Applying to college after a gap year
So I am in quite the predicament... I was a high school senior in 2017. I am from Arizona and I was accepted to UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UCSD. I SIRed for UCB and attended for about two weeks, but my dad couldn't get approved for the parent PLUS loan or a private loan large enough to satisfy my financial aid needs, so I was forced to withdraw. I do not have any units from UCB, so I can still apply as a freshman to universities. I applied to 24 common app schools my senior year and was rejected by all of them ( I strongly suspect I got a bad letter of recommendation, am most of them had much higher acceptance rates than the UCs). I plan on applying to many of these same colleges again, but this time I cannot go through my school. I left kind of on very bad terms and will not be getting (good) recommendation letters from any teachers there.
My questions are: How do I get recommendation letters in the 4 months before apps are due and from whom do I get them? Is there any way I can get an application fee waiver (I had one senior year)? What are tips for applying to colleges that have already rejected me? Where can I get help with essays now that I don't have a guidance counselor? How do I explain my gap year on common app?
Any help is appreciated