how to pay for college if financial aid doesn't cover everything

@thumper1 yes. so all together for loans I’ll have 12,500 for loans.There is no extra $4,000. I have no idea where you go that number from. However, when I was a dependent I got about a $1,000 less in grant money… if it helps.

@mamaedefamilia yeah i’m going to do that for the textbooks. Southeastern doesn’t have my major. the only schools that have my major are: LSU, LA Tech, Northwestern State University, Nicholls State University, and University of Louisiana at Monroe.


The $4000 is INCLUDED in that $12,500 loan you are getting. If you were not an independent student, your Federally funded loan would only be $7500.

If you got about $11,500 as a second year student…that’s $6500 plus the additional $4000…probably because your parent applied for and was declined for a Parent Plus Loan. Did that happen? If the parent applies for and is declined for the Plus, the student can take $4000 in addition federally funded loans.

Anyway…the point is…you don’t have any more federally funded loans to access.

If you get enough merit money, great, wonderful, problem solved. Problem is that you may not. That’s the contingency you need to cover. Transfers do not tend to get scholarships.
You have done very well and if you can get a degree that is desirable in the work force, life will be good. Your priority is to get the heck out of college with that degree ASAP. In two years.

If you work this summer, you should be able to come up with enough to pay the gap for the first two quarters. Try to work and get the $1500 needed to pay that third quarter and then it’s back to full time work to knock it out for the second and last year.

It’s not going to be easy but it’s doable. Extreme austerity, and focus in getting that degree in 2 years. Borrow some if you have to. It’ll be costlier to take more time on this. Much more so.

And the problem with this is???

For your situation, it is the best of both worlds, you are getting work experience and tuition benefits. As person who completed 3 Masters and helped hundreds of employees obtain a degree/advanced degree on the Corporate dime, there is nothing wrong with seriously thinking about this as an option. You are going to have to eventually work some place anyway. You can work hand in hand with your manager and HR to formulate a career plan for your next job as you are obtaining your degree.

You need a concrete plan for paying for college, not a bunch of ifs/thens.

@sybbie719 the problem is if a job require you to stay at the company for x amount of time before you get the tuition reimbursement, than to me it defeat the purpose of me working there for tuition reimbursement. Now if that is not the case I can see your point. But another problem that can happen is since I have to leave to go to college, I would have to find a company that also has an office in the city I am moving to. which can be hard because I am moving to a small college town. I not saying it’s impossible, but it’s not easy like you are saying. I would have to find a company that would let be go from business and eventually to computers ( cyber security, network systems, IT, etc.)

DO NOT pick a major based on something that a friend told you. DO NOT rule out a college which is more affordable because they don’t have the major you think you want but don’t know.


You need to sit down with career services at the college you are considering ASAP and have a professional go over various roles and companies and career paths that people with the degrees you are considering have pursued from their college. You need to contact- ASAP- alums from that college and see if you can have a half hour informational interview with them to discuss what they do all day, what the ups and downs of their jobs have been.

I don’t think any of the careers you are considering are ideal for someone who doesn’t like math btw. And if you haven’t sat with an academic counselor (not the career services folks, but a Dean or someone in charge of academics) to review your current transcript and figure out EXACTLY which courses you need to take to get a BA, do that immediately before you go further into debt.

I know lots of folks in your shoes. You’d be surprised how many find out that they’re on the 6 year plan for a four year degree- through NO FAULT of their own, just because they assumed that credits that would transfer did not, or that the statistics course they took is not the right statistics course at the four year school, or that the psych course they took counts for distribution requirements but is not the right pre-req for the behavioral economics class they want to take.

That is not how it works. When you get reimbursed for tuition, the reimbursement happens after successful completion of the course work. The work commitment is after the reimbursement.

You do not work for the company for X number of years before getting reimbursed. large corporations, hospitals, even school systems hire people across almost every major imaginable.

There are some reimbursement plans that will reimburse you based on GPA: 4.0=100% 3.0= 75%, 2.0= 50%

I agree with @blossom about meeting with both career services and your academic/transfer advisor. You want to make sure that your whole degree transfers and that you get credit for your bachelors.

One of your challenges especially going into cybersecurity; if you are not on a upward trend in GPA, your GPA could be a problem (especially since you state your CC GPA is under 2.5). I would also be careful about the debt that you are taking on, because there are some jobs where you would be considered an employment risk because of your student loan debt.

Email student services and ask about off campus housing. Sharing an apartment off campus and cooking for yourself with shave off 5k at least - Nicholls is in a small town and rent is relatively cheap + cooking for yourself will save you a lot of money.
COA typically includes books, so instead of buying them rent them or buy them used or use the College library reserve.
I agree that it/security will have a much better ROI than a general business degree.

Several fast food companies offer tuition reimbursement programs that could help supplement everything else you’re doing. Over the summer you could work at McDonalds for 15 hours a week or more for 3 months and then apply for their $2,500 reimbursement. At Chipotle you have to work there a year and then they will reimburse up to $5250.

Utilize tax benefits for education.

“Q4. How much is the American opportunity tax credit worth?
A. It is a tax credit of up to $2,500 of the cost of tuition, fees and course materials paid during the taxable year. Also, 40% of the credit (up to $1,000) is refundable. This means you can get it even if you owe no tax.”

Take the time to read through IRS publication 970 that explains Tax Benefits for Education.

@blossom I’ve watched videos on youtube about how their work day goes, asked my friend about the classes, and read for myself and then made the decision that it wasn’t for me (majoring in finance, i could see myself doing that job for 5 yrs, no more than that before I got bored). Also I have already had my transcript evaluated by the colleges I applied to and everything transfers over but one class (I took physical science, but it doesn’t count, I’ll have to take biology) into the new major. I’ve taken plenty of career test, and business and technology always scored the highest, the second highest was criminal justice. Business is just basic math (unless you want to be an accountant, something I would NEVER want to do). Majoring in information systems gives me the best of both worlds (business and tech) if I get tired of one side of it, I can always switch to business or tech and get paid pretty well because I looked on the website and I seen that it will have growth in that field in 10 yrs. As long as I pay attention in class, ask questions when needed, go to tutoring, and actually have people that support and motivate me, I should be fine.

As far as I know, an independent student with junior standing can borrow $12,500 a year.

Pell is $6,195 for $0 FAFSA EFC.

You need to look at tuition and fees, then living expenses.

Are you going to be living at home, or in an apartment, or on campus?

Sharing rent and cooking meals might be cheaper than a dorm and meal plan.

I just got my final gpa in it is a 2.840 but when I transfer it will be slightly lower because they do not count repeated courses like my CC does. And in Louisiana at least at the jobs i’ve had, you had to work there a certain amount of years before you get reimbursed (at least when I last worked at certain employers). I also do not know anyone there, so the roommate situation is out of the question, most people I am graduating with are going in the work field or staying and going to the local university. I know you can meet people on the internet and find roommates but how do you know you’re not meeting a serial killer? I’ve looked at apartments and the problem is you need the first months rent and the deposit which is the same as the rent. In Lafayette it’s not like that. you can find an apartment for $600 (in a good neighborhood) and only have to put $250-$300 down for a deposit. In the Houma-Thibodaux area $550 rent will get you in a real sketchy neighborhood. There is no way that I can work full time and try to find an apartment before July 15th (which is the last day I can get a refund on my deposit and the last day to fill out an exemption form so I can live off campus). I would have money for some things if I didn’t have to buy another car (yes I do need a car before ya’ll say I don’t, my car is almost 20 yrs old and not reliable).

If you don’t have the money for this college and you can’t make enough working to cover the gap then it just might not be affordable. Did you talk to anyone at ULL? Commuting may be your best option. You could work part-time while you go to school full-time or get a full-time job and take classes as you can afford them. Another option might be to defer for a year and work to save the money you need.

I did talk to someone at ULL, it’s not worth it. The major I wanted to change into is just going to take 39 out of my 60 credits that I have. It doesn’t make sense to go there and have to start over as a freshman or sophomore when I can go to a college that has the major I want and almost all my credits transfer over (only 1 class doesn’t transfer).

UPDATE: I’ve been accepted to LSU. Yes I know LSU is more expensive. Some of my friends are saying it would be better for me going to LSU, because I can live with my cousin and commute to school. They said that I’d probably end up paying the same thing if I go to Nicholls or La tech because I have to pay for housing. This sounds about right. Also They’re offering me the pelican promise award which waives my registration fee and tuition for the 2019-2020 academic year. I’m waiting for everything to be verified so I can see my financial aid award (my pell grants and loans). If it helps Baton Rouge is an 1 hr- 45 mins away from home. My cousin stays in Baton Rouge and lives maybe 20-30 mins away from LSU. would this actually be better? and yes LSU has my major.

You need to verify with your cousin that you will be able to live with him/her, and what your responsibilities will be for expenses when you have moved in. You need to verify the transportation situation. Will you need to drive to campus or is that walking/biking/bus distance?

What does th Pelicqn Promise cover, and is it renewable for your senior year?

A tuition waiver for a year at a school that offers your major? That’s fantastic! I agree that you should get clear with your cousin about expectations before making any commitments. That said, you have made terrific use of this time and this forum to understand your options. Very impressive.