Financial Aid Options?

<p>Okay, so USC is my number one choice, but cost is a major concern. I recieved my financial aid eligibility and I recieve 3,500 in unsubsidized loans. That's it. So that's about 48,000 dollars unaccounted for. My parents can contribute about 10,000 dollars a years, maybe a little bit more, but that's still 38,000 a year. So do I basically just rule USC out? B/c I got into SCA, and I really, really want to go. Opinions or advice are much appreciated.</p>

<p>I am wondering what would happen if you spoke with the SCA admissions people, particularly someone attached to the committee in the specialty to which you were accepted. SCA has a lot of applicants to choose from, and I'm sure they really want you to come, just as you really want to attend. So. If they have any discretionary funding connected to the department, or pull with the admissions/financial aide office so they won't lost a student they've selected, it would be great if they could use their funds/pull on your behalf. </p>

<p>Also, have you reviewed the FAFSA materials and done any calculations that lead you to believe that there's a mistake of some kind? Is there something about your family's situation that USC doesn't fully understand? Maybe you could also call the financial aid office and talk with them, because the difference between the $10,000 you thought would be your EFC and the $48,000 USC thinks your parents can afford is kind of large. Finally, if you have better FA offers from other schools, it might be good also to let USC know about them in the nicest possible way. </p>

<p>Does your high school GC know much about financial aid at private colleges or have a relationship with the USC admissions officer who has responsibility for your region? If so, try to enlist her help asap.</p>

<p>You might want to talk about this on the Finanacial Aide board or the Parents' Board where you might find some very experienced people who could offer advice.</p>

<p>Good luck with this!</p>

<p>wow...what are u planning on going into after u graduate..i mean if you get a kickass job paying then u don't really have to worry about debt all the badly, i mean you'll have it, but u won't have it for your whole life. </p>

<p>however, if thats not the case, (and most people can't really guarantee themselves a high paying job straight out, but i'm sure u can understand what i'm trying to get at.) then i wouldn't choose USC. i mean thats going to be like 152000 after 4 years..i know that what i want for a career and know that i wouldn't be able to handle that kind of debt. because i would be in it for the rest of my life. </p>

<p>to put it shortly, if you're planning on landing a job where you'e gonna get 80k+ a year as soon as you get out, or shortly after, then sure. u'll be out of debt in give or take, a few years, but make sure u take into account interest from the loans your gonna have to pull out...just take that into perspective. it really is up to u tho and it really depends on what career path you plan on taking</p>

<p>Thank you Nester, that was really helpful. I kind of knew I wouldn't qualify for financial aid, because my parents make a lot on paper. But, my parents filed the FAFSA late, refused to file the CSS, and are refusing to send tax return copies to the FA office b/c of privacy concerns. My parents could afford USC, you know, if we sold our second house that's being rented, but I don't really see them doing that. They're not looking to sacrifice their lifestyle significantly. I might try calling SCA, and I did recieve FA offers elsewhere, including a 21,000 scholarship to Chapman Film.</p>

<p>To gbv: I can't guarentee myself any sort of job, really. I want to be a screenwriter, and that is not a steady job. And unless I make it really big, it won't pay that well either. Now I believe I'm talented enough to "break" into the business, but wagering my entire life on a possiblity is extremely overwhelming. Ergh, stress stress stress. I should discuss my options with my parents. I just have this feeling that if I end up going somewhere else, all I will think about is how I could be going to USC...</p>

<p>Have you sat down with your parents and explained to them how their decision not to send in financial documentation may have an impact on your ability to receive financial aid, and spoken with them frankly about your college situation? You might want to call USC first to see if there's any flexibility there, since it is a school that has some merit money that is not based on financial need. Then, if you're still facing an almost $200,000 debt for four years at USC, they need to be fully in the loop. I hope that either USC or your parents will end up providing better financial resources.</p>

<p>yea, i thought CSS was required. That may be the reason why you're finaid is so low. I feel for you rakuendrowning and im sorry that your parents were stubborn about that. I agree with nester, sit down and talk to them and hopefully that will encourage them to compromise. I hate to know that money is standing in the way of your dreams when it doesn't need to be a problem. if you really feel that USC is the place for you, then i would love to say go for it, but I agree with you, don't wager your life on a possibility. Maybe you can be considered independent the second year. talk to finaid and tell them your situation.</p>

<p>Have you considered going to a community college for 2 years and then transferring to USC the last 2 years? Not ideal, but would save a lot of money and still get some benefit from USC.</p>

<p>ohhh yea, i completely forgot about that option. wow, where's my brain lol. yea that is good option...because by then, you can be considered an independent and then they won't take your parents income into account. and if they are still willing to give you 10 grand a year, you can have them just save it for you, along with the left overs from community college and then give it to you when you graduate. if you have them pay while you're there, obv you can't be considered an independent and if they give it to you and you give it to the school, the school might be suspicious as to where you got the money. I think you'd have to move out in order to be considered an independent tho. but that really is a good option because altho you'll be at another school, you'll know that you're gonna end up there anyway. and it'll be cheaper!!!</p>

<p>good thinking mdcissp!!</p>

<p>It's not so much that I can't afford college. I just can't afford this college. My dilemma is that while I have other options, (where I would still be in debt, but a whole lot less debt) USC is my dream school. My main goal for the past three years has been getting into this program, and now that I'm accepted, it's a hard thing to give up. </p>

<p>Also, Writing for Screen and Television, my major, is a BFA and takes four years to complete-- it doesn't really work well with transfering.</p>

<p>o i c. so u have two options, debt or following your dreams. If you really think that u have what it takes, then i would go for your dreams. it is your life, do what makes you happy. hopefully you can get you parents to compromise. i know it sounds stupid but if u feel that USC is the most helpful next step towards continuing your passion and following your dream, then i would love to say do it, but i can't tell the future. u worked hard, usc has a great alumni network and the school is known for its production school . so i think that u'll be okay with having a job and if you're as good as you say you are, then hopefully it will be well paying. if i were u, i would say go for it. if that is what u want in life, then u should go for it, no holding back. i think u'll be okay. but please do not let me and my "follow ur dreams" post be the deciding factor. which i am sure won't be, really think about it becuase it is ultimately your decision.</p>

<p>idk why i am so into giving you advice about it lol. i guess i just really feel for u cuz this is a reallly tough decision. hopefully my advice will be valuable. lol</p>

<p>USC has some core requirements. Unless you have the AP credits, can you take the core requirements at a community college and then transfer? Perhaps one year of community college, then go to USC part time and work part time. For example, I saw that Disney studios has summer internships. Perhaps if you could get a summer internship at Disney and continue with it part time during the year, or some other work related to your interest in writing for screen and television, you could try to put together an individualized program which will some what cut your college costs, and ultimately get you your degree in your field from USC. I am not suggesting working in an unrelated field, but try to get work related to what you want to do. The work experience will help you when you graduate.</p>

<p>I'm looking for a more traditional college experience-- the same school for four years. Thanks everyone for your advice, I think I'm going to first talk with my parents about my options. I think I'll contact USC and I guess I'll find out how much they really want me, and in the worst case scenario, I'll end up at a good college in the major I want to major in...just not the college. Well, if anyone has had any experience with this kind of situation in the past, I'd love to hear their thoughts. That said, I'm doing campus visits to five colleges that I've been accepted at this April, so maybe that will clarify things. Thanks again, and I'll update when I come to a decision, (although I'll probably be back with more questions before then.)</p>