Financial Aid & Scholarships

The College Shopping Sheet and the Needed Transparency of Financial Aid

As admissions into colleges and universities has become ever more challenging,  applying for financial aid  and understanding the financial aid letter once received, is  an equally grueling, though often neglected, piece of the admissions process.

Borrowing for College

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry”-Polonius, Hamlet I, iii

To pay for college, most students have to borrow. In 2012, the average student graduated with over $26,000 of debt. That would buy a 2014 Subaru Forester sport utility 2.5i and still leave enough money to tour the Rockies for a month. All told, total college debt amounts to over a trillion dollars, and it is relentlessly rising.

College borrowing outstrips credit card debt, and as this mountain of debt accumulates, one in five households now carry student debt, so rises the default rate. According to Bloomberg Business Week (September 29th, 2012) 11% of public school and 7.5% of private students are defaulting on their student loans. This is a scary proposition because most student loans are difficult to discharge, even in bankruptcy.

Obviously the best course is to avoid loans altogether. If you haven’t dived into the admissions process yet, keep in mind that it’s worth your while to find colleges which are affordable. One affordability litmus test is to first estimate your effective family contribution (EFC) to get a sense of what colleges are expecting you to pay. The College Board has an online calculator where you can do this, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/paying-your-share/expected-family-contribution-calculator#efc_status.

Then go to each of your college’s financial aid sites, find its ‘net price calculator,’ and use it to calculate your cost of attendance (subtracting potential aid awards). If your EFC is less than your COA, you qualify for need based financial aid; however, this doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get any.

If, academically, you find yourself in the 75th percentile of an entering college class (in terms of GPA and test scores), most colleges are going to figure out a way to get you to enroll—that’s when their wallets open. A strong academic track record is your best means for getting subsidized. If you’re a borderline applicant, they might not offer much. 

Then the landscape of loans must be surveyed and considered. The best loans are federal student loans. Stafford direct subsidized loans (which are usually reserved for students from low income families) are at interest rates well below commercial banking rates. Better still the government pays interest on the loan while the student is enrolled. Loan repayments do not begin until 6 months after graduation. A student, however, over four years can borrow only $31,000 through this source.

There are unsubsidized Stafford loans in which repayment begins when the loan is disbursed, federal direct loans, and Federal Plus loans, which currently have interest rate at 7.9% and a 4% fee depending on the amount of the loan.

Federal Plus loans (aka Parent Plus Loans) can cover up to the total cost of attendance (COA) at an institution. These should be compared to home equity loans (in which you will be able to deduct interest charges.) Additionally, if you’re looking among commercial loans, take the time to apply for multiple loans through a site such as Alltuition.com. or Finaid.org. The key, as in most ventures in life, is to create as many options as possible. With borrowing money this is even more important because various terms, interest rates, and fees can affect the total price of the loan by thousands of dollars.  

Be aware that many colleges have merit-based scholarships. Often, once your application is accepted, the school will let you know about opportunities, but just as often, they won’t. One place to uncover potential merit aid is at www.meritaid.com. For example, at University of Pacific in Stockton, Meritaid.com lists 32 scholarships. This could defray some of the loan burdens.

As with any effort, the more knowledge you have about your financial aid situation, and the alternative need-based and merit-based grants and scholarships, and the array of loans, and their pitfalls, the better you will negotiate the college financial aid process. Always question college financial aid offices about anything you don’t understand. Furthermore, if something is proposed that doesn’t make intuitive sense, seek an expert—and a number of them can be discovered online. Learn the ropes so that you’re not left hanging with an exorbitant, onerous load of debt upon graduation.

Gaining the Best Financial Aid Packages

 

  • Don’t Get Intimidated by the Process
  • File FAFSA right after January 1st
  • CSS Profile Requirements
  • Strategies to Lower EFC
  • Useful websites to lower EFC

Financial aid is confusing. It’s even worse than income taxes. According to the American Council on Education, in 2006, 1.8 million students who would have qualified for federal and financial aid failed to apply. There is no reason to be among that number.

The fundamental precept of financial aid is filing the FAFSA as soon after January 1st of senior year as possible. The whole idea is to be at the front of the line when scholarships and grants are being allocated. At most of the public schools, including the University of California system, only filing the FAFSA is required. This vastly simplifies the process. Filing solely by the federal method (FM) makes applying to state schools almost a pleasure.

For private schools the process is often trickier. Many use, along with FAFSA, the CollegeBoard’s CSS Profile. Certain private schools even include their own financial aid form. This means some private schools require three financial aid forms; worse, all might be cross referenced to ensure responses jive. Inaccurate submissions might be rejected, and, as a consequence, though financial aid forms were initially filed prior to deadlines, the application might be shot to the back of the line.     

Northwestern’s undergraduate financial aid website, www.ug-finaid.northwestern.edu, contains a financial aid calculator to estimate financial aid packages, and links to the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and Northwestern’s University Aid Application. There are also over a dozen other forms including, if things didn’t work out, the financial aid appeal application. It’s a world onto itself with deadlines, glossaries, and forms that would almost make the IRS proud.

Don’t however be distracted by the forms, the deadlines, and the calculator. The central purposes of the financial aid exercises are to attain as low an EFC (effective family contribution) number as possible, and to fill the gap between what you can afford to pay and your EFC with generous scholarships and grants. Anything else is noise.  

The CSS PROFILE (also called the institutional method—IM) includes in its calculations the applicant’s home equity, non-custodial parent’s income and resources, outside scholarships, money held by other siblings, the applicant’s potential summer earnings, even whether a rich relative might be willing to throw bags of gold at the entire admissions process (if an applicant is willing to volunteer such information). The PROFILE wants to know everything about the past, present, and future of an applicant’s resources. However, it’s not completely cold blooded; if another sibling is paying private school tuition, or the family had excessive medical expenses not covered by insurance, these might be deductible.

Whether you’re applying to a school that is using CSS Profile (IM), or the FAFSA (FM), you might try the following strategies. Each is labeled by whether the strategy is appropriate for the FM or IM:

  1. Use assets to pay off debt: having debt does not help you qualify for aid, so pay it off (IM) or (FM)
  2. Move assets from student to parent account: Parents are expected to pay 5.6% of assets while students 20% (FM)
  3. Make necessary large purchases before base year (the base year is a student’s junior year beginning in January) (FM) or (IM)
  4. Reduce Base Pay in your job or delay any commissions during the base year (FM) or (IM)
  5. Avoid capital gains: selling major stock holdings during the base year will increase your revenues—something you want to avoid  (FM) or (IM)
  6. Start a Home business: you can cut your current pay and reduce personal assets by investing in a home business  (FM) or (IM)
  7. Pay off your mortgage: if the school uses FM you will qualify for more aid should you pay down your mortgage. (FM)

Websites that might be useful in helping to qualify for the greatest amount of aid include TuitionCoach and FinAid.org. What really matters in the process is staying focused on getting the lowest EFC and the most scholarship and grant monies available. A good reference for estimating what the school has paid in the past can be found at College Navigator. Future tuition bills, though, can very much be affected by your actions now.

재정보조 포장하기

  • 절차에 눌리지 말자
  • FAFSA 파일은 1월 1일 이후 바로 하자
  • CSS 프로파일 요건
  • EFC 최저 전략짜기
  • EFC를 낮추기 위한 유용한 웹싸이트

재정보조는 복잡하다.  세금보고보다도 힘들다.  2006년 교육부의 보고에 따르면, 1.8 million의 학생들이 연방정부 장학금을 받을 수 있는데도 신청하지 않았다.  이 숫자에 낄 필요는 없다.

재정보조를 시작하는 시기는 12학년 1월1일부터 시작되는 FAFSA를 작성하는 것이다.  일찍 할수록, 장학금과 그랜트 보조에 있어서 우선권이 주어진다.  University of California를 비롯한 대부분의 공립대학은 FAFSA만 요구한다.  이런 경우에는 아주 단순하다.  주정부용 FA (federal method)만 하기 때문에 너무 쉽다.

사립대학은 약간 복잡하다.  많은 대학들이 FAFSA와 College Board의 CSS 프로파일을 원한다.  어떤 대학은 자체 원서도 있다.  이럴 경우 세가지 양식이 되며, 또한 이 세 가지에서 내용이 일치해야 한다.  서로 맞지 않을 경우, 거부될 수도 있으며, 다시 원서를 준비하다 보면, 마감일을 넘기거나 서류가 맨 뒤로 밀려나게 된다.

Northwestern의 재정에 관한 웹싸이트 (ug-finaid.northwestern.edu)에는 FAFSA, CSS Profile, Northwestern University Aid 원서양식과 함께 재정 계산페이지가 있다.  또한 재정보조가 충분치 않을 경우에 탄원을 신청하는 양식도 있다.  마감일, 용어해설, 양식들 모두가 들어 있다.

그러나 이런 모든 서류와 계산 양식, 마감일에 눌리기 말길 바란다.  주 목적은 EFC(가족 공헌)를 낮게 잘 계산하는 것으로 전체 들어갈 비용에서 최저의 EFC를 계산하고 가능한 많은 장학금/그랜트를 받는 것이다.  기타 사항은 무시해도 된다.

CSS Profile (교육기관의 방법: IM)은 응시자의 집의 가치, 부모의 수입과 재산, 외부 장학금, 형제에게 들어갈 돈, 응시자가 벌 수 있는 금액 (응시자가 알리기 원한다면), 혹은 부자 친척이 기부할 수 있는 지 등을 알고자 한다.  이 프로파일은 응시자의 과거, 현재, 미래까지 재정에 대해 알고자 한다.  그렇다고 인정없이 계산하는 것은 아니다.  형제가 사립학교에 재학한다든가, 가족 중 환자가 있어서 치료비용이 많이 지출된다든지 하는 것은 제외된다.

여러분이 CSS Profile (IM)이나, FAFSA (FM)을 사용할 때, 다음의 전략을 따르길 바란다.  각 사항이 IM 혹은 FM 양식 작성시 유용하다.

  1. 자산은 빚을 갚는데 쓴다: 빚이 있을 때는 다시 재정 보조를 받기 어렵다 (IM or FM)
  2. 학생이 자산이 있다면, 부모에게 옮긴다: 부모는 자산의 5.6%를 내야 하지만, 학생은 23%를 내야한다 (FM).
  3. 기본이 되는 해에 큰 지출을 미리하라: 기본이 되는 해는 학생의 고교 3학년 때이다 (FM or IM).
  4. 직장의 기본 월급이나 커미션을 기본이 되는 해에는 될수록 미루어라 (FM or IM).
  5. 큰 수입을 미루어라: 기본이 되는 해에는 주식을 팔아서 수입을 늘릴 필요가 없다 (FM or IM).
  6. 홈 비즈니스를 시작하라: 홈 비즈니스에 투자를 하므로 수입과 자산을 줄일 수 있다(FM or IM).
  7. 집 저당금을 갚아라: FM에서는 이 금액으로 인해 더 많은 보조를 받을 수 있다 (FM).

유용한 웹싸이트로 TuitionCoach and FinAid.org가 있다.  이 과정에서 중요한 것은 EFC를 낮게 계산하는 것과 많은 장학금, 그랜트를 받는 것이다.  CollegeNavigator에서 어떤 학교들이 많이 보조해 주었는지를 알아볼 수 있다.  그러므로 곧 내야 할 등록금의 돈의 액수가 여러분이 지금 얼마나 열심히 노력하느냐에 따라 적어질 수 있다

Financial Aid for the International Student

 

  • 6 Elite Schools have need-blind financial aid
  • Limited Financial Aid Available
  • History of funding at www.internationalstudent.com
  • Know the website of schools well
  • File CSS Profile or ISFAA
  • Submit Certification of Finances

Six schools, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Amherst, and MIT are all ‘need blind’ and ‘full need’ regardless of a student’s country of origin. This means that if accepted, international students will obtain the necessary financial aid to attend. Be aware, however, that though these schools advertise themselves as being “need-blind,” which technically means that financial circumstances are not considered in the admissions process, how this might actually translate into the reality of admissions warrants consideration. Specifically, in the state of Connecticut, Yale has 478 international students, of whom, 77 (about 16%) were awarded an average aid package of $31,000; compare this with Connecticut College (56 of 209, (or 27%) of its international students, were awarded an average aid packages of $38,000); and Wesleyan (49 of 143 (34%) awarded an average package of $41,751), and it becomes difficult to discern which institutions are actually ‘need blind’ and ‘full need’ and which are practicing.   

Obviously, gaining admittance to a school with a large endowment, and, for the most part the most selective schools in the country are well endowed, improves the chances for an international student’s gaining financial aid. For example, Stanford, with an endowment of $16.5 billion, and with 885 international undergraduate students, awarded 203, on average, $29,000 in financial aid last year. What’s difficult about figuring out the international financial aid puzzle is each college sets its own policies. As you’d expect, there are not a lot (almost no) government funds available for international students. Be almost assured that, if you gain acceptance into University of California at Berkeley, for example, it will be charging you full tuition, room and board; that’s the reason Berkeley has allocated an ever larger portion of its admits to ‘out-of-state’ (including international students); it wants to garner full tuition revenues to offset dwindling state funding. Discovering the best opportunities for aid are a function of investigation, application, and luck.

To get a sense of what financial aid might be available to international students, go to www.internationalstudent.com  and click on “Schools Awarding Financial Aid.” You’ll encounter some very interesting information. I viewed the international financial aid awards in Massachusetts. Obviously, Amherst and Harvard, with their need-blind programs, award a lion’s share of the aid, but, not far behind them, in Massachusetts, are Williams, awarding 89 of 140 international students average packages of $37,000; Wellesley with 68 of 184, $37,000; Clark, 103 of 166, $21,000; and Smith College, 120 of 200, $30,000. These schools might be very good places to apply for international students needing financial aid. One surprise was Tufts, which has pretensions of being ‘almost ivy.’ Of its 384 international students, 10 received financial aid, which amounted to slightly less than $20,000 each.

What is crucial is that international students gain an understanding of all the financial aid requirements at each campus of interest. That requires reviewing thoroughly each school’s website to discover financial aid eligibility and deadlines. Keep in mind, even with financial aid awards, all international students will need to submit a Certification of Finances, proof that you have the financial resources to pay should you gain admittance. Additionally, all the private schools to which you’re applying, will require either a CSS Profile, or the ISFAA (International Student Financial Aid Application) to determine your effective family contribution (EFC). The earlier you submit all of these materials to the admissions or financial aid offices, the better.

There are a lot of colleges within the borders of the United States. Most applicants clump their applications among a select 80-120 (the ones that accept fewer than 50% of the applicants who apply). If you peer beyond the well-worn paths you’re liable to find some interesting matches that might be well worth the search and effort. Financial Aid does exist at many schools for international students; you just need to supply the effort and tenacity to find it. Do so. And as Winston Churchill said: “Never, never, never quit.”

 

외국인 학생을 위한 재정보조

  • 여섯 명문대의 무조건적 재정보조
  • 대부분 제한적인 재정보조
  • 자료찾기: www.internationalstudent.com
  • 지원대학의 웹싸이트이용
  • CSS Profile, ISFAA, Certification of Finances 필요한 서류 제출할

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Amherst, MIT-이 여섯 대학들은 학생의 나라 출신과 상관없이 필요에 따른 재정 보조를 준다.  즉, 일단 합격이 되면, 외국인 학생도 필요한 재정보조를 받을 수 있다.  한편, 이 대학들이 광고하는 “need-blind”란 재정 상황을 입학심사에서 고려하지 않는다는 뜻이지만, 실제 입학심사에서의 영향은 알 수 없다.  특히, 커네티컷에 있는 예일대는 478명의 외국인 학생이 있는데, 그 중 77명(16%)은 평균 $31,000을 받았다; Connecticut College에서는 209명 중 56명(27%); Wesleyan은 (143명 중 49명, 34%) 평균 $41,751을 받았다.  그래서 어떤 대학이 실제로 ‘need blind,’ ‘full need’를 실천하는지 구별이 어렵다.

분명, 많은 기부금이 있는 대학, 명문대학이 재정이 풍부하며, 외국인 학생이 제정보조를 받을 기회가 높다.  예를 들면, Stanford는 기부금이 $16.5 billion인데, 885명의 학부생 중 203명이 평균 $29,000을 작년에 받았다.  외국인 학생에 대한 재정 보조는 각 대학의 정책에 따라 달라서 퍼즐처럼 한마디로 말하기가 어렵다.  한편, University of California at Berkeley에 외국인이 들어간다면, 등록금, 기숙사비 모두를 내야 한다; Berkeley는 ‘out-of-state’ (주민외, 외국인 포함)학생을 많이 뽑으려 한다.  그래서 주정부의 줄어드는 펀드를 매꾸려 하고 있다.  그러므로 재정보조의 기회를 잡는 것은 조사, 응시, 그리고 행운이다.

외국인 학생에게 가능한 재정보조를 찾으려면,www.internationalstudent.com        에 가서 “Schools Awarding financial Aid”를 클릭하면 된다.  아마 흥미있는 자료를 만날 것이다.  필자는 Massachusetts를 찾아 보았다.  Amherst, Harvard는 ‘need-blind’ 프로그램이므로 거대한 몫이 주어지며, 또한 Williams는 140명의 외국인 학생 중 89명에게 평균 $37,000을 수여하였고, Wellesley는 184명 중 68명에게 $37,000; Clark는 166명중 103명에게 $21,000; Smith College는 200명 중 120명에게 $30,000을 수여하였다.  이 대학들은 외국인 학생들이 응시하여 많은 장학금을 받을 수 있는 곳이다.  또한 놀라운 것은 Tufts인데, 거의 아이비 수준이지만, 384명의 외국인 학생 중 10명만이 겨우 평균 $20,000을 받았다.

중요한 것은 캠퍼스마다 다르다는 것이다.  그래서 대학 웹싸이트에서 정보를 찾아 재정보조의 자격과 마감일을 잘 챙겨야 한다.  또한 기억할 것은 모든 외국인 학생들은 입학 후 재정을 보조할 수 있다는 Certification of Finances를 작성해야 한다.  또한 사립대학을 지원한다면, CSS Profile이나 ISFAA (International Student Financial Aid Application)을 작성하고 EFC (가족 부담금)을 결정해야 한다.  재정상담실에 서류를 일찍 제출할수록 유리하다.

많은 대학들이 미국내 있다.  그러나, 대부분의 원서들은 우수 80-120 순위 대학들(대부분 응시자의 50%이하를 수락한다)에 쌓인다.  여러분이 쉽게 갈 수 있는 길이 아닌 대학을 찾고자 한다면, 서치와 노력을 해야 한다.  많은 대학들의 재정보조가 외국인에게 열려있는 것은 아니다; 그렇지만 노력을 들이고 찾으려고 애를 써야 한다.  반드시 해라.  윈스톤 처칠은 “절대로, 절대로 절대 포기하지 말라”라고 하지 않았던가!

The ROTC (Reserved Officers Training Corps) Scholarship

  • Making Colleges such as USC more Affordable
  • Dickinson College’s ROTC program
  • How to gain a ROTC Scholarship

With tuition costs rising beyond the $40,000 a year level at such places as USC, many college-bound students are ardently searching for scholarships, grants, and work study programs. Some are avoiding the escalating costs altogether by gaining admission to the service academies (West Point, Annapolis, Air Force), where tuition, room and board, and medical are covered. More on gaining admissions to the service academies can be found at:  /imported-20110121194859/2008/9/2/attending-us-service-academies.html. The service academies, however, are not for everyone, particularly if you’re not engineering or mathematically inclined. Another alternative is to apply for a ROTC scholarship, which can be used at a range of schools nationwide, and, in conjunction with many different majors (including a number of liberal arts majors).

In fact, the military is actively recruiting students who major in foreign languages, area studies, and history—traditionally within the liberal arts world. One such student, who graduated from Dickinson College’s ROTC program with a major in Middle Eastern Studies and with a facility in Arabic, was stationed in Kandahar province in Afghanistan. Interestingly, his recitation of the Koran to a group of tribesmen led to his troop’s success in rooting out the local Taliban. Consequently, the military understands the value of liberal arts majors. It wants and needs officers who are ‘critical thinkers’.

You don’t, of course, have to be attending a most selective school in order to gain a ROTC scholarship. Your first task is to determine which branch of the military you’re interested in. Then, you might begin your search in your high school career counseling center, or on-line (if you’re planning on an Army ROTC program go to the following link, http://www.goarmy.com/rotc/find-schools.html). Even if the school you’re planning to attend doesn’t have a ROTC program, probably a school near it does; in the case of Yale, for example, four Yale students currently participate through the University of Connecticut.  As mentioned, you are likely to find the name of your recruiter in your high school’s career counseling office. Then:

  • Do well on your SAT or ACT, as that will factor into your scholarship potential
  • If you have a junior ROTC unit at your high school, join it. Troy HS does, and a number of its graduates go on to ROTC programs in college
  • Stay physically fit (Certainly be able to do 50 sit ups and 12 pull ups, and run at least 3 times a week)
  • Get good grades in a rigorous curriculum in high school. More importantly, learn good study habits.
  • Obviously, you don’t want your record blemished by any connection with illegal substances, including alcohol, as that would be an immediate disqualifier.

What are your commitments to the armed forces should you enroll in ROTC? Unlike when you enter one of the service academies (such as West Point), your entry into ROTC is not equivalent to ‘enlisting’. Your service commitment depends on your participation within the ROTC. For example, the Army ROTC program offers 2-, 3-, and 4-year scholarships, which can pay for full tuition (or room and board), fees, books, and possibly include a monthly stipend up to $5,000 per year. If you’re lucky enough to obtain such a scholarship, you are obligated to serve for four years. Should you not be a scholarship winner, but graduate from the ROTC advanced course, in which you’ve learned military tactics and gained experience in team organization, planning, and decision making, you will become a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and must serve for 3 years.

Obviously, you’ll need to discuss the specifics of the officer’s training classes and commitments with your recruiter, but what ROTC does bring, is the opportunity to offset the expense of a college education, with the discipline of training for the armed services. Should you elect to take advantage of ROTC, you will graduate from college with the training to become a leader, and, that alone, makes this an appealing prospect.

ROTC 장학금

  • 등록금 비싼 USC를 다닐 수 있는 방법
  • Dickinson College’s ROTC program
  • ROTC 장학금을 얻는 방법

 USC 같은 대학이 등록금이 4만불이 넘는 상황에서 많은 학생들이 장학금, 그랜트, 근로봉사 등을 찾으려고 애를 쓰고 있다.  어떤 학생들은 엄청난 등록금을 감당하기 보다는 등록금, 숙식비, 의료까지 지원되는 군복무 대학(west Point, Annapolis, Air force)으로 가서 해결하려한다.   이 대학들에 대해서는 필자의 자료에서 찾을 수 있다 (http://www.ivycollegeprep.net/imported-20110121194859/2008/9/2/attending-us-service-academies.html. ).  그러나, 이 대학들은 수학이나 공학을 즐기지 않는 학생에게는 어렵다.  그대신 다른 대안은 전국 대학에서 가능하며, 모든 전공(인문학 전공까지)도 가능한 ROTC 장학금을 받는 것이다.

실제 군대에서는 전통적인 인문학분야인 외국어, 지역연구, 역사 전공자들을 찾고 있다.  한 예로 중동연구를 전공하고 아랍어에 능숙한 Dickinson 대학의 ROTC 프로그램의 졸업학생이 아프카니스탄의  카다하지역에 배치되어 코란암송 실력으로 부대를 텔레반 색출에 성공시킨 경우도 있다.  결론적으로 군에서는 인문학의 중요성을 이해하고 있다.  즉, 군에서는 ‘비평적 사고가’를 찾고 있고, 필요로 한다.

물론 ROTC 장학금을 얻기 위해 명문대에 다닐 필요는 없다.  먼저, 여러분이 군의 어느 분야에 관심이 있는지를 결정해야 한다.  다음, 고교의 진로센타나 온라인 (http://www.goarmy.com/rotc/find-schools.html)에서 써치를 시작해야 한다.  여러분이 가고 싶은 대학이 ROTC 프로그램이 없으면, 그 부근의 대학에서 찾으면 된다.  예를 들면, 예일대의 경우 4명의 학생이 현재 University of Connecticut의 이 프로그램에 참여하고 있다.  또한 고교의 진로센타에서 모집관의 이름도 알 수 있다.  다음,

  • SAT/ACT을 잘 보아라, 그러면, 장학금을 확보할 수 있다.
  • 만약 고교에 junior ROTC 가 있으면, 가입하라.  이 프로그램이 있는 Troy 고교는 이 프로그램 졸업생들이 대학 ROTC에도 진학하고 있다.
  • 건강을 유지하라(Sit ups 50번; pull ups 12번; 일주일에 3번 달리기)
  • 고교의 수준 높은 과목에서 좋은 점수를 받아라.  무엇보다 학습습관을 배워라.
  • 술을 비롯한 약물에 대한 오점을 남겨서는 안 된다.  바로 부자격자가 된다.

이러한 ROTC 에 가입하면 어떤 의무가 있는가?  군복무 대학(West Point)과 달리 바로 복무로 이어지지 않는다.   여러분이 어떤 ROTC 프로그램에 참여하는지에 따라서 다르다.  예를 들면, 2년, 3년, 4년의 장학금 종류가 있으며, 등록금, 숙식, 책, 월수당 (년, $5,000)까지 제공된다.  만약 이 장학금을 받으면, 4년 복무의무가 주어진다.  만약 이 장학금 수혜자가 아니면, 군기술을 배우고 팀조직 과 계획, 의사결정 등을 경험하는 이익이 있으며, a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant 가 되며, 3년간 복무해야 한다.

물론, 훈련과 의무에 대해 모집관과 상의해야 한다.  ROTC 프로그램이 대학비용을 절감하고 군 훈련의 기회를 갖는 것은 분명하다.  여러분이 ROTC 프로그램의 혜택을 누린다면, 리더로서의 훈련과 좋은 전망을 가지고 대학을 졸업할 수 있다.

The Financial Aid Award Appeal Process

  • Don Betterton, former Princeton financial aid officer, on appealing
  • Act quickly, there is little time
  • Financial Appeal
  • Competitive Appeal

Usually along with your offer of admission comes your financial aid letter. Some schools, like Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, however, send a link to have you log on to their financial aid site to view your financial aid package. Whether paper or digital, the key question is: does the financial package offered allow you to attend without incurring painful debt?

Last year, I had a number of students who were admitted into some of the top liberal arts colleges in the country: Reed, Whitman, Occidental, and Vassar among them; yet, their joy of being accepted was soon forgotten by financial aid packages that did not adequately address Need (as you might remember: Cost of Attendance (COA) – Effective Family Contribution (EFC) -which is calculated from the FAFSA form-= Need).

As an example, if you’re planning to attend Bryn Mawr, its COA is around $56,000; let’s assume your EFC is $17,000, then your ‘Need’ is $39,000. In its financial aid package Bryn Mawr offers you $19,000 in grants and scholarships and in loans $5,800. There is still a gap in your Need of: $39,000 - $24,800 = $14,200.  When you go to College Navigator, you notice that Bryn Mawr, in grants and scholarships, on average, awards around $27,000. You’re hoping that it might be more generous with your package. Since the Bryn Mawr website states that it will attempt to satisfy need ‘with a need-based Bryn Mawr grant’ you’re hoping that you might be able to obtain more aid. It’s time to engage in the financial aid appeal process.

Appealing a financial aid decision, or asking for ‘reconsideration of the original award,’ occurs often. Colleges usually hold back 10-15% of scholarship/grant monies in a reserve for appeals. Don Betterton, a former 30-year veteran Princeton financial aid officer, wrote an article on the appeal process, http://www.simpletuition.com/pay-for-college/plan/financial-aid-award/the-financial-aid-appeal-process/ ; well worth reading though many of its highlights follow.  

Rule number 1: get the appeal process in motion as quickly as possible. You need to be done before the May 1st deadline. The contact number is likely on the award document you received; call and ask politely (always be polite throughout the process) the procedures you need to follow. Sometimes issues can be handled by phone, though be prepared to send the office more information to validate your claims. Betterton, however, strongly suggests meeting, in person, with the financial aid department. Assuming that flying to Bryn Mawr is not possible, arrange to have a phone discussion with an aid officer, the higher ranking the better.

The word ‘negotiate’ is not popular among the financial aid officers (for obvious reasons); instead use a term such as ‘discuss’ or ‘clarify’. There are two kinds of appeals, financial and competitive.

Financial is the far more common. The appeal focuses on the need to reduce the EFC number. In short the school is too expensive and a family cannot incur ridiculous debt loads for their student to attend. In most cases a family will need to supply necessary supporting documents: income taxes, list of assets, special circumstances…anything that will sway the counselor to reduce the EFC.

The other is a competitive appeal. This is usually reserved for private schools. Public schools usually give their best offers up front: few have the resources to negotiate. Generally, the most selective schools have policies that allow them to counter competitive offers (and have the scholarship resources to compete). In all likelihood, the school you approach will want to see copies of the other schools’ financial award letters,

The financial aid office will never give you a worse financial package as a consequence of an appeal. If anything, you’re going to be better off, or the same as you were before you entered into the discussion. Furthermore, according to universitybusiness.com, ‘…the yield on admits who appeal is typically higher than the overall yield on the class.’ Your appeal, in other words, shows your strong interest in the school, and your interest in saving money. I can’t think of a better way to bond with your first choice college. 

The Financial Aid Award Appeal Process

재정보조상금에 대한 재고요청 절차

  • 전 Princeton 재정보조관(Don Betterton)의 설명
  • 서둘러라!
  • 재정 재고요청
  • 경쟁적 재고요청

보통 입학제의와 함께 재정보조 편지가 온다.  Cal Poly San Luis Obispo와 같은 대학은 재정보조 싸이트에서 여러분의 보조자료들을 볼 수 있도록 알려준다.  편지이든 링크이든, 중요한 질문이 있다: 재정보조가 빚지지않고 대학에 다닐 수 있게 해 주는가?

지난해 필자의 학생 중에서 명문 인문대학: Reed, Whitman, Occidental, Vassr 등에 입학허가된 여러 명의 학생들이 있었다.  그러나, 재정보조 정도가 필요(재학비용:COA-가족보조: EFC)=필요: FAFSA에서 계산됨)를 채울 수 없음을 깨닫고 기쁨도 잠깐 이었다고 한다.

예를 들면, 만약 Bryn Mawr에 진학한다면, COA는 $56,000이다.  여러분의 EFC 가 $17,000이라면, “필요”는 $39,000이다.  Bryn Mawr에서 $19,000을 그랜트와 장학금으로 대출로 $5,800을 제공한다면, $39,000-$24,800=$14,200 이다.  그러나, College Navigator에서 Bryn Mawr을 조사하면, 평균 재정보조는 $27,000이다.  그러므로 대학에 좀 더 요구할 수 있다.  Bryn Mawr대학에서도 ‘필요에 따른 Bryn Mawr 그랜트’를 제공한다고 웹싸이트에 나와있다.  그러므로 가능한 일이다.  이제 재정보조 재고 요청을 할 시간이다.

재정보조 결정에 재고를 요청하거나, ‘상금에 대한 재고’를 요청하는 일은 종종 있다.  대학들도 장학금의 10-15%를 재고요청에 대비해서 마련해 두고 있다.  Don Betterton (전 Princeton 30년 재정보조 베테랑)이 이 절차 (http://www.simpletuition.com/pay-for-college/plan/financial-aid-award/the-financial-aid-appeal-process/)를 밝히고 있는데, 읽을 가치가 있다.

규칙 1: 가능한한 빨리 액션을 취하라.  5월1일 전에 해야 한다.  어디로 연락을 취해야 하는지는 상에 나타나 있다.  전화를 한다면, 공손하게 (전 과정을 공손하게 해야 한다) 말해야 한다.  여러분의 정보를 확인하도록 해야 하지만, 전화라도 가능하다.  Betterton은 가능한한 직접 찾아가라고 권한다.  그러나 Bryn Mawr까지 날아가는 것이 불가능하면, 담당관과 전화로 하지만, 높은 위치의 담당자와 해야한다.

재정보조 담당관과 상의할 때 ‘협상’의 단어는 맞지가 않다, 분명한 이유가 있어야 하기 때문에.  그대신, ‘상의,’ ‘명확히하기’가 맞는 표현이다.  또한 두 종류의 재고요청이 있다: 재정과 경쟁.

먼저, 재정보조는 다반사이다.  재고요청은 EFC를 줄이는 것이다.  정말 대학이 너무 비싸고, 가족들이 이 모든 빚을 떠맡을 수는 없기 때문이다.  대부분 가족들은 필요한 자료들을 제공한다: 수입, 자산들, 특수 상황등등….하나라도 재정보조를 받아서 EFC를 낮출 수 있는 사항들.

다음은, 경쟁적 재고요청이다.  일반적으로 사립대학에 맞다.  공립대학은 보통 최대한으로 제공하므로 별로 재고를 요청할 여지가 없다.  대부분의 명문대학들은 경쟁적 제공(장학금 제공에서도 경쟁력을 가지려 한다)을 제시한다.  그래서 다른 대학에서 제공한다는 재정보조상금에 대하여 알고자 한다.

재정담당관이 재고요청 때문에 재정제공을 낮추는 일은 없다.  어쨌든 더 좋아지거나, 아니면, 그대로 이다.  더욱이, universitybusiness.com에 따르면, ‘….재고요청을 한 경우, 대부분은 평균보다 높은 수확이 있다.’  다시 말해, 여러분의 재고요청은 그 대학에 대한 강한 관심을 보이는 것이며, 돈을 아끼려는 느낌을 준다.  필자로서도 대학선택에 대한 강한 의지로 보여진다.

A Question of Financial Aid

  •         Using College Navigator to find Cost of Attending
  •         Using College Navigator to compare quality of your financial package
  •         A Word about Parent Plus Loans-Avoid

As your acceptances begin to pour in, it’s critical to review each school’s financial aid package. The best way of evaluating the offers is by placing them on a spreadsheet, or a big piece of paper, and writing down the following information for each of your schools:

Line 1: The Total Cost of Attending (tuition + room & board + books + any fees + any projected travel) [COA]

Line 2: Your Effective Family Contribution (calculated by the FAFSA form) [EFC]

Line 3: Your Need (calculated by: Line 1 – Line 2)

Line 4: The detailed financial package you’ve been offered.

The above is the fundamental financial aid formula. If you hate formulas, please read on anyway; the information might prove useful.

Now, let’s go line-by-line using Georgetown University as an example. Starting on Line 1, the cost of attending [COA], can be found in College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/: type in ‘Georgetown,’ and click on the tab, “Tuition, Fees, and Estimated Student Expenses.” You’ll discover that tuition for 2010-2011 is $40,203, books and supplies $1,184, room & board $12,798, other fees $2,340, and, assuming you’re traveling from California to get there, possibly several times during the year, it’s safe to estimate travel costs at $2,100. The total COA for Georgetown is $58,625.

Line 2, effective family contribution, [EFC], is calculated from the information that you’ve entered on your FAFSA form. If you’re not yet a senior, you can estimate your EFC by going to finaid.org (http://www.finaid.org/calculators/scripts/estimate.cgi) or the College Board, and enter your information into its EFC calculator. Obviously, you want to have your EFC as low as possible.  For the sake of this example, let’s say your EFC is $17,000.

Line 3, your need, is calculated by subtracting line 2 from line 1. This amounts to $41,625.  Now you will see just how much of your ‘need’ has been covered by Georgetown. The good news is Georgetown is need blind and fully meets the need of US applicants. So let’s assume that Georgetown has offered you scholarships and grants amounting to $25,000 for freshman year, with the balance in work/study $2800, and loans, $13,825.  Staying in College Navigator, click on the tab, Financial Aid. You’ll find the number of students who received financial aid in 2010 is 910 students.  58% of the class received $26,794, in grants and scholarships, on average. Georgetown has given you a package that is pretty close, though you still can make a case for the additional $1,794. Now, on Georgetown’s need amount, there is no $2,100 in travel; you’ll have to negotiate with the financial aid office to get them to offset that cost. Subtracting those amounts from the $13,825, you’re now at $9,931. On College Navigator you’ll find that the average amount of student loan aid is $6,727. You’re only $3,204 apart.

A word about loans: If you must take out a loan you’ll want a federally subsidized Stafford loan or Perkins loan, if at all possible. These loans have low, fixed interest rates and the interest doesn’t start ticking until you’re finished with college (and can be delayed should you go on to graduate school).  Avoid Parent Plus loans no matter what the situation. Parent Plus is a full recourse loan (meaning the lender can get its money back anyway it sees fit, placing a lean on your house, garnishing your wages…), is not dischargeable, which means even if you declare bankruptcy the loan will not be dismissed and will continue accumulating interest and fees, and can potentially destroy your credit rating before you take one step into the workforce. (If you wish to learn more about the dangers of Student Loans please refer to Debt Free U by Zac Bissonnette, p. 61-97).

Congratulations, you’ve done a good job evaluating your Georgetown financial package. When negotiating your financial aid, treat it no differently than buying a car. You want to negotiate the lowest price possible through whatever grant and scholarship monies are available. Better still, you know they want you, after all they accepted you and they want the best yield (# students matriculating/# students accepted) percentage possible—it helps with their US News ranking. Negotiate hard, and go Hoyas.

재정 보조에 관하여

  •        College Navigator에서 학비 계산하기
  •        College Navigator에서 재정 보조 비교하기
  •        Parent Plus Loan 절대로 피해라

이제 합격의 소식이 들리기 시작하면, 재정 보조 제안을 비교 분석하는 것이 필수적이다.  가장 좋은 방법은 큰 종이나 계산 종이 위에 각 대학의 정보를 적는 일이다:

첫 줄: 재학 총 비용 (등록금+숙식비+책값+기타 비용+여행비)[COA]

둘째 줄: 가족이 댈 수 있는 금액(FAFSA양식에서 계산) )[EFC]

셋째 줄: 부족부분(첫줄-둘째줄)

넷째 줄: 제안받은 재정보조 제안

이것이 기본적인 재정 보조 공식이다.  이 공식이 맘에 안 들어도 끝까지 읽으면, 유용하다는 것을 알게 될 것이다.

먼저, Georgetown University를 예를 들어 한 줄씩 계산을 해보자.  첫 줄 계산을 위해 College Navigaor (http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/)에서 COA를 계산하자.  ‘Georgetown’을 치고, “tuition, fees, and estimated student expenses”의 탭을 클릭하자.  그러면, 2010-2011년도의 등록금이 $40,203이고, 책과 학용품이 $1,184, 숙식비용이 $12,789, 다른 비용이 $2,340이다.  만약 캘리포니아에서 간다면, 년간 오고 가는 비용을 계산하면, 여행비용을 $2,100으로 잡고, 총 COA는 $58,625가 된다.

다음, 둘째 줄의 가족이 대는 비용 (EFC)를 계산하면, FAFSA에서 계산하거나, 졸업반이 아니면, finaid.org(http://www.finaid.org/calculators)나  College Board에 개인정보를 넣으면, 알 수 있다.  최소한의 EFC를 계산하는데, 대략, $17,000이라고 하자.

셋째 줄의 필요부분은 첫 줄에서 둘째 줄을 빼면, $41,625가 된다.  이 금액을 어떻게 대학이 제공할지를 살펴보자.  좋은 소식은 Georgetown은 이유를 따지지 않고 미국 응시자에게 보조를 한다는 사실이다.  그래서 대학이 $25,000을 장학금과 그랜트로 준다고 하자. 그리고나서 work/study로 $2,800을 받고, 대출을 $13,825를 받는다면 해결이 된다.  College Navigator에서 Financial Aid를 찾으면, 2010년도에 910명의 학생들이 재정보조를 받았음을 알 수 있다.  58%의 학생이 평균 $26,794를 장학금과 그랜트로 받았다.  여러분도 이런 제의를 받는다면, $1,794만이 부족이다.  그러나 Georgetown은 여행을 위한 $2,100에 대한 보조는 없다.  이제 여러분은 재정담당을 찾아가서 협상을 해야 한다.  그래서 해결이 되면, 이제 $13,825에서 빼면, $9,931만 남는다.  College Navigator을 보면, 평균 학생대출보조는 $6,727이다.  그러면, 이제 $3,204만 남아있다.

대출에 대한 한마디: 대출을 받아야 한다면, Stafford나 Perkins 론을 받도록 해야 한다.  이 대출은 이자율이 낮고, 고정되어 있고, 대학을 마칠 때까지 이자율이 오르지 않는다(대학원을 간다면, 더 연기된다).  어떤 상황에서라도 Parent Plus 대출은 피해야 한다.  이 대출은 상환대출 (반드시 갚아야 하며, 주택에 차압이나 월급의 차압도 가능하다)이고, 피할 수 없고, 파산을 선고해도 이자율도 계속 올라가고 직장을 시작하기도 전에 여러분의 크레딧을 잃게 한다 (만약 이 위험에 대해 더 자세히 알고 싶다면, Zac Bissonnette의 Debt Free U 의 P. 61-97참고바람).

여러분이 Georgetown의 재정보조를 잘 평가해보았다면, 축하를 보낸다.  이것은 여러분이 차를 살 때와 다르지 않다는 것을 명심해야 한다.  그랜트와 장학금으로 최대한 낮은 비용을 내도록 협상해야 한다.  도한 일단 입학제안을 받으면, 대학이 좋은 입학률을 위해 US News의 등급에 필요하기 때문) 여러분을 필요로 한다는 사실을 염두에 두고 협상에 임해야 한다.  잘 협상하여 Georgetown 재학생이 되길 바란다.

 

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