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how to pay for college if financial aid doesn't cover everything

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Replies to: how to pay for college if financial aid doesn't cover everything

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,430 Senior Member
    It’s going to be tight. You’ll need to come up with about $1500 before starting the first quarter and then earn another $1500 during the quarter to make it.

    You can see if you have any loan availability from this LAST school year if you used Pell only—your FAFSA is in there, it may not be too late, to put towards this upcoming school year.

    Otherwise, you have to find another source ofcfinds whether it is another lender a job or money from family.

    If you can be flexible about your major, ULL may be a better choice.
  • LynnskiLynnski Registered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    Congratulations on your success! Earning an AA degree is a huge accomplishment. Especially as a person who has "flunked out" of school before, you know how hard you had to work, and the many choices and decisions that allowed you to succeed this time. Please give yourself credit for that—it is quite an accomplishment!

    It's possible that the two schools you are considering will have different costs associated, as well as different resources for classes, pre-professional groups, and internships in your desired major. If possible, you shouldn't rule out either one because of distance from home. If you're living on campus and attending school full-time, you won't be going home so often that the hour or two should be the deciding factor. Look into what supports they have for first-generation college students; that's an area that might differ at the two schools.

    The numbers you've been given are reasonable estimates, but many of them will change—tuition may go up or down but probably not by a large amount. You may be able to live in a cheaper dorm (it might suck) and save some money, or live off campus and spend less than the dorms cost. Your on-campus meal plan could be higher or lower than the average that was used to compute the estimates you were given. If you live off-campus and do your own shopping and cooking, you'll spend less money (but more time) on food. You can buy used books or possibly "rent" books and that will reduce those costs. The Bursar's office can help you establish a payment plan that gives you the best options for your personal situation.
    They are there to help you. Helping you is their job :)

    There is probably a housing office at each school, and they can tell you the areas where it is safe and convenient to live off campus. They will probably have listings of people or places looking for roommates to help reduce costs. They are also there to help you; helping you is their job, too. :)

    Congratulations on your accomplishment and good luck in the next steps!
  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia Registered User Posts: 3,336 Senior Member
    Can you live off campus? 15K per year for room and board is a lot of money and as @Lynnski has already mentioned, it can be much less expensive to share an apartment near campus. Ditto on renting books or buying used copies (try Amazon or Chegg).

    Have you checked costs/availability of major as Southeastern in Hammond? I know a few people who studied there and got great financial/merit aid packages.
  • alostcollegekidalostcollegekid Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    @Lynnski thank you. ULL sounds cheaper because its close to home, but it really is not. They keep raising the tuition because they keep building stuff. Also I just looked at the IT major and how my courses transfer over, and its worse than if I would major in Business Informatics. I would be starting all over again. This is just a theory, but i could major in general studies and see if I can just take computer classes, but I doubt a job will hire me with a general studies degree. Also I applied to LSU a couple of weeks ago, the major i applied for is information systems and decisions sciences, but I doubt I'll get in (you need a 2.5, I do not know my final gpa so it could be hit or miss). I also sent in a statement because I probably have to be admitted by committee. For LA Tech, I feel confident that I can get a scholarship, but it's probably because they use your admissions application as your scholarship application. Ya'll might be wondering why do I want to change my major, well originally I was going to go for fiance (to be a financial advisor), but is friend that is a double major at ULL (in accounting and fiance) and she was explaining the classes she had to take, and I did like the sound of it. So I was in my last semester at CC, so I do not want to change my major and have to start over again. So i just finish in business (I don't hate it). I always wanted to be an engineer, but I am not good at math. So I did some research and found out about computer information systems, which is half business major half computer (cyber security).
  • alostcollegekidalostcollegekid Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    @thumper1 yes. so all together for loans I'll have 12,500 for loans.There is no extra $4,000. I have no idea where you go that number from. However, when I was a dependent I got about a $1,000 less in grant money... if it helps.
  • alostcollegekidalostcollegekid Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    @mamaedefamilia yeah i'm going to do that for the textbooks. Southeastern doesn't have my major. the only schools that have my major are: LSU, LA Tech, Northwestern State University, Nicholls State University, and University of Louisiana at Monroe.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 75,611 Senior Member
    edited May 6
    all together for loans I'll have 12,500 for loans.There is no extra $4,000. I have no idea where you go that number from no extra $4,000

    @alostcollegekid

    The $4000 is INCLUDED in that $12,500 loan you are getting. If you were not an independent student, your Federally funded loan would only be $7500.
    However, when I was a dependent I got about a $1,000 less in grant money... if it helps.

    If you got about $11,500 as a second year student...that’s $6500 plus the additional $4000....probably because your parent applied for and was declined for a Parent Plus Loan. Did that happen? If the parent applies for and is declined for the Plus, the student can take $4000 in addition federally funded loans.

    Anyway...the point is...you don’t have any more federally funded loans to access.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,430 Senior Member
    If you get enough merit money, great, wonderful, problem solved. Problem is that you may not. That’s the contingency you need to cover. Transfers do not tend to get scholarships.
    You have done very well and if you can get a degree that is desirable in the work force, life will be good. Your priority is to get the heck out of college with that degree ASAP. In two years.

    If you work this summer, you should be able to come up with enough to pay the gap for the first two quarters. Try to work and get the $1500 needed to pay that third quarter and then it’s back to full time work to knock it out for the second and last year.

    It’s not going to be easy but it’s doable. Extreme austerity, and focus in getting that degree in 2 years. Borrow some if you have to. It’ll be costlier to take more time on this. Much more so.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 22,554 Super Moderator

    Yes, I am graduating this week from CC with a associates in business. Most jobs require you to stay with that company and major in something that's beneficial to that company for tuition reimbursement. Or you have to work for that company for a certain amount of years to get it.

    And the problem with this is????

    For your situation, it is the best of both worlds, you are getting work experience and tuition benefits. As person who completed 3 Masters and helped hundreds of employees obtain a degree/advanced degree on the Corporate dime, there is nothing wrong with seriously thinking about this as an option. You are going to have to eventually work some place anyway. You can work hand in hand with your manager and HR to formulate a career plan for your next job as you are obtaining your degree.

    You need a concrete plan for paying for college, not a bunch of ifs/thens.
  • alostcollegekidalostcollegekid Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    @sybbie719 the problem is if a job require you to stay at the company for x amount of time before you get the tuition reimbursement, than to me it defeat the purpose of me working there for tuition reimbursement. Now if that is not the case I can see your point. But another problem that can happen is since I have to leave to go to college, I would have to find a company that also has an office in the city I am moving to. which can be hard because I am moving to a small college town. I not saying it's impossible, but it's not easy like you are saying. I would have to find a company that would let be go from business and eventually to computers ( cyber security, network systems, IT, etc.)
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 9,516 Senior Member
    DO NOT pick a major based on something that a friend told you. DO NOT rule out a college which is more affordable because they don't have the major you think you want but don't know.

    DO NOT.

    You need to sit down with career services at the college you are considering ASAP and have a professional go over various roles and companies and career paths that people with the degrees you are considering have pursued from their college. You need to contact- ASAP- alums from that college and see if you can have a half hour informational interview with them to discuss what they do all day, what the ups and downs of their jobs have been.

    I don't think any of the careers you are considering are ideal for someone who doesn't like math btw. And if you haven't sat with an academic counselor (not the career services folks, but a Dean or someone in charge of academics) to review your current transcript and figure out EXACTLY which courses you need to take to get a BA, do that immediately before you go further into debt.

    I know lots of folks in your shoes. You'd be surprised how many find out that they're on the 6 year plan for a four year degree- through NO FAULT of their own, just because they assumed that credits that would transfer did not, or that the statistics course they took is not the right statistics course at the four year school, or that the psych course they took counts for distribution requirements but is not the right pre-req for the behavioral economics class they want to take.

  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 22,554 Super Moderator
    edited May 7

    The problem is if a job require you to stay at the company for x amount of time before you get the tuition reimbursement, than to me it defeat the purpose of me working there for tuition reimbursement. Now if that is not the case I can see your point. But another problem that can happen is since I have to leave to go to college, I would have to find a company that also has an office in the city I am moving to.

    That is not how it works. When you get reimbursed for tuition, the reimbursement happens after successful completion of the course work. The work commitment is after the reimbursement.

    You do not work for the company for X number of years before getting reimbursed. large corporations, hospitals, even school systems hire people across almost every major imaginable.

    There are some reimbursement plans that will reimburse you based on GPA: 4.0=100% 3.0= 75%, 2.0= 50%

    I agree with @blossom about meeting with both career services and your academic/transfer advisor. You want to make sure that your whole degree transfers and that you get credit for your bachelors.

    One of your challenges especially going into cybersecurity; if you are not on a upward trend in GPA, your GPA could be a problem (especially since you state your CC GPA is under 2.5). I would also be careful about the debt that you are taking on, because there are some jobs where you would be considered an employment risk because of your student loan debt.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 41,225 Senior Member
    Email student services and ask about off campus housing. Sharing an apartment off campus and cooking for yourself with shave off 5k at least - Nicholls is in a small town and rent is relatively cheap + cooking for yourself will save you a lot of money.
    COA typically includes books, so instead of buying them rent them or buy them used or use the College library reserve.
    I agree that it/security will have a much better ROI than a general business degree.
  • melvin123melvin123 Registered User Posts: 1,468 Senior Member
    Several fast food companies offer tuition reimbursement programs that could help supplement everything else you're doing. Over the summer you could work at McDonalds for 15 hours a week or more for 3 months and then apply for their $2,500 reimbursement. At Chipotle you have to work there a year and then they will reimburse up to $5250.
  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG Registered User Posts: 841 Member
    Utilize tax benefits for education.

    "Q4. How much is the American opportunity tax credit worth?
    A. It is a tax credit of up to $2,500 of the cost of tuition, fees and course materials paid during the taxable year. Also, 40% of the credit (up to $1,000) is refundable. This means you can get it even if you owe no tax."
    from https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/american-opportunity-tax-credit-questions-and-answers

    Take the time to read through IRS publication 970 that explains Tax Benefits for Education. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf
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