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Need Advice on Transfer Situation

YiehtkYiehtk Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
edited December 2011 in Transfer Students
My parents are considering a move from Oregon to West Virginia in the next year, right when I am prepared to transfer from community college to university. I asked them to just stick it out for two more years so I could graduate, but they really hate it here, and will only stay if the house is not foreclosed. However, even then they are considering trying to sell it and move away before the next winter. The earliest they could move is around the first of April, because they have agreed to let me finish my last term so I can graduate with an associate and have all the lower-level coursework for my major complete.

My original plan was to transfer to the University of Oregon in spring as an English major. However, if I were to choose to move with my parents to West Virginia I could transfer to West Virginia University or Marshall University in the fall.

I bet you can guess my dilemma: I am heavily reliant on living with my parents here in Oregon – without it, I simply cannot attend school. It costs too much to live on my own here, and working the amount required to do so would harm my grades. I am going to have a transfer GPA of 3.5, and I will probably graduate from university with a 3.8. My guess is that working will reduce it to a 3.2, making it much harder to get in graduate school if I choose to go, and even worse, less time to spend networking or participating in activities on campus or what is relevant to my major. I want both of those options available to me, and having to work places limitations on my time.

But the bottom line is that I cannot afford to attend UO if my financial aid comes out short, and that is possibility. You might ask yourself: why not take out loans? I cannot; my parents’ credit is 390, and I have no extend family that would allow it either. Why not live with a friend? No one is capable of taking me in. What about financial aid? My mother makes 40-60K a year, and UO can be really stingy with this group. I could come up $2000-$8000 short. Parental aid? My parents will be providing no aid except during gift times like my birthday and Christmas, and that is probably only going to be $200 total a year. And since they are moving to West Virginia… well come on, do you expect them to be rolling around in riches?

Of course, why not just transfer to WVU or MU? Well, WVU may be out since my parents have no wish to move to Morgantown, and I could not afford housing. My brother had to switch to MU since WVU is too expensive. WVU and MU are not as good as UO on a general level, and UO already has a great English program.

I am in a situation where I am pretty much financially doomed no matter what, and I have no idea what is the better option. I know no matter what I am going to be financially oppressed by the situation, and I could really use some advice on how to prepare for this situation, and what I can do to make my decision.

The kicker? I’ve got about five weeks to do it. My parents will make the decision sometime in January, and I have until February 15 to get all my paperwork in order, apply to all the scholarships (which I am unlikely to get at my income level). I am going to have to spend around $150 just to apply to the schools, which is why I have not done it already. That is a lot of money, and I can’t go spending it uselessly. I just wish there was a good school out there I could afford… but no schools are particularly friendly financially to transfers at my availability of funds, even though I could get into most of them.

I would not know of my financial aid package until MUCH later - around April, probably, which is a real problem. It leads me to consider deferring a transfer to UO to Fall if my parents are moving, simply so I could easily transfer to a West Virginia school if next year's came out too short. But I just do not know what to do.

How can I better deal with this situation? What do I need to know? Anyone else deal with this kind of situation? What did you end up doing?
Post edited by Yiehtk on

Replies to: Need Advice on Transfer Situation

  • papertiger87papertiger87 Posts: 681Registered User Member
    Wow, your parents hate living there that much that they'd screw up your oppurtunities to continue your education?
    You are in a really in a difficult and odd situation. I think you really need to talk with your parents and tell them all your worries about what to do about college. They have to hear you out. Maybe they will stick it out for 2 more years if it meant you completing your education.
    I hope it works out for you.
  • annikasorrensenannikasorrensen Posts: 1,487Registered User Senior Member
    Would you even get in-state tuition at WVU? Just because parents move there doesn't translate to being eligible for in-state tuition.

    UO is a great English school. Can you work a year or two and save money? Attend part-time? Wait until you are 24 and independent for FA purposes? How many hours a week do you have to work to support yourself while in school? You may find that you can manage school and work and keep your gpa up.

    I don't think this is a situation that is about the parents being selfish or unable to hear concerns--they have terrible credit and foreclosure is on the horizon. They may simply have to move and are unable to simply "stick it out."

    Look harder for cheap rooming situations--rent a room, trade rent for helping out around the house, etc. I know a girl who came here from Poland without a penny and got through college by being a nanny--the job was horrendous (and she eventually found a better nanny job) but she did it because she wanted the education more than anything else in the world.
  • seaside22seaside22 Posts: 17Registered User New Member
    You can get a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. It's not based on financial need. The only problem is the interest, which accumulates when you first take out the loan. If you can, I would apply for the federal aid at your university and cover whatever is left with a Stafford Loan.
  • YiehtkYiehtk Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    @papertiger87: I have already tried to convince my parents to stay. Excluding my education, it is actually financial suicide for them to move to West Virginia. They say happiness is their reason for going, but if they followed a financial plan for the time I would be in school they would be debt free by the end. They don’t care. They would rather live in fear of answering the door than take responsibility for their debts. I can appeal to them on no level, not even with self-interest. I do not think they are being selfish, just stupid, because they really cannot afford to move anyway.

    @annikasorrensen: I would not get in-state tuition at WVU or Marshall junior year, but if I were to go to Marshall and live with my parents I could foreseeably manage the cost through a few hours of work or a loan from my parents. I could use the rest of my Stafford loan my senior year when I would be eligible for in-state tuition and have some left over to repay my parents. Out-of-state tuition for Marshall is the same as in-state for University of Oregon (not including room and board). But this really depends on them living close by – if not I’ll have to consider my nuclear option.

    Since University of Oregon is a great English school, I have tentatively considered taking a year off. The major problem is that I would have to pay back some of my loan during that time. I am already about $14 in debt, and I would have to factor that in as monthly payments. Oregon has great minimum wage ($8.80), but I think the lowest I could possibly pay in living expenses would be about $700 a month with a roommate. Without school, I would have to pay for a bus pass and that is very expensive. I could probably lower it to $500 a month during school since transportation would be free (except summers).

    In general, earnings would look like this before taxes: 15 hours - $528, 20 hours - $704, 25 hours - $880, 30 hours - $1056, 40 hours - $1408. I think I can manage 15 hours a week without any hits to my grade, maybe 20, but beyond that and I am really going to have a drain on my time consumption and consider working full-time and taking time off from school instead. With 15 hours, it will be purely living expenses and nothing can really go to school. I would need to work 20 if financial aid does not pull through, but I have heard if your parents have bad credit you should be able to get a bigger Stafford loan, so perhaps I could lower my expenses a bit that way back to 15 hours a week, and work more during the summer to have a good buffer. I am 21, so I cannot become an independent for financial aid in the near future.

    If I were to take a year off I would have more money, but that seems like an extra year before making enough money to pay off my loan. If I do not get accepted or choose not to go into the Kidd program (a creative writing program at UO) my senior year I could probably graduate a term or two earlier, so I am keeping that on the table to disregard if expenses are too high. That is something I really wanted to do though, but I could probably mitigate that desire by choosing writing-based classes with more career related writing instead.

    As hard as it would be to work and go to school, this nuclear option seems the best for my future. With WVU and Marshall I am really taking an educational hit, and the west coast has more openings for writing related positions than West Virginia (I also want to live on the west coast). The problem is that I would have no financial support from my family, and I know a lot of students have trouble without that support, which is why I am so worried.

    @seaside22: I am already taking out a Stafford loan – that is what has paid the entirety of my cost for community college. I have been taking out the maximum amounts already.
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