How do I know I can afford? PLZ HELP ME

<p>UCSD has accepted me as a freshman. According to the current estimated award for the first year, I have gift aid for $14000, I need to take loan of $6600 and do Federal work-study for $2800. This will cover everything perfectly.
However, for the last two years, I have to move off campus. I asked a student in UCSD who rented a room with her friend, which cost each $800 a month. Plus the food and etc, she has to pay more than $1100 per month herself, which is a lot to a family. (including food) per month, cuz the rent is extremely expensive there)
I sent an email to UCSD FAFSA department, they said </p>

<p>""The award we offered you was only for the first year. You will file a new fafsa each year and a new award will be available. We do look at where you will be living and award appropriately. Instead of the money being given to the school for your housing it will go back to the student to pay their rent. However we cover an average amount so if your rent is extremely high you may have to come up with some of your own funding such as working."</p>

<p>If the award is unpredictable, how do I now I can afford it? and what can we do if the amount of money we need to pay is more than we can afford? According to the current estimated award, I still have to work for Federal work-study. Therefore, I'm assuming that I still need to work for work-study during my junior year and senior year. There is no time I can study, do work-study and work for another job at the same time. Any suggenstions?</p>

<p>Ucs are pretty consistent and you can usually plan that they will meet your need in a similar way.</p>

<p>I have two Ds at UCs in expensive housing areas- our SoCal D budgeted based on the dorm fee and was able to survive off campus on that same budget.</p>

<p>At Berkeley it is cheaper to live off campus! </p>

<p>You might also consider going Greek, they frequently have good prices on housing.</p>

<p>Your work study is not guaranteed, you need to find a job and work those hours. Most of those jobs are around $10/hr, yes some are more, but some are less and you have to both get the job and work the hours. I have seen $2000 to be about average earnings, to get $2800 you would need to make sure to put in more hours to earn the money. You may elect to trasnfer a portion of your work study into being loans, but that is not great long term, if you can earn the money in work study.</p>

<p>You might craigslist the rentals in the area- that seems high, in Newport Beach by the water you can rent a house for the school year for $1600 with 2 bedrooms- so four kids would pay $400 each. maybe your friend did not have enough roommates?</p>

<p>Also, if you live too far from campus, you may need a car, that adds a whole new expense.</p>

<p>Also, remember that their COA is not necessarily your reality- you may be able to save on personal expenses, on travel, on books (buy used, borrow, sell back, don't use the bookstore use Amazon)</p>

<p>Chances are you can afford it, but you need to really understand what your options are.</p>

<p>Somemom basically summed it up!</p>

<p>My son is a sophomore at UCB. He lived on campus freshman year and this year he is in a house. We found that the financial aid package was consistent year to year, even generous as long as he was careful with his money. There are many ways to save on food, books etc.</p>

<p>So UCSD will most likely give me the same aid? By work-study for $2800, that is a yearly income (as far as I know of). If most of those jobs are around $10/hr, it should not be a problem to gain $2800 per yeay, right?
My friend share a 2-bedrooms with her friend for $1500, $750 each. Would it be too crowd that 4 ppl share a 2-bedrooms? It's hard to study and has less privacy with that many ppl.
What is COA?</p>

<p>COA= cost of attendance- schools come up with an average amount, yours may be different.</p>

<p>Yes, most students I know share bedrooms to save on the rent, just like in the dorms.</p>

<p>My D has faithfully worked at the same job for all her years of working on campus and it runs $2000-$2500 a year and she sometimes works during summer classes. You would need to be really focused on maximizing hours to get $2800</p>

<p>wow...I thought getting $2800 a year by doing work-study would be esay.
If so, it's really hard for me to focus on my education and work so much at the same time.</p>

<p>Technically it should work, but think about the numbers, $2800 = 280 hours/ 3 quarters= 94 hours per quarter. Ten weeks in a quarter, but you probably won't work finals week, you might be sick one week, you might take off a week for a heavy mid term schedule. There are lots of things that can interfere; so, you have to keep track and try for over 10 hours a week to begin.</p>

<p>Also, it may take a couple of weeks to find a job and get started, so you'd need to make up those hours- 2 weeks gone at 10 hrs each = 20 hours spread over the next 8 weeks. You would need to add 3 more hours each week and if you were planning to take finals week off, add those hours too. So, it sounds perfect, but you are likely to miss a week now & again</p>

<p>So practically, it's not going to work.
Not going to be able to afford it...T_T</p>

<p>It can work, but you have to be on top of it. Of course, you can also work at home all summer and build up a nice buffer of funds to take with you. I don't think your entire plan will fail based on a couple of hundred dollars, you just have to be really aware of what is going on. If you have a job at home on all your vacations, that takes care of lots.</p>

<p>My D has a campus job and she does the dept email all summer while she is far away and it allows her to build up some money over the summer taking pressure off the fall term.</p>

<p>You can ask for part of the WS to be converted to a subsidized loan (unless you are already maxed on loans). My daughter was given a $3400 WS award last year and she converted half to a loan as we thought it was too much and she would find it hard to earn that (plus she did have an outside job related to her major though she quit that after a while as the hours were too difficult). Make sure you get a job that is going to be regular. My D has only earned a little over $200 WS because of delays in the project she was helping on.</p>

<p>She has a $3400 WS award again and plans to convert part into a loan again.</p>

<p>I called them, and they said they cannot make any changes at this point, and they already gave me the max amount of gift aid. And no, they cannot tell me if it's going to be better or worse after my sophomore year.
So...I'm stuck.</p>

<p>Is there any scholarships available if I get good grades at school? Will it change my gift aid given by FAFSA?
If I can get a scholarship like $3000, then I don't have to work 10hr per week.</p>

<p>KaRin-A; stop worrying about your sophomore year and concentrate on your freshman year!!!!! After one year is under your belt, you can always take a semester or year off to work if you are not happy with the next year's financial aid packages. ALL the universities have the same deal going on; you don't know your next year financial aid package until June or so before the academic year starts, and your awards do fluctuate depending on your parents income, assets and your income and assets. That's the way it works. Now relax, and get excited about what you do have; a decent package for your first year! ;)</p>

<p>Work study has been positive for my son. He works 8 - 10 hours per week during the school year and fulltime during the summer. He was recently promoted to a management position for this summer.</p>

<p>Yes, don't worry now about 2nd year, like we all said, UCs are consistent, if your EFC is about the same, then the EFC is about the same. One improvement, if you get the ACG grant now, you might get a SMART grant later, which is a much larger amount- like $650> $1300 > $4000 so a big improvement each year. That depends on your HS program & grades & all, and your major, but it is possible.</p>

<p>Get a busy summer job and you will have plenty of money, but do the work study too, any campus job, works tudy or not, tends to be great because it allows you scheduling freedom so your marks do not suffer.</p>

<p>What is ACG grant and SMART grant? How can I find out if I am qualified?</p>

<p>ACG = Academic Competitiveness Grant - it required Pell Grant eligibility and meeting some Academic requirements. It is $750 1st year and $1300 2nd year. You should have answered some questions on FAFSA about it. Year one my daughter was not awarded it till right befoe school started - maybe a few days after.</p>

<p>SMART - also requires pell grant eligibility and that you are majoring in certain subjects. (sciences, some languages). It is for 3rd & 4th year.</p>

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<p>I am eligible for Pell Grant. How do I know if I am awarded? It will show it in my UCSD account?</p>

<p>Pell? Or ACG?</p>

I already got Pell for $4000</p>