First of all, spend down that $15K, you have saved up and let your parents start accumulating those amounts you are spending for a college fund for you but in their name. They are only assessed 5.6% at most for their savings whereas you get hit a whomping 20%. Do an online evaluation of how much aid you can expect from the govt by putting in family numbers and estimating income and assets as of the end of the year or beginning of next year (FAFSA comes out 1/1). What are your parents willing to contribute towards your education? Are they willing to borrow money? Can you start working part time after your apps are in to start earning more money towards college? (You may want to pay rent so the money accumulates with your parents, not you). You can most likely borrow unsubsidized STafford but subsidized would be helpful. In your case, borrowing the first two years, and getting money from ROTC would be great, because once you get your pilot's license and teaching license, you'll be able to work part time teaching flight for a decent amount of money. My friend's son did this and got through his last two years pretty much on his own.