Just when I thought it couldnt get any harder

<p>(Hopefully some of the parents can help me out, mods can feel free to remove my other thread).</p>

<p>Well... I've had the idea that I would get a pretty big sum of financial aid since last year (Junior year). Not too long ago, councilor wanted to nominate me for the gates millennium scholarship BUT I need to qualify for the pell grant... which I come to find out just now.. that I probably don’t.</p>

<p>So from what I could tell..and from what my dad could tell me.. we only get like 30k a year or so.. BUT.. he’s self employed and it screws EVERYTHING up.</p>

<p>The problem comes because even though he is not the only owner of the business (in fact he hardly gets to make any of the financial decisions) he technically is the only owner. My uncle is the one who is really in charge but I dont believe he is a permanent resident, I'm not really sure why the restaurant is on my fathers name.</p>

<p>To sum it up, I don’t know why but I believe my fathers income is really close to 190K (before taxes) but since both my uncle and father are the "owners" of the business his income is used to pay for "business expenses", rent for both "us" and my uncle (he once told me his rent is for "low income families" or something", I think I can see why now).</p>

<p>In the end... when I asked my uncle about it... he just said I wouldn’t get any financial aid because my dad makes too much but I havent received the actual AGI number (which is what my counselor asked me in order to determine whether it was even worth applying for the scholarship).</p>

<p>I'm just upset that my uncle told me my dad makes too much for me too get FIN AID and when I told him we really don’t get that much money, that his real income should really be something around 30-40 k, but then he just said that "that's just the way life is". It's just a shame that he is right, it doesn’t matter what he really gets, but what is on paper.</p>

<p>Now, I must admit that I am upset.. but I'm here to try to find another solution to my problem, not by forcing my way to FIN AID but by finding another solution. I want to go to college, and the money will obviously not be provided for me .. not even through FIN AID. So let's just say I'm in a position where my father makes a lot of money but he wont pay a penny for college. What options do I have, if any? I'm just blank right now, because the solution I hear in this forum is usually "the money is out there" but this time I really don’t see how it will be there for me since on paper I'm technically the son of a pretty well off parent.</p>

<p>If I have to take loans out, I am willing to do this, I'm just wondering if this is an option.</p>

<p>theonekid - two issues here (I think):
1. whether you'll qualify for fin aid and how much. That AGI number is the Adjusted Gross Income on your father's tax return. See if you can get what it was last year, to give you and your counselor an idea of what you might qualify for in fin aid.</p>

<li> assuming you won't qualify for need-based aid, then we need to think about what colleges are affordable for you and how. So, what types of schools are you interested in? what is your in-state school? are your stats in a range that might qualify you for merit aid?</li>

<p>Tell us a little more and we can help you better.</p>

<p>I'm located in CA, top %4 of my class (meaning ELC). URM, my main weekness will be my SATs (detailed list here: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?p=1270975#post1270975%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?p=1270975#post1270975&lt;/a&gt;)&lt;/p>

<p>If AGI is before taxes, then I'm really out of luck.</p>

<p>Theonekid -- if you are ELC it means that for purposes of the UC system, your test scores don't matter. You still need to take the tests -- but as I told my daughter as she went off to take the 2 required SAT II's this past Saturday, she could get scores of 200 on each and she'd still be in. So that's good news.</p>

<p>The second piece of good news is that you may qualify for some financial aid, at least loans, through the UC system - although you won't qualify for a Pell grant. The important number is the AGI - the UC system will rely on the FAFSA, which will also require your father to enter a value for the business asset (in other words, what is the restaurant worth?) -but until you run the numbers, you don't really know.</p>

<p>But in any case, the UC system should be affordable to you, if you are willing to work - and/or if your father & uncle can spare some extra cash from the business. Room & board is the most expensive part -- annual tuition is about $6000 - with books and incidentals figure that college will cost at least $7000. That's a lot of money, but not impossible to manage with a combination of loans and earnings. </p>

<p>The bad news is simply that you are going to have a very hard time getting need based financial aid from most private colleges, which require the CSS Profile - which in turn requires a much more detailed business statement from your father. On the other hand, as a URM with top academic standing at your high school, you may be able to get merit awards from the types of colleges that give them. So the point now is to simply find out which colleges are most likely to give you a scholarship based on the same sort of critiria that might go into qualifying for a Gates Millenium scholarship, except for the low-income part.</p>

<p>By the way, as much as it messes up the financial aid picture, being self-employed does have its advantages. As a business owner, your father has some flexibility in terms of how much money is spent on the business - and if your uncle is supportive, then the family might be able to come up with more money during your college years. One of the reasons you have the impression that your father makes so little is that he probably can write off expenses that other people can't - for example, it sounds like your rent isn't paid out of the $30,000 your father gets, but is paid by the business (perhaps because you live in the same building where the restaurant is??). </p>

<p>I'm self employed, and as frustrating as it is I would rather have it this way than be limited to whatever was on my pay check.</p>

<p>So there is hope?
Well thanks for your answer.. I know you might not know exactly.. but how much does attending a UC run in the end (room and board + other expenses, etc)? A UC like UCLA or UC B?</p>

<p>I'm one SAT II test away from meeting all the necessary things for the UC App.</p>

<p>(How would working full time work out)?</p>

<p>Room & board at the urban UC's can run to around $15,000 - so figure with all costs together and incidentals, and transportation you could be looking at least $20K/year. I don't think full time work would be a good idea, but the UC's don't start until late September, so if you could line up full time employment over the summer you can save up several thousand. Also, you aren't required to live on campus at a UC, and dorms can be significantly more expensive than local housing options, assuming that you are willing to live in a modest, shared apartment with other students. Obiously if you live near a UC campus now, you can also save money by continuing to live at home and commuting. </p>

<p>If you don't qualify for need based aid then you should definitely put a lot of effort into applying for scholarships from local organizations. A few thousand can make a big difference, obviously.</p>

<p>UCB estimates about $25k annually for expenses.</p>

<p>Your AGI is the bottom number on the front page of the tax return. That is the number used for Pell Grants. UCs & other schools look at your enture return and can add back in expenses as they deem nesc. (like depreciation, etc.)</p>

<p>If you family is making the decision to put things on one person's name rather than another, they are deriving some benefit from that. Now is the time for them to analyse whether that is a wise benefit. Go to the FAFSA website or get a AFSA form from your counselor. Fill it out based on last years numbers and have the business owner's decide if they should change the way things are done for now and into the future. A restaurant grossing $200k is not likely to make that much on the bottom line, in my experience, so you may actually qualify for a Pell grant. You should also check the qualifications for a Cal grant, they allow higher income and more assets then the Pell..</p>