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What do I do when my parents are rich but won't help pay my tuition??

KDhomieKDhomie Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
I guess I wouldn't go so far to say that my parents are rich. They have money, but they also have a lot of things that cost money as well. For a little background, I didn't do well in high school because my mother had cancer and my parents are divorced and my boyfriend died in a plane crash, so I was pretty stressed and didn't get diddly-squat done. I'm dealing with the residual effects of the stresses my family has put on me as well and I have no clue how I'm going to pay for school. I don't qualify for financial aid anymore because my mother passed away freshman year.

I qualified for a transfer scholarship to the university I'm going to but it's only 750$ out of the 6k$ it costs a semester. I recently got into a sorority and I feel like that is something that is going to help me open doors in the long run, however, my Dad doesn't agree with it. He thinks I'm just paying for friends, which is NOT what sororities are about. He just doesn't understand what it means for me emotionally and what it will do for me in the long run. And a sorority only costs 2% of your college tuition on average so I've got more to gain than I have to lose.

Anyway, my dad is dumping all of the responsibility to pay for college on me. I make MAX 20k a year (and that's good for just turning 20) while he makes around 100-200k a year. It's extremely unfair that he's basically forcing me to go to school but won't pay for the little bit leftover from loans ( or that I even have to take loans out at all). He literally told me (while filling out the FAFSA) that he had 20k in his bank account. And it's frustrating that he's acting like he won't help me next semester or that I can somehow afford to pay for school myself with the magic money tree I'm growing. I have things I have to pay for, like my apartment, food, clothes (even though I haven't bought clothes in two years), sorority dues now, gas, among other things. The whole point of being DEPENDENT and filing under him in taxes is because I'm dependent on him to go to school, or live. My whole life my parents have been selfish saying that I can't ever have anything nicer than what they have and that I have to make my own money to use it. That's great to teach your kids how to be responsible but they're making me suffer. I don't have time to apply to 30 scholarships a day when I work full time (For my dad btw), and go to school full time, and participate in sorority things. I don't know if it's just me, but literally, all of my friends are babied by their parents. They don't have to have jobs, they don't pay for their apartments, they don't have to pay for school. I tell my dad this to try to get him to see from my perspective but he's just a dick with ears about it. I make A's and B's in my classes but out of the 60 hours I've taken, the two C's I made dropped my GPA to a 3.3 disqualifying me for a crap-load of scholarships.

Sorry for a rant but how am I supposed to handle this situation? I don't think I'm the one being selfish, and it's his money he earned through hard work. He had the luxury of just working over the summer and paying for school that way, but his tuition was only 500$, mine is 6,000$. There's no way I'm making that in two months. What am I supposed to say to him? How am I supposed to handle the government telling me my parents will pay when they won't? WHAT DO I DO???????? ToT

Replies to: What do I do when my parents are rich but won't help pay my tuition??

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,510 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    1. You need to set your priorities. If you NEED money for tuition and the like...perhaps the costs for going in a sorority shpild be reconsidered.

    2. You say your dad has $20,000 in the bank? Please understand..that is a VERY small amount for a family to,have in the bank as an emergency fund. VERY small.

    3. You say your parents are divorced? Who did you live with more for,the year prior to the date you filed your FAFSA? If it was your MOM, your mom is the only parent whose income would have been included onnthe FAFSA form.

    What is your mom's income...please include any spousal or child support...because those things count.

    4. Your income of $20,000 a year had a large impact on your EFC per FAFSA. Where is that money? Did you save it...spend it...or what? Is any of it available for your college,costs?

    5. You might have to work full time, and take classes part time to complete your degree. You wouldn't be the first student who needed to do this.

    6. In addition to the $750 you got from the school...you would also be eligible for a $6500 Direct Loan in YOUR name only if you completed the FAFSA. Did you complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA? If your school costs $6000 a semester, that would,be more than 1/2 the cost. If you worked and saved money...you should,have the remaining $5000 to cover the balance.

    7. You are blaming your dad...but what about your mom. Is she working? What is HER annual income? Can she contribute to your college costs at all?

    8. And lastly...stop counting other people's money. It doesn't matter what your friends have or don't have...at all. Plus, you may not have all the details of their finances either.

  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 5,822 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    I'm sorry to hear about your mom and boyfriend. Are you in college or still in high school? Can you live at home and commute anywhere?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,510 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    Adding....your dad has given you a job that pays $20,000 a year. I'm guessing he expects that to cover the $12,000 a year it costs for you to attend. That...plus your student loan should do it.

    Also your 2017-2018 FAFSA would include your income from 2015...so...you probably didn't have that income then...but do NOW. Where is the money?

    When you did your FAFSA, did you ONLY include your custodial parent income from 2015?

  • gearmomgearmom Registered User Posts: 2,342 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    @KDhomie Sorry about your difficult situation.

    Where do you live? For most people being in a sorority is a nice extra. It's nice to be part of a community and part of a sisterhood but really isn't any kind of game changer that would justify putting your education at risk.

    Can you get a cheaper apartment or roommate?
  • gearmomgearmom Registered User Posts: 2,342 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    @thumper1 That won't cover it if she has to pay rent and all other living expenses.

    @KDhomie Can you attend college part time? Would that be affordable?
  • KDhomieKDhomie Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    @thumper1 I guess you didn't read it cause my mom is dead. Also, child support doesn't count. My dad paid my mom 21,000 in child support before she died and I never saw a single cent because of medical bills. My mom was so poor she didn't file taxes. She didn't have income, she had cancer for 9 years. And I just calculated the amount of money I make a year based off my previous income bank statements, I make 14,400 roughly. The loans I got only gave me 6500, SPLIT, between both semesters. so I pay 6000 (not including the 800 I just paid for textbooks OUT OF MY OWN POCKET MIND YOU) so let's say 6800 in tuition this semester, minus the 750 scholarship, and the 3240 that I got in loans (they took "fees" out of the amount they already awarded me). That leaves me with 2810 left to pay out of pocket. Also, I was going to a film school by myself which I also paid for by myself during my first few months of working for my dad and he just gave me a raise for working my ass off. Sorority dues are only 150$ a month (not including breaks cause you don't pay then) because I go to a small school, it's not like I'm paying 4k for a sorority. I pay about 500 in rent including all utilities and things like that. Not to mention my dad works out in the country so I spent 280$ on gas last month alone. It looks great on paper but in reality, it's not working. I have about 1000$ saved in my account constantly because I don't want to get stuck and not be able to pay for something emergency-wise. I can't just let myself go to a 0$ balance. College shouldn't be designed to make you homeless, it shouldn't just be for the "elite". Living at home is not an option because my dad wants his privacy with my stepmom among other things.
  • gearmomgearmom Registered User Posts: 2,342 Senior Member
    @KDhomie @thumper1 is trying to help you. You said your mom had cancer but not more I think.

    You might want to think about a year long hiatus from school to fill the coffers. 20k a year is not much. Is that minimum wage? Get a second job that pays better, waiting tables... And then return to school when you have a larger savings and less stress. Your education is not a race.
  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU Registered User Posts: 939 Member
    I'm sorry your mom and BF passed away. Are you a sophomore or a junior in college now? Do you think you could get a roommate to help with housing costs? Who is on the FAFSA when you prepared it for 2017-18?
  • gearmomgearmom Registered User Posts: 2,342 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    @KDhomie Tax filings... He has you as a dependant but you are almost 20 and live independently. Are you receiving any benefit? Is he paying for your insurance? Is that part of your job? Are you receiving the tax benefit from your tuition? https://www.thebalance.com/american-opportunity-tax-credit-3193001 Or does your dad keep that? Can you ask for it or file taxes differently so that YOU get that money? There are smart people here who may know this, can you reduce the amount that you pay in taxes if you contribute to a 529 for yourself?

    @TQfromtheU She must be a sophomore if she is receiving $6500 in loans.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,464 Senior Member
    If your mom was your custodial parent before she died, talk to the financial aid office about a financial aid appeal. You need to talk to the director of financial aid or someone very high up, not a clerk.

    Explain that your dad hasn't supported you for the past 9 years (when was the divorce? it's not clear) and that your mom is now dead (when did she die?) and that you want to do a professional judgment to get independent student status. Ask them if they would consider this and what documentation you need for this. There are absolutely no guarantees that they will allow this, but if they do, your financial aid would not be based on your dad's income and assets.

    I also agree with some of the other posters - as nice as a sorority would be, you just can't afford that in your current situation. Unfortunately, I have not heard of a sorority waiving dues for a low income sister, but I suppose you could ask.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,510 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    I'm sorry...but I didn't know your mom died...you mentioned she had cancer...but I didn't see that she died. I'm sorry for your loss.

    Are you now living with your dad? If so, he is your custodial parent for FAFSA purposes. So, yes, his income from 2015 would be what is on the fafsa.

    If you are living with your dad now, I can't see how you would be eligible for a dependency override. You have a parent with whom you are residing (if you indeed live with him) @AroundHere

    So, you received $6500 in loans, and $750 in some kind of financial aid. You are short about $6000. You earned $14,000 this past year working for your dad? Is any of that money still available for your college costs?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,510 Senior Member
    ETA.... you need $3000 or so for the fall bill. Then you will need an additional $3000 for the spring term.

    Can you discuss this with your dad? Perhaps you can contribute $1500 out of your savings and he might contribute the other $1500. Then keep working part time someplace. You should be able to work 10 hours a week...and possibly earn enough to cover your share of the next term bill as well.

  • KDhomieKDhomie Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    Honestly, I didn't want to get too deep into the subject. My parents divorced when I was 8 and she was diagnosed when I was 10. I talked to the bursars office and explained my situation but he said that there's really not much I can do and that I can't file as independent until I'm 24. I wasn't really trying to slam my Dad and say he's a bad guy. He's great. I'm on his insurance until I'm 26 by state law so I can't have my own. A long hiatus from school isn't an option (to him). I just recently took my first summer out of school since 11th grade and I'm a junior in college. I had taken those film and TV classes in hope that my Dad would let me take time off from school if I got a gig but he kinda succeeded in crushing that dream, for now at least. I'm not even going to go into all the reason I should join a sorority cause it would be too much to put on here, it's just worth it.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I can afford most school stuff, just not the main tuition. I pay for pretty much everything myself besides the stuff he pays by law, like insurance, or my semester. My semesters are not that much money to him as he has drops 3-4k on a Christmas party every year and he has two boats and a plane (not including all the yacht club dues, wait, that's like an old people frat).

    I guess I was just hoping maybe someone would give me advice on how I should talk to him about school or what some good scholarship websites were. It's so hard to find scholarships that I qualify for or are relevant to me. Anyone know of any spring scholarships too?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,510 Senior Member
    edited September 7
    If you are a junior...your loan is $7500. Every penny counts.

    In terms of talking to your dad...I think he is expecting you to pay something outmof your earnings. Maybe if you discuss some sort of "split" in costs with him, he will be open to discussion.
  • KDhomieKDhomie Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    I currently make 15$ an hour, there's nowhere I can go and not have a degree and make more. I work from 8am, go to class, get home at 8pm every day but Friday is 8am-5pm and sat-sun I have nothing. I have thought a lot about getting my old serving job back at this German restaurant but I wouldn't make enough anywhere else. The weekends are my studying days, community service days, or sister days. There's no way I would have time for another job. Most other sorority stuff is at night after class anyway, like meetings or mixers. I have to have some time off, I'm not a robot, I've barely had time to mourn.
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