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The first thing to do is go to Columbia U. in the City of NY's financial aid website.
There you will see that they have very generous financial aid and meet 100% of your family's need considering their income and assets.
If your family makes $60,000 or less, there is no contribution required from your parents. However, you will have to do work-study each year like 5 to 10 hours a week, and possibly hand over up to 25% of your summer earnings to your schooling. If you are out of state and need to travel, you have to pick up the cost of that and possibly your personal expenses as well (books, laptop, misc.). So if you are poor, about 90% of your costs are covered and there is a sliding scale of aid up to $200,000 of family income.
If your family makes $100,000 or less (with typical assets say up to $250,000 in home equity, cars, stocks, savings, etc), there is still generous financial aid available however your parents may have to pay 25% of the total cost. If your parent's income is like $100-200,000, they still qualify in most cases for aid however it will be reduced so they might have to pay 50-75% of the total cost. Whatever gaps there are can be bridged with low-interest Student Loans and there are a variety of loan options for both you and your parents.
Remember your parents, whether they are married, separated, or divorced on the hook for contributing toward your college education until you are 21 years old. Unless you are independent or emancipated, they are obligated to fill out the required financial aid documentation on your behalf whether it's the FAFSA or CSS Profile.
If you want a quick way to determine how much aid Columbia will give you, use their NET PRICE CALCULATOR.
It is more accurate than their MyInTuition Cost Estimator. The most accurate way of using this is first to log into CollegeBoard and then click this link. That way, more than 50% of fields will automatically be filled into the form before you start. Step 1. Log into CollegeBoard. Step 2. Click this link. Or go to College Planning Menu and click. You will be on the Big Future home page, select the Tab "Pay for College" then select "Tools and Calculators" from the drop-down menu. The 2nd paragraph says College Board Net Price Calculator so select that option. Then you can price out most colleges on your list. If your other colleges don't appear there, just google say, "NYU net price calculator" and you'll get a link to that.
The last thing is to keep in mind that most top schools Ivys, near Ivys, etc are need-blind so they will not factor in your family's ability to pay when you apply. Aid is given out based on need not based on merit. These schools assume that everyone has an "A" GPA fulfill all their intelligence requirements, so it's highly unusual for anyone to be given Merit Scholarships at MIT or Harvard.
Since you didn't mention your details, I don't know whether you would have qualified to apply to Questbridge, Posse, or the Gates Scholarship all of which provide nearly a full-ride scholarship if you make it through the various rounds and become a finalist. All those programs have already closed for the 2020-2021 application cycle.
Good luck in your application journey.
Hey, I’m in the same situation! Check out the NACAC fee waiver form: https://www.nacacfairs.org/globalassets/college-fair--homepage/ncf-documents/learn/2018decfeewaiver-fillable.pdf
This will help you qualify for fee waivers at every school, all you have to do is get your guidance counselor to sign it. Best of luck, hope that was helpful!
Here's a few things you can do:
- Apply for a fee waiver for Columbia
- File your FAFSA, to see how much your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is
- Look at scholarship websites like fastweb.com and collegenet.com
- For the colleges you are applying to, look at their financial page on their websites and see their qualifications for financial help
I hope this helps:)
Get scholarships/job/FAFSA. I highly DO NOT recommend student loans as the interest rates on those are insane and you will be paying those for years. If your parents can help you out by giving you a no-interest loan, do that, and then pay it later. Student loans are just exploiting uneducated students into having a payment they will have to pay for ages. If you want to do student loans, get a major that pays well. Some random major that doesn't help usually won't benefit employment which means the loans won't pay off. You can certainly do your major, but if that means taking 200,000 in student loans, I wouldn't do it.