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Thread: Did these kids ever hear of financial aid?

  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iamsohooked
    There is alot wrong with the system but there are somethings positive too. My neighbors two oldest children did attend an ivy league school on full 4-year all expenses paid scholaships. These are kids who attended a city public high school and excelled and were rewarded. This is a family who lives paycheck to paycheck on a postman's salary, in an old house with one car. These girls are both very smart (like the ones on the show) and it was their only hope of a good college education without debt. One of them has gone on to graduate school where they pay her tuition, housing and a salary for the year!

    On the other hand - my second son graduated valedictorian of his class. In Massachusetts, valedictorian's receive scholarships - only the year he graduated they discontinued those scholarships due to financial problems. Well, the next year the government must have had more money as they reinstated those scholarships - a year too late for my son. Massachusetts has a mandatory test that must be passed to graduate from high school called MCAS. My son's class was the first class to have to pass this test to graduate. This year (2 years later) they established a scholarship fund for students scoring above average on this test - 4year paid tuition to a state or community college. My son graduated 2 years too late for this one and how ironic that he attends a state college.

    So as you see this is a huge sore spot for me. I hope by the time my daughter graduates high school that maybe we can qualify for something or maybe the scholarships will apply the year she graduates. I think we should get alittle something in return for not milking the government for anything and paying thru the nose.
    Iamsohooked, your post hit it on the nail. Yes, your neoghbour's kids did great at school and deserved to get an Ivy education. BUT... your son is a valedictorian. I'm pretty sure it was NOT very easy to him to be the BEST in school. It took lot of time, efforts and determination on his part to get there.
    My hat also goes off to you for being able to support your family of SEVEN and not relay on government help for anything.

    You said in another post :"My kids didn't have the choice of a 4-year ivy league or private college - it is out of our league."

    So in your case why were they PUNISHED for NOT getting the same aid jist because you and your husband SACRIFISED a lot by living frugaly and supporting your family? Is THIS fair? To you, to your husband, to your children?
    It is NOT. Period.

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justafan1
    Iamsohooked, your post hit it on the nail. Yes, your neoghbour's kids did great at school and deserved to get an Ivy education. BUT... your son is a valedictorian. I'm pretty sure it was NOT very easy to him to be the BEST in school. It took lot of time, efforts and determination on his part to get there.
    My hat also goes off to you for being able to support your family of SEVEN and not relay on government help for anything.

    You said in another post :"My kids didn't have the choice of a 4-year ivy league or private college - it is out of our league."

    So in your case why were they PUNISHED for NOT getting the same aid jist because you and your husband SACRIFISED a lot by living frugaly and supporting your family? Is THIS fair? To you, to your husband, to your children?
    It is NOT. Period.

    Thanks Justafan!

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justafan1
    Iamsohooked, your post hit it on the nail. Yes, your neoghbour's kids did great at school and deserved to get an Ivy education. BUT... your son is a valedictorian. I'm pretty sure it was NOT very easy to him to be the BEST in school. It took lot of time, efforts and determination on his part to get there.
    My hat also goes off to you for being able to support your family of SEVEN and not relay on government help for anything.

    You said in another post :"My kids didn't have the choice of a 4-year ivy league or private college - it is out of our league."

    So in your case why were they PUNISHED for NOT getting the same aid jist because you and your husband SACRIFISED a lot by living frugaly and supporting your family? Is THIS fair? To you, to your husband, to your children?
    It is NOT. Period.
    Not sure I follow here...sounds like the postman's family was also living frugally etc., but his daughters were lucky enough to get into a private school that could pay the full ride for them in scholarships. Maybe Iamsohooked's son would have had the same experience at the same school? (Maybe he didn't apply? or didn't get in? Schools like Harvard could fill their whole frosh class with valedictorians, but they don't, so some do get rejected as the school looks for very good students who also have a variety of other talents....the kid who ran the school paper but was only #6 in his class for example).
    What is insanely frustrating and unfair is that that good student son missed getting a scholarship because of that one year gap in the funding...be really interesting in 20 years to see what happened to that "class" of valedictorians, compared to those a year older or younger. If he turns out to be a sociologist or psychologist maybe one day he can study them! Meanwhile tho, hoping the good habits he built up in high school stand him in good stead in the future, and that this bad experience didn't discourage him. Most graduate work ops, in Ph.D. programs, do offer tuition remission and a salary for being a teaching assistant, etc. Some MA programs even do this. So if he can get through his BA he should be able to go on in most fields. If you go into an MD or law program you can get cheap loans as they figure you will be able to pay them back.
    Last edited by PWS; 07-06-2005 at 06:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iamsohooked
    trying not to highjack the thread but to just voice something. If this is the place to come to, where will we put them all? I know there are other countries out there that have good systems, nice ways of life and a chance to excell. Why don't the masses go there?
    The quick answer is: they do. The countries of Western Europe have lots of refugees and other immigrants also. So does Canada. I'm sure that somewhere there are relative numbers of immigrants per capita and so forth. (I have no idea who would come out on top on that one. It might or might not be the US.)

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    I think this is on topic. Apologies if not.

    Regarding support for college students by the government....I just wanted to point out that WE are "the government." We do have a say in where our nation chooses to put its resources. Some nations choose to have universal health care and universal higher education (typically for those who qualify by passing a rigorous series of examinations only, but still). Our nation chooses to expend its resources on other things. It is well within our power to make different choices if we wish to.

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    Sorry, this is going to be long post.

    I imagine these kids have heard of financial aid, and they will get some. Whether it will be enough, even for a state school, is another story.

    My daughter could have been one of these kids. (I could see her trying out for this show.) She graduated from HS in May 2004. She took all AP, Honors and concurrent enrollment courses. She maxed out math classes in her junior year. Her HS resume was two pages of state and national awards, leadership positions and volunteer activities. She was well-rounded, active in orchestra, math & science, many clubs and community activities. Because the school district did not use a weighted GPA, her only drawback was her 3.475 GPA. At her HS, honors classes and remedial classes carried the same weight.

    I saved for her since she was young, but being a single mom, etc., there just wasn’t going to be a lot of money. Also, I was told that whatever is saved would be better spent on college needs (computer, instrument, car, whatever) prior to filling out the FAFSA so that it doesn’t count against us.

    She would have gone regardless, but we were always going to need financial aid, loans, work study, whatever. She is also very determined. She worked hard to get where she was and was only moving up!

    She was recruited by hundreds of major colleges, private schools, the Ivies, MIT, etc. The mail box was stuffed every day for a year. She decided on Illinois Institute of Technology and was accepted onto their Chem. E and Honors Law programs. They offered her one of their benefactor-type scholarships, which would have covered most of the $10, 000/year tuition, but not begin to touch the over $7,000/year room & board or any of the other fees. On the other hand, the state university, and engineering department, each offered $1,000. That was it. Her GPA precluded any other scholarships. She wouldn’t be attending the local university. I think it rather hurt her feelings that her state university didn’t try harder to keep her.

    She applied for local and national scholarships. She got the Discover Card Tribute Award ($2,500), 7-11($1,000), and Best Buy ($1,000) and some smaller $100-$200 local awards. That left $4000 - hard but doable, for the first year. Even harder when all the smaller scholarships didn’t renew. This $$ put her a lot closer than she would have been otherwise, but it was going to be tough. Loans and work study would have to cover the rest. We figured she’d be 20 to 30 thousand in debt after 4 years.

    In the end, my daughter applied for and was awarded a wonderful unmet needs scholarship that will pay for everything through her Masters, if she goes that far. It was an absolute dream come true for her. And for me.

    Realistically, for some of these kids, this is a chance of a lifetime, in a way maybe the only chance. I imagine these kids will be in more or less the same place as my daughter. Sounds like some of them might have it even harder in terms of family contribution. Yeah, they’ll probably get financial aid offers. But these are stellar, hard-working, high achieving kids. There is so much competition for what money is available.
    At 17 or 18, this probably feels like the pressure of whole world to them. It is their dream and as young adults, they are realizing that it will be up to them to fulfill it.

  7. #77
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    I don't want to get too far into this debate, but I did want to draw attention to one school -- Berea College, in Kentucky, accepts exclusively (or almost exclusively) low-income students. They pay no tuition or board, but they do work -- all of them, work some sort of job on campus to help pay their way. I'm pretty sure they have high admissions standards for academic achievement as well. Both of my parents went there, and were so happy with the education they got that my mother was disappointed when she (on her public school teacher's salary) made too much for me to go there. However, it IS a Baptist school. Just a caveat. But my point is, that sort of school is out there. Few and far between, maybe, but there.

    I was lucky enough to garner several local scholarships, enough to pay for my tuition to a public school that wasn't Ivy League, but was damn close, and was in-state (the University of Virginia). My mother covered my room and board, and I managed to get a degree with no loan debt. For that I am very grateful.

    Personally, I would like to see more government support of higher education, in the form of scholarships and the like. A well-educated populace improves the workforce, which helps the economy, so I think education is in the government's interest.
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  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by PWS
    Not sure I follow here...sounds like the postman's family was also living frugally etc., but his daughters were lucky enough to get into a private school that could pay the full ride for them in scholarships. Maybe Iamsohooked's son would have had the same experience at the same school? (Maybe he didn't apply? or didn't get in? Schools like Harvard could fill their whole frosh class with valedictorians, but they don't, so some do get rejected as the school looks for very good students who also have a variety of other talents....the kid who ran the school paper but was only #6 in his class for example).
    What is insanely frustrating and unfair is that that good student son missed getting a scholarship because of that one year gap in the funding...be really interesting in 20 years to see what happened to that "class" of valedictorians, compared to those a year older or younger. If he turns out to be a sociologist or psychologist maybe one day he can study them! Meanwhile tho, hoping the good habits he built up in high school stand him in good stead in the future, and that this bad experience didn't discourage him. Most graduate work ops, in Ph.D. programs, do offer tuition remission and a salary for being a teaching assistant, etc. Some MA programs even do this. So if he can get through his BA he should be able to go on in most fields. If you go into an MD or law program you can get cheap loans as they figure you will be able to pay them back.
    My son was not offered any scholarships of any kind even being valedictorian. I feel personally it was because he was coming out of a vocational high school which are not fully valued in our education system. Had he attended a regular high school, maybe he would have been eligible for more. Not sure. He was granted one scholarship based on his graphic arts education from high school, he applied for that one himself. I do have to say that he was not involved alot in school, so alot of scholarships I looked at didn't apply since they consider community service and leadership along with grades. The scholarship was for $1200. but for the year only. It was alittle help. He didn't not look at private colleges or ivy league even tho we have a few in our area (Worcester,MA has 12 colleges), we knew that we weren't going to qualify for anything since we had been thru it with the first son so he went were he could.
    My neighbors do live very frugally. They always have, they do not want for bigger things. Their daughters are both very smart and talented girls and deserved the scholarships they got. It was their only way. I don't know how the last child will do, she is not like them in the grades department so she may end up at a state college too.
    I'm not saying that I want my kids to have a free ride, I never expected that. Just alittle help would have been nice, but to get nothing at all - with two kids in college was just a slap in the face to me. I still think that if you do thing "right" - you get screwed. I'm glad that there are kids out there who get the help and I think it is a wonderful thing but there needs to be alittle more "looking" into why some qualify and why some don't.
    Thanks all for listening! It made me feel better to know that we are not alone in our disappointment! I appreciated everyone's input greatly!

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by anemone
    Because the school district did not use a weighted GPA, her only drawback was her 3.475 GPA. At her HS, honors classes and remedial classes carried the same weight.
    I am soooo with you on this. The only 'C' I got in high school was in AP Physics. I didn't even need anymore science credits at that point, so I suppose my GPA would have been better if I had taken an elective like woodworking...

  10. #80
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    Financial aid is a really tricky subject. I remember in the second episode there was a discussion about family incomes. At least half of them were over $50,000, and I believe it was Davis' family who was at $100,000. There is no way these kids (half of them anyway) will qualify for any financial aid short of loans and merit based scholarships.

    And to the debate over public versus private, when you don't qualify for pell and the like, you honestly have the potential to get more money from private schools than public schools. The amount of money available for aid at Ivy League and prestigious private schools (Notre Dame, Duke, Vanderbilt, Stanford, USC, etc) are head and shoulders above state schools. Couple that with the networking possabilities, and it's no wonder kids want to go to high-end well-known private schools.

    Let's consider this. There are Notre Dame graduates employed at the majority of Fortune 500 companies (if not all of them). So if a fellow Irish alumni sees one of his own in the resume ranks, he is more likely to take notice. Students who go to say the University of South Alabama aren't afforded such national newtworking potential. Networking in the state of Alabama may be good, but try networking on your USA degree in San Francisco, Seattle, etc. and see how far it gets you. I can almost bet it won't get you as far as a degree from Notre Dame, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc.

    It's all subjective as to whether you can get just as good an education at a state school as you can a private school. I believe education is as much attitude and work eithic as anything else. So you CAN get a good education anywhere. But what you can do with that education may be limited if you want to expand beyond your current geographic setting. It's not impossible, but it will be an extra hurdle.

    If all things are equal, I think any of us would choose Harvard over the University of South Alabama or a similar school. I don't blame these kids for going for the best they can get. They've worked very hard to get in to Ivy League schools, and they should get every opportunity to achieve that goal. As Americans we all take brands very seriously, and colleges are brands. Chanel trumps Charlie. Dior trumps Old Spice. Clinique trumps Maybelline. And Stanford trumps the University of South Alabama. It's the reality of the world we live in.


    DISCLAIMER: I am not from the state of Alabama and have limited knowledge of the University of South Alabama. It is a simply meant to represent any state school anywhere in the country (UVA, Berkley excluded). It is like Kleenex, Coke, or Xerox for this point. It covers a lot of different "brands." I mean in no way to insult any graduates of USA or any residents of the state of Alabama.
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