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College Talk Blog

Spring Sticker Shock

Parents of college bound high school seniors from middle and upper income families are often disappointed by financial aid award letters. Award letters for these families often consist of a $5500 student loan and an offer of a parent PLUS loan to make up the difference between cost and the student loan.

Middle and upper income families need to focus on merit based and other non-need based scholarships because they are unlikely to get much if any support from federal and state grant sources. They also need to consider admission strategies that increase the likelihood that they will be offered scholarships.

The largest awards to this college consumer group from colleges is scholarship money awarded by the admissions office to encourage students to choose one college over others. The other awards they are likely to see are for work study and other college work programs.  Other sources of aid for this group includes community and private organization and corporate scholarships for which they can apply.



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