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What Can I Do? My mom won't let me go to the college I want to go to.

GMDPPCGMDPPC 22 replies1 threads Junior Member
I'm a male Nebraska resident from a first-generation immigrant family living in Omaha with my parents. My family is pretty dysfunctional, but most of the dysfunction comes from my mom. I'm always afraid of going home because my mom always starts a fight with either my dad, brother, or me. I'm tired of living with her and I want to move to Crete, Nebraska and go to Doane University. My mom wants me to stay in Omaha and go to the University of Nebraska in Omaha and continue living with my family. No matter how much I try to convince my mom to allow me to go to Doane, she always starts a fight with me about it and calls me naive and says that I'm just as stupid as my autistic brother. I've been offered $28,000 per year to go to Doane, and I've been offered $2,000 per year to go to UNO (you do the math). Even though UNO is public and living at home is cheaper than at a dorm, I'd still be paying more money if I went to UNO. I have applied for external scholarships, but I've only earned one small $500 external scholarship so far out of all the external scholarships I've applied for, but I'm still applying for more. I've tried to sit my mom down and show her the math and all the facts between Doane and UNO, but she disregards everything I say and say that "it's not true" and that Doane is "lying about the scholarships" (even though they are literally in my financial aid package) or "they have hidden fees." My mom constantly comes up with reasons why I can't go. She says "it's 4 or 5 hours away" even though it's only an hour away. She says I'm "going to get lost" even though Crete is 3 square miles and Omaha is 141 square miles. She says that it will cost too much, even though I'd be paying more by going to UNO while living at home (and honestly, I wouldn't want to live with her anymore, even if I did want to go to UNO). She asks me questions about how I'm going to pay for the rest of the tuition and room and board, but constantly interrupts me when I try to answer and says that I'm stupid and don't know what I'm talking about. She thinks she can just take control of my whole life. In fact, she's even said things like, "No, you are going to UNO" and "Do what I say." I have a job, but my mom hasn't given me my bank information, so I have no idea how much money I have in my savings account, or how to access my money. I'm 17 years old and I don't turn 18 until August, and I fear that my mom will transfer all my money to her account before I turn 18 if I try to go to Doane so I can be broke, but I don't really care because she'd probably not give me access to my money if I stayed in Omaha either. I just want to know how I can go to Doane. At this point I don't think anything will convince her, but I'm open to suggestions. I'm fine with leaving my mom and limiting my contact with her, in fact, that's what I want. I just need to find some way to either convince her to let me go to Doane or find a way to move out of the house and go to Doane legally while being 17. I don't want to live another 4 years with my abusive and narcissistic mom, and I don't want her controlling my life anymore. What can I do?
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Replies to: What Can I Do? My mom won't let me go to the college I want to go to.

  • happymomof1happymomof1 30130 replies182 threads Senior Member
    You need to meet with your guidance counselor or another trusted adult, and get help with finding out about your bank account. What bank is your money in? Do you deposit your paychecks there, or are they directly deposited by your employer? You can go to the bank yourself and ask them to let you know about your account if it is in your name.

    Since you do have a job, perhaps the human resources officer at your workplace can help you out there. Certainly the payroll office is obligated to give you your paycheck and information about taxes that have been withheld! You should have received a W-2 for what you earned in 2019 by now so that you can file your income tax return!

    Why is your mom the decision-maker about this? What does your dad think? Would he be OK with you going to Doane? You need to talk with him about that. You also should sit down with your dad and run the numbers for both places through this calculator: https://finaid.org/calculators/awardletter.phtml Talk with him about the differences in costs. Talk about where the money can come from to cover those costs. Unfortunately, you might find out that you can't afford either of these places.
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  • GMDPPCGMDPPC 22 replies1 threads Junior Member
    You need to meet with your guidance counselor or another trusted adult, and get help with finding out about your bank account. What bank is your money in? Do you deposit your paychecks there, or are they directly deposited by your employer? You can go to the bank yourself and ask them to let you know about your account if it is in your name.

    Since you do have a job, perhaps the human resources officer at your workplace can help you out there. Certainly the payroll office is obligated to give you your paycheck and information about taxes that have been withheld! You should have received a W-2 for what you earned in 2019 by now so that you can file your income tax return!

    Why is your mom the decision-maker about this? What does your dad think? Would he be OK with you going to Doane? You need to talk with him about that. You also should sit down with your dad and run the numbers for both places through this calculator: https://finaid.org/calculators/awardletter.phtml Talk with him about the differences in costs. Talk about where the money can come from to cover those costs. Unfortunately, you might find out that you can't afford either of these places.

    With this Corona Virus stuff going on I'm not even able to go to school since they cancelled it for a few weeks, but I'll see what I can do if we come back. My bank is actually a credit union local to Omaha called Metro Credit Union. My paychecks are directly deposited by my employer. If i do go to the bank, will they still give me my info if both my name and my mom's name are on the account and if my mom is the main name on it?

    As far as I know, I didn't make enough money to need to file a tax return.

    My mom is the one who makes the money in the house. You could say she's the "man of the house." My dad is already perfectly fine with me going to Doane. It's just that my mom is the decision-maker about everything. For as long as I can remember, anything my mom said was the final decision, not just with me, but with my whole family. She'll get physical if met with refusal to comply, or she'll find some way to threaten. If my dad were to pay for my enrollment fee and I went to Doane, she could kick him out for helping me and he'd be forced to stop taking college classes at the local community college and start working full time. This is just how dysfunctional my family is.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9454 replies359 threads Senior Member
    Colleges have advisors and health centers too. If you end up commuting, make use of them. And stay on campus as long as you can. Take a bag lunch and find a place in the library or a lounge where you can study. And plan to attend on campus events.
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  • MistySteel27MistySteel27 63 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Don’t try to go away to Doane. Your parents will have to approve and pay for all 4 years. Even if you get there for the first year your mom will have something to hold over you for control. Go to your local university and work on getting more financially independent. Secretly get all your identification documents like birth certificate, drivers license, and social security card. Keep them somewhere safe that she can’t get to like at a friends house or hidden in a water proof container in a place she would never search. One way abusers try to control their victims is financially. Only after you have your documents go to the bank and see if you can get your money and open a new account in your own name.

    What kind of job do you have? Can you get enough hours to support yourself? Because your home life is abusive you might be better off getting out and cutting ties. Right now with the virus life will be difficult for you having to stay home the rest of the school year. What do you plan on majoring in? What kind job are you hoping to get?
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2710 replies8 threads Senior Member
    This sounds like a lot of wishful thinking about Doane. You're trying to go somewhere you can't afford. All the arguing won't make the tuition price go down. Money is a simple fact about college...and life in general. I want a Porsche, but my bank account consistently says no every time.
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  • GMDPPCGMDPPC 22 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I've been offered $28,000 per year to go to Doane, and I've been offered $2,000 per year to go to UNO (you do the math). Even though UNO is public and living at home is cheaper than at a dorm, I'd still be paying more money if I went to UNO.

    I don't understand your math. The cost of attendance at Doane is $48k. Even with a $28k grant the net cost is $20k. The ~$5500/year federal student loan would bring it down to ~$15k.

    Tuition at the Univ. of Nebraska is ~$8k. After applying the $2k grant and the ~$5500 federal student loan the net cost is ~$1k. Even with commuting costs UNO will be much cheaper.

    How much are your parents willing/able to contribute? If they can't afford $15k/year then you can't attend Doane. It's unfortunate, but not uncommon. Many families can't afford residential college.

    Where did you get $8k from? Tuition at UNO costs $23k, not $8k. According to my Financial Aid package from UNO, I'd still have to pay about $14k per year.

    I also don't know where you got $49k either. It costs $47k to go to Doane if you live in a dorm. However, apartment rent in Crete is really cheap, as well as food, and I'm not required to live on a dorm. There's also a program at Doane that allows students to graduate in 3 years instead of 4, which makes the total cost of tuition $65k in total for the 3, but they haven't replied to my request to do it yet. If I do get accepted into the program, I'd essentially be paying little to nothing, and even if I don't, I can still live in an apartment.
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  • itsgettingreal21itsgettingreal21 268 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @GMDPPC You are looking at the full cost of attendance for UNO. Tuition and fees are only $8,136/yr. How would you afford Doane?
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  • GMDPPCGMDPPC 22 replies1 threads Junior Member
    TS0104 wrote: »
    Sorry to hear about your situation. As for the bank account, I say give it a try. I'm the "owner" of my kids accounts that were set up before they were 18, but they got online access all on their own. Maybe try this first.

    When it comes to where you will attend, your mom does have the power since she is the one paying, if you can't pay for it yourself. I suggest that you email your school guidance counselor, and not only try to get help with the college decision, but see if you can get referred to someone else who could give you some psychological/emotional tools to deal with the situation in your home.

    Thanks, I'll give it a try when I get the chance.

    I'll also try to email my counsellor about the situation.
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  • cshell2cshell2 937 replies11 threads Member
    edited March 18
    GMDPPC wrote: »

    Where did you get $8k from? Tuition at UNO costs $23k, not $8k. According to my Financial Aid package from UNO, I'd still have to pay about $14k per year.

    UNO must have gave you a lot more than 2K if it brought the full cost down to 14K. Enough to cover all tuition. Is there a Pell grant in there too?
    edited March 18
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  • kidzncatzkidzncatz 1082 replies7 threads Senior Member
    Are you a citizen? If so, you should be eligible for instate tuition at UNO (less than $9000 per year). If not, you may need to go to a community college. Metropolitan Community College is only ~$3000 a year for out of state or international students (less for instate). You can pay for that with earnings from a part-time job.
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  • Luckyjade2024Luckyjade2024 399 replies4 threads Member
    I feel bad for you. Did anyone try to get your mother to seek help? she clearly needs help! Maybe overly stressed with her own life. Does she resent her life? kids? and your father?

    sounds like you are better off far away from her. can you stay local for the first year, then when your 18 and a legal adult, transfer to another college. apply for aid/ loans.
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  • Sapphire GSapphire G 22 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Are those the only 2 schools on the table? Are you able to get in state tuition? There may be some cheaper in state schools you haven't considered.
    You should be able to access your bank account because it sounds like a joint account. You may be eligible for a tax refund. Look at your pay stub and see if you paid any taxes. Check the federal and state boxes on your pay stub if you don't have your W2.
    Get copies of your documents if you can and open a safe deposit box. Open you own bank account. If you are 18 you can and make sure you get online statement delivery.
    If you're afraid of your mom's reaction to your independence, funnel a portion of your paycheck into this account, not the entire amount. You can normally have your pay broken up by your employer.
    Since your mom is limiting your independence, you need to be super responsible, mature and independent to grow.
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  • cshell2cshell2 937 replies11 threads Member
    @sapphire_
    Sapphire G wrote: »
    Get copies of your documents if you can and open a safe deposit box. Open you own bank account. If you are 18 you can and make sure you get online statement delivery.

    She's only 17 though.
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  • Sapphire GSapphire G 22 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I didn't see where you said you are still 17. Check into legal emancipation from your parents. It will help you financially with college but you are going to need to be able to support yourself. If you wait until 18, the door will be closed.
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  • 2plustrio2plustrio 163 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I would go to the bank, show them your drivers license or ID and ask about any accounts with your name on them. IF she has opened a joint account (which she likely has NOT), you would at least get info on them perhaps. However, if she is that controlling, she likely only has them in her name and yes, she could withhold the money from you.
    If your job allows, ask for direct deposits to be stopped and instead ask for a check that you only pick up and hide them away. Do you have a friend that you trust that could hold them outside of the house?
    I have limited understanding of first generation immigration families but your story is quite common. I do not think at this point there is any way to convince your mother to accept the other school. I would talk to Doane and ask if the offer would be similar if you deferred a year to go one year at UNO and lived at home. This could allow you time to get yourself more financially settled as you can open your own bank accounts in August. And could possibly give you the leverage with your mom saying you agree to only one year at UNO and if you do well you will be moving to complete school at Doane.
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  • cshell2cshell2 937 replies11 threads Member
    I think you probably do need to get out from under her thumb, but the numbers you're throwing out are really confusing me.
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  • GMDPPCGMDPPC 22 replies1 threads Junior Member
    cshell2 wrote: »
    GMDPPC wrote: »

    Where did you get $8k from? Tuition at UNO costs $23k, not $8k. According to my Financial Aid package from UNO, I'd still have to pay about $14k per year.

    UNO must have gave you a lot more than 2K if it brought the full cost down to 14K. Enough to cover all tuition. Is there a Pell grant in there too?

    No, they didn't give me more, but I put that I would be living at home if I went to UNO, so they calculated $0 for room and board, which is why I'd only be paying $14k at UNO.
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  • GMDPPCGMDPPC 22 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I feel bad for you. Did anyone try to get your mother to seek help? she clearly needs help! Maybe overly stressed with her own life. Does she resent her life? kids? and your father?

    sounds like you are better off far away from her. can you stay local for the first year, then when your 18 and a legal adult, transfer to another college. apply for aid/ loans.

    I don't think she realizes anything is wrong with her, and if she does, she doesn't care. I remember when I was 6 years old and I told my mom I would tell my teacher at school that she was beating me, and she told me that she and my dad would go to jail if I did that and then the police would take me. She made it sound like the police would do worse things to me than my mom, so I never told anyone. When I was 11 I was thinking about telling my counselor, but I wrote that I would do that in my diary. She read my diary and told me I would be homeless if I did that. By the time I realized she was lying to me, I didn't think I had a good chance of getting adopted as a teen and thought I'd be better off leaving after high school. My regrets are telling my mom that I was going to tell my teacher and not just telling my teacher. Then maybe I wouldn't have had the childhood that I had or be in this situation.

    I don't know, I really wanted to leave Omaha right after high school, and I'd do nearly anything to be able to do that.
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