How (or if) to handle this situation

<p>This is directed toward the parents who frequent this forum..
I'm not sure how to (or even if I should) go about asking my parents about college. My dad was under the stupid impression that just because I'm really smart I can get in and get a full ride for any college that I apply to. I told him that wasn't the case, but I guess that's not ingrained in his head yet. Then a few days later I asked him about student loans if i were to get into an ivy league school and he's under the impression that any amount of student loans for an ivy league school is acceptable. He and my mom have been just spending money like there's no tomorrow. I'm a freak about shutting off lights just to save like a dollar at the end of the month. I shut the pool off whenever no one's home to save money there. Tonight at dinner he just asked my mom about purchasing a new front door ($5k) for the house and she's fine with it. Like how do I tell them that the colleges I want to go to are going to cost a lot of money? They would have the money to pay full price if they'd just start saving and stop this...by the way, there's no chance of receiving any need-based financial aid. My brother has $40k in student loans from his first year at college (premed) and got the last 3 years essentially free because he joined the army. I'm hesitant to ask him if he joined the army just for the tuition benefits and I probably won't, but that's immediately what popped into my mind when I found that out. I guess what I'm asking is what could I say that would send a message to you if it were you instead of my parents?</p>

<p>Do you have any schools close to you that you might like to attend, or are on the level of the school you would like to attend? You might want to set up a tour of that school, and see if you can meet with the FA/Scholarship office of that school with your parents so they can learn more first hand.
I do think that it is important that they give you guidelines for what they can/will pay for you for college for your planning purposes. If they are willing and able to take out loans for $55,000/ year schools, then you know that. If they are willing to give you $20,000/ year and the rest is up to you, you know you have to work with that too. So asking for a budget from your parents as you search colleges is really important.</p>

<p>I would not let it go if I were you.</p>

<p>Since your brother borrowed $40k for just one year of college, it doesn't look like your parents are chipping much in at all. However, you should ask them just exactly how much they will pay each year. If it is $0 you need to know that.</p>

<p>If you do have good grades and test scores, there are colleges out there that might be happy to throw some money your way. Start with this thread: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br>
If none of those work for you, read up on scholarship-finding research techniques at:
<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/148852-what-ive-learned-about-full-ride-scholarships.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/148852-what-ive-learned-about-full-ride-scholarships.html&lt;/a>
<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/291483-update-what-i-learned-about-free-ride-scholarships.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/291483-update-what-i-learned-about-free-ride-scholarships.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Your brother likely was not able to take out $40K in loans in his name only. Your parents likely cosigned these loans...or someone did. Or perhaps your parents took out PLUS loans which are in their names only.</p>

<p>YOU need to discuss college costs with your parents. All you need to do is ask them how much they can or will give you towards college costs each year. Tell them you are only asking because you are trying to come up with a realistic list of colleges that are affordable to YOU...that you would prefer to limit your loans as much as possible. This sounds like what you are saying here...if I'm correct, then share this with your parents.</p>

<p>In the meantime, start looking for schools that will either give you guaranteed merit aid for your stats, or that are reasonably priced. </p>

<p>Re: the Ivy League schools...remember, they are costly and they do NOT give any merit aid. Their need based aid will be based largely on your parents' incomes and assets...mostly their incomes. </p>

<p>If you really have the stats to be a competitive admit to the Ivies, you could very likely get generous merit aid somewhere else. Check the threads by momfromtexas...yes they are OLD but the strategies she used for finding very generous merit awards is what you want to read.</p>

<p>*My brother borrowed the $40k because my dad was unemployed at the time and money was especially thin.</p>

<p>@thumper - I'm definitely leaning toward that right now. Especially after learning that one of my neighbors...absolutely loaded and is an actuary (something i'm looking into very seriously)...went to a "crappy" (very good but looked down upon) state school. Do you think I have a realistic chance of a scholarship at vanderbilt? I can't really find stats of those who have won scholarships there on CC but it appears there are around 250 that are full-tuition (without room/board...which i think outside scholarships and my parents' contribution will definitely cover..if not i'd be willing to do loans)</p>

<p>wynter...your brother had to have had a cosigner for a loan in the amount of $40K...perhaps someone else cosigned this since your dad was not employed. I don't know of any private loans that are in that amount that students can get in THEIR names alone. </p>

<p>Still...that isn't going to help you. As Happymom said...if your brother took $40k in loans, your parents didn't help him much at all. If your dad is now employed and has a job that earns him enough money that you would not qualify for need based aid at the Ivies with TWO kids in college...your dad is earning a very large sum of money. </p>

<p>Check out the links Happymom provided...you should find some helpful information in them. I applaud you for trying to find a college that is within your financial means.</p>

<p>You have a pool and your parents are considering a $5K DOOR! I don't believe you will be eligible for any FA or work study. If you are uncomfortable talking to your parents, how about leaving a note for them with print outs of the costs of the schools you are interested in and asking for them to set a time to sit down with you and talk about it.</p>

<p>I would rather my child go to a state school than join the military.</p>

<p>Vandy is a little tougher to get a scholarship than your local U. It has a 75%ile for SATs of 2280 and to get one of the full tuition scholarships you should be well above that.</p>

<p>What are your stats? GPA and test scores.</p>

<p>Are you a likely NMF? What was your PSAT?</p>

<p>We might be able to point you to some schools that will give you large scholarships for your stats.</p>

<p>No ivy is worth big loans. NONE. </p>

<p>I don't mean to be harsh, but it sounds like your parents have no idea about money and loans if they think borrowing all for an ivy is worth it.</p>

<p>Is your dad still unemployed? If not, do your parents have a high income?</p>

<p>What is your likely major?</p>

<p>Edited to add....it looks like from other threads that you're a rising junior with a high soph PSAT....likely will score high again for junior year.</p>

<p>*1st in class, probable 2300+ SAT based on practice tests.
probably looking at ivies, most notably princeton (i'll have safeties). i'm not saying i'll get in, but if i do..
how much in student loans is too much? i'd be a potential economics major. i've heard starting salaries range from 60 to 90k for econ majors starting out from princeton. while these schools are really generous (most of the time) with their financial aid, my parents make upwards of 270k a year...and i don't think they're THAT generous.
is there some place on the application to explain why you're applying for financial aid with income like that? we've also had some steep medical costs from my mom having cancer, but that was around 9 years ago. dad was unemployed ~6 years ago, out for 2 years.</p>

<p>thank you vey much for replying*</p>

<p>Your parents' income is toooo high for any need-based aid. Your dad's unemployment (6 years ago) is too long ago for aid consideration since their income has been high ever since.</p>

<p>No ivy is worth that much debt. Yes, you could have a high starting salary with the right degree but it won't be high enough for $220k in debt.</p>

<p>
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my parents make upwards of 270k a year

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</p>

<p>Agreed with mom2...you have another thread going where you asked for help in identifying schools with good merit options for you. Please reread that thread. It contains some very good advice.</p>

<p>As a rising high school JUNIOR...you need to keep your grades up...do well on the PSAT and then do well on the SAT to be competitive for some of the higher end scholarships out there (not at the Ivies...where with your family income you would most likely be a full pay student).</p>

<p>Talk to your brother and get some ideas about what his impressions were about your parents and college costs. Get a book, like the US News and World Big book and show your father those schools that do not give merit money, and only give money for need. Run a few numbers in the institutional estimators and see what your family will be expected to pay. I doubt you will be in the running for any financial aid. That means applying to those colleges where you will be in the very top group of applicants and that offer merit money. Also it means low cost colleges. Look at the list of some guaranteed merit awards that some schools offer. </p>

<p>You can also add other schools on your list and see how you fare, but make sure your bases are covered in terms of an affordable school that is sure to take you.</p>