I'm working on the FAFSA form for my son's freshman year and I have some questions...
My son has been a good student-- 95 average, low 700's on the SAT I and II. Top 10% of his class. Grades and effort are slacking this year due to senioritis and "knowing it all." He has rec'd acceptance letters from three universities, one offering a scholarship that would cover over half of the cost (although this school is on the academic quarter system-- and DS is no longer leaning toward that); a state college offering a $4K award; and another school with no award info at the present time. He's awaiting word from three other schools. Community college is not an option due to lack of a vehicle for commuting.
By way of sharing some background info., my husband is NOT going to to contribute my son's college expenses. While this saddens me in a way, I am in full agreement with this decision. Our family has had years of counseling - Lack of respect for virtually every aspect of family life, rules, and basic expectations have been the norm on my son's part and we've all reached the end of the "road." He has always provided for my son's needs and many of his "wants, " with the exception of the car he covets.
Second, my ex-spouse (the bio father) has been out of the picture for over six years. No support, no contact. Last I knew, he lived in a distant state. While he was gainfully employed years ago, that changed to a self-employment situation, and now, who knows.
I worked part-time (my husband and I have children together, one of whom has a disability) and I just lost my job of three years in November due to a merger. I'm licensed to sell real estate and I'm attempting to rebuild my business-- in a not-so-great economy. My husband "re-career-ed" several years ago in order to help me w/ the younger children, leaving behind a well-paying job which required considerable travel. He is now working locally in financial services, another field that has suffered as a result of the economy--his income will be depleted by approx. 30%.
We are also looking at the likelihood of a private, parochial school for our youngest child due to his disability- so another tuition payment is on the horizon for Sept.
Back to the FAFSA-- we are completing the document with full disclosure-- unlike some previous threads referencing omissions of info with the intent to beat the system....Crunching some preliminary numbers, it's not looking too good for any aid.
SO-- what advice might anyone have? Filing the FAFSA, then talking w/ a financial aid officer at the schools where my son has been accepted? Are there any schools that might be more understanding of a situation such as ours? Timeline-wise, we're winding down w/ applying to other schools. Geographically, we're limited to a 5-6 hour driving radius from downstate NY.