Too Rich For Financial Aid, Too Poor To Pay For Classes

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by TCord1964, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    I recently filled out my Free Application for Federal Student Aid online. A couple of days later, my Student Aid Report indicated my "expected family contribution" is more than $19,000!

    Now, I don't have $19,000 sitting around the house. I don't make a lot of money (my wife came into some money last year, we spent it buying a car we were leasing), and my SAR said I won't be getting a Federal Pell Grant, although "it's up to the school what kind of aid I might be eligible to receive". In short, I don't expect to get any aid with an expected family contribution of $19,000.

    I had planned on taking either pre-pharmacy or marketing at the local community college. I can't afford to pay out of pocket, and I'd rather not take out a private, unsubsidized loan. I could try for some scholarships, but that's a big "if". I'm really stuck.

    I guess I have a couple of options:

    A. Take some CLEP and DANTES tests until next year, in the hope my FAFSA situation will be more favorable to me. At this point, I can't even afford one of the Big 3, since they ask for tuition up front.

    B. I could explore a DETC-accredited school. They are cheaper, and many offer payment plans which would be affordable to me. Yes, I know about the limitations of DETC-accredited degrees, but there are some RA schools where I could transfer later when my financial picture improves.

    If anybody knows of any other options, please let me know.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2005
  2. jtaee1920

    jtaee1920 New Member

    Don't be discouraged. My tuition for grad school is approx. $10,200/yr. My expected contribution was over $38K per year. I was able to receive federal stafford student loans for my full tuition amount.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2005
  3. blaketots

    blaketots New Member

    I would expect that you would still receive federal stafford loans for your tuition - no need to seek private loans. That's been my experience, anyway.

    Also, if your situation has changed since the last tax year, you can submit information to the Financial Aid office and they will consider that. When I was in my first year of college, my little brother broke his neck and my mom stayed with him in the hospital for over 3 months and did not work. She received no income during that time. When I went to my Financial Aid office and told them this, they altered my aid and I was able to get an additional $500 in Perkins loans.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2005
  4. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    South Africa?
  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Re: Re: Too Rich For Financial Aid, Too Poor To Pay For Classes

    Aussie degrees are usually pretty cheap, too, or so I'm told.
  6. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    You'd better check before you hand over your credit card. Prices have gone up.
  7. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member


    I guess I have a couple of options:

    A. Take some CLEP and DANTES tests until next year, in the hope my FAFSA situation will be more favorable to me. At this point, I can't even afford one of the Big 3, since they ask for tuition up front.

    This may be a good way to go. Charter Oak State College allows you to make three payments for tuition, instead of one payment all at once. In other words, I think the tuition for 1 year is around $1100.00 a year. Now, you can pay this fee in three consecutive payments. I believe this is a new feature as of this fiscal year.

    You can begin taking CLEP and DANTES before you enroll so that you don't have to go beyond the 1 year period.

    Also, if you are looking for N.A. degrees with low monthly payments, no interest, you can look at California Coast University or Ashworth College.

    Good luck,

  8. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

  9. anthonym

    anthonym New Member

    Excelsior allows you to make monthly payments for the annual fee. You would still have to find money for individual courses, however.

    Thomas Edison's comprehensive annual tuition falls within the undergraduate federal loan limits and includes 36 semester hours and unlimited TESC exams. Thomas Edison is great if you have no credits and plan to complete a traditional 4-year program sequence, but from a distance. You'd finish with about 20K in loans.

    Charter Oak also offers student loans, which would likely cover the costs of courses and fees.

    In the meantime, you could take a course from LSU whenever you can gather the $229.00. At least you would be moving forward while you come up with a plan.

    At the same time, there are many other inexpensive schools. Student loans aren't the worst thing that can happen to you as long as you complete the program. And the interest is tax deductible.
  10. CoachTurner

    CoachTurner Member

    Y'all do know that the EFC is not "your family is expected to contribute EFC $ toward tuition..."

    The EFC is what you are expected to contribute to the overall costs -- colleges have different ways of calculating this but it oftens includes housing and books and transportation and... It can often be an amount twice the amount of tuition...

    Also, you can (and should) visit with the local financial office about things in your FAFSA that are unusual -- such as a higher income last year because you weren't going to school fulltime. They can adjust those numbers.

    That said, sometimes the EFC numbers are correct (not saying they are in your case - just sometimes) and financial aid offices have to hear how "mommy and daddy can't afford to pay for me to go to college, I need grants 'cause we're poor..." when little Suzy's dad makes $150K and Mommy makes $120K and they might have to tap some of the $2M trust fund to send Suzy to local state U that has tuition of $3K a semester... make sure your finances aren't in that kind of boat when you appeal to people who make barely over $30K a year and are $40K in past student debt, telling them "I'm poor, gimme money..."
  11. PhD2B

    PhD2B Dazed and Confused

    Can I get the phone number of Suzy's parents?

    I think I was switched at birth or something. Suzy had better not spend any of that trust fund until I get home! :D
  12. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    That would be ME! Well, except I'm not $40k in past student debt, but probably will be by the time I'm done getting my degrees!

    I feel the urgent need to start on some kind of degree program THIS year, although money might dictate exactly which program, and where.
  13. Lawhopes

    Lawhopes New Member

    I don't know how they did it, but a friend of mine is attending the both the local community college and a Cal State University, and he got 75% of the tuition paid for in grants and gov scholarships and all that jazz, when both his parents are RN's at hospitals, and have been for a long, long time. And as you know, RN's aren't paid minimum wage either, especially the experienced ones. So there IS hope somewhere out there...

  14. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    I am looking at a couple of options. Well, ok...three.

    1. I am applying for an in-school scholarship which covers the cost of tution for part-time adult students who are changing careers. It would cover up to six credits of tuition per semester. I am looking at the pre-pharmacy progam, so these are course I would not be able to take by DL or test out of elsewhere (many of the courses require a lab component).

    2. My "fall back" program is business/marketing or journalism (for a position in PR). If I cannot get scholarships to cover my first choice, then I will start taking CLEP and DANTES exams ala "BA in four weeks" to rack up credit. I already have about 58 credits due to my studies at a service school while I was in the military.

    3. I have given serious thought to signing up for the AS in Marketing at Ashworth. Yes, I know it's DETC accredited, and the limitations that brings. However, the price is right. It's something I can afford, and there are schools that will take the entire degree in transfer for when I go for a Bachelor's later. I would simply use this degree as a "stepping stone" to a higher degree, rather than as something on which to base my new career.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Money is a REAL concern for me, but I want to get started on SOMETHING by this fall.
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Personally I would nix DETC schools to keep transfer options as open as possible.
    I doubt anything is cheaper than COSC
    or even TESC,Excelsior anyway so I would go to one of them. And as mentioned they offer loans.You can also spread out regular payments o/3 months at COSC.

    I would take tests first and rack up credit and concurrently save up money for enrollment delivering pizzas (seriously)if you have to or selling stuff . This is doable.

  16. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Good Points!

    Good points Dan, my sentiments exactly.

    Abner :)
  17. Guest

    Guest Guest


    Thank you sir!
  18. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard!

  19. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thank you again Abner!
  20. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    I had mentioned before I was looking into the marketing AS degree at Ashworth, even thought it is DETC accredited. Well, now I'm giving serious thought to the Associate in Specialized Business/Marketing program at Thompson Education Direct.

    Like Ashworth, it is DETC accredted. However, unlike Ashworth, its courses are evaluated by ACE and have more widespread acceptance by RA schools when it comes time to go for a bachelors degree. For example, TESC won't accept a degree from Ashworth, but i have read they will take one from Education Direct. I hear they are also candidates for RA, and they have a pay-as-you-go plan, like Ashworth. The price is also something I can afford.

    I have been looking at my options for a long time, and would like to get started on something soon. I have been procrastinating long enough. I figure I could also take a few CLEPs along the way for when I transfer to another school for my BA at one of the Big Three. Does anyone have any feedback/experience on Education Direct? Money is a factor for me, and this looks like a decent option.

Share This Page