The Future of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Colleges will trim and revise financial aid offers for the next few years. High school Class of 2020 and 2021 will be the first to feel the impact.

College Admissions, Financial Aid, College Scholarships


Those statements are, admittedly, my own reckoning. I have no insider information. What I have is the ability to add 2+2+2 and come up with 6 as my answer.

  • The ongoing corona-virus precautions are generating new expenses (sanitizing alone!).
  • The onset of the pandemic wreaked financial havoc -- the closing of campuses.
  • The tanking of our economy is pressuring everyone -- citizen and university alike.
  • Every college in America is anticipating reduced enrollments and, consequently, reduced revenue.
  • Looking to the U.S. Treasury for bailouts?  Get in line, right?
Enough. You get my point and, I feel confident, understand the conclusions that present themselves. To parents and students anticipating college matriculation later this summer, 2020 --
  • Parents
    • Read again, and thoroughly, the agreements and contracts you and/or your student signed for financial aid awards. The colleges have language in there that is a backdoor for them. Understand what your rights are under the terms of the agreements, and what the college's prerogatives are.
    • Anticipate reductions in "scholarships" and other grants-in-aid (non-federal). Reductions in financial aid grants may not come this fall. You may see them Winter Term; and definitely anticipate revised financial aid offers for the 2021-2022 academic year. Revised -- what I mean is, you may not be proffered the same amount of financial aid for 2021-2022 as you received 2020-2021.
  • Students  
    • Now more than ever, devote yourself to academic pursuits. You do not need to make straight A's. Don't put that kind of pressure on yourself. You must, however, demonstrate maturity, along with focus and commitment to academic achievement.
    • Do NOT "cut" any college classes (i.e. skip school). Less-than-100% attendance will be a first consideration (my prediction) for modifying financial aid awards. If you miss because of illness, follow carefully the requirements to be excused. Read your student handbook.
    • On the same track do NOT veer astray of standards of conduct, honor codes, campus security, etc. Stay away from alcohol, marijuana, non-prescription drugs, and whatever else your peers are indulging. Violation of codes of conduct will result in revised financial aid awards.
    • Do NOT spend any cash deposited to your student account on personal-pleasure trips, non-academic gadgets, etc. Food, shelter, clothing and academic supplies only! Save those dollars to offset any reduced financial aid realities in your sophomore year, and so on. A school audit of your use of financial aid is not out of the question.
Financial aid appeals will, I predict, flood college offices in the spring of 2021. Staff will be overwhelmed and will grab the "Denied" stamp reflexively. Any deviation from excellence in academics, or personal conduct will be all of the justification needed.

Hang on tight, my friends. The decade of the 20's promises to be a wild ride.

 

Posted in College Planning, College Planning Strategies.

High School Seniors Win $14million in Scholarships -- true or false?

Did Hough High school students really receive $14,000,000 in scholarships?

That is how the headline read in the blog "Cornelius Today."

"How come my student didn't get that kind of money?" you may painfully wonder.

"I'm going to find those scholarships for my child!" you may resolve.

Take a deep breath and let's dig into the numbers.

college scholarships, paying for college, how to pay for college


Click this link and see the table breaking down all high schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg's system.

$13,953,220 awarded in 287 scholarships. I could go on all day, but I will refrain and make just four, simple points.

  • There were approximately 700 seniors in Hough's Class of 2020, and 287 scholarship winners reported. +/- 400 students (apparently) were awarded $0.00.
  • Do the math and the average scholarship is $48,618, yet the cost-of-attendance at most UNC System universities is under $26,000
  • At the bottom of the report critical data is noted: over $23,000,000 were athletic grants-in-aid. That is NOT "Scholarships." Athletic-grants-in-aid are awarded to athletes for athletic prowess. Some athletes report only modest academic achievements.
  • Finally, the $48,618 average scholarship is an aggregate number. In other words, as students heard back from 4, 6, 8, 10 (or more?) colleges, and as each college tendered an offer of, let's say $3,000 per year, or $4,000 per year, maybe even $10,000, all of the numbers were added together for that student to aggregate at $48,000+

Let me tell you about Michael. He was awarded (rounding off) $30,000 by Rose-Hulman, $28,000 by Rennselaer Polytechnic, $3,000 by the University of Maryland**, and $22,000 by Virginia Tech. Using the criteria above, I could have reported that my student, Michael, was awarded $83,000 in scholarships. Instead, my report is that Michael is at Virginia Tech paying in-state tuition as an out-of-state student. An excellent deal for his family!

As the saying goes, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Before I go, here's a final, encouraging note. Michael will pay around $100,000 - $110,000 for his bachelor's degree in engineering. Do you want to guess how Michael is spending his summer, between college junior and senior years? As I write this (June 18) he is starting an internship with General Motors in Detroit, working in the autonomous, electric vehicle research division.** I expect him to be amply rewarded for his excellence in academics, and to recoup that $100-G's quickly.

** University of Maryland and General Motors will not hyperlink. Copy and paste the URLs here:
https://umd.edu
https://www.gm.com/masthead-story/electric-vehicles-AV-EV.html

Posted in College Planning, College Planning Strategies. Tagged as college planning lake norman, college scholarships, how to pay cash for college, how to pay for bachelor's degree, how to pay for college, money for college, online college consultants, paying for college, scholarships for college.

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