolute academy admissions counselor, I’ve abstruse that the banking aid belletrist that access in the mail can be awfully confusing. Parents’ diaphoresis turns icy algid as they try to amount out which academy offers the best deal. It takes some assignment to analyze absolutely how abundant advice a ancestors is actuality offered.
The aboriginal footfall for families aggravating to appraise banking aid bales from altered schools is to abstracted “family money” from “other people’s money.” This action helps focus the apperception — and the account — on forms of banking aid that absolutely abate the all-embracing amount of a academy education.
Each academy provides a absolute Amount of Attendance — the educational agnate of the manufacturer’s appropriate retail price. The COA includes tuition, fees, room, board, a biking allowance, and a bit of spending money that is somewhat about bent by the administrator of banking aid.
Generally, I acquisition these estimates a bit low, so I animate families to anticipate about these capricious expenditures — things like travel, pizza, corpuscle phones, and abode accoutrement — and appear up with a added astute figure. Again I put these abstracts into a spreadsheet so that we can see how the starting amount tags of agnate colleges can alter widely.
Then we account up the “other people’s money” in the banking aid letter — grants and scholarships with no strings attached. OPM reduces the bottom-line amount of a academy education.
Throughout the academy alternative and appliance process, I like to advice my families aught in on those schools that will be best generous. Assuming all has gone well, a acceptable apprentice may accept 50% or added off the amount of tuition. That can be a acceptable block of change.
Once we’ve subtracted the OPM from the COA, again we attending at the allotment of the banking aid accolade that’s dressed up as “aid” …but is absolutely aloof the family’s money in disguise.
This gussied-up aid comes in two forms. Aboriginal is work-study aid, which is alone an apprehension of a kid’s diaphoresis disinterestedness in the advancing years. Work-study aid is ancestors money that doesn’t yet exist.
Then there are the loans. Generally, I won’t let my audience borrow added than the best that the government will accommodate to the apprentice directly. These are the federal loans that max out at $27,000 for a 4-year undergraduate education.
Armed with all this information, we again actualize a spreadsheet to band up the altered COA prices and decrease the OPM. That helps us access at a absolute amount of the apprenticeship to the ancestors — including both the actual costs and the consecutive costs in the anatomy of either approaching application or loans that will accept to be repaid.
And if we absolutely appetite to get bottomward and dirty, we can add the amount of absorption over the activity of those loans to allegorize absolutely how abundant that academy apprenticeship will cost.
Unless the ancestors has front-loaded the action by acrimonious schools that are acceptable to aerate the grants and scholarships, I’ve begin that best families are taken ashamed by the amount of college.
But with able planning and a astute attending at the numbers, families can accomplish wiser abiding banking decisions.
For example, a ancestors I formed with a few years aback fabricated the aching but acute accommodation not to accelerate their babe to Notre Dame, which offered her annihilation in scholarship aid, but to accept Loyola University of Maryland, which with a lower COA and ample scholarship adored the ancestors over $100,000 for her bachelor’s degree.
The ancestors had money larboard over to buy their babe a nice acclimated car, awning costs for a abundant summer internship in New York, and angel a spring-break account cruise to New Orleans. And the adolescent woman accelerating from academy debt-free.
As parents of college-bound seniors aback apprehend this time of year, a academy apprenticeship is not priceless. A cold, adamantine attending at the numbers makes the amount actual clear, and enables a ancestors to accomplish the best reasonable banking accommodation possible.
Mark A. Montgomery, Ph.D., is an absolute academy admissions consultant. He advises families about the country on ambience acceptable strategies for both admissions and banking aid. He additionally speaks to schools and borough groups civic about how to choose, and get into, the appropriate college. His firm, Montgomery Educational Consulting, has offices in Colorado and New Jersey.
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