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FAFSA troubles with parental information and documentation


Replies to: FAFSA troubles with parental information and documentation

  • marvun22marvun22 Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    First, some information.

    I approached my dad and explained the situation. I could not afford to go to college this year if he didn't cosign a loan. And then I was on the receiving end of a very vulgar rant. The gist of it was, "That stupid stroke. It cost me a million dollars. I was supposed to retire in three years. Now I need to sell the farm (not figurative, we live on a farm, but he's not a farmer) and everything else I own and be poor for the rest of my life just to pay everything off. Every single person wants money from me." After he somewhat calmed down, he then mentioned that he does not want me to skip a year of college for any reason. He said he would cosign a loan if that's what he needed to do for me to attend to a college. I talked to him about a gap year and its benefits. But he did not think that was a good idea. And considering that a gap year would be spent living in his house, I don't think that'll end up working. My dad has basically bankrolled my first 18 years of life. I'm kind of obligated to listen to what he says.

    I guess I am slightly happy, because I will be attending college this year. But if you look at the big picture, this isn't looking too bright. I'll have about 12,000 of debt at the end of my freshman year alone. And what I'm even more worried about is my dad. I hate those angry rants he gives, but those rants provide the most insight into how he is actually feeling. When he is composed, he continues to act like money is no issue. I feel like he'll bury himself 10 feet deep before he admits that there is a problem.

    And I did technically submit the FAFSA. I believe I mentioned in the original post, that I just need to verify my situation, which is that I cannot provide parental information for a non-special circumstances reason. Here is the exact message on my FAFSA page. "Because you submitted your FAFSA without parental information to be considered for an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan only, your application is not complete.Contact your college's financial aid office and provide them with documentation to verify your situation."

    Now some replies.

    I'm sure if my dad ever gets to his taxes, I will be declared a dependant.

    I guess everything about a gap year is out the window now. Do you happen to know if those massive merit scholarships are only for incoming freshman? I'd assume they are, but just in case they're not, I could look at transferring after my freshman year.

    And as for one of my sisters helping file taxes, I don't think so.
    Oldest sister simply tries to not do anything that will make him angry, and mentioning the word "taxes" is a trigger for him. And she lacks the confidence. Even if she was smart enough to help (which I'm sure she is), she doesn't have a high belief for herself. She'd constantly be asking my dad questions, which would probably frustrate him even more.
    Second oldest sister is just too busy now. She has a full time job now and devotes her extra time to pursuing her dream. And I've talked to her. In general, she has been ready to leave this house behind for years now.
    Third oldest sister is too busy also. She has a full time job this summer until college starts up again. And just like second oldest sister, she's ready to leave everything behind and start her own life. Which I'm assuming she will once she graduates next spring.

    As for therapy/depression/treatment, I'm guessing that idea would be shot down. Don't get me wrong, my dad could definitely have depression and treatment could definitely help him if he did. But from where we're from, that's just not something anyone would ever admit to. Especially his generation. He's one of the people who are "rock-solid dads who put family first and will always support them." His pride would not allow him to admit that he has some sort of emotional problem, just like the financial situation.

    The main problem is just admitting that he needs help. I could go behind his back and ask around, but I'm still the kid in this situation. I'd ask around, the very people I asked for help would likely mention to my dad exactly what I'm doing, my dad would laugh it off with "he's just overly-concerned, our family is doing just fine" and then he'd be angry that I went behind his back. Where we're from, the parent is always right.

    And also to talk about our church community, everyone is great and extremely supportive, but we're also almost all farmers. I doubt most people would know how to help do the taxes with all the random stuff my dad does.

    Like I mentioned above, I guess no gap year. I just have to hope and pray that he eventually figures out financials and that I'm at least able to attain a bachelors degree. If I can scavenge a chemical engineering degree, I'd consider that a win with the current situation. I mean med school/MD is the dream, but my main goal is to be able to survive. If I don't end up going to med school, I'll just focus all of my spare time on my other main passion (Marathon running) and I should have a moderately-enjoyable and fulfilling life.

    I'm calling the financial aid office at UND tommorow, I'll see what they say.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,719 Senior Member
    Hopefully you can get the federal student loan; the terms are better. Also, if your dad owes a lot of money in medical bills, he may not be a qualified cosigner for a private loan.

    Your family has special circumstances to qualify for more need-based aid. But your dad has to file the taxes and show the financial aid office what the circumstances are.
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 2,859 Senior Member
    @marvun22, it was brave of you to talk to your dad. I understand the dynamics of the situation but that doesn't make it any more palatable for you. Good luck.
  • flatKansasflatKansas Registered User Posts: 524 Member
    @marvun22 Like others have said, if there are significant debts he may not get approved for loans. And is he actually going to be willing to do the loan paperwork with you? You should find out if he can actually get a loan for the amount you'd need ASAP.
  • MACmiracleMACmiracle Registered User Posts: 1,072 Senior Member
    When you call it he financial aid office, give them the full picture. They will be limited with the federal loans, but who knows? Maybe they have discretionary funds to help to some extent.

    I don't think they would want to lose a student like you.

    Might as well hope for the best if you dad insists you start college now.
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 9,342 Senior Member
    No, those big scholarships are usually only offered to freshmen.

    If your dad insists that you start college this year, then I would attend UND.

    Tuition is $8,000. Room and board about $7,000. That's $15,000. And you have a $4,500 scholarship.

    Are you working this summer?
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 9,342 Senior Member

    Did you see that there is an online engineering degree through UND?
  • raclutraclut Registered User Posts: 3,319 Senior Member
    The vulgar rant is troublesome but I can see he is very frustrated with all on his plate. I can't imagine how stressed you must have felt having this difficult but necessary discussion.
    Health issues strike without notice and it could have happened to anybody. The saying "health is wealth" is so true.

    A gap year would have been ideal but I have to say given the circumstances you lived with you have handled things very maturely. If you are not comfortable with the loans I still feel I wouldn't go forward with it but I understand your feelings of respecting your father's wishes. Whatever happens keep you mind calm and body fit and healthy so that you can focus. Do things that help you control anxiety and stress levels. ( you mentioned running) Take things one day at time. You are a good student so wherever you end up just stay focused on your goals and taking good care of yourself.

    Have a talk with the financial aid office and try to explain your home circumstances. I hope a good solution can come out after all this. Think positive.
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