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Parents don't want to pay up

blindromeblindrome Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
My parents made about 63k this year and FAFSA somehow decided that EFC should be around 17k - strange as that figure sounds. So my university is setting EFC at around 16k and gift aid says a big, unattractive, $0.00. This is a big dilemma for my parents, who believe they don't have the money to pay, considering their already bad financial standings and mortgage pressure.

Since university is giving me nothing in terms of grants or similar aid, my parents are now telling me just to sign up for classes and go sit in class until the university figures something out. Meanwhile they want to appeal the decision of EFC to lower it, and if the financial aid office accepts is, I might qualify for more aid.

I don't know if this is the right thing to do. I mean, is it possible to just go and sit in class before paying the fees somehow?
Post edited by blindrome on

Replies to: Parents don't want to pay up

  • 3togo3togo Registered User Posts: 5,233 Senior Member
    edited May 2010
    fti ... EFCs are typically something like 1/3-1/4 of income so the $17k EFC is not really surprising ... and the schools do not typically consider consumer or mortgage debt.

    The school would probably not want you just sitting in a class although in most large introductory classes you likely would not be noticed ... but you would not be able to hand in homework, do labs, take tests, hand-in papers, etc ... so you could not keep up with a class by just sitting in for more than a week or so.

    Appealing FA decisions is done all the time ... and you should hear back in plenty of time before the school year starts. I'd also suggest having a frank discussion with your parents about what they are willing to pay for school ... ultimately this will govern your options.
  • GardnaGardna Registered User Posts: 1,013 Senior Member
    I don't know if this is the right thing to do. I mean, is it possible to just go and sit in class before paying the fees somehow?

    Sure, it's possible. There was a girl who pretend to be a student at Stanford for 8 months before she was caught.

    However, most colleges don't let you register for classes if you owe them an outstanding bill. And your financial aid appeal probably won't blow over too well with the college after you bilked them out of hundreds or thousands of dollars. That sort of thing always rubs those stuffy university chaps the wrong way, in my experience. I would definitely do the appeal before you start violating the school's rules.

    As for your high EFC, I suspect your parents either made a mistake on the form or have significant assets. $17,000 FAFSA EFC doesn't sound right to me, although I could be wrong.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,910 Senior Member
    If your school doesn't guarantee to meet full need...appealing your financial aid might not net you much more money. How much does your school cost? You would be eligible for a $5500 Stafford loan, plus you could work for the summer...maybe earning a couple thousand more dollars. That would give you about $7000. Is there a public university or community college within commuting distance from your home where you could at least do your first year or two of general education requirements?

    If your parent's income is in the $65,000 a year range, their take home pay isn't nearly that amount. It might very well be difficult for them to pay $16,000 a year out of pocket especially if they have other debts to pay (the financial aid calculations don't consider other debt), and have no savings for college purposes.

    You need to discuss finances with your parents. No...you can't just go to classes in the hope that after the fact the college will award you more aid. You need to have a plan for payment BEFORE classes begin.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Registered User Posts: 5,746 Senior Member
    What is the cost of tuition per semester at this school? It sounds as if you intend to live at home and commute, right? Do they or you have any money set aside for your education and are you working this summer? Do you qualify for any state aid? Sometimes those grants aren't on the initial offer letter pending state budgets.
  • RedrosesRedroses - Posts: 3,293 Senior Member
    Sounds like you're headed to Berkeley. It does not meet need, caces of getting much more are slim to none. You and your parents need to figure out if you can swing the cost or you can go to a CC for two years and still graduate from Cal.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,531 Senior Member
    One of my nieces started college without a full plan for paying everything and when the institution couldn't/wouldn't come up with more money ended up dropping out after about six weeks. She spent the next year paying down the loans that she'd taken out for that year because she left too late to get a full refund for tuition, fees, room & board, etc.

    Please don't let this be you! Sit down with your parents and sort out how much money they really do have available, how much debt that they really are willing for you to take on, and how much money you are likely to be able to earn this summer and during the school year. Then find a college/university that won't cost more than that. If you end up commuting to a community college, don't feel defeated. Lots of students do that every single year because it is all they can afford.

    Wishing you all the best.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Registered User Posts: 5,746 Senior Member
    Blindrome, looking at your other posts, you appear to be a transfer student. Are you a junior? How much do you need after Stafford loans and are your parents willing to do a Plus loan?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,910 Senior Member
    If you are a college junior, your Stafford loan would be $7500. Add summer income to that and you have close to $9000.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,620 Senior Member
    What school is this?

    I doubt your EFC will be lowered. The school won't likely care that your parents have a high mortgage or other bills.

    The school is not going to "figure something out." Your parents are wrong about that. They're not just going to say...hmm, no money? That's ok, just go for free or give a student a big ole loan. NO. They're going to bill you for these expenses,and expect the bill to be paid either by you or your parents. They'll expect your parents to either take out Plus loans or for them to co-sign big loans for you (which is unlikely since you say they have money issues.).

    I don't mean to be harsh, but it sounds like your parents are engaging in wishful thinking because they want to avoid the real issue - that they can't help you with your costs.

    You need a back up plan. If possible, you need to commute to your local university. Hopefully by then, your family can get its finances in better order so that they can help pay for college.
  • GardnaGardna Registered User Posts: 1,013 Senior Member
    I don't mean to be harsh, but it sounds like your parents are engaging in wishful thinking because they want to avoid the real issue

    "sounds like"? He said they suggested that he sneak into classes and pretend to be a student while they have it out with the financial aid office. That's not "wishful thinking"; that's cuckoo for cocoa puffs!
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,620 Senior Member
    I see that the school that you're transferring to is Berkeley.
    So, you're a Calif resident.

    Seriously, you're not likely going to be able to go to Berkeley without your parents help unless you can commute to there. Can you?

    Since your EFC is lower than the COA, can you ask for some work-study?

    If you can't commute to Berkeley, then sadly you're going to have to apply again to a UC or Cal State that you can commute to.

    It's very sad that you and your parents didn't figure out this financial stuff a long time ago.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,910 Senior Member
    mom2....work study is a limited funds award. At this late date, most schools have awarded their work study monies. These monies are not unlimited...schools have a certain amount of work study money to award...once it's gone...it's gone.
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Registered User Posts: 4,790 Senior Member
    Parents don't want to pay up

    I suspect the don't is really can't. And you did not figure this out by now? You are a transfer student, and did not sit down and discuss the financial aspects of things when you applied? Everyone is at fault here. But just going to clases is NOT going to work. I suggest you call financial aid and ask what they advise a transfer student whose parents cannot afford the EFC. I would suggest you say can't and not won't.

    Time to hustle, to work, to figure out a plan on how you will get yourself through college. You may have to change your plans. It can be done. I was the oldest of four, and my parents never paid a dime of my education. And I was also not eligible for financial aid. Explore loans, transfer scholarships, merit aid. Find out if you can defer your matriculation for a year while you work. If you want this you can do this. But it won't be given to you. Good luck. Adversity can change you for the better.
  • blindromeblindrome Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Thanks for reply guys. I'm transferring to UC Berkeley which costs around 26k if I decide to live on campus.

    The idea of just going to sit in class was not to do it illegally, of course! It was that perhaps the university will not have a certain deadline for when the fees need to be paid. This way my parents could handle it with loans or other means - should the university find other ways - when the appeal process and everything is complete at a later time, maybe during the Fall semester or even later.

    To answer mom2collegekids' question, I'm eligible for $9,208.00 Students Loan And Work. It leaves around 16k to be paid by my parents. There is also this idea in the air that if my parents can manage to buy a house near Berkeley this summer, I won't have to live on campus, saving 12-13k. It sounds sweet, but it's a big if.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,620 Senior Member
    Usually, you have to pay by a certain date (or arrange monthly payments) or your registration gets canceled.

    I think there may be a no-interest monthly payment plan. Maybe others can provide some info about that.

    In the meantime...work full time this summer and save as much as you can. :)
This discussion has been closed.