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How in the world do people pay 55k/year?

KeilingerKeilinger Registered User Posts: 600 Member
I wish I weren't worrying about this right now, as I still have two essays to write. Will someone experienced with this sort of stuff assess the chances of me getting at least 40k in financial aid (excluding loans) at LACs and Ivies?

My parents are immigrants, but incredibly thrifty (you wouldn't believe how the things they do..). I remember living out my toddler years in an apartment with six extended family members, plus my family of five. Now, partly because of my brother's income (60k/yr), my family owns three houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. Only one of these is close to being paid off. My parents' income is right about 55k/year (combined), and it supports my older sister (not in college) and me.

How much will those houses diminish my chances of getting adequate (40k/year) financial aid? My parents won't be helping me pay for college, and I am feeling pretty desperate right now. Any help will be appreciated!!
Post edited by Keilinger on

Replies to: How in the world do people pay 55k/year?

  • CermiCermi Registered User Posts: 336 Member
    If you are a citizen, you have nothing to worry about. Your brother's income is irrelevant and 55k would get you full scholarship at some schools.
  • R124687R124687 Registered User Posts: 1,513 Senior Member
    How many people are going to keep asking this same question? Some people have very large salaries and can pay that much. Others saved their entire kids' lives. Most kids will attend colleges that do NOT cost them $55,000. They will attend state schools, or get scholarships, or need based aid.

    For you - you will find out what your colleges cost, then you will decide what you can afford. Know this...at $55,000 year...if you can get into HYP...you will go for FREE. Anyone who makes under $60,000 is not expected to pay, even LOANS! You're complaining about the cost of school, yet you'll go for free where most of us will have to pay. Be happy. MANY schools promise to meet your full need with financial aid. So THAT is how you'll "pay".
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member
    The fact that your parents own 3 homes will likely affect your aid. Those additional homes are assets.

    What year are you? a senior or a junior?
  • ttparentttparent Registered User Posts: 1,913 Senior Member
    It depends on what you mean by your family. You mentioned your brother and because of his income, your family owns a number of homes. The question is under whose name do the homes belong to? Your parent's asset (not just income) will adversely effect your ability to get financial aid but your brother's would not. I would start by looking up how FAFSA works and start filling it out to calculate your estimate EFC on various websites that offer such information. A lot of colleges do not exclusively use FAFSA, but it should give you a pretty good idea where you stand.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,396 Senior Member
    Your brother's income is irrelevant and 55k would get you full scholarship at some schools.

    Maybe and maybe not. For the FAFSA, your primary residence is NOT considered in the equation at all. BUT the equity in the other two homes will be considered an asset. In addition, if they are rental properties, the rents will be considered income.

    For the Profile (which is required for about 300 private schools) the equity in ALL of your properties would be reported.

    Your brother's income isn't a factor at all.

    To Josh158, if your "method" for paying for college is honest, not fraudulent and is legal, you should be able to post it here. To the OP...I would be leary of this information via PM.
  • KeilingerKeilinger Registered User Posts: 600 Member
    I believe the homes are under joint ownership.

    @R : I was just trying to release some of the built-up anxiety about FA. Sorry if it seems like complaining; I didn't intend for it to come out that way. :/
    @ Momoftwokids: I'm a senior.
    @thumper: Josh158 sent me a link for surveys.
  • hmom5hmom5 - Posts: 10,882 Senior Member
    3 houses in the Bay Area with one being close to being paid off? As the average house price is over $500K, one investment property of that value would keep you from getting $40K from any school on a need based basis. Do they also get income from these properties?

    Most top schools will cap how much they will expect you to contribute from the house you live in as a percentage of income, so I suppose if you live in the nearly paid off house and have little equity in the other two there's a chance for big aid, but it sounds unlikely.

    He's talking about Profile school folks, with those assets FAFSA will just offer him an unsub loan and he's asked us to exclude those..
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,396 Senior Member
    @thumper: Josh158 sent me a link for surveys.

    I always tell my OWN kids...do not open links from strangers. They could be phishing.

    If Josh's "links" were helpful and upfront, he could post INFORMATION about them here even if he can't post the actual links. My caution to the OP remains. BE CAREFUL.
  • RMSTU10RMSTU10 Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    Check out Canadian schools, as many international students can get their year for under or right at $20,000. Which is hugely cheap compared to many American schools and other abroad.
  • Mare_CrisiumMare_Crisium Registered User Posts: 381 Member
    If you live close near one and/or don't mind attending one, go to a college that agrees to meet 100% of your need. If your CSS Profile and FAFSA show significant need, they're usually prone to give decent aid. Here's a list of some that I know do:


    ... if you scroll down a bit they'll have a more comprehensive list.
  • SquiggSquigg Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Don't crap a brick... Whatever school you apply to will give you a sufficient amount of aid. The sad part is, if you're applying to schools they expect that both parents are going to pay (regardless of marital status). For some schools (like Harvard, Princeton... Smith) you fill out a Fafsa and a CSS profile. My mom has two houses and a similar salary and some of my schools asked about this. Once an explanation was given, all except one school realized that I was in need for aid. Right now I only have to find a quarter of the tuition. Make sure you explain your circumstances. I know on some supplements they ask for this.

    Scholarships may work, but I found out at my school (and other private schools) they reduce your aid by the amount of scholarship you receive. Find out if this applies to any of your schools, in reality it's a good thing because they replace the loans in your package with your scholarship money, but the numbers don't change. Still apply for scholarships though, you can't pay for college on your own like that (I don't get why some parents won't help their kids with tuition payments).

    As I said, don't worry-- Just explain your circumstance...
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,396 Senior Member
    Whatever school you apply to will give you a sufficient amount of aid. ]

    This is absolutely NOT true. The amount of aid a school will provide this applicant will VARY depending on the formula used to disperse institutional aid. AND it will also depend on IF the school is willing to consider his family's "thriftiness" and multiple home ownerships as a "special circumstance". Special circumstance considerations are not guaranteed and are at the discretion of the school. They might not even consider this applicants request.

    OTOH...It MIGHT all work out. BUT this applicant also needs to have some school in the mix that IS affordable to the family. EVERYONE applying to college should have ONE school on their list that they would like to attend that IS affordable to their family.
  • sixfoottallsixfoottall Registered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
    gosh im in a similar predicament of not knowing how i am going to live through college if i dont get aid,
This discussion has been closed.