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Old 01-19-2012, 02:13 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,655,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post
I agree that until the final aid package is put together, one doesn't really know what one is dealing with. IME, granted this was awhile ago, there is a bit of a disconnect between what the schools think (or calculate) the family contribution should be and what financial contribution is actually feasible for the family. There were several private schools I was accepted into, including Ivies, that even with academic scholarships and aid were still too expensive to be viable options for me compared to state schools (which turned out to provide an excellent place for my academic goals). Maybe things have changed in the past 15 years. Certainly, every family situation is different.

I think it's great for kids to apply to a broad range and as you rightly say see what the final aid package says. Why limit oneself right off the bat? As a former disappointed kid, though, I would be really clear up front what the financial realities are, if that makes sense.
Some of whats not being accounted for there are things like "early decision" for hyper competitive schools and the cost and time it takes to apply and the limited deadlines for doing so. It's important to start early to get your choices narrowed down but I think most kids are going to ultimately end up applying to maybe 3 or 4 schools.

1. The dream school.
2. The good choice.
3. The backup.

Maybe they add another good choice or dream school in for good measure, but you aren't really getting any information back to make a decision until all of the schools respond and give you the offer. You can't go into it expecting that you are going to get a good financial aid package, so some of your choices need to be schools that you can actually afford to go to. The ultimate choice gets made once you have all the information, but still, you need to narrow it down a bit before you start.

When I was applying in the late-90's you were generally counselled to apply to 3 or 4 schools. Is this different now? Are kids being told to apply to 5 or 6+ schools? Given how detailed (and pricey) some of the applications are, is that even feasible?
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3,388 posts, read 3,234,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Some of whats not being accounted for there are things like "early decision" for hyper competitive schools and the cost and time it takes to apply and the limited deadlines for doing so. It's important to start early to get your choices narrowed down but I think most kids are going to ultimately end up applying to maybe 3 or 4 schools.

1. The dream school.
2. The good choice.
3. The backup.

Maybe they add another good choice or dream school in for good measure, but you aren't really getting any information back to make a decision until all of the schools respond and give you the offer. You can't go into it expecting that you are going to get a good financial aid package, so some of your choices need to be schools that you can actually afford to go to. The ultimate choice gets made once you have all the information, but still, you need to narrow it down a bit before you start.

When I was applying in the late-90's you were generally counselled to apply to 3 or 4 schools. Is this different now? Are kids being told to apply to 5 or 6+ schools? Given how detailed (and pricey) some of the applications are, is that even feasible?
These are good points. I don't know what the current convention for number of applications is. I vaguely recall being told to apply to about 10 (in the mid-90s).
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:54 PM
 
2,159 posts, read 3,746,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucidkitty View Post
o.o
Ooh.. I know, I am sooo mean for making my child be responsible for himself once he becomes an adult
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:40 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,548,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Some of whats not being accounted for there are things like "early decision" for hyper competitive schools and the cost and time it takes to apply and the limited deadlines for doing so. It's important to start early to get your choices narrowed down but I think most kids are going to ultimately end up applying to maybe 3 or 4 schools.

1. The dream school.
2. The good choice.
3. The backup.

Maybe they add another good choice or dream school in for good measure, but you aren't really getting any information back to make a decision until all of the schools respond and give you the offer. You can't go into it expecting that you are going to get a good financial aid package, so some of your choices need to be schools that you can actually afford to go to. The ultimate choice gets made once you have all the information, but still, you need to narrow it down a bit before you start.

When I was applying in the late-90's you were generally counselled to apply to 3 or 4 schools. Is this different now? Are kids being told to apply to 5 or 6+ schools? Given how detailed (and pricey) some of the applications are, is that even feasible?
To tag on to the 3 above, we have also told the kids 3 schools that are dream schools for cost (i.e Notre Dame at 54,000/year), good choice and cheep. In otherwords, make sure you apply to a variety of price ranges as well as caliber of schools.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:43 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,655,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post
These are good points. I don't know what the current convention for number of applications is. I vaguely recall being told to apply to about 10 (in the mid-90s).
I was curious so I looked it up...

To How Many Colleges Should You Apply? This Article Discusses How Many Colleges You Should Apply To

They say that recommendations range from 3-12, with the average being about 6 or 7. The article recommends applying to 3 "reach" schools, 3 "match" schools and 2 "safety" schools, so 8 overall. With each one costing about $50 in application fees and needing several hours per application, that's a lot of time and money. I see the value in doing it, however.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:43 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,548,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOhioBound View Post
Ooh.. I know, I am sooo mean for making my child be responsible for himself once he becomes an adult
I'm all for responsible kids but the hard part is that your income determines what your child will pay. Back when we were in school it was easier to get around that when your parents were not helping with expenses for college but that has been tightened up significantly now and it's next to impossible to get around that. Just some information. Our kids will be expected to pay for as much schooling as they can (scholarships, aid package, summer jobs, etc.) but after that we will help because they are going to be penalized because they have to count our income.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3,388 posts, read 3,234,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I was curious so I looked it up...

To How Many Colleges Should You Apply? This Article Discusses How Many Colleges You Should Apply To

They say that recommendations range from 3-12, with the average being about 6 or 7. The article recommends applying to 3 "reach" schools, 3 "match" schools and 2 "safety" schools, so 8 overall. With each one costing about $50 in application fees and needing several hours per application, that's a lot of time and money. I see the value in doing it, however.
Good to know- thanks for looking it up. I found it interesting that tuition/cost wasn't mentioned at all in the article wrt making school selections.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:49 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,655,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOhioBound View Post
Ooh.. I know, I am sooo mean for making my child be responsible for himself once he becomes an adult
Not questioning your reasons, but there are a lot of ways to handle that. One of my siblings is reasonably well off financially and has one child. The sibling could easily afford to write a check to cover the costs. Instead, they chose to have their child take out loans to cover any amount that was not already covered by scholarships. The deal was that if the child graduated and maintained a sufficient GPA, then the parent would pay off the loans. If the child didn't graduate or failed to maintain the GPA, then they would be responsible for repaying the loans.

I think that was a good way to strike a balance between helping set your child up for the future, but also making them take personal responsibility for the choices they make. My sibling wasn't going to finance 4 years of partying and a 2.0 GPA.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:57 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,655,547 times
Reputation: 14281
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post
Good to know- thanks for looking it up. I found it interesting that tuition/cost wasn't mentioned at all in the article wrt making school selections.
I thought so as well. I think university academia (I think the author of that article was an admissions person) is loathe to talk about making value/cost benefit decisions when it comes to school choice. Most of them are quite comfortable telling kids to take out loans for thousands of dollars to cover the price of their school when they could get the same thing at the state school for less money.

The ultimate decision to me really comes down to looking at earning potential versus education cost. This relationship has grown further and further skewed these days where more expensive schools simply aren't worth it. I know most kids don't necessarily know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, but at least have some idea to help make an informed choice.

I don't know how many people I've interviewed for $25k a year jobs that are $50k+ in student loan debt with a theology degree from a big name school. Those people made a horrible choice.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:09 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,703 posts, read 21,889,919 times
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I personally applied to 9 colleges. That was over 30 years ago. It was a very competitive time, as I am a "tail end baby boomer."

This is a more competitive time. Here is why - 1. This is the "Baby Boomer Echo" generation. Less children, but more parents who went to college and /or want that for their children.
2. The Economy
3. college has "arrived" so to speak. Rather than the exception to the rule it's become the rule.

Obviously, if all you want for your child in community college,you needn't worry.
If you want anything more than that, you have a good student, and they want "the whole college experience" apply to as m,any colleges as is feasible. (without getting crazy)
Financial aid packages will differ. Especially at private schools, but also at out of state publics, and to a lesser extent, in-state public schools.
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