Financial Aid Help!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JustMe, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Feb 22, 2009

    I am helping my brother fill out his FAFSA today for financial aid. It seems that he will receive NO money, which is sad because my family has NO money to help him with college. My parents could not give me a single dollar for college either, and I survived, but here is why I'm looking for more answers:

    On the FAFSA it asked if his parents were "displaced workers", or laid off from their job. My mother doesn't work (blind/disabled), but my stepfather does. He has a decent-paying job, but because of the economy, he is only working three days a week, opposed to the tons of overtime he was paid last year which is reflected on his W2, which is of course used to determine financial aid eligibilty. So, they are struggling big time. I'll be looking into scholarships, loans, and such, but does anyone have any information related to students whose parents haven't lost their job, but been scaled back, and therefore cannot pay for college? With the current state of the economy, I am hoping that there is something...but I doubt it. :(

    THANK YOU!
     
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  3. Ms Z

    Ms Z Companion

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    Feb 22, 2009

    i just filled my FASFA out dont they ask if anyone in the home is disabled? and they ask i someones hours have be reduced. look again re read, you can go back and make corrections
     
  4. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    Feb 22, 2009

    It happened to me, my mom only worked part time and my dad had a decent job but two kids in college for a long time. We did not get any money from them - they did not have it to spare.
    He can try getting his school to classify him as an independent - mine did one year so I at least got better rates on my student loans. The government doesn't care if you dont get any family support or not - if you are under 23 you are still considered a Dependant. He should look for a job that may help pay for things - look into student work programs - but you can't really do these things for him - he needs to.
     
  5. bballlady

    bballlady Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2009

    You can write a letter to the financial aid office of the college stating your current financial situation. That may make you eligible for work/study or a Pell grant. Be very, very careful about private loans. Remember with a private loan the interest can be set at whatever rate the institution wants it to be. You can start out at say 4% but over the years it can rise to 8, 9, or higher. Students loans cannot be claimed if you claim bankruptcy. They are with you until you pay them all off. There is a place on the FAFSA to state that a parent is disabled.
     
  6. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Feb 22, 2009

    The school financial office will also have chance of circumstance forms. He needs to work with the financial aid officer he is assigned, or else request one. They will help him and give him as much advice as they can.
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Feb 22, 2009


    I was not able to be classified as independent, and trust me, I have been since I was fifteen. I fought. I cried. No help. If I was unable to be classified then he will not be able to, considering that he still lives at home and they do provide for him, where as I lived alone and was not provided for.

    He has a job but doesn't earn enough to make a difference.

    And I can help him with these things...most parents would, and I am simply filling in for my parents.
     
  8. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Feb 22, 2009

    No, it won't. You need to fill out the FASFA and be flagged for financial aid on the FASFA to be elligible for work study and Pell Grants.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Feb 22, 2009

    Right, Suburban Gal. And he already knows that he isn't eligible for a Pell Grant. It looks like he'll be piling up loans, which I hate, but I guess they'll be many in the boat with him.
     
  10. bballlady

    bballlady Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2009

    Apparently the rules have changed. After filling out the FAFSA for my oldest son. I divorced. I wrote to the college and stated that my status had changed and this in turn would impact my son. He was awarded a Pell grant. This occurred in 2002.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Feb 22, 2009

    In the situation you described, I understand the college changing his status or eligibility. The problem in the case of reduced income is that it doesn't instantly change the overall situation of a person.

    Additionally, I'd like to add, that just because a parent is disabled doesn't mean you are automatically awarded money. Too bad, because that would have saved me thousands upon thousands of dollars. :)
     
  12. bballlady

    bballlady Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2009

    I don't know what state you are located in but I know in a neighboring state to me if a graduating senior is in the top 25% of his graduating class he or she can attend community college free and continue to do so as long as the grades are kept up. At the end of 2 years all credits are transferable to a state college. Perhaps a program like this is available to your brother in your state. Has he considered community college to get most of his general ed classes out of the way and then move on to a 4 year school?
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Feb 22, 2009

    He is going to a community college--anything else is absolutely out of the question. He is not in the top 25% of his class...he struggles with learning. That is a good program though!
     
  14. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Is there anyway you can pay out of pocket and just go on an installment plan? Our local community college has it where you can do a FACTS installment payment plan at the time of registration.

    My mom did installment payments at the local community college and then later at thr 4-year college.
     
  15. Cranmans

    Cranmans Rookie

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    Feb 24, 2009

    Try to fill out the fafsa completely. Then, whatever the school that he is going or going to go to--call the financial office and talk to them. Sometimes schools have their own requirements too. All the schools, well mainly state schools, require you to fill out the fafsa for all their grants, state grants, pells, and their scholarships. Depending on his age sometimes he can file-- to be independent (and they wont use his parents for computing, even if he is 18)--and that can help him out.

    When I went to college I turned down a private one for a state school--which every year they offered me a scholarship and grants to not only cover the fees but housing too. I do coach and work at a hospital, but I was shocked at the funding that I got from the federal government.
     
  16. indigo-angel

    indigo-angel Companion

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    Feb 24, 2009

    How do you know whether or not he will be receiving money if he didn't get his Financial Aid Award letter yet? If you are still filling out the FAFSA, you still haven't gotten the EFC (expected family contribution). I would just fill the form out and provide the necessary info, then wait to see what he's been awarded by the college of his choice. Then, if he is not satisfied, he can make his plea to the financial aid officer assigned to him. Remember, the FAFSA qualifies students for federal, state, and institutional aid. All funds awarded will be outlined in his award letter, including institutional money. However, since he will be going to community college, he won't be awarded as much as someone going to a university; but he won't need as much either. If the parent is disabled and receives some form of assistance, then that income is not considered. Don't automatically assume that he won't get funds, because there is money out there. Also, federal student loans and work study are also considered Financial Aid.
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Feb 24, 2009

    I had already completed the FAFSA...perhaps I phrased it incorrectly. I had already learned his EFC when I made the original post, thus the post. The family is expected to pay more than the community college will cost, but they have no money to give him. And wouldn't even if they did. It's just their way. And, as I said, I am aware of loans and work studies, although he will already be working two jobs to pay for living (again, that's the way it is in our family) so work study would be difficult, but not out of the question. I battled this whole aid thing a few years ago, and it's very difficult in many cases. Loans it will be sure, I'm sure, and that will fine...

    Thanks.
     
  18. treysmom

    treysmom Comrade

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    Feb 24, 2009

    My son is a fresman in college this year. His dad and I divorced when he was 4. Child support was slow to say the least. His dad died suddenly at age 44 when my child was 16. He got death benefits through high school. Even though he is still a dependent, the benefits stopped after high school graduation. We were turned down initially for any kind of grant-were only qualified for loans. Keep in mind I am a single parent on a teacher's salary-I am struggling just to keep my head above water. He was denied for grants b/c of the death benefits-which ended 3 months before college began. We were advised to reapply. Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful for any help, but our grant was a little over $400 a semester. It seems if he is still considered a dependent to me, the death benefits should continue as long as he is in college.
     
  19. indigo-angel

    indigo-angel Companion

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    Mar 4, 2009

    Now I understand :) Yes, this financial aid thing can be a bit much. However, due to the circumstances, I would still encourage him to look into grants that the college may have availible. His financial aid officer should be able to help with this. Also, Fastweb.com is an invaluable source for scholarships and grants, especially for lower amounts of aid that can add up at a community college. I'm encouraging my students to apply for scholarships and fill their FAFSA's out ASAP. Good luck to the both of you.
     
  20. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Mar 4, 2009

    Can you or your parent get a job at a college? My husband works for a college, and his family get to go free.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 4, 2009

    It's not me; it's my brother.

    You make it sound so easy. Heck, it's not easy to get a job working a drive-through in this economy, much less a position at a college. My brother already works and it would be unlikely he would get hired at the college: small community college job = who you know. Besides, they don't offer free courses anyhow.

    Thanks for the advice everyone...I think I'm "good" now.
     

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