If you’re like most people, you were pretty shocked and upset when you found out your EFC. But it is a necessary step if you want to pay less for college as the alternative of waiting to “see what happens” rarely ends well.
Even if you have a high EFC, there are still ways to significantly cut the cost of college. You just have to know where to look for them.
And you need to get past any obsession with name-brand colleges. If you’re looking for a merit scholarship to Amherst, Boston College, Duke, Georgetown, MIT, or Yale, it’s not going to happen.
Why? Because these colleges mostly (and in some cases, exclusively) provide money based on need. Now, they can have a more generous definition of need compared to most colleges, but nobody is earning a scholarship for stand-out grades or perfect test scores.
By contrast, there are plenty of colleges who provide generous merit scholarships; they just happen to be the ones that don’t make the top 50 of national rankings.
It’s basic supply and demand driven by a popularity contest. The most popular colleges are in high demand and don’t have to provide any financial incentives for students to attend. Their acceptance rates are already in the single digits (or close to it) and they are able to proudly boast of increasing numbers of applications year after year.
Other colleges, ones that you may have never heard of, have a more difficult time convincing students to attend because they’re not as popular. These colleges have to work harder to attract students. As a result, they offer incentives to students to attend.
And some of these incentives, in the form of merit scholarships, can be game changers.
Of course, the first thing you have to do is get past the idea that just because you haven’t heard of a college, doesn’t mean that it is lacking quality in some regard. Yes, there are some stinkers out there, but if you invest some time in learning more about a college’s programs, the type of students who attend, how many students graduate in four years, where they go after college and, then what that college may have to offer you in the form of a scholarship, it is quite possible that you may change your mind on just how important the name of a college is to you.
It is possible to find really great deals on colleges; you just have to get beyond the most highly ranked – and most popular – colleges in the country to find them.
If you would like some assistance with your college search or financial aid process, contact me today for a free 60-minute consultation.