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In desperate need of financial aid advice: calling all current, past, or incoming students

kittiemeow23kittiemeow23 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
My parents made 43k for a family of 4. Less than 4,000 dlls per month and financial aid wants us to take out over 10k in parents plus loans each year. I dont mind taking out loans for myself, but I really can't burden them with that kind of money. I want to know if anyone had a similar experience and what they did? I know i can increase my subsidized and unsubsidized loans some how (according to the website) but i dont really know what the process is like. Also most of the money my dad made was from overtime hours, hours that aren't guaranteed each year, he is actually currently unemployed. I'm so lost :(

Replies to: In desperate need of financial aid advice: calling all current, past, or incoming students

  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 23,881 Forum Champion
    edited July 2015
    What is your EFC? You should post the breakdown of your financial aid package for the CC posters, so they can help you with some advice. Are you a current student or in-coming Freshman/Transfer?
  • kittiemeow23kittiemeow23 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member

    my EFC IS 1263.. i still dont really understand what that means but thats what I got

    Financial aid package is as follows: (fall/spring)
    Pell Grant: 2262/2263
    Cal Grant B (estimated): 824/824
    State University Grant: 2736/2736

    Subsidized Loan: 1749/1750
    Unsubsidized Loan: 999/1000
    Parent Loan: 5414/5415

    I haven't been awarded work study. I'm hoping I will. I said i wanted to get work study in my FAFSA application.

    I am wondering if I can get a bigger loan amount for myself that way my parents don't have to borrow anything at all, or a smaller amount at least. I think I might be at my limit but maybe theres other types of loans out there? I also just got awarded a cal grant today which was kind of weird.

    Hope this helps!
  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 23,881 Forum Champion
    You can only take out a maximum $5500 as a Freshman/ $6500 as a Sophomore and $7500 as a Junior/Senior. If your parents are denied the Parent Plus loan, I believe you can get another $4000. Your EFC is what SDSU expects you to pay out of pocket which you can earn with a summer job.

    Basically you are getting $11,699 in grants/year which do not have to be repaid and about $15,500 in loans/year that have to be repaid. If your parents only made $43,000 last year, they are asking your parents to take on 25% of their income in debt as a Parent Plus loan. At the end of 4 years, you will owe around $31,000 and your parents will owe $40,000 for a total of $71,000. This is a large amount of debt for your family to incur. Logic says that this school is unaffordable. Would you be able to commute to SDSU? vs living on campus? Have you considered going to a community college for 2 years, saving some money and transferring? I would contact SDSU financial aid and see what they can do about some work study, but your parents may have to take the Plus loan out for you to make this school affordable.
  • alexisNSalexisNS Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    I get the Pell grant ($2887/8 /sem)and the University grant ($2462/sem), it covers tuition, and I usually get over $1k leftover/semester which I use for books and bills. (You are taxed on anything spent on non-educational things). The only time I've taken a loan was this summer. My husbands GI bill usually covers our rent, but it didn't this summer. You are not required to take out loans. Do you think you would need them? Have you written out a budget?
  • alexisNSalexisNS Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    Forgot to add, we live off campus, our rent is $1500/month for a 2 bedroom townhouse. If you are sharing an apartment, your cost would be significantly lower. I don't know what it cost to live in dorms.
  • Fish125Fish125 Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    edited July 2015
    @alexisNS is correct, you need to make a budget. Between the grants and loans you listed, it totals a bit under $28,000, which is approximately what the estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) is for California residents at SDSU. https://newscenter.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/financialaid/tableundergradcaresident.aspx?. With a budget, you might find you need significantly less. The COA includes transportation, misc. items (like shampoo, snack food, etc.), books, tuition, high range of dorm fees, etc. Depending upon your situation, you might not need $28,000 a year to attend SDSU. If you are a local student and plan to live at home, your grants should cover tuition, fees, and books with money left over. Depending upon your major, you may spend much less for books than what is listed in the COA. My children rent books, buy used ones, and compare prices on the internet before they buy their books. Like AlexisNS said, you will be taxed on any non-educational items (keep your receipts!), and you are not required to apply for loans. Also, contact Financial Aid not only for work study, but also to see if you can update your information to include that your dad is now unemployed. It might not get you any additional grants, but it helps if the school knows what is going on in your life, in case there is any additional aid you might qualify for. You will be on hold for a while with Financial Aid so don't be discouraged if you have to wait a long time. They are there to work with you.
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