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Financial Aid Help for Newbie

ElysianLightElysianLight 8 replies4 postsRegistered User New Member
Hello everyone. So, you might have already seen a few of my previous posts in different forums asking for college advice and stuff, but after getting some really helpful and important information from multiple people, I have realized that majority of the schools I'm looking at won't be a good fit financially wise because of my current life situation. To get an idea of what colleges I'm looking at and my stats, you can look at one of my previous posts here: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/2153241-chance-of-me-getting-into-the-following-colleges.html

But here, I'm going to give you a run down on how I am financially right now. Well first, let me say that my parents don't make much. Essentially, I'm going to be the one to pay back any possible debt I have after college, so obviously I don't want to be extremely in debt. Long story shot, I'm not and never was allowed to have a job while living with my parents because for one, I'm not allowed to leave my house for anything except school/sports, church, or going somewhere with my parents. The only way I could have a job was if one them were to drive me, and my father works all day for majority of the week and my mom has no energy to take me to work, so I don't have the opportunity to earn money that way (at least not while I'm living with my parents). I don't have much money saved up, but by the end of my senior year I'll probably have around $400-$500 dollars saved up from my allowance, given that I don't attend prom or my senior trip.

I have plans to get a job while in college. I'm also committed to applying to around 50 scholarships or more because I'm very serious about leaving out-of-state for college because I really cannot be in my household during college, it will wreak havoc on my mental health more than it already has. I'm aware that community college might be one of my only options, but I really want to consider all else before I go that route, because going to community college would mean I would have to stay home. I'm even looking at full tuition/full ride scholarships, but I need a backup plan since it is hard to receive those, especially since I don't have the ultimate best stats.

I currently reside in NJ, and I'm mainly looking at colleges in NY and PA. If anyone could give me advice on what to do about my situation and what other options I can follow through on, it would greatly be appreciated.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this post and help me out :)
edited August 12
6 replies
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Replies to: Financial Aid Help for Newbie

  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 33012 replies3712 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    You need to get that SAT (or ACT) way up to have some good options for merit aid. Forget the Subject Test, focus on the SAT/ACT. You'll probably need to look south rather than NY/PA. Like Alabama. Or west in New Mexico. You can only borrow $5500 as a freshman so you'll also need to look at a job.
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  • thumper1thumper1 73734 replies3213 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Agreed. You need to substantially increase your SAT score for merit consideration and to improve your acceptance options.

    University of Pennsylvania
    University of Pennsylvania
    Drexel University
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Lehigh University
    Penn State - University Park
    University of Pittsburgh
    Pace University
    Nazareth College

    I'm currently researching the SUNY schools because I plan on applying to one of them and I'm also looking for a safe school in NJ at the moment.

    Some of these schools give only need based aid...like UPenn. You don’t have a good shot at acceptance with your current SAT.

    Some places like Pitt and Drexel give merit aid but with a 120 SAT it’s s longshot for you.

    Have you run the net price calculators for these colleges. Some ask for stats and give merit as well as need based aid estimates.

    Who is going to co- sign loans for you? The $5500 Direct Loan is full you can get in your own name.

    It sounds like you are looking for a free full ride. These are not all that plentiful and are usually competitive
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1110 replies1 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Get your SAT up a bit and look at Stockton, they have good merit for in state kids.
    Kutztown in Eastern PA would be a safety and when S17 applied (with much lower GPA than you) they had just introduced money to attract NJ students and it came in cheaper than our in-state options.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11275 replies30 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    You need to get merit aid because your parents might not cooperate in filling out financial aid forms.
    Any relatives you could live with while you get a job and save up money or attend school part time?
    Susquehanna, Lycoming, IUP honors college might give you money. Also possibly Kent State and Youngstown State in Ohio.
    Look at Stockton and Rowan and some other NJ publics that would give you merit.
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  • bester1bester1 1409 replies4 postsRegistered User Senior Member
  • ElysianLightElysianLight 8 replies4 postsRegistered User New Member
    edited August 15
    Hey guys, thank you for all the great advice and school suggestions. Just to be clear, my parents will be helping me with filling out the FAFSA, but they will not be able to help me pay whatever FAFSA or scholarships won't cover for each semester.

    And yes, I plan on retaking my SAT in October/November to try and get a much higher score to better my chance at merit scholarships and college acceptances.
    edited August 15
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