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How to pay for college? I'm poor.

HealthyStickHealthyStick Posts: 7- New Member
I think I'm really screwed and I don't know what to do.

The cost of attendance of my college is approximately $9,600/year. That is tuition + fees + books/supplies.
Renting an apartment with a friend for $200/month. So $1,800 for a school year.
Personal expenses - approximately $1,800.

Total - $13,200

I'm an incoming freshman.
I've lived here for 4 years; however, I'm on a student visa (international, parents).
I'm working with a friend to build his father's house. For cash. I will make $3,600 in profit by the end of summer.
My parents can give me only $2,000/year.
I have $3,000 in scholarships.

That means I have to find another 13,200 - (3,600+2,000+3,000) = $4,600.

I don't qualify for any financial aid due to my citizenship status.

How can I find the remaining $4,600? Community college is not option; too late.
I don't know if I can work during the school year. Too afraid I won't be able to balance academics and work.
Post edited by HealthyStick on
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Replies to: How to pay for college? I'm poor.

  • annikasorrensenannikasorrensen Posts: 1,487Registered User Senior Member
    How can I find the remaining $4,600? Community college is not option; too late.
    I don't know if I can work during the school year. Too afraid I won't be able to balance academics and work.


    It is not too late for community college. You can apply or attend the next cycle around. The up side of community college is that you can attend part-time and work part-time or even full-time. That has an added benefit of easing you into studies in such a way that you learn how to balance academics and work at the same time.

    There are no special ways to "find" 4K of money for college outside of what you probably already know. Private loans from friends and family, cash from parents, the occasional scholarship (which are hard to come by) and a combination of your savings and your current work.

    It may be that you need to work and save more before attending a 4 year college. Or go to a community college (even if that means a delay).
  • HealthyStickHealthyStick Posts: 7- New Member
    Any advice is appreciated.
  • HealthyStickHealthyStick Posts: 7- New Member
    I said it is too late for a Community College because I applied for a visa change with I-20 from this university ($500) and already got my visa changed.

    Also:
    -the nearest CC costs $7,400 to attend
    -it is 30 minute drive from my house (no problem then, I will not be renting an apartment in that case.)
    -$3,000 scholarship is from my university
    -the engineering department doesn't accept any math/science courses from that CC.
  • HealthyStickHealthyStick Posts: 7- New Member
    Oh also, I cannot take a gap year. Again - too late.
  • polarscribepolarscribe Posts: 3,232Registered User Senior Member
    Of course you can take a gap year - don't attend.

    There are no magic money trees with $4,600 waiting to be plucked off its limbs. I would suggest trying to find a job and perhaps only attend school part-time.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 59,837Registered User Senior Member
    Ok...this may not be what you want to hear, but since this situation is because your parents have you in a country that is not your own...

    They should work more hours (take a second job, whatever) to provide more money for your college costs.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,139Registered User Senior Member
    Hey everyone, this kid is here because his/her PARENTS are students. No one can "go out and get another job" because there are strict limits on where you can work if you have an F (student) visa. Healthystick's summer job might even be a violation of his/her status.

    The current I-20 can be exchanged for one from another, cheaper school. Students change schools all the time. It isn't a big deal. HealthyStick just needs to go visit the community college, and set the process in motion.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,139Registered User Senior Member
    HealthyStick,

    Would returning to your home country for your education be an option at all? Can you enroll in a university there with a HS diploma from the US, or it that not possible? Can you afford to pay for your studies in your home country?

    Even if you do scrape the money together to pay for your education in the US, when you finish your degree there is no guarantee that you will be able to find an employer who will get you an H-1B so that you can remain here after your OPT runs out. You need to be thinking about your long-term future. It may not be in your best interest to study in the US.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 24,012Registered User Senior Member
    I cannot come up with any solutions for you other than getting your visa changed, going back to your home country, or having your parents borrow money to pay this first year, while you look for less expensive options for next year now that you know how it works first hand. You are not eligible for federal aid, but even then you would likely only get loans unless your parents truly make very, very little money. Even then, the maximum PELL grant, which is all that is guaranteed maxes out at $5500 and the family income level for that is very low.

    Start looking at schools that are more affordable for next year. Momfromtexas methods for full ride scholarships is a good resource. You would have to add the step of checking if international students qualify at the colleges you find.

    American students find themselves in the same predicament. College can be very expensive here in the US and aid is limited. The money is going fall into your lap.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 59,837Registered User Senior Member
    this kid is here because his/her PARENTS are students. No one can "go out and get another job" because there are strict limits on where you can work if you have an F (student) visa.

    I'm on a student visa (international, parents).


    Ahh...the OP's post wasn't that clear. I thought HE was here on an Education visa (and that his parents were here on work visas). Now I see that he has an Ed visa because his parents have an Ed visa.

    Anyway....int'l parents who have soon-to-be college aged kids need to consider how they will provide for their kids' education before dragging them here... or have a plan to send them to college in their home countries. We see this rather frequently...int'l kids with visas in the US with no means to pay for college...their parents need to have a better plan.....because otherwise their kids end up writing: I think I'm really screwed


    BTW....if the OP's parents are going to college HERE, why isn't the student going to college at THEIR college so he doesn't have to pay room and board???
  • annasdadannasdad Posts: 4,825Registered User Senior Member
    A friend of my D's is graduating this year in a similar situation; low-income non-citizen parents and no way to pay for college. He's a top-notch student, but even with some substantial merit aid can't make it. He's joining the Coast Guard, which will give him a fast-track opportunity to citizenship and also provide some money for college.
  • HealthyStickHealthyStick Posts: 7- New Member
    Thank you all for your suggestions.

    @annasdad: thank you, I will Google about Coast Guard.

    Going to a college in my home country is possible. However, here's the situation: the country is corrupt. Almost all collegs (there's only like 25) cost about $8,000 for four years. I can work my butt off and get a diploma with all Bs and Cs. Or, I can find connections and "buy" the diploma for about $10,000-20,000 with all As and Bs without attending the college itself. And the best part is - no employer cares about your diploma/degree from a college in that country. It's all about connections. Also, no, I cannot apply with a HS diploma from the United States. Yup, I bought a diploma from some highschool just for my own sake. That being said, I want to get a real education and then work for people.who really appreciate my work in college.

    If I can't find a sponsorship job after my graduation, I'm thinking about working for an American company in my home country.

    I'm sorry for not being clear in my original post. I'm here with my parents. My dad is doing his Ph.D. I'm also going to the same school. The reason only now I started worrying is I guess because I became too "Americanized".
    1) My upperclassman HS friends and recruiters from that college always have told me: "if you get X on ACT, Y GPA, you will get Z amount of scholarship. If your parents' income is less than X, you're likely to get Y amount of financial aid." And the state I live in, gives its residents huge amount of money for going to a college in that state. So, I have always thought I would pay no more than $3,000 for college.
    2) I loved the lifestyle of my friends and my lifestyle became the same. Attend frat parties, smoke whatnot, not really staying at home on weekends, and stuff like that. Most of the things I was doing was totally unacceptable in my culture. As a result, my relationship with my parents kept weakening. Because of this, I (I hate to say this but) don't want to live with my parents. I wanna bring my friends, girlfriend to my place whenever I want. Sleep at my own house after a party etc. Don't get my wrong, I still ace at academics (6/620 class rank).

    CC is not an option. I'm serious, the engineering department doesn't accept any math/science credits from that CC.

    If nothing works out, I probably will stay with my parents. It was very hard to give up on joining a fraternity. It will be even harder to give up on my own apartment. But I guess it's called life.

    As much as I don't like to, I will try to live with my parents, find a job on-campus, and see how everything goes in my freshman year. Am I thinking right now? I don't think there's more affordable college than this in my situation.
  • ilikepizzailikepizza Posts: 507Registered User Member
    you can join the army.. do you live in california?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 59,837Registered User Senior Member
    Don't you have to be a US Citizen to be in the Coast Guard?

    My dad is doing his Ph.D. I'm also going to the same school.

    ??? Then why would you have to rent a room from someone?


    My upperclassman HS friends and recruiters from that college always have told me: "if you get X on ACT, Y GPA, you will get Z amount of scholarship. If your parents' income is less than X, you're likely to get Y amount of financial aid." And the state I live in, gives its residents huge amount of money for going to a college in that state. So, I have always thought I would pay no more than $3,000 for college.

    Well, when recruiters come to schools they are assuming that the students are citizens or green card holders.



    Attend frat parties, smoke whatnot, not really staying at home on weekends, and stuff like that. Most of the things I was doing was totally unacceptable in my culture. As a result, my relationship with my parents kept weakening. Because of this, I (I hate to say this but) don't want to live with my parents. I wanna bring my friends, girlfriend to my place whenever I want. .......

    If nothing works out, I probably will stay with my parents. It was very hard to give up on joining a fraternity. It will be even harder to give up on my own apartment. But I guess it's called life.



    I'm sorry, but that is a luxury lifestyle..not one that is affordable..and not one that should be funded with scholarship money.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,139Registered User Senior Member
    The simple truth is that nationwide the majority of traditional age college students commute to college from home. You will be having the real college experience. Your friends who will be in their own apartments, residence halls, and frat/sorority houses are the ones who are in the minority.

    The only way that you can afford to study at this university is if you live at home. Accept that, and get on with your life.
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