I was recently asked if colleges offered a more attractive financial aid package to a student if the parents have contributed to the alumni fund? And do colleges generally award better financial aid to children of their alumni?
It can vary from college to college but in general terms, contributions to the alumni fund will have no effect on a financial aid award. Similarly, children of alumni do not generally get better financial aid awards.
It is true that colleges often alumni preference in the admissions process. This is done in the hope that there will be more monetary contributions coming back to the college. Their focus is on getting money back, not giving more out. Getting in may be easier for alumni, but you won’t get better financial aid.