Financial Help Questions

Hello everyone, I just applied to VMI as Early Decision. Out of state tuition is extremely hefty and my family won’t be receiving financial aid. I’m really praying I get a merit scholarship. My mom mentioned that we should change the application to regular decision, so I could possibly bargain with VMI as I have other options, and by being binded to VMI through ED they’re going to give little aid because they know I have to go there no matter what. I’m not exactly sure if that is true or not. Does anyone have any insight or advice?
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Use “Early Decision” or “ED” in search strings in various forums here. There have been a few threads recently that discuss pros and cons of ED.

Think about this. If you are accepted, you must go there.

What if they don’t offer enough aid or a big enough merit scholarship? They already have you, having traded a potential admissions edge for your commitment. They have no incentive to offer you additional aid. All your other options are now closed to you. You must go there - and take out significant loans? Ouch.

ED can be a good choice for the person who wants that school and only that school, and needing financial aid isn’t part of it.

Have you considered Early Action? Not as binding. There is nothing wrong with regular decision.

Trust your mom...
 
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My son applied to VMI, regular decision. We are also out of state. They did offer him a financial aid package that brought the first year more in line with in state tuition, with that and student loans we were able to make it work. He did earn a 3 year national ROTC scholarship, so the last 3 years we have had to pay just room and board, this is still not cheap at about $15,000.

If you don't get a national scholarship, you still have a chance to earn a campus based if you work your butt off. However, there are no guarantees so you need to be able to afford it without the scholarship.

Look at the website for other scholarships as well, some Alumni groups offer them too.

Keep in mind that all scholarships have requirements to keep them. VMI isn't an easy school and there will be a lot on your plate on top of keeping a certain gpa to keep any scholarships you may receive. Don't get me wrong VMI is an amazing school and I can't imagine my son going anywhere else, he loves it. But, it's expensive.

Changing to regular decision may not be a bad option if you can do that. They have rolling admissions so you should hear back by late December or January. Then you can have some back up plans if you cannot make the money work.

Best of luck to you.
 

GoCubbies

Member
Hello everyone, I just applied to VMI as Early Decision. Out of state tuition is extremely hefty and my family won’t be receiving financial aid. I’m really praying I get a merit scholarship. My mom mentioned that we should change the application to regular decision, so I could possibly bargain with VMI as I have other options, and by being binded to VMI through ED they’re going to give little aid because they know I have to go there no matter what. I’m not exactly sure if that is true or not. Does anyone have any insight or advice?
This is one of those situations where mom is always right.

RD is absolutely the way to go IF you need to compare financial aid packages/offers.

On one hand, VMI doesn't really have to offer you a good financial aid package because they know you committed to a binding agreement by applying ED.

However, read the ED rules carefully for VMI. Some schools allow you to legitimately back out of an ED acceptance IF the financial aid package is not going to work with your personal finances.

My DD looked into VMI. The thing about VMI is they do not have plenty of merit scholarships for OOS applicants. When she looked at the website, it looked like the Institute scholarship was one that could be had, but is very competitive.

I just looked at the merit scholarship portion of the VMI website. The only things they have are the Institute Scholars Program and scholarships for Indiana and NC (Wilmington) students.
 
GoCubbies is correct, as far as merit there isn't much help from VMI. However, make sure you complete your FASFA as early as possible. As stated above the financial aid package offered to my son brought tuition in line with in state tuition. That doesn't mean yours will be the same but you will possibly get some non merit financial aid.
 
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