Asking About Financial Aid

As a new Admissions Counselor I am really enjoying my time on the road visiting different student and high schools around the country. I just got back from Atlanta where I saw a lot of amazing students and really enjoyed the beautiful (but hot!) weather. However, in my travel I have come across a lot of commonly asked questions.

The first question I am always asked is usually about scholarships at Holy Cross. My response is always the same: “We have limited merit aid options because we are a financial aid based school. However, should you apply for aid,  we meet 100% of your family’s demonstrated need.”

Nonetheless, students seem to think that Holy Cross is a financially unreachable goal when they hear that scholarships are limited. What I have to tell you is that you should never cross a college/university off of your list because of the “sticker price” of the school. Look into each school’s financial aid or merit scholarship options and do research on different colleges’ financial aid packages. Try reaching out to some financial aid offices as well. You may be pleasantly surprised and learn that colleges that seemed out of reach financially are affordable options with great aid packages.

A better question to ask these different college representatives when you see them at a fair or high school is “What kind of aid do you offer: financial aid or merit scholarships? Could you also tell me more about the specific type of aid your school offers?”

Krystle Leveille

Admissions Counselor

I Can’t Afford Holy Cross

TranKim-Senior.BLOG2Did you break out in a sweat, hyperventilate, or struggle to breathe for a second when you first saw the nearly $50,000 price tag for attending Holy Cross?  Without a doubt, $50,000 per year is a hefty price to pay for a college education whether it be in this dire economy or in a vibrant economy of several years ago, and some of you may have decided to not apply because of the sticker shock.  However, you might be surprised at how affordable Holy Cross can be for you and your family because of our very comprehensive and very generous financial aid package.

We are a school that is fully committed to meeting every family’s demonstrated financial need in order to attend Holy Cross.  In essence, if you are admitted into Holy Cross and demonstrate financial need, you can be assured that we will meet that need by 100%.

There are two caveats to that policy.  First, the need we determine is based on federal guidelines and looks at your family’s household income and asset values and is not based on what you determine to be your personal financial need.  Second, we only consider you for financial aid if you submit all of your paperwork to us on time by February 1st at the latest.  There are two important forms that you need to submit to Holy Cross in order to be considered for financial assistance:  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile.  To access these forms, please visit our financial aid site.   In addition, if you come from a single parent household, the CSS Profile will require you to submit the Non-Custodial Parent form that asks for financial information from your non-custodial parent.  Also, if your family owns a business or a farm, the CSS Profile will require you to submit a Business/Farm supplement that asks  income information from these two sources.  If either of these circumstances applies to you, it is very, very important that you submit the additional information that is asked of you.  If for some reason, you are not able to get the required information (i.e. your non-custodial parent has never been in the picture), you need to contact the financial aid office immediately to explain your situation and get instructions on how to proceed.  If you submit all the required forms in completion to Holy Cross, you will be fully considered for financial assistance from Holy Cross.

With all this said, at the end of the day, you should never let a college’s price tag deter you from applying.  Every college has its own way of disseminating financial assistance and scholarship funds and you never know what you may qualify for and ultimately receive for financial assistance.  The most expensive schools can sometimes be the most affordable schools because financial aid provides you with enough assistance to lower the price tag.  Instead, you should choose a school that has the programs and the atmosphere that is the best fit for you, apply to those schools, complete all the necessary forms for financial assistance and scholarships and then see what you end up receiving in financial assistance.  Once you get all your packages, you can sit down and decide what schools are financially viable for you and your family.

Tran Kim-Senior

Assistant Director of Admissions

Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment