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

This is the link that kinda explains more about the pelican award. And I will speak with my cousin Chris tomorrow so I can get the full expectations and idea of living with her. I know for sure that I will live with her for at least a yr. She says that she is moving into senior assistant living because her mom passed last yr and the house reminds her of her mom. She is going to give the house to her niece (my other cousin). However, the senior assistant living has her on a waiting list (shes like number 52-55) and she said that I can live with her until then. I will ask my other cousin if I can live with her when my older cousin Chris gives her the house. Worse case scenario, if i do not finish school before my Chris moves and my other cousin says I can’t live there. I’ll get an apartment closer to school or I’ll just move back to Lafayette and drive the 45 mins- 1hr drive to class. Also since Baton Rouge is bigger and the city bus runs everywhere I can ride the bus or drive, or I can bum rides from my family.

How much will you owe in August for each of your options? Do you have enough money on hand to pay it? If not, do you have a job and enough hours to earn it?

Did you talk with the advisors at ULL to see if they have something similar to the major you want? Computer majors have different names but the courses can be similar. If UKL is in commuting distance your Pell and the $12.5k federal loan for independents might cover the cost. If those are the only loans you’ll have you’ll finish your last two years with $25k in loans. That’s not horrible.

@myos1634 will probably have good advice. My concern for you is that at Nicholls you have a loan of $12k/year and a $4700 gap with no way to pay. You can’t work enough to raise the money and your family can’t help. At LSU you get a tuition waiver, but only for a year. And your housing is contingent on cousins being able to let you stay. If that falls through you plan to get an apartment. Even if the housing works out, how will you cover your share of expenses plus tuition, car insurance, and personal expenses? You said you can’t work more than 15 hours/week while you’re in school. That won’t be enough. I think you need a solid plan for how to pay for the next 2 years before you commit to transfer.

Congrats! I would reach out to Student Services & explain your situation.

I think the tuition waiver is renewed depending on satisfactory academic progress. It does include access to specific support services to guarantee you meet the SAP criteria so take advantage of these services. It’s better to see them at fest znd find you don’t need them, then to find out you shouldn’t have waited and are now in a hole you must dig yourself out of.
Confirm that your cousin is willing to let you stay and under what conditions ( yard work+ grocery shopping + helping on weekends? Paying rent? Will you have a spare key?)
Will LSU transfer your credits as pre-reqs & major courses, or only general credits?
Right now, LSU seems the most workable situation but check out the small details.


An aside from what else you were asking about, Carmax does provide tuition assistance/reimbursement without requiring any time commitment before or after your classes. Nor do they require that your classes have anything to do with working at Carmax, so you can major in what you want. Benefits are for full and part-time employees.

$5250 per year for full-time
$2500 per year for part-time

Carmax has 2 types of stores, reg. retail and smaller cross functional stores…sales are paid hourly non-commission in smaller stores with health insurance (blue cross+shield) for part-time and full-time employees.

Hope this helps.


This is a time for you to show your research skills. You can look at the COA for each of the schools and figure out what your costs will be. I agree with others you need to talk to your cousin about the particulars of rooming there.

I am researching if LSU will be cheaper if I live with my cousin than living and attending Nicholls or Louisiana Tech. Honestly I would love to wait and see what each school offers me in financial aid and scholarships, however, that might not be the case because I have to wait at least 2-3 weeks for them to process my final transcript. I don’t think I can wait that long, colleges are starting orientation and if I wait that long classes will be filled up and then I have no choice but to sit out. Sitting out is something I do not want to do, I am just hitting my stride in school. Also ULL had something close to my major called business informatics like stated in my previous post, only 39 out of my 60 credits transfer, why would I be a freshman or sophomore again when I can go somewhere else and be a Junior? I would not be saving money because I am spending more money on school because I am staying there longer. However, all of my classes do transfer into the business major at ULL, I do not want to just major in business that why I am changing my major. I could stay home and go to ULL major in business and minor in computer, but once again I am spending more money because it would take me longer to graduate (you have to have at 18 credits to graduate with your minor) not to mention that I will be taking classes that I am no longer enthusiastic about. I could also stay and go to ULL and change my major to general studies and take computer classes, but that is if the computer department allows to to take their classes (you know because people in that major will have first dibs on classes). Why risk not being able to get in a class for the convenience of staying home.

LSU would be a superior academic experience. Call Student services and see what they can do to help you. Ask if you can use your Pell grant for room & board. Ask about work study. Call them today.

@katwkittens does it matter what department you work in at carmax? I rather do anything else but sell the cars.

Chase LSU like a hungry tiger! That is a wonderful opportunity. Pelican Promise makes me want to cry for joy for you! Tuition and fees covered + Pell grant. Meet with the financial aid people to see what costs remain. You might be able to live on campus if the money is there.

Regarding jobs, CarMax should have an on-site finance department where clerks (?) complete the paperwork. Banks hire part timers for the branches and provide tuition reimbursement. Pick a bank close to school or where you will live to make it easy to get there.


Benefits at Carmax are for all employees regardless of department. And selling cars at Carmax is like selling laptops at Bestbuy. Prices are as marked, no negotiating, and the smaller cross-functional stores you are trained in all aspects, paid hourly with no commissions part-time and full-time. All aspects is selling, financing, logistics, processing all paperwork (business office), vehicle assessment, transferring vehicles throughout the nation, tech and corporate. Carmax promotes from within, especially for management.

@TQfromtheU yeah, right now LSU financial aid department is verifying my tax transcript with my fafsa to make sure I’m eligible to receive it. So Hopefully I am (I mean they did send me the email saying I was eligible). I’m going to look into the carmax tuition reimbursement, hopefully me having an associates degree in business will make me more look more hire able. And everyone is telling me that its their dream school, it was mine as well. I never thought I would get in, when I did I was shocked. I am setting up an appointment so I can meet with them next week so I can she how my classes transfer over.

UPDATE: I did get the pelican promise award. It only covers tuition and registration fees, the rest of my financial aid will have to cover textbooks. I talked to my cousin and everything is good, I am going to Baton Rouge to see the house Tuesday (I haven’t been there in like a yr or 2) and to double check everything. As long as I don’t loose the pelican promise award or have to magically move (everything is good, I just like to prepare for the worst) I should be good to attend LSU. I don’t know if this is everywhere or just in Louisiana, but why do they wait until the end of June to wait and see if tuition goes up or down? This worries me, but I know the price won’t go up or down magically to a $1000. At the most maybe $200-500. Even with LSU giving me this award (along with pell grants is estimated $16,155, I also still get the $12,500 in loans) I still can’t help but to be worried, what if I flunk out again? What if I don’t fit in? I know you guys are probably slapping yourselves when I tell you I still haven’t made a decision on where I’m going (half because of tuition, the other because I like all 3 colleges), I wanted all the facts before I make this important decision. But I can’t wait until the end of June-beginning of July to make this decision, that would be late and I would be cutting it close even trying to register for orientation to register for classes. Most people made their decision on may 1st, I wish I wasn’t so indecisive. I just don’t want to make the wrong decision since I’ll be a Junior and it will be harder to transfer.

Sounds like LSU is the best option: free tuition and fees, housing guaranteed, enough money left to cover books, it has your major, they’d take your credits if I remember properly…

Yes it looks like my classes transfer. I am meeting with them Tuesday so I can double check. I think one of my science classes doesn’t transfer over (I took physical science to avoid taking biology, but it seem like I might need it). I hate How you have to go up there and meet with them, all the other colleges I applied to just did an transcript evaluation through email. hIf they didn’t do it in an email, they had the exact classes listed for that curriculum on the college website. I guess since LSU is bigger they can’t do stuff like that.

I wouldn’t buy any books until after the first day of class to see if you really need them. You can also rent textbooks through Amazon.

If you have a tuition and fees award, then if tuition goes up, I assume it will also go up to cover the increase.

Then you need money for housing and food.

You can use the Pell Grant and loans for that. You can borrow up to $12,500 as a junior. Take the subsidized loans first. You don’t have to borrow that much if you don’t need it.

Pell Grant might cover most of your living expenses depending on rent and food expenses.

Then books can be rented and bought used possibly.

You can get a part time or work study job at school.

You should be fine.

LSU sounds like a great choice. Affordable, you can transfer most of your credits, it has your major and if you can live with your cousin, you will have someone familiar there.

Good luck, you will do great!!

UPDATE: I met with my business academic advisor at LSU and 2-3 classes won’t transfer over and I have to retake them (they won’t substitute them). I think it sucks because I’m retaking the same classes that I took at CC, I mean will it be easier for me since I already know what to expect but it pushes back my graduation date. In stead of graduating in 2 yrs, it will be 2.5. At all the other colleges 2-3 classes might not transfer as well, but I don’t have to take an extra Econ class like I do at LSU. However at LSU I don’t have to take a Biology like I do at the other schools, at LSU I can take any life sciences. Is it still worth it to go to LSU with free tuition if it’s gonna take me an extra semester to graduate?

LSU is both your best academic option and your most affordable option.
Use that opportunity to get straight A’s in the classes they won’t substitute.
Being on the job market in January can actually be a plus since there won’t be as many
graduates at that time.

Note: remember to participate in one or two clubs or groups (professional fraternity*, charity, academic club, or research…) and show leaderships (not just membership). Holding a job is also good leadership, especially if there’s a possibility for promotion. IT for Carmax would likely be a win-win situation.
Also, your summer 2020 internship should be researched and applied for in October 2019. Use career services as soon as you arrive, update your resume, etc.

  • NOT the same as a social fraternity, these professional fraternities are selective in terms of achievements and can help you make connections.

Congrats I know this sounds werid coming from a internet stranger but I’m proud of you. You come across very mature, intelligent, patient, and flexible. These quantities will take you far in life. If I had dollar for every kid that post here that get stuck on one dream school even if it doesn’t make financial or academic sense.