Pros: Beautiful campus, Historical value, access to NYC
Cons: Cost, neighborhood, Administration!!
Let me start by making it clear that I am not a student of Fordham University. However, this is not for lack of trying. I graduated high school with a 3.8 gpa on a 4.0 scale, got a 1280 on my SATs, and have been involved with or have held leadership positions in many extracurricular activities. When I began my college search in my junior year of high school, I narrowed my sights on Fordham partly because of its proximity to NYC, partly because I am Catholic, and also because I had heard very good things about the communications program.
I filled out the college application, wrote the essay, and sent in my application fee. It was here that my first problems with the administration began. My boyfriend had applied to Fordham at the exact time as I did, and he received his acceptance letter shortly after the date that Fordham promised him he would find out his fate. So when I received no response from Fordham three weeks later, needless to say I was worried. I qualified for acceptance since my boyfriend had been offered admission and I had better grades and test scores than he did. My mom called the admissions office to check, and lo and behold, Fordham did accept me. Where had my acceptance letter gone to? They had no idea.
Ok, so they had some mailing issues. That I could deal with. Excited about my admission, I started to investigate financial aid options since Fordham comes with a hefty price tag ($29,000+). I called the office to see exactly what I needed, but they told me the info should be arriving at my house shortly. A letter finally came stating that I should fill out the FAFSA, send in copies of my parent's tax returns, and it was also recommended that I fill out a form called the PROFILE. I completed the first two tasks a week before the priority deadline. My boyfriend turned in his forms shortly after me. I looked into the PROFILE form, but since it costed $30 to submit, asked the same questions as the FAFSA, and was not listed as required, I did not submit it.
A week after the financial aid deadline, my boyfriend received confirmation that he had submitted all of his forms. Another week passed by, but Fordham had made no correspondence with me. So we called to see what the deal was. They claimed to have no record of my parents' tax forms or the PROFILE. One of the financial aid officers explained that the PROFILE was indeed mandatory, so we filled it out that night per her instruction. We also mailed another copy of the tax forms we had already sent. We faxed them too, just to be safe. I knew the PROFILE would now be two weeks late, and was concerned about my aid prospects. I explained that the forms I got did not state that the test was mandatory, but the officer had no idea what I was talking about. Around this time my boyfriend received his aid package that included close to $20,000 in grant money. Again, weeks passed that I heard nothing. So we called the financial aid office again. The woman my mom spoke to said that Fordham had never received any of my parents' tax forms! We had sent them three times, but apparently they still didn't have them? The woman was very rude and said that we obviously never sent them. My mom insisted we did but asked the woman to stand next to the fax machine, and she would fax them right then. She did, and the woman did get them.
This woman assured us that Fordham could now put together an aid package for me. Since we are a lower income family, it was essential that I receive at least interest-free loans to make it remotely possible for my mom to pay for it.
By this time, it is spring. The tuition deposit is due on May 1st, yet Fordham still had no word on what I would receive for aid. Panicked, we called every day for two weeks preceding the deposit deadline. Everyday, they claimed to still be putting together a package. The deadline came and I sent in a check for $300 to reserve my place in the Class of 2007. Of course, they did receive our money right away. A week later we finally got an answer via telephone regarding my aid. The grand total = $0 in grant money, $2,000 in an unsubsidized Stafford loan. The woman on the phone told me my aid package had been mailed out two weeks before then. Ummm, where did it go? I checked to make sure she had the right address, and she did, yet I never received a paper copy of my package until a month after I paid the deposit.
This was a slap in the face. We had filled out all the forms. One was late, but everything else was in on time. When Fordham received everything but the PROFILE, no attempts were made to contact me and tell me they were required. If we hadn't called all of the time, I probably still wouldn't know if i would get aid.
Although Fordham was my first choice, they had verbally promised me aid when I visited in November. Now, I had none, and wasted $300 to enroll in a college I could now not afford to attend. From my ordeal, I hope all college seniors and their parents can learn a valuable lesson: do not depend on colleges to give you aid. Fordham was unorganized and unfriendly in my financial aid experience (with the exception of one man named Dino who tried his best to help us.) Aside from Dino, the two financial aid officers my mom and I dealt with were rude and uncaring. I worked extremely diligently in high school. I was in the top 5% of my class when I graduated with an honor's diploma. However, I felt like my efforts had been in vain. Now, I will be forced to enroll in a college I considered sub-par for merely financial reasons. So I caution all applicants at Fordham to beware of the admissions/aid processes. Make plenty of copies of all of your forms so that when the admin loses the first three you send in, you can re-send them quicker. I would also advise you to call in regularly to make sure that they have not only received your forms, but have also mailed you the forms and info sheets you need. Good luck!