How will I pay for college without financial aid?

<p>I'm in a very similar situation. My father makes a very decent amount of money, but my mother is a drug addict/alcoholic. Long story short, she's been a terrible mother and when I was in seventh grade child services finally ruled that she was dangerous and needed to move out. Because she's never worked a day in her life, my father had to buy her house, pay her mortgage, and support her living for who knows how long. Now my dear old mumsie is living comfortably, and I'm a sophomore in highschool trying to get college figured out. They aren't divorced, but have been separated for three years.</p>

<p>I take all accelerated classes, play two sports, do peer leaders, am I very solid art student, and plan on getting a job very soon. In the next year I'm going to try and win art contests for scholarships. I think I'll be able to get some good scholarships, but I'm very nervous for the fact that I probably won't qualify for financial aid.</p>

<p>I'm also a twin, and it looks like my brother won't be going to college, but he's already demanded my father hands over his college fund upon graduation.</p>

<p>Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of being awarded financial aid?</p>

<p>Do you have a college fund too? That will be one thing to contribute to your college costs. If your parent’s are separated, you would only use the parent info for,the parent you live with…your dad? You would put your dad’s income and assets on the FAFSA. If you apply to Profile schools, you will may need to have your mom fill out the non-custodial parent Profile (unless there is some kind of legal action preventing you from contacting your mom…if you have some legal restraining order or something like that, you might qualify for a NCP waiver).</p>

<p>Anyway…as a sophomore…your goal should be to get the best possible grades and the best possible SAT or ACT score. This could place you in the running for merit aid, which added to your college fund and some money from your dad, should help. Look at the threads above for schools offering merit aid…then aim for those!</p>

<p>Remember also, need based aid is based largely on parent income. That your dad is able to support two households suggests a very good income.</p>

<p>I have a college fund. If my brother doesn’t go to college and my Dad sells some of his possessions, we would have about $40,000.</p>

<p>BUT, my Dad got laid off yesterday. I don’t really know what will happen now</p>

<p>You are a sophomore. You have time to make certain that you get excellent grades and do well on the ACT and/or SAT. Those will ensure that you have good options.</p>

It’s very unlikely that you will get any really good scholarships from art contests. Don’t count on it.
Buy SAT / ACT preparation books and start studying. </p>

<p>^ Thumper is not the OP, GW3921 is. Thumper provided very sound advice - get good grades and do well on the SAT/ACT. There are colleges with merit aid that will award high performing students.</p>

<p>Thumper isn’t the OP:). I never mentioned art contests!</p>

<p>I have already started studying for SAT :)</p>

<p>I have found a couple scholarships for art though, so I’m going to try and take advantage of that, too.</p>

<p>Start practicing for the ACT and SAT as soon as possible, and keep your GPA as high as possible. Aim for a 32+ or higher on the ACT (and the equivalent SAT), and you will find the door opened to many merit scholarships. Based on my son’s experience, I think his ACT and SAT scores were of much greater importance than his GPA (which was still high, but not a perfect 4.0.) We also focused only schools that had net costs (after subtracting merit aid) of less than $10K a year. The lower the better, of course. We do not qualify for any free money or subsidized loans, and, thanks to medical bills, there are no college funds. Thankfully, my kids do not have dream schools. They just want to go to really good schools and graduate debt-free (so then they can go on to grad school.)</p>

<p>So, stay hopeful and focus on those grades and test scores. You can do this.</p>

<p>By the way, meant to mention my next kids headed to college in a couple of years are twins, so you can guess what my sophomore twins will be doing over spring break - studying mightily for the PSAT and then the ACT.</p>

<p>okay thankyou for the advice!</p>