To preface, I know I should talk to my father about this and I will eventually, I just can’t for at least the next few weeks because he’s currently paying for my brother’s fall semester at college. Because of disagreements between my brother and my dad regarding my brother’s education, broaching the topic of my financial aid at this time would definitely not end well. My dad tends to be very mercurial when it comes to discussing financial matters, and my mom is completely clueless on this topic so I have nobody to go to for advice on how to approach my dad about paying for college. I’m hoping to get some general insight on what colleges are likely to be realistic for my family financially, and whether or not it’s even worth it to apply to higher ranked Liberal Arts Colleges (note that I’m not looking at ivies or most top 20s, just a few instate/tuition reciprocity options and LACs).
I’m looking for people who have experience applying to college/financial aid as a small business owner. My dad owns a small business that is still in the investment stage i.e. any money my dad makes is taken from investor’s contributions and the business is not currently generating profit. Because of this, the business will always be the highest financial priority.
His stated income on taxes is also a lot higher than what money actually goes towards the household, disposable income, etc. He also has some money in investments and stocks. I know that small businesses don’t count as assets on FAFSA, and I also know that the only financial aid my brother was eligible for was the 5k annual loan from the government. Basically, how screwed am I in expecting any liberal arts college (looking at Bates, Vassar, Bowdoin) to give any reasonable tuition price or financial aid? My family really cannot afford to pay a huge amount of money for college, huge being probably over 30k a year. Has anyone gotten generous aid offers from LACs or should I just start looking at merit aid and scholarship opportunities? Also general advice about what to expect with financial aid for small business owners is appreciated.