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Discus: Financial Aid and Scholarships: May 2004 - Archive: >> Sucks to be me <<
By That_Girl (That_Girl) on Saturday, June 12, 2004 - 11:33 pm: Edit

Facts:

1. My dad is dead.
2. My mom has gone bankrupt in the past, and is now unemployed.
3. Both of them were pathetic excuses for parents [and people, in general] and have failed to save even a penny for college.

4. After stafford loans, merit aid, school grants, and "need-based" aid, I'm left with a balance of 13k, of the original 41k.

Obviously, PLUS loans are out of the qustion, and I'm left to fend for myself. By my mom being denied, I automatically qualify for 4k more in government aid, which brings it down to 9k... I can save up another 4 this summer, but no matter what I do, I'll need outside loans.

With NO CREDIT, where can I turn to for additional loans? Are people like me supposed to give up and settle for community college? ((and please don't rant about how I can get a great education from a JC. Let's just assume I'll die, if I stay in this environment.))

Can anyone offer any advice?

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Saturday, June 12, 2004 - 11:57 pm: Edit

Have you talked to the college where you want to go? Tell them exactly what you have posted here. They will be in the best position to tell you what is available, get you a work study job, if possible, direct you to the more promising loans. You will work during the school year, I assume. You need to get to know the financial aid director very well at your school (I was in that boat in college) so that he can be your advocate and your name is at the top of his list when anything comes up.

Once at the college, you can look at opportunities such as ROTC and Residence Advisor to drastically reduce your costs. ROTC scholarships can be very generous and you do not have to immediately commit to service.

I wish you luck. I do feel that you sound like you have a lot on the ball having navigated as much of the college process as you have on your own. And in doing so you are way ahead in the game of life over many kids (mine included) who have been hand fed and pampered through every step of the process.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 09:11 am: Edit

You might want to take a gap year and do something like Americorps that would help you get money for college. You also could consider entering college ROTC, which also would give you college $.

A gap year would allow you to reapply to college, selecting colleges that are likely to give you the amount of financial/merit aid that you need in order to attend.

You will greatly raise your chances of getting the $ you need for college if you apply to colleges that are a tier below your best match schools. Look for colleges like that that also offfer excellent financial and and merit aid. Take the time to examine their web sites' financial aid information to find out if there are scholarships that you have a good chance of qualifying for. Also talk to aid officers to find out what kind of aid you are likely to be offered.

Often the best places to get excellent aid are through one's state's public institutions. They may have excellent merit aid for in-state students with certain grades or scores. If there is such a school within commuting distance, you also might save big bucks by living at home.

Community colleges also can be excellent choices. Some give wonderful scholarships to top students, and have solid honors programs. They also may guarantee admission to state 4-year schools. The 4-year schools may even have special scholarships for transfers from the state community colleges. Don't write them off.

I don't know your family situation. However, when talking to adcoms and financial aid officers, I suggest that you find better ways of describing your parents. It also might help for you to have counseling or additional counseling to help ease your bitterness and anger toward your parents.

By Toblin (Toblin) on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 12:17 pm: Edit

Take your so-called humor or so-called advice elsewhere. It's inappropriate here.
Moderator DoveofPeace

By Hepidy (Hepidy) on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 03:44 pm: Edit

Why not look at a less expensive school. I wanted Boston College, or USC but didn't have the money. Kansas State is 17,000 a year and thats out of state tution. Also, watch out for ROTC unless the military's what you want to do, I think you have to commit or you won't get the money, but I could be wrong. Sorry to hear about your situation and I hope it works out for you.

By That_Girl (That_Girl) on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 03:46 pm: Edit

Jamimom- Thanks for the advice. I'll call the financial aid office again, and ask to speak with the director this time. [Last time I called, I got the generic blurb from one of the phone operators.]

Northstarmom- Thanks, but I've already decided to enroll. I've simply overcome too much, and made it too far, to let this stop me here. I'll find the money, somehow. I just wanted to explore all loan possibilities before resorting to illegal measures.

I know perfectly well what I'm getting myself into by shouldering the additional financial responsibility. I guess I see it as just another obstacle that I have to work around.

By Doveofpeace (Doveofpeace) on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 04:01 pm: Edit

That Girl,
I just removed one of your posts for flaming and obscenity. This is a warning. Dial back the attitude or your posting privileges will be terminated.
Moderator DoveofPeace

By That_Girl (That_Girl) on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 04:15 pm: Edit

Comment removed. A reminder: Any comments to moderators should be e-mailed, not posted.
DoveofPeace

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 08:41 pm: Edit

That Girl, try to take a deep breath and work your way through your problem systematically and the best way you can without losing it. You really cannot afford to antagonize people right now. I really think once you get to college and get into your new world you will see that a lot of kids are in your situation. Estranged from their parents for many reasons, and financially struggling to get through school. And that will make things a little bit more bearable.

Of course, you will run into insensitive kids and kids who are just much more priviliged than you are. And learning to deal with them with dignity and maturity is going to be an education as well. I wish you a lot of luck, but I do believe you can get through this.

By That_Girl (That_Girl) on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 09:00 pm: Edit

I didn't "lose it"; I was just taken aback by Toblin's display of ignorance and arrogance. He mocked me as if it were a joke, and I failed to see the humour behind his comment.

Still, I thank you for your support and advice. With two incompetent "parents", I've been dealing with stuff like this since I was very young. I've remained pretty calm while researching all possible solutions.

By Floppydee (Floppydee) on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 12:30 pm: Edit

Just take out stafford loans like the rest of the world. Your education is an investment-If you have 30K-40K in debt upon graduation, as long as you make that as a beginning wage-you should be fine. Good Luck!

By Ndbisme5 (Ndbisme5) on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 01:27 pm: Edit

You can take out unsubsidized stafford loans for the remainder.

By That_Girl (That_Girl) on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 12:00 am: Edit

I think unsub'd Stafford loans are capped at 4k. All other loans require a parent cosigner.

By Ndbisme5 (Ndbisme5) on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 02:32 pm: Edit

Then you can go with PLUS (for parents) loans. PLUS loans offer up to the cost of tuition as a max... my mommy is bankrupt and still got approved.

By Collegeat30 (Collegeat30) on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 08:03 pm: Edit

Thatgirl: I know how you feel. My parents were pretty pathetic as well. Sometimes awful people happen to have children, and their children are left with the lifelong task of trying to catch up for their mistakes.

I know what you mean about community colleges. It sucks to have been deprived of so much, and then to have to miss out on the first freshman year at college as well. Ditto for suggestions that you go to lower tier schools. I'm not sure if that's how you feel, but that's certainly how I felt.

I would suggest a few options:

1. If you are not yet 18, consider becoming an emancipated minor. For some colleges, this might mean that you are financially independent from your parents and their income will no longer count for financial aid. If you are already committed to a particular college, find out what their policy is on emancipated minors. If they have never heard of it (most haven't), you might want to go for it and then see how they will handle your application.

2. Apply for scholarships all over the place. Join the Rotary, political parties, churches, community groups. Find out where the poor kids who go to college get their money and go there. Work it, baby.

3. Look for easy-to-earn certifications that can increase your wage while in college. For example, instead of working retail, you could become a notary public (if over 18), a licensed massage therapist, realtor, insurance salesperson, manicurist, etc. Many of these licenses can be earned during a summer. Then, you will have a higher wage for the next three years at college. You may even earn more than most college grads!

4. If none of these certifications appeal to you, consider starting your own service business while in college. Cleaning houses, tutoring, dog-walking, web publishing, etc. can earn you a lot of money. If you are open to opportunities, for example, to cook for a caterer or to run errands for a wealthy family, you can earn a much higher than average wage per hour.

You will have to be more resourceful than your peers who have had everything handed to them. There is nothing at all good about parents who don't take care of their children. However, I know from my own experience that there is lots of help out there.

You can do it! (And feel free to email me if you need a cheerleader.)

By That_Girl (That_Girl) on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 11:38 pm: Edit

Awww. Thanks for being so awesome. <33

I actually started waitressing at an upscale restaurant, and I'm trying to take on as many shifts as possible. Tips included, I make like $20-25/hr. I might take on a second job doing graveyard at a 24hr store like Wallgreens too. Besides that, I have a few thousand in savings, and I'll have another few after selling my car. [Yes, I bought it.]

I'm not at all worried about making this happen... I'm going to my selected school, and I'll find the money even if it kills me. Still, I was hoping to take out more loans to make it a little easier, and to avoid overworking myself.

I also want to avoid working during college as much as possible. [excluding work-study.] It's a harsh reality that admissions officers - colleges and grad schools alike - see parttime work as less impressive than internships, school activities, even sports or abnd or art class.

Believe me, I had to work through all 4 years of high school. Come application time, I found that all my effort was negated because I lacked involvement in sports, clubs, and whale-saving or whatever. I don't want the same disadvantage to follow me through college.

Anyway, that was probably more than you wanted to know. lol. I'll keep ya posted.

By Collegeat30 (Collegeat30) on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 03:10 am: Edit

You're welcome. I'm glad I was able to be a comrade in your struggle. :)

I laughed out loud at the "whale-saving" comment. You're right about work being less attractive than school involvement to schools. It would be better for you to take out loans (or work in an upscale place where you earn more money) than to work so much you can't do extra-curriculars.

You are doing a brave and wonderful thing. Keep up the good work!

By Chapter322 (Chapter322) on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 10:48 am: Edit

Collegeat30 is awesome.

I just want to give That_Girl a BIG hug. I hate when stuff like this happens to people like her. If you keep your head up I am sure your hard work will pay off 100 times more. I am sort of in a similar situation, but hopefully this PLUS loan stuff will work out until I can do for myself.

But, when I do get out of college, one of my side projects will be to help people like That_Girl make sure she has a way to get a loan(or whatever). Maybe I can start an organization of credit worthy co-signers and sponsors who don't mind helping qualified students take out alternative loans?

P.S. I don't know many people who would want to take a year off from schooling, join a CC after being accepted to a Tier 1 college, or join something like the ROTC in these times. Those are things that nightmares are made of.

By Collegeat30 (Collegeat30) on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 11:25 am: Edit

Chapter 322---Starting an organization is a good idea, or perhaps a book for people who are in this situation. How about: *How to Pay for School When Your Parents Are Idiots*?

If you have any interest in being a co-author, let me know. :)

By Floppydee (Floppydee) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 12:27 pm: Edit

I wouldn't be complaining if I made $25 an hour!

By Greg530 (Greg530) on Saturday, June 19, 2004 - 12:37 am: Edit

Hey collegeat, what an 18 year old do by being a notary public?

By Hepidy (Hepidy) on Saturday, June 19, 2004 - 01:11 pm: Edit

Chapter 322 you sound like a great American,

"or join something like the ROTC in these times. Those are things that nightmares are made of."

Wow if we had more people like you we could sleep easy as we all spoke arabic.

By Markm2004 (Markm2004) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 01:09 am: Edit

God bless you THATGIRL. It is clear that you have endured several hardships and continue to surmount obstacles. Do not lose hope. Good Luck.

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 07:52 am: Edit

Hi, I was a poor and disadvantaged bright youth. If you want a fancy college and all the perks then you will have to take out loans and pay them back. It's as simple as that.I went to a local chaeaper university and got a fine education and have had a wonderful life.You are worrying about the wrong things.If you have your health everything else is icing on the cake.Be happier and enjoy the simple things. And value your mother and be patient with her.-

By That_Girl (That_Girl) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 04:45 pm: Edit

backhand-

I really thought it would be unnecessary for me to respond to more attacks, but I guess I was wrong. This is not a "poor me" thread. I don't want sympathy or criticism; I want advice. My original question was:

"...no matter what I do, I'll need outside loans. With NO CREDIT, where can I turn to for additional loans?"

I guess we need to get back to basics, here. For your clarification, outside loans require a cosigner with a stable credit history. My mom has been bankrupt, and is currently unemployed. [That's not too stable.] My dad's dead, in case you were wondering. You tell me to stop complaining, and to "just take out loans"... OK, are you REALLY assuming that I expect a free education? Give me a break; of course I'd take out loans, if only it were that simple. Again, my question was:

"With NO CREDIT [or parent cosigner], WHERE can I turn to for additional loans?"

As in, "which banks or foundations, if any, will waive a parent cosigner?" Following me?

And, I realize that government loans don't require a cosigner. That's great, but I've stated that I've already reached the maximum award in my package.

I really hope this helped you, in case you'd like to criticize my dilemma in an educated manner.

Everyone else, thanks for the support. <33

By Markm2004 (Markm2004) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 06:00 pm: Edit

THATGIRL, I reccomend you go to your desired university's financial aid office and ask them about outside loans that waive a co-signer. Also, ask family members or are they not supportive? In addition, try researching Educational Banking Services, I hear that they offer loans without co-signers. Also, go to a local bank or charitable organization. If all else fails, holler at me, i'll convince my parents to adopt you hehehe.

By Smhop (Smhop) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 09:43 pm: Edit

You CAN get alternate loans easily. Tell the financial aid office you need alternate loans. They will tell you which providers they prefer and tell you what steps to take next. Having "no credit history" will NOT prevent you from getting these loans! Stop worrying, it will all fall into place. =)

I spent years and years lamenting that my parents did not help with school, and this was before Clinton signed the law that allows students to get thier own loans (when I was younger, parents took the loans or else 'too bad'! so it was 'too bad' for me )

If I had been more resourceful, I might have figured out some other way-- the point I am making is this: while you may not depend on your folks, you obviously can depend on yourself,,, and that is a very good thing. Go to it, and Good Luck!

REPEAT: YOU DO NOT NEED OUTSIDE COSIGNERS AND ESTABLISHED CREDIT TO GET STUDENT LOANS> PLEASE CONTACT YOUR AID OFFICER AND TELL THEM YOU NEED THESE ADDITIONAL LOANS, THEY WILL WORK THROUGH IT WITH YOU. Having "no credit history" may make you pay a higher fee (rolled into loan) or perhaps a ever so slightly higher int rate, BUT, it will NOT stop you from getting the loans.

Again, dont sweat it, and good luck

By Smhop (Smhop) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 09:53 pm: Edit

quote:
*How to Pay for School When Your Parents Are Idiots*?


THAT IS A BOOK I should write for sure. ;)

By Chapter322 (Chapter322) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 05:25 pm: Edit

Collegeat30 and I have the copyright. Sorry. Haha.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 11:13 am: Edit

Work is not less attractive to schools than are ECs. What's important, though, is how one presents one's work experience. If one makes it clear that one had to work, and if one discusses what challenges one faced in order to work, and if one presents the work in the best light, having had employment can put you ahead of students with more traditional ECs.

This is true even if the work is something like flipping burgers. One has to, though, explain why doing a job was a necessity, and one also has to present the job in a positive way. My guess is that many students who have to work simply note the job, but don't explain the whys or what they learned, etc. as a result of working (and any kind of work exerience will teach you something. I speak from experience, having worked in high school as a cashier, housecleaner and even as a housecleaner).

When it comes the elite colleges, they get relatively few well qualified applicants who have been employed and who also have had to be employed. Being such an applicant can make one stand out in a very good way.

To ThatGirl: I am not sure how you are talking about your financial problems when you talk to your college financial aid officers, scholarship programs, etc. I do recommend, however, that you explain your situation in a way that doesn't make you seem hostile to your parents, even if your parents were horrible people.

Adults tend not to be impressed by students who put down their parents. You will probably get much more help if you explain your unfortunate situation while not casting blame on your parents. If your situation is because your parents were neglectful, alcoholic, addicted, etc., more than likely the scholarship committees/financial aid officers will be able to read between the lines and figure things out. They, however, will think more of you if you appear to be putting a brave face on things and not putting down your parents, no matter how despicable they are.

Do remember, too, that financial aid officers, etc. do read pages like this and may be able to figure out who you are. I do not speak lightly as I actually saw someone posting here whom I had interviewed as an alumni inteviewer. The student ended up making posts that got the student banned. I doubt that the student had any idea that anyone connected with their admissions was reading their posts.

One last word: My father was a dentist who somehow ended up having no money to pay for my college. I lived in an upper middle class suburb, and none of my friends except me had to work to pay for their college education. I worked up to 60 hours a week during the summer, 20+ during the school year.

Understandably, I was really angry at how my dad had managed his finances, but I did not let that anger show in my applications or in other public situations. I also eventually got therapy, which helped me put the anger aside and get on with my life.

No matter how angry you are at your parents, calling them idiots in public makes you look bad. I am not trying to put you down by telling you this, but am letting you know that how you go about obtaining advice and help for yourself may determine the range of options that you get.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 11:22 am: Edit

I have resisted posting on this board because the only thing I could think of was kwitchyurwhining,
lots of kids have much more important things to be concerned about than how big their loans are going to be for college, but I do also want to add good post Northstarmom!

By Floppydee (Floppydee) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 11:40 am: Edit

I agree Emerald-no way would I be compaining if I made $20 an hour and I haven't even graduated from college yet!!

By That_Girl (That_Girl) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 01:28 pm: Edit

omg... some of you guys are a little slow. Emerald, Floppy: read my post in response to backhand. I REPEAT:

"This is not a "poor me" thread. I don't want sympathy or criticism; I want advice. My original question was:

"...no matter what I do, I'll need outside loans. With NO CREDIT, where can I turn to for additional loans?" "

Some one kindly answered the question, and I now know where to turn for loans that don't require a parent cosigner. Again, the only question that I ever asked has now been answered, and there is no need for people like you (who apparently missed the entire point of this post) to respond.

Just because I have a less-than-desirable family situation dosn't mean I'm complaining about it, like you may have grown accustomed to. I simply wanted ADVICE on how to get around it, financially. Maybe you could have understood this if you had actually read the above posts. I will no longer be checking this thread because it's exhausted its use. Flame all ya want.


side note: I've been working 30hrs/wk for 5 years now. It would be pretty sad for anyone in my situation to be making less than 20/hr.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 02:24 pm: Edit

side note: I've been working 30hrs/wk for 5 years now. It would be pretty sad for anyone in my situation to be making less than 20/hr.

Wow how smug.
Thousands of people across the country are trying to support their families on minimum wage. Do you even know how much that is?

I have read in other posts on these boards that you have amazingly generous financial aid, so what is the problem?
You can work while in college, save up at least $4000 if not more this summer, be eligible for additional loans if your parents are not eligible for PLUS.....
There are also ways to cut housing, and student expenses to reduce out of pocket

By Hepidy (Hepidy) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 02:40 pm: Edit

Pay for college yourself and stop tryning to make us feel sorry for you....I'm sorry I did.

side note: I've been working 30hrs/wk for 5 years now. It would be pretty sad for anyone in my situation to be making less than 20/hr.

I worked in the Army for 5 years and didn't get 20/hr, all those people getting killed in Iraq aren't getting 20/hr, and I bet just maybe they are doing just a little bit more than you. Think before you speak, people might just think your intelligent.

By Kyle8744 (Kyle8744) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 03:57 pm: Edit

Think before you post, people might just think YOU'RE intelligent.

By Floppydee (Floppydee) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:13 am: Edit

Wow THAT GIRL your side note was something else-you have some nerve calling millions of people "sad" if they don't make the money you make! And I clearly understood your original post, but I felt a need to address your not so appreciative attitude!

By Funnyone (Funnyone) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 12:24 pm: Edit

How is it that after 5 years of working 30hr/wk with a recent hourly of $20+ you have no credit?

You topic thread is "sucks to be me" sounds quite like a "victim" If all you wanted was advise on how to get a loan with no credit then the topic should have been...Loan with no credit?

By Markm2004 (Markm2004) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 09:43 pm: Edit

True THATGIRL, not everyone can make $20 an hour, especially in this economy where layoffs are prevalent. Be thankful that you are earning this much, as people with families are living significantly below what you are making, and these people have kids to support! Go to community college and continue to work at your current job, this is the best option. Waite out a year or two, save up, build credit, although it has been proven that you don't need to for certain loans. There are millions of people making minimum wage with little to no parental support still attending college, whether it is community or university.


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