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As a family who will not receive any needs-based aid, how do I pay for out of state school?

clightfield24clightfield24 Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
I was accepted to Georgia Tech. I'd love to be excited and start making plans about classes and clubs to be a part of, but cost is a huge obstacle. Fortunately (or unfortunately), my family makes pretty decent money, so the FAFSA was mostly a waste of time. I have not yet received my Georgia Tech letter for financial aid, but I am guessing it will be similar to Illinois': ZERO scholarships and grants and $52,340 each year in almost all loans. I'd prefer not to graduate with nearly $200,000 in debt. Georgia Tech is slightly cheaper than Illinois. Great!

I was also accepted to the University of Minnesota for Aerospace Engineering, which isn't near the caliber that Georgia Tech is for aerospace engineering. However, being from South Dakota, I qualify for in-state tuition to Minnesota. The total cost each year is around $26,000. Assuming I do not receive any scholarships at all, $100,000 in debt is astronomically better than $200,000 in debt.

I would really prefer attending Georgia Tech. Of course I am already looking for outside scholarships and am applying to a bunch, but it would be nearly impossible to bring down the cost of Georgia Tech $20,000 EACH YEAR to get close to the cost of Minnesota. I can do internships over the summers and do the co-op program at GaTech, but there is no guarantee I can land an opportunity like this.

What should I be doing right now to pay for it? Would it benefit if I took a few classes over the summer from a local college that I know will transfer to GaTech? Or will that hurt my education in the long run because I won't be as prepared for the GaTech classes?

I know some people join the military or ROTC in college. I have never looked into this, and I never wanted to, but what exactly would it require? I have never lifted a weight for muscle gain and I have always been a "geek" or "nerd." Is there any sort of military program for nerds who can also receive great benefits? Or do I need to exercise, smell bad, eat dirt, and sweat for awhile before I am eligible for any sort of assistance?

I would really prefer GaTech to Minnesota, but the likelihood of missing out on an amazing opportunity has been increasing with no financial answers.

Replies to: As a family who will not receive any needs-based aid, how do I pay for out of state school?

  • clightfield24clightfield24 Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    I am still waiting on some other schools, but none that are as good as Georgia Tech for aerospace engineering (which means not Stanford).

    My parents definitely will pay. Maybe I came off as sounding not wealthy but my parents make >$100k together. If I was an only child they could easily get me through Georgia Tech or Minnesota but I have three younger siblings who will also be going to school someday. I believe my parents have close to $20,000 in a 529 or something (which they have apologized for because they never contributed a ton). I am already very fortunate for that money being there.

    For Aerospace engineering, I don't have any other options.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 30,840 Senior Member
    They can't pay for GA Tech on that salary with 3 younger sibs. So you have $5000 per year from the 529 and $5500 in federal loans. You can probably earn a few thousand working. But that does not get you to MN cost. Can they cover the extra $12K per year for MN?
  • clightfield24clightfield24 Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    I will also have a few scholarships that should knock that down a few thousand. Also, while debt isn't inevitable, I think I'll just have to live with private loan debt. They can definitely cover more but I don't know the exact amount.
  • CottonTalesCottonTales Registered User Posts: 567 Member
    You can't afford that school! Private loan debt? How are you going to get that?
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 5,975 Senior Member
    I think I'll just have to live with private loan debt.

    You can't take private loans. Students can borrow a total of $27k over 4 years. That's all they can reasonably be expected to repay.

    If you have $20k in a 529 ($5k/year), plus the $5500 student loan, plus ~$3k if you work summers, you have a budget of ~13k/year. You need a college that will give you a tuition award. Did you apply to any? If not, you can take a gap year and apply to a new list.
  • kidzncatzkidzncatz Registered User Posts: 682 Member
    Have you considered applying to UAH (University of Alabama Huntsville)? Check out their website. You still have time to apply and would be eligible for a full tuition scholarship.
  • MassDaD68MassDaD68 Registered User Posts: 1,471 Senior Member
    Your in a very common spot. the cost of college has gotten too high for most families to afford. Your best bet is to attend a community college for the first two years and then transfer to a 4 year school for the last two years. Is there a CC within commuting distance? You can live at home the first two years to save some money.

    Many kids take this route. Your final diploma will be from the 4yr school and you will have access to the career placement at the 4year school. It really is a win-win.
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 9,354 Senior Member
    UAH is great for aerospace engineering. The Cummings research park is located in Huntsville. Boeing too I believe. Look into the opportunities there and apply today!
    Also lots of mechanical engineers get hired by aerospace companies.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 64,366 Senior Member
    What about studying mechanical engineering at South Dakota Mines or South Dakota State?
  • clightfield24clightfield24 Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    My starting salary will be around $70,000... isnt he rule to make sure you don't take out loans exceeding starting salary? Minnesota is the cheapest school I will go to at this point but I think the return of investment from going to a more expensive school could be more beneficial later.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 30,840 Senior Member
    UAH is a great suggestion. Look at it today.
  • ColoFatherOf3ColoFatherOf3 Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    This is one of the reasons many families do not apply to out of state schools. I know my DD would have liked to go to GT, but she didn't even apply as we knew ahead of time it was not affordable.
This discussion has been closed.