homeless financial aid help!

<p>I really want to go to college, but i dont know how to do fafsa. I have been out in the streets and living from house to house since new years eve. My parents will not talk to me or help me in anyway. I have never worked so i cannot do my own income tax. I graduated high school 2011. Right now im staying at a friends house i still have not been able to get a job.. i was wondering how i can do fafsa without my parents information and no income tax. I know that there is a homless option on fafsa... im not emancipated. Im 18 years old; not doing anything no school or work. Is there anyway i can get financial aid... there is something that says i have to have proof that im homeless?! How would i do that? how can i do financial aid?</p>

<p>Wow. You have a ton of challenges.<br>
There are about 100 questions on the fafsa. Some of them are easy (Name. Gender. Social Security Number). </p>

<p>There is an entire section that is the parents section. This 1) has to be filled in or 2) you have to be emancipated by a local court or 3) you have to be over 22 (or 24, can't remember) years of age. </p>

<p>If you were my buddy, this is what I would have you do:
1) Find a free legal clinic (the local library may be able to tell you where one is) and find out how you get yourself declared emancipated from your parents. The fact that you've been on your own for 10 months should be a powerful thing in your favor. It may be just a piece of paperwork that has to go to the right place but a free legal clinic could tell you that. </p>

<p>2) If you can't find a free legal clinic, go to the reference desk of the library and ask them for help. The reference librarians are wizards at finding stuff! (Be as polite as possible to them. They don't get paid much). </p>

<p>3) Talk to some recruiters (Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force) and see if they have any paths that sound right for you. Be aware that recruiters make big promises (and don't always deliver) but do listen politely and get their literature and then do some more research on line about any of the paths that sound good.
The military can be a great way to get physically fit, earn money and have that money matched for college later. </p>

<p>4) Look into Job Corps, and AmeriCorps too. </p>

<p>5) If you can't find a job, then find a spot to volunteer. Habitat for Humanity might help you learn building skills which could lead to a construction job. Goodwill has lots of specialized job training. </p>

<p>6) Visit the local community college and talk to their financial aid office. Often the community college has more experience with kids in your situation than a bigger college might. </p>

<p>Stay away from on line college courses at for-profit colleges -- or at least be very careful. Some of those outfits will sign you up for a loan, dump you into an impossible class and then make it impossible to drop the class and get out of the loan. Be very, very wary of for profit training programs in general -- don't sign anything without doing a lot of checking (like ask to speak to a recent graduate and ask the college "how many of the last class of graduates now have a job? Where are they working?). </p>

<p>I send you a big hug. It sounds like you are ready to build your mind and your future. It is going to be harder for you than for many -- but it can be done. Hang in there.</p>

<p>^ You have to be 24 if not emancipated for the FAFSA.</p>

<p>Olymom made a lot of good suggestions. I'm sorry to hear you have that kind of relationship with your parents, but don't let it stop you. If you are able to be emancipated you will likely receive considerable aid, even if much of it is in Stafford Loans (I was just finally able to do FAFSA as an independent since I'm turning 24 this year and with a low income I received 10 times more in Stafford loan availability than I did as a dependent, enough to get through school at least). Also, Stafford loans are more forgiving if you have difficulty finding work after school by allowing deferments and forbearances, and some will not even collect interest while being deferred. They also do not require a co-signer. You will want to file the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1st for the best results, especially with grants. </p>

<p>Depending on how your grades were in high school I would highly suggest the community college for 2 years and then transferring, if you're looking for a bachelor's degree or higher. That will help keep the amount you borrow low. Some community colleges do offer on-campus housing if you would ever really get in a bind. Do you have any other family that would provide a more stable living arrangement? I imagine it must be very stressful moving around from friend to friend. </p>

<p>Keep us updated with your progress. Most of the members here are full of ideas and willing to help you out.</p>

<p>I worked as a financial aid officer until recently. If you would like to pm me with the details of why you do not live at home, I may be able to give you some advice.</p>

<p>if i work and do my own income tax...can i just use mine instead of my parents at the age of 18?</p>

<p>if i work and do my own income tax...can i just use mine instead of my parents at the age of 18?</p>

<p>No- otherwise all parents who would rather not use their income for college would do this.
You have some good suggestions here.

[quote]
There is an entire section that is the parents section. This 1) has to be filled in or 2) you have to be emancipated by a local court or 3) you have to be over 22 (or 24, can't remember) years of age. </p>

<p>If you were my buddy, this is what I would have you do:
1) Find a free legal clinic (the local library may be able to tell you where one is) and find out how you get yourself declared emancipated from your parents. The fact that you've been on your own for 10 months should be a powerful thing in your favor. It may be just a piece of paperwork that has to go to the right place but a free legal clinic could tell you that. </p>

<p>2) If you can't find a free legal clinic, go to the reference desk of the library and ask them for help. The reference librarians are wizards at finding stuff! (Be as polite as possible to them. They don't get paid much).
.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>A couple of things:</p>

<p>1) If you are already 18 years of age, you cannot be legally emancipated by the courts. Emancipation is a legal process that applies only to minors. (i.e. under 18)</p>

<p>2) To be consider independent on FAFSA, you must turn 24 before the end of the calendar year in which you're applying for aid. (IOW to apply as an independent student for 2011, you must turn 24 before Dec 31, 2011.)</p>

<p>thanks yall i guess all i can do is work until im 24</p>

<p>No. You can get court papers to be emancipated. Or you can join the military. Or you can work with your folks. Things also are different if you have a child (that you are supporting) or if you are married (but please don't marry to get college financial aid -- that tends to be a bad deal).</p>

<p>I wouldn't join the military just for the aid either...that's a lifestyle choice, and it's not for everyone.</p>

<p>But olymom is correct, having legal dependents or being married also qualifies you as an independent for the FAFSA, but it doesn't sound like either situation applies to you. </p>

<p>You could also send an e-mail about your situation to a school you are looking at and see what their financial advisors suggest. </p>

<p>Even if you exhaust all options and end up having to wait until you turn 24, this isn't a terrible thing. You will be more mature, have a clearer understanding of what you want your future to hold, and may even do better in college.</p>

<p>
[quote]
You can get court papers to be emancipated.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Olymom--the OP cannot go to court and get legally emancipated. Emancipation ONLY applies to individuals under 18. (Which the OP isn't.) </p>

<p>The OP can, however, can ask for a professional judgment from his university if he/she can demonstrate that the parent-child relationship is irretrievably broken and he/she has been abandoned or abused. This will require documentation from third parties and may or may not be granted.</p>

<p>WayOutWestMom is correct -- sorry! From the FAFSA site, it says</p>

<p>• Student was determined by the college financial aid administrator to be an unaccompanied
youth who is homeless or is self-supporting and at risk of being homeless. </p>

<p>It certainly would be worth talking to a financial aid officer at a college of interest. Wow. Hard to navigate all this at just age 18.</p>

<p>thanks so much for the advice</p>