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Can You Get Financial Aid For Private Colleges

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Financial Aid Offered At Both Public And Private Colleges

Private School Financial Aid Advice from the Experts

A college education can reach as high as $75,000 in the U.S.

The average cost for one year could be as high as $35,331 for tuition, books and other expenses related to going to college.

One way to get financial aid at both public and private institutions is by filling out a FAFSA, or Free Applications for Federal Student Aid.

The biggest difference between public and private colleges is that students are likely to have more access to grants or scholarships at a private institution.

Private colleges get endowment funds and donations that can help provide greater funding for students to attend.

Private colleges also have the ability to change their fee structure and offer greater discounts to students.

Archived Q& a And Reviews


Hello out there! Just wanted to know if anyone with recent experience can speak as to whether the independent high schools in our area will penalize an applicant if the family requests financial aid. I have heard conflicting information and want to know what is going on so that i can make the best choice for my child and pocket book. Thanks for your response! frugal parent

Independent high schools are now quite public about the fact that applying for financial aid can affect your likelihood of admission. Retention of students is important for these schools. My understanding is that they are less likely to accept students to whom they cannot provide the requested assistance because these students are less likely to be able to stay at the school. anon

The answer to your question is ”It depends”.

Having been through this process with several private schools, I can tell you that the response varies. Some schools have more money than others to distribute as aid. Some schools may have proportionally more applicants for the available funds.

These schools are pretty slick at marketing themselves to parents, but private schools are businesses, and for that reason they are very hard-headed and logical when money is concerned.

I have nothing in priciple against private schools, some of them are very good – but go into this with your eyes open.

Best of luck. Applied to many Private Schools

Hi BPNers,

May 2010

Good luck. anon

S To Calculate College Costs:

  • Gather tax documents .
  • Go to a tuition calculator website.
  • Plug in your numbers to the tuition calculator.
  • Save the results, including the starting cost of tuition, for later comparison.
  • Go to the next private college website on your list.
  • Continue these steps until youve calculated the cost of each private college youre interested in attending.
  • Then its time to make comparisons. Once youve collected all of your data, you can compare the cost of attending each school. This may not be a complete picture if you cant include merit-based scholarships, outside scholarships, or government grants, but its a good first step in assessing the cost of different private colleges.

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    Consider Declaring Your Independence

    Another option for paying for college if you do not qualify for financial aid due to your parents income is to declare your independence. Being an independent student typically requires one of the following to be true:

    • You are over the age of 24.
    • You are married.
    • You have dependents other than a spouse.
    • You are an orphan.
    • You are a veteran or active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces.

    There are few other ways to declare yourself independent from your parents if you do not meet these eligibility guidelines.

    If you fall into one or more of these categories, you can submit the FAFSA as an independent student and leave off your parents income. This means you could qualify for a larger amount of student aid.

    For married students, you might be required to report your spouses income, which can impact how much aid you receive.

    > > Read More: How Being a Emancipated Affects Financial Aid

    Can You Get Private Loans For Trade School

    Public vs. Private College: The Key Differences

    For students who are not able to get federal financial aid for a trade school program, private student loans may be a possibility. Many private lenders offer student loans for accredited trade programs and career schools.

    For instance, Sallie Mae offers Career Training Smart Option Loans for students attending trade schools. These loans can cover the full cost of the program as well as housing, food, and supplies.

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    Comparing Schools By Their Net Price

    To avoid any unpleasant surprises, try to get a sense of how much you can expect to pay before you apply. Visit the College Affordability and Transparency Center, a helpful resource that shows the most expensive and least expensive schools based on tuition and net price.

    Most universities have a college cost calculator to help you determine your net price. Simply fill in the requested information on the schools calculator and it will subtract your estimated gift aid from the tuition. This will give you an idea of the actual cost to attend each school, so you can compare the affordability of your options.

    They Look At Aid Based On Your Need

    Colleges then consider different types of aid to meet your financial need. The options boil down to gift aid and self-help aid . Since you have to repay loans and you have to work to earn work-study awards, gift aid is always more desirable. Only gift aid reduces the net price of a college, which is the amount you and your family actually pay out of pocket.

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    What If You’re Not Eligible For Need

    Some students might want to seek out financial aid even if they aren’t eligible for many need-based programs. If you’re one of these students, there’s one important thing you need to know: if financial aid isn’t need-based, then it’s merit-based.

    There are a couple of ways you can earn money for college regardless of financial need.

    Consider A Student Exchange Program

    Lawsuit accuses 16 top universities of financial aid conspiracy

    Some people choose to go to the USA for a specific degree at a specific school, but for others, its all about the experience. If you just want to experience living and studying abroad in the USA, then you dont have to spend all that money. You can do a student exchange program from your home university which will cost you a fraction of the price.

    Student exchange programs are great because they allow you, the student, to spend a semester or a year abroad at an international partner university for the same cost as you would pay for tuition at home. Obviously, you will have extra expenses that you may not necessarily have in Canada, but these prices sure beat $40,000 for a year!

    The downside to student exchange programs is that you cant choose any university, it has to be a partner university with the educational institution you are enrolled with here in Canada.

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    School Cost Of Attendance

    First, the cost of attendance at the college or university you plan to attend plays a part in determining federal financial aid eligibility.

    The higher the cost of attendance, the more financial aid you could qualify for. For example, if you select a public school in the state where you reside, the total cost of attendance will be lower than a private out-of-state school.

    Complete The Fafsa Application

    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a form that every student must complete if they want to take advantage of federal aid programs. You’ll have to fill out and submit the form annually for as long as you need financial aid, but there are online FAFSA guides to walk you through the process.

    Your completed form provides all the necessary information for the federal government to determine whether you are eligible for federal financial education assistance. Some forms of assistance are available to any student enrolled at least half-time at an accredited school and some are only available to those who exhibit financial need.

    It’s important to note that many schools use the FAFSA to award other kinds of financial aid, such as state or institutional assistance, so it’s important to fill out the FAFSA even if you think you won’t qualify for aid.

    Certain states provide their own financial aid programs and may have their own application processes. To find out whether you are eligible for any state programs, check our state-specific resources database and contact your school’s financial aid office.

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    How Your Parents Income Affects Your Eligibility For Federal Aid

    As any prospective college student prepares to head off to school, one of the first steps is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid . This application gathers information about your familys financial situation, and it dictates which types of student aid you qualify for.

    Fill out the FAFSA even if you think your parents make too much. Several factors determine your eligibility for student aid, and your parents income is only one of them.

    When filling out the FAFSA, you are asked to provide detailed information about your parents financial circumstances, including tax returns so that income can be evaluated.

    These details are used to help calculate your financial need, which determines your eligibility for certain types of state and federal financial aid. Although your family income is a significant source of insight for federal aid applications, it is not the only factor.

    The Goal Of A Financial Aid Package Might Be To Persuade You Not To Come

    10 Money

    In the world of college admissions and aid, this is called an “admit-deny,” an enrollment manager told The Atlantic in 2005: Let a student in, but offer a financial aid package so meager they’d be crazy to accept it. Colleges can leave a wide gulf between financial aid offers and the price of tuition far too wide to be filled with federal loans alone.

    Admitting students without offering them enough aid to meet their need is common: 55 percent of all colleges, and 65 percent of private colleges, said they do so, according to a survey of admissions directors.

    In some cases, colleges expect families to take out additional private loans. In other cases, they expect that the poor financial aid package will dissuade them from coming at all. The problem is that not all families get the message, and end up taking on tens of thousands of dollars of debt each year.

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    Breaking Down The Css Profile

    Submit the CSS Profile if the college or university you plan to attend uses CSS as part of its financial aid process. Do this Oct. 1, at the same time you submit your FAFSA and every year after on the same date if required.

    Check the College Board list of Participating Institutions and Programs for detailed information about which schools require CSS and which classifications of students or parents are required to file.

    Amherst College in Amherst, Mass., for example, requires the CSS Profile for domestic and international students, as well as from noncustodial parents of either. Loyola University in Baltimore, Md., on the other hand, requires the CSS Profile for both domestic and international students but does not require information from noncustodial parents.

    Most people pay a $25 fee to submit their initial CSS Profile . Waivers may be available for first-time domestic college applicants if:

    • You received an SAT fee waiver.
    • Your parents’ income is $45,000 or less for a family of four.
    • You are an orphan or ward of the court under age 24.

    The open datethe soonest you can apply for financial aidis more important than the deadline, which is the latest you can apply.

    Income Tax Calculator: Estimate Your Taxes

    If you want an academic scholarship because the students grades and test scores have improved, talk to the admissions office, not the financial aid office. If you cant afford to pay for the college because of your financial circumstances, talk to the financial aid office.

    The top tier colleges do not award financial aid based on merit, even if the student is an Olympic athlete or ranked #1 in science and math competitions. They consider only financial need.

    Second and third tier institutions might award academic scholarships to attract talented students. At many of these colleges, the academic scholarship is just $500, $1,000 or $2,500. Only about 5% of colleges award half tuition or better academic scholarships. These scholarships are limited and are based on the students academic performance exceeding specific GPA, SAT/ACT score and class rank thresholds.

    These colleges might also engage in preferential packaging, where the mix of grants and loans is more favorable for students they are trying to recruit. At these colleges, however, the size of the financial aid package is based on financial need.

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    Colleges With The Best Financial Aid

    In this section, we give you a list of schools that claim to meet all their students’ financial need without having them take out any loans. What that means is that your family will only be asked to pay what they can afford, and the school will cover the rest of the costs with their institutional financial aid funding.

    Many of these schools are need-blind, which means your financial status will have no bearing on your admission result.

    You don’t necessarily need to be low-income to have all your financial need met. For example, Harvard doesn’t ask for any contribution if family income is less than $65,000, and families will only need to contribute up to 10% of their income if they make between $65,000 and $150,000. Aid amounts operate on a sliding scale for families that make more than $150,000.

    Students with the most financial need tend to get the most aid because many of these schools’ financial aid initiatives are based on removing barriers to college access based on finances.

    If you’re interested in any of the schools below, just click the link to get information on admissions requirements:

    Yale University New Haven, CT From website: “Families whose total gross income is less than $75,000 are not expected to make a financial contribution towards their child’s Yale education.”

    Applying For Financial Aid When Going To A For

    How To Get The Most Financial Aid For College

    Financial aid is one of the biggest steps when applying for college, and it is even more important when applying to a for-profit college. These colleges typically have a higher cost of attendance, and the school wants to know that you will be able to pay for classes before they admit you. The FAFSA application process isnt complicated, though you will need to have certain documents and financial amounts ready in order to apply.

    General cost of attendance

    For-profit colleges will usually cost more than in-state tuition at a state college or community college. The cost of attendance doesnt necessarily mean that the college is better or worse than nonprofit colleges, so it is good to compare tuition rates for multiple colleges where you might want to go.

    It really depends on the location of where you want to go to college and your degree program. Some for-profit colleges offer great programs at a higher rate because they guarantee work after graduating through a job placement program. Likewise, some degree programs can be shorter than nonprofit programs, for example with certain academic certificates. If the cost of attendance isnt an issue, then a for-profit college might be the right option for you.

    Fill out your FAFSA

    Apply for scholarships

    Renew your FAFSA every year and if you have a life changing event

    Applying for private student loans

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    State Aid To Private Colleges Stagnant

    The size of a Cal Grant award depends on the school a student chooses to attend.

    Private college students can receive as much as $9,220 per year towards tuition and fees. Thats compared with as much as $12,570 for students at the University of California and $5,742 for students at California State University, where tuition is less expensive.

    At the public universities, the award increases along with tuition hikes. But the award amount for private colleges has remained relatively stagnant since 2001, when it covered about half of tuition and fees. It now only covers about a quarter, Portantinos office said.

    Do You Have To Pay Financial Aid Back

    Financial aid in the form of a loan is to be paid back. If it is a federal loan, repayment begins after a student has graduated, with a grace period of six months after finishing school. On the other hand, privately-issued loans may require repayment during the school year. Other forms of financial aid, such as scholarships and grants do not need to be paid back.

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    Ways To Afford Private College

    One of the top concerns students have when choosing a college is cost. Of all the items students want in a college, price is often the factor that feels inflexible. This is especially true for private colleges that offer students a more personalized college experience, but often at a higher cost. However, you may be surprised by how many options exist to make college more affordable. With a little creativity and work, you wont have to give up all your other wants due to the price tag!

    To provide you with a helpful list of your options, we met with Multnomah Universitys Director of Financial Aid, Stephen Buckland. Stephen offered us insight into eight ways to afford private college.

    1. Fill Out the FAFSA

    To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid . While most students qualify for some form of financial aid by filling out the FAFSA, only 61% of students complete the form. Not only is the application free to submit, but by not completing the FAFSA, you may leave thousands of dollars in student aid on the table! A little-known secret is that the earlier you apply, the more aid you are likely to receive. So, be sure to fill out your FAFSA as soon as it opens on October 1st each year!

    It is ok to feel a little intimidated by the FAFSA. The Multnomah Financial Aid Department is happy to help its accepted students fill out the form.

    3. Get a Work-Study Job.

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