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I really need some advice!

mmontermmonter 1 replies1 threads New Member
Hello,
First off I would just like to say that I really didn’t ask for my situation to get this annoying and bad, so please be nice about it. I didn’t go in blind hoping for the best knowing the circumstances


Last year I started at ASU (I’m OOS I decided I’d eventually get my residency) and my grandpa helped me pay for my first semester from savings that were going to me. This was the plan, I’d use that money and then get a relative to co-sign for some loans when I needed them. My grandpa passed before I finished second semester, so now I don’t have access to my inheritance money at the moment.

I also work (wasn’t at the time) 30 hours a week overnight to pay my rent which is $900 plus my groceries and stuff (80% of my monthly income) and to save for school.

Another big issue is my dad can’t file the FAFSA (personal reasons I don’t want to get into. Basically my mom passed and her hospital bills have tanked my dads credit and taxes. So my dad can’t co-sign for me if he wanted to) And therefore I’m not getting federal aid. And while I pay for myself and live alone across the country, I’m still a dependent on papers

I decided to take the semester off this year and re-evaluate. I’m in a semesters worth of debt at asu so I’m working on paying that off so I can transfer to a CC here (only $2800 a semester, cause I’ve lived here for a year so I qualify).

I just feel like I’m getting nowhere now. I don’t know what else to do. I want a good career, but I’m not even set on what I want to do yet. I want to maybe find internships as well, but not sure whose gonna hire a student not enrolled right now. I feel like it’s gonna take me a million years to save for community college, and even then I’ll only have my associates (and the year of undergrad)...I feel like a failure. I’ve worked so so hard to keep my grades and succeed and I don’t want it to go to waste.


Anyone have any suggestions?
26 replies
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Replies to: I really need some advice!

  • mmontermmonter 1 replies1 threads New Member
    @cptofthehouse thank you for your response. I wasn’t really thinking of being a full time student. I thought it could work but as long as I get my degree in a few years, I’ll do what it takes to get there.

    I get paid $13 an hour now, about 27 hours a week and I’m gonna find a new job soon, and I was definitely looking at Starbucks but then again i can’t remember what the fine print was on that. I think I’d have to pay out of pocket and then they reimburse it. And I can’t sign for my own loans so I don’t know how I’m gonna do that.

    It’s not like we’re going in person for classes anytime soon anyways, so I was looking at online community college out here. I’d have to pay off the debt from last year first cause otherwise my credits won’t transfer.

    I also plan on finding another side income, not sure what yet, and all that will go right to school savings (as well as whatever I have leftover each month after my rent)

    Seems so complicated, but i would rather not be in my late 20s still going to school and living paycheck to paycheck on my min wage salary...I just need a solid game plan here
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  • kidzncatzkidzncatz 1177 replies7 threads Senior Member
    One option would be to get a full or part-time job at Walmart. Perhaps full-time employment (at Walmart or with another employer) would be best until you pay off your ASU debt. Walmart employees are eligible for college benefits and pay only $1 a day toward a degree. Yes, it is only for online degrees, but so many schools are online anyways these days.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30787 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Your options are ever so more these days with so many online programs. Price shop and find a good solid program.

    Unless your father completes a FAFSA, or until you are independent, you are not eligible for federal Direct loans. When you become age 24 or fulfill the other requirements for independence, you would be eligible for some aid based on your own financials. Most Certainly a Direct Loan.
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  • kelsmomkelsmom 16435 replies99 threads Senior Member
    Slow and steady wins the race. I know it seems impossible, but you can do this. Work, save, take a class or two at a time. Depending on your major, you may eventually be able to get a good paid internship or part time job in your field. Please know that your life is just beginning, and you have so many years ahead. While it may take longer for you to reach your goals than you thought it would, with hard work, you will get there.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3896 replies94 threads Senior Member
    "And while I pay for myself and live alone across the country, I’m still a dependent on papers"

    If that is the case, you might want to let Dad know you plan to file your own taxes for 2020. He shouldn't get the benefit of deducting you if he is not supporting you. If Dad is cooperative, you could run your taxes both ways to see which is more advantageous for you both. This will probably not make a difference financial aid wise, but it might help put a little money in your pocket by way of a tax refund.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 25372 replies21 threads Senior Member
    FAFSA is not a loan. Your father CAN fill it out without being responsible for any debt you decide to incur. It's just an application and you should qualify for the direct loans.

    Set up a payment plan for what you owe for last spring.

    It is likely you aren't a tax dependent for your father any more. If you are over 19, not a student, then you can only earn about $4000 if a parent is still going to claim you. It sounds like you make more than that and are no longer a student. Being a tax independent doesn't make you independent for FAFSA.

    You can do it. Just pay off ASU and then register in the community college. If your father makes too much for you to get a Pell grant, apply to the FA office for professional judgment if the bulk of his income is going to medical bills.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 31020 replies199 threads Senior Member
    edited October 11
    Is your father in such a financial mess that he hasn't been filing his federal income tax returns and that's why he can't file the FAFSA? Well do what you can to encourage him to sort out his issues. Filing the FAFSA with your dad determines your eligibility for unsubsidized student loans, federal Pell Grant money, and federal workstudy. If you are truly financially independent, and your parents refuse to file the FAFSA, there is a process that will allow you to file the FAFSA without your father's information, and that will qualify you for unsubsidized student loans. @kelsmom can probably advise you on that.

    Right now though, you need to be focused on finding enough work so that you can support yourself and pay down your outstanding debt to ASU. While you are doing that, spend some time reading through all of the information at the websites of the CCs you could attend easily in Arizona. Look at both the credit courses and the non-credit (often called continuing education) courses. There may be a short program that you could complete that would give you skills that would get you a better job. Later on you could finish up your college degree if you decide you need one. The counselors at the CCs work with students like you all the time, so start talking with them now.
    edited October 11
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  • thumper1thumper1 79160 replies3573 threads Senior Member
    Would it be possible for you to move back to your home state? Could you possibly live with your dad or some other relative? Could you rent just a room with a friend?

    Living costs are going to eat up a huge portion of your job earnings, leaving little for college costs. If you could reduce your living expenses, maybe that would help.

    If you stay in AZ, are you in an affordable place to live? I mean really affordable like a shared apartment? With shared expenses like rent, utilities, Internet etc?

    If you were back in your home state, perhaps you could take courses at instate costs at your state public universities.
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  • PublisherPublisher 12149 replies164 threads Senior Member
    OP: Sorry about your financial situation. You deserve a lot of respect for your determination to earn an education.
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  • kanflykanfly 188 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. This must be extremely stressful for you.

    It sounds like you need to pivot, re-evaluate and make some decisions.

    1) Have you thought about going to a community college to gain some credits and then transferring back to a 4 year school? This could help you save a lot of money.

    2) Some schools provide full tuition to employees of schools. Perhaps look into getting a job as full time employee and get employee status and take night courses. It a thought and could save you a lot of money.

    Hang in there! With a lot of determination and hard work, you will come through stronger than most!
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30787 replies59 threads Senior Member
    I suggest a personal discussion with the financial aid officer at your school , and then perhaps another school, to see if they can help you file FAFSA as an Independent student. The only thing I can see where you might qualify is that you have been self supporting and that You are in danger of becoming homeless. Read the 10 situations that can have you file as an independent student v-e-r-y carefully, and be prepared to state your case. With a zero EFC , you could be in line for a ~$6k PELL Grant and up to $10500 in loans as a sophomore with some of the interest subsidized while in school. That and a part time job might get you you through, depending on what your tuition costs are , if you can get Arizona in state tuition, given you’ve been working in state full time., perhaps. It’s a long shot, but just maybe possible.
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  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 5111 replies23 threads Senior Member
    Last year I started at ASU (I’m OOS I decided I’d eventually get my residency) and my grandpa helped me pay for my first semester from savings that were going to me. This was the plan, I’d use that money and then get a relative to co-sign for some loans when I needed them. My grandpa passed before I finished second semester, so now I don’t have access to my inheritance money at the moment.

    So what's the status of your grandpa's estate? How much of an inheritance are you expecting to receive, and when? That's the wildcard in all of this. A little more information on the anticipated inheritance would help people provide better advice.
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  • kelsmomkelsmom 16435 replies99 threads Senior Member
    The fact that a dependent student is self supporting is not a reason for a dependency override. And if the student could return home, they are not in danger of being homeless. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt for the student to talk to an aid officer, but I would be very surprised if this situation meets the criteria for an override. LOTS of young people struggle to pay for school, and they may have to take a different path than many might consider typical. There are some really good suggestions on this thread, and I wish OP the best.
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  • parentologistparentologist 303 replies37 threads Member
    Get AZ state ID. Save your paystubs. Register to vote in AZ. File a 2020 tax return in AZ in January. Start community college courses for gen eds (be careful to plan that they will be transferable back to ASU). You should be able to go back to ASU in-state next September. Your father can file FAFSA now , and you can at least borrow the non-subsidized $5500 if you want to/need to if you're in I think 3 or more courses a semester. The hard part is going to be paying off what you owe ASU, in order to start back there next September. You may need to ask them to forgive some of it, under the circumstances. Maybe they'll reduce the charges to in-state, retroactively.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30787 replies59 threads Senior Member
    I agree, @kelsmom. Not knowing the particular’s of this student’s predicament, I wanted to throw that out there. We were able to get several kids who were self supporting, living with friends and catch as catch can, couch surfing with the possibility of homelessness looming over them due to no parent willing or able to to take them home get independent status. These were truly dire situations. I don’t get the sense this is the case. But, if it is, if the OP fits into that particular category to be deemed independent, it’s worth checking out.

    @BelknapPoint , I missed that about the inheritance. Also that OP was taking money and /or having college expenses paid by the late grandfather is supposed to be included as untaxed income when that year’s income is used on FAFSA. Also , if an inheritance is imminent, a gap year or even until the money is released might be in order.
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 34244 replies5126 threads Super Moderator
    Start community college courses for gen eds (be careful to plan that they will be transferable back to ASU)
    I don't think that's going to work for getting in-state rates.

    From the ASU web site: https://students.asu.edu/residency-requirements
    You're considered an independent student if:
    - you’ve lived continuously in Arizona for at least 12 months
    - can demonstrate intent to be an Arizona resident (which includes financial independence) and
    - can show you’re not primarily in Arizona to be a student.
    Taking classes would go against the last point.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30787 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Well, taking classes would not eliminate that possibility necessarily, if working full time. 30 hours a week is a lot. It all depends on a lot of things.

    I have also found that taking classes as a non matriculating student at many colleges gives you the state (and in some cases local discounts). The au pairs always enrolled in local CC and SUNY courses and got that rate even as international students. A cousin lived with us and took community college courses at rock bottom in area, in state rates. In time , he applied to that school as a matriculating student and by then easily qualified as an in state resident. But he was over 24 and therefore qualified as independent.

    It might be wise just to sit a year or maybe even two out for OP. Look at what courses from other colleges, online or community colleges that the school might accept later when resuming there. If can’t get full time instate status now, but want to continue there for degree later, see what needs to be done. So many students taking a pause right now in college.
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  • thumper1thumper1 79160 replies3573 threads Senior Member
    Get AZ state ID. Save your paystubs. Register to vote in AZ. File a 2020 tax return in AZ in January. Start community college courses for gen eds (be careful to plan that they will be transferable back to ASU). You should be able to go back to ASU in-state next September

    @parentologist where did you get this information? This student has a parent who is the resident of another state. I can’t believe ASU is going to ignore this. The student didn’t graduate from an AZ high school which right there will trigger the instate for tuition question.

    The student can become a resident of Arizona using what you posted...but that does not guarantee residency for instate tuition purposes...at all.

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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30787 replies59 threads Senior Member
    @Erin's Dad , not saying it would work for any particular situation, and certainly not for all cases, but I guarantee you it can work at times because I’ve personally used the provisions, as have a number of people close to me, as I’ve said upthread. I can do it right now, I’m fact.
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