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Under 24 with no parental support, financial crisis.

TjolmsyTjolmsy Posts: 22Registered User New Member
I was just accepted into Berklee College of Music and have absolutely no money. I just lost my job and can't even afford a penny of the $500.00 deposit. I didn't receive any scholarships from the school. I never went and filed as a youth on the verge of homelessness, even though I have been for these past couple months. However, since it's not on paper, I don't think Berklee will care I have NO idea how I'm going to manage going to this school, let alone even pay the deposit fee. Does anyone have suggestions or ideas on how to approach this. I'm hoping for grants but I know the school only gives so much. I did fill out my FASFA but since I'm under 24, I can't say I was on the verge of homelessness unless it's been documented, which is hasn't. So incredibly worried.
Post edited by Tjolmsy on
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Replies to: Under 24 with no parental support, financial crisis.

  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,383Registered User Senior Member
    Pick up the phone and call Berklee and see if they can do anything for you. But if they are like most arts schools, and they can't, it will mean that you won't be there this fall. Sad, yes, but re-read what you wrote here. You have bigger issues right now than where to go to college.
  • WaverlyWaverly Posts: 2,669Registered User Senior Member
    It's unfortunate, but despite common belief, buying a college is like buying anything else, some can afford particular ones and others can't. Berklee doesn't have a lot of aid money. You can get a Pell Grant (maximum $5500), a loan and work study from the Feds, but Berklee would have to give you the rest, which is not likely. You will probably have to do what most do. Start at a community college and work your way through.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 24,879Registered User Senior Member
    I think for right now, you have more pressing issues than going to college. No, Berkelee does not guarantee to meet need, and does not tend to do so, even if you have everything documented and show the need exactly the way you should. So the chances are, it would not have made much difference.

    You can only get federal aid with parental information, at least the bulk of it, unless you meet the independence requirements, the major one being age 24. My suggestions is for you to defer admissions and work out your other issues. Start your documentations and get your paper work ready for next year, so that if you want college in your list of options for next year, you have the documentation ready to go.

    Right now you need to focus on where you will and how will you live. Do be aware that it is not a nirvana when one turns age 24 and independent with a deluge of college money available. Independent students struggle too, and few can afford private schools with high sticker prices like Berkelee.
  • TjolmsyTjolmsy Posts: 22Registered User New Member
    Thanks guys. I figure I'm just going to defer until January next year. I'll use this time to figure things out. I'm on the verge of homelessness but my landlord and I are working something where I can keep up the property and live there almost rent free. I also read that if I can get the proper paper work, being under 24 won't matter. I've got my priorities under wraps and still plan on attending Berklee next Spring.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 24,879Registered User Senior Member
    Here is the thing, Tjolmsy: Even if you are considered independent, you would be entitled to, at most $5550 from PELL if your EFC is zero, and up to $9500 in Stafford loans. That is for a full year, so half of that per semester. Berklee is expensive and they do not guarantee to meet financial need, nor do they generally do so. If they can come up with the funds for you to attend, great. But do look at some other possibilities that may be more affordable for you. I'm glad that you are getting your living situation taken care of. Good luck, and keep your options open and your eyes open to other options as well.
  • OlymomOlymom Posts: 1,686Registered User Senior Member
    It sounds like you need a couple years of a decent income to get your feet planted. Would you consider Coast Guard? Navy? Have you a contact with a union hall or can you connect with something like electrical lineman training? Two years of decent pay could turn your life around -- and still leave lots of time and years for music.
  • TjolmsyTjolmsy Posts: 22Registered User New Member
    What I'm going to do is apply for as many scholarships and grants I can with the hopes that, come January, I can attend. Berklee has been my dream since the age of 12 and I DO NOT intend on letting affordability get in the way. Although I can't afford it now, I have no worries that I'll find a way. I mean, to be honest, I'm hoping I can use Berklee simply as a way to start doing some paying gigs, make connections, and get a professionally recorded six track EP made and then (if I've made the proper connections) drop out within a year and go on my way of a recording artist. But, that's the ideal scenario. I guess we'll see what happens. Thanks again though everyone for all the great advice and thoughts!
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 24,879Registered User Senior Member
    Tjolmsy, good luck, I have a poor starving artist son who is hitting the streets and audition notices to meet his rent. It's difficult for him and he's barely making it with NO SCHOOL LOANS. It would be all that much more difficult if he had some.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,526Super Moderator Senior Member
    Unfortunately, I know two students who went off to Berklee figuring "it will all work out" ... and they both came home after a year, unable to afford to continue. Yes, it is a very good school, but it is also very expensive. There are other, less expensive schools that will give you the education you desire.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Posts: 19,550Super Moderator Senior Member
    This thread is fascinating. It's like watching a car accident happen in front of your eyes.
  • SunnySallySunnySally Posts: 54Registered User Junior Member
    I think your first step in regards to school would be to talk to your counselor. They can make things happen. When i had issues in the beginning of going back to school, the counselor helped in so many ways. Honestly, you might find out that it is too expensive and make new plans.

    It is also important to consider the thoughts of other posters about the issue. You really do need to think about, namely being homeless. If your landlord will alllow you to work off the rent (and that could be a lot of regular things that you will have to do), then you are in a good position.

    It is time for you to think like an adult about your situation. Your dreams since when you were 12 are great for a 12 year old but not for an adult that needs to secure the basic necessities of life. Have you considered going to another more affordable school? I know a whole lot of incredibly talented musicians, dancers, singer, and artists that have regular jobs. Some do get an education that at least allows them to get a job teaching in their field. Don't plan on going to a school and dropping out when things start to go right for you.
  • annikasorrensenannikasorrensen Posts: 1,487Registered User Senior Member
    Your "scholarship/grant" plan is not even remotely realistic. You need at least 35K in cash or grants for next year in addition to the student loans? Most scholarships are for a few hundred or maybe a thousand or two dollars and they are still like winning the lottery. You'd have to win 3 or 4 of the rare, hard to get "major" 10K-range scholarships which is completely unlikely or about 15 to 30 small scholarships, also extremely unlikely.

    On top of that, many of these scholarships are a one year, one time deal. You'd have to perform that miracle each year for four years.

    I've heard more than once that students would make more money just working a part-time job than the hundreds of fruitless hours trying to fill out scholarship applications that are unlikely to yield results.

    If you are a very talented musician hoping to do just one year of school and drop out to play gigs instead, then you are talented enough to be making serious money right now with your skills. Yes, meeting some professionals at Berklee is a nice foot in the door, but there are other ways to make those connections without blowing 50K for one year of schooling and with no degree to show for it. Not to mention that 50K can buy a degree at a state school in several states... so go pound the pavement now with your instrument and make money and just skip Berklee completely.

    It sounds like without a full scholarship from Berklee itself, you will need to pass on the school for now anyhow. Is there a good performing arts school in your state?
  • TjolmsyTjolmsy Posts: 22Registered User New Member
    Guys, thank you. Thank you for voicing your concerns. No worries, again. I'm still able to go. I mentioned I have no parental support, true. However, I received a call from my grandfather last week. He told me that my parents called him and told him my situation. I never receive ANYTHING from my grandparents. However, my grandfather has offered to cosign my student loans and help me pay them off as he is head CEO of a financial firm in Florida. I wouldn't say it's any less short than a miracle, as something like this has never happened to me. Maybe fate just wants me to go haha. Again thanks everyone for the opinions and concerns. It's extremely appreciated.
  • 2collegewego2collegewego Posts: 2,583Registered User Senior Member
    Um.... I don't even know what to say except that it's not much of a favor to cosign, what $50K-$60K of loans per year for a music performance major. If grandpa is CEO of a financial firm, is there any chance he can give you the $?
  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Posts: 11,697Registered User Senior Member
    ^ Wow...does grandfather know that you plan to drop out after one year? He is willing go pay your loans even if there is no degree?
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