Learn how one parent secured financial aid at Babson.
Babson College in Babson Park, Massachusetts, is known for entrepreneurship education, especially its accounting, business, and finance programs, and a high job placement rate (99 percent of alumni are employed within six months of graduation). Babson tuition and cost of attendance, however, can be pretty steep: around $70,000 per year. So if your son or daughter is thinking of submitting a Babson College application, you’re probably also interested in learning more about Babson financial aid and possible scholarships.
Edmit spoke with C.S., a Massachusetts-based parent whose daughter received dual bachelor’s degrees in accounting and justice, citizenship, and social responsibility from Babson in 2017, then went back to Babson to get a master’s degree in accounting in 2018. C.S. shared her experience with the Babson financial aid office—and how grants and scholarships helped pay for her daughter’s Babson degrees.
How much did the cost of Babson College factor into your child’s decision of where to go to college?
C.S.: The cost of Babson was a huge factor. The financial assistance [from other colleges she got into] was nowhere near what Babson offered. Babson gave her the most amount of money for what she brought to them—she was sixth in her class in high school and got many awards. She had gotten multiple offers from Bentley, and then Bryant offered her a trustee scholarship. All the schools gave her money, Babson happened to give her the most. Babson was also the most prestigious for what she wanted, so it was the right fit.
When it comes to Babson College financial aid, did you expect to receive scholarships? What research did you do to find out if you were eligible for need-based financial aid, merit-based financial aid, or both?
C.S.: After accepting the initial grant that Babson gave her, she subsequently received the merit step—additional money each year for her grades. She graduated magna cum laude for both her undergrad and graduate degrees. We didn’t do enough research about merit scholarships; there were only a couple she could have applied for, but we had already made the decision that she was going to go to Babson at that point. The Babson Presidential Scholarship was one we researched. She did apply for the Weissman Scholarship—that’s pretty much a full ride—but she was not accepted into that program.
Did your expectations for Babson College financial aid align with what you actually received?
C.S.: Yes, we thought they were fair in terms of what they offered her. At the time, Babson offered her about 75 percent of the tuition for the first year, which was huge, but then when you add in the living costs, it makes it a lot more expensive. Each year, of course, Babson tuition goes up but the grant is still the same amount of money, so that can be a little challenging.
The Babson financial aid office was unbelievable and amazing. The Babson financial aid counselors were always ready to help and explain things to you, especially when we had questions about the cost of classes.
I remember talking to the financial aid offices from the other universities my daughter got into, and Babson financial aid counselors are so approachable. They would know me by voice, if I called. If you were worried, they were eager to help you, all the time.
Babson has a cap: You can take five classes for the cost of four, which we thought was a very good system. But because their curriculum is so grueling, and they already pile up so many requirements for the undergraduate degree, really just a handful of kids can manage to take five classes throughout. But if you did that, you’d graduate a year early and save money.
For my daughter, it was worth investing the additional money to cover the cost of Babson. She did have to get student loans to cover the remainder of her undergraduate degree. But Babson also extended a scholarship award to her to place toward her graduate degree, so she didn’t have to take out too many student loans [to get her master’s].
Did you appeal your Babson College financial aid award? If so, can you share your Babson financial aid negotiation process and the outcome?
C.S.: Initially, the amount they had offered my daughter was comparable to what Bentley offered. We were hoping Babson could just go up a little bit more, and they did. We asked them if they could match Bentley. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to say, “You know, she really would prefer going to Babson. We have these other offers, is there anything you can do?” They upped her grants a little bit, they tried to accommodate [our request].
What advice or insider tips do you have for other parents whose children want to go to Babson College?
C.S.: Sometimes parents make an early mistake by focusing too much on extracurricular activities that take away from their kids studying. Focus on the grades. You may be a well-rounded person, but if you don’t have a good GPA, you’re not getting in. You have to focus on the grades and be aware of others in the community. Volunteer work is important. Babson looks for unique applicants: All your experiences make you who you are, and schools want to see that you care.
In hindsight, do you think Babson College was a good financial fit—and why or why not? Would you have done anything differently?
C.S.: Babson was a good financial fit for my daughter, I just wish that we had saved and put money aside earlier in a 529 plan to put toward her college education, so we wouldn’t have to worry about parent loans or student loans. My husband and I and my daughter all took out loans to supplement her Babson education, but she got so much, too: Babson gave her about $170,000 to $180,000 [in grants, scholarships, and tuition discounts]. Babson is expensive, I can’t say that it’s not, but unparalleled in the sense that because it’s a smaller school, the professors know your child’s name. It’s a very close community, very supportive, and in the end I wouldn’t do anything differently.
Do you have a Babson College student, or does your child want to go to Babson College? Share your tips or questions about working with the Babson College financial aid office or Babson College tuition in our paying for Babson College discussion below!
Photo by C.C. Chapman on Flickr.
Founded by recognized university leaders, Edmit provides personalized insights and advice to help families find colleges that meet their academic goals and are within their financial means. Families that use Edmit make smarter college choices leading to less debt and better earnings outcomes, saving thousands of dollars.