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Thread: Graduate school financial aid

  1. #1
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    Graduate school financial aid

    Hey all! I hope everyone is hearing back good things from the schools! I just got accepted to Rutgers and UNC. I wanted to know, when do the financial aid packages roll in? I still have to do my FAFSA, will probably do that tonight. Is Aid contingent on FAFSA? If you got no aid, do they atleast write you a letter to tell you that you have absolutely NO need-blind, merit-based aid?? Or does everyone get atleast something?

    Obviously my in-state scholarship and tuition for undergrad was so long ago that I do not know how this exciting acceptance/financial aid process works.

    Help!

    Also, where would you go between Rutgers and UNC? I am still waiting to hear from 6 other schools.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian psylo's avatar
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    From what I understand, aid is contingent on FASFA and some schools have priority filing deadlines that you have to get it in by to get priority (hence the name). I've got mine in about 3 weeks ago and I'm still waiting to hear back about it.

  3. #3

    money

    You must fill out the fafsa to get the gov't loans (ie Direct Loans).

    Don't expect too much.
    It's barely enough to live on and I go to an inexpensive school.

    If you are rolling in dough (you can send some my way) and don't qualify, there are many private loans, also.

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    Admissions decision before aid??

    I've just heard from Calpoly that they won't make their aid decisions until the summer, while I have to give my registration decisions to some other universities by April 15th. This doesn't seem fair? Generally, does anyone know whether you should expect to hear your financial aid award before you must make a decision?

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    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    From what my experience has been (and I'm still a grad student). FAFSA tells you how much you qualify for. The school will authorize you to receive the maximum the gov't formula permits. There is that annoying family contribution formula which screws you if you are going back to school after working for a bit. But, you can make up the difference with relatively cheap alternative loans. They are slightly higher interest, but still geared towards students. Access Group is the one I use.

    If a school is withholding telling you about aid, it might be because they are looking to give you a grant, etc. Something out of their piggybank. By far the best deal to pursue as a grad student is an assistantship. Whatever you can do, get one of those. They waive tuition. I had one for 3 out of 4 semesters and it made a huge difference for my overall debt load.

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    Thanks

    I appreciate the insight. I have a feeling they will offer me something, I just hope whatever grants I get won't be based on FAFSA at all, because I usually qualify for very little government dough and sadly that is NOT because I am rolling in dough...but I will resist talking about politics.

    I agree that it is quite unfair to make a decision before learning about financial awards. There was a person on another post, Roger, I believe, who said he already got 2 offers and lots of money dangled to him...geesh, I wish they could dangle that for me!

    Well if worse comes to worse, I plan on visiting each school and drilling the team that wanted me there and checking out the pulse at each place. Someone's bound to say "Come Here, we want you here" and then get financial aid info out of them. If even that kind of craziness does not work anywhere there is always the following semester for an assistantship.

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    As I recall (I did this last year), most schools will send you financial aid stuff a couple of weeks after your acceptance letter. If you're getting a scholarship, that is usually in the acceptance letter, but need based grants may come later. I would recommend doing your FAFSA as soon as possible. I submitted mine in early February (some school required it that early).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally posted by kaleidopop
    Hey all! I hope everyone is hearing back good things from the schools! I just got accepted to Rutgers and UNC. I wanted to know, when do the financial aid packages roll in? I still have to do my FAFSA, will probably do that tonight. Is Aid contingent on FAFSA? If you got no aid, do they atleast write you a letter to tell you that you have absolutely NO need-blind, merit-based aid?? Or does everyone get atleast something?
    I was admitted to Cornell's MRP program today with full tuition remission and a stipend. I frankly can't believe my good fortune.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally posted by kaleidopop
    I agree that it is quite unfair to make a decision before learning about financial awards. There was a person on another post, Roger, I believe, who said he already got 2 offers and lots of money dangled to him...geesh, I wish they could dangle that for me!
    FSU offered me a fellowship with a full tuition waiver (out-of-state, no less) and a generous stipend. Very excited about that! Since FSU needs an answer by April 15, I am now using it as leverage with the other schools I applied to: Texas, Texas A&M, and Southern Cal. So if you get an aid offer from one school, let the other ones know about it so you can keep up the pressure. If time is an issue, you are perfectly within your rights. Keep your head up...you'll find something!

  10. #10
          roger's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cambridgeside
    I was admitted to Cornell's MRP program today with full tuition remission and a stipend. I frankly can't believe my good fortune.
    Congrats...Cornell is a good program from what I've heard. I thought about applying there but decided I couldn't afford it unless they offered me something like that. Turns out Florida State offered me a very similar deal.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally posted by roger
    FSU offered me a fellowship with a full tuition waiver (out-of-state, no less) and a generous stipend. Very excited about that! Since FSU needs an answer by April 15, I am now using it as leverage with the other schools I applied to: Texas, Texas A&M, and Southern Cal. So if you get an aid offer from one school, let the other ones know about it so you can keep up the pressure. If time is an issue, you are perfectly within your rights. Keep your head up...you'll find something!
    Congratulations to all these acceptances!

    I actually heard back good things and got a good scholarship in the same letter too from USC. However how do assistantships work? Are those awarded separately/need-based? Or is even that independent of "need"?

  12. #12
          roger's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kaleidopop
    Congratulations to all these acceptances!

    I actually heard back good things and got a good scholarship in the same letter too from USC. However how do assistantships work? Are those awarded separately/need-based? Or is even that independent of "need"?
    Yeah, I got a scholarship at USC as well. I'm not sure how they award assistantships, I'm trying to contact people to figure that out. No way could I live in LA without some income. Even with a scholarship....

  13. #13
    Roger, congrats on FSU! Your package is amazing!!

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