Low-income family, no college savings. How to afford college?

<p>My mother is a single parent who makes $24,000/year to support my 13-year-old sister and I. She used to get child support from my father, but he's in prison, so we aren't getting any help from him.</p>

<p>I'm a rising senior and I'm really afraid that I might not get to go to college. We get by with my mom's salary and some help from my grandparents. I have no college savings whatsoever. I know for a fact that we can't pay for me to go to school without help.</p>

<p>The thing is... the one school that we could afford for me to go to (they have an incredible financial aid program), I more than likely won't get into. All of the other schools I'm looking at will cost $10,000+ when you add up tuition, room and board, books, other fees, travel expenses, meals, etc..</p>

<p>My family are already becoming overwhelmed by the idea of trying to pay for college and we have no idea where to start. Do you have any advice for us as we try to get the money for me to go to school?</p>

<p>What are your stats? What state are you in? Do you have a job? </p>

<p>Many in your position start off at a community college and then transfer to a four year school. A pell grant for someone at your family's income level should cover (most of) community college tuition. </p>

<p>Have you seen this site: Project</a> on Student Debt: What's the Bottom Line?</p>

<p>I live in Texas.
GPA: 3.7
Rank (last one I saw, should be higher): 41/290
SAT (first attempt, retaking): M&CR: 560, Writing: 650
ACT: Comp.-25, Eng.-26, M&R-25, Sci.-24</p>

<p>I also have very strong extra-curricular activities & volunteer work.</p>

<p>Also, I do not have a job.</p>

<p>Through some googling I found this: UNT</a> Student Financial Aid and Scholarships :: UNT Meritorious Scholarship for National Merit Finalists at the University of North Texas</p>

<p>Does this look like a possibility?</p>

<p>It also looks like you are eligible for this: UNT</a> Student Financial Aid and Scholarships :: Toward Excellence, Access and Success (TEXAS) Grant Program</p>

<p>Those definitely look like possibilities. Thank you SO much!</p>

<p>I never considered going to UNT for a couple of reasons, but their scholarships seem pretty impressive. Something's better than nothing, right!</p>

<p>Hey, options are good. </p>

<p>Have you seen this site? College</a> For All Texans: Home</p>

<p>I would also suggest meeting all deadlines, and apply for things as early as possible if the deadlines are rolling. You should also see if your high school/ public library has any local scholarship suggestions.</p>

<p>Oh, and Americorps/ Peace Corps offer $$ for tuition after completion of the program.</p>

<p>liveandlearn, I'm from Texas too and have friends with similar stats and family situation. I'm certain that you'll get a low EFC and get to go somwhere great affordibly. Definitely go straight for a bachelors degree. I have older siblings who took the 2 year route and have yet to graduate!</p>

<p>What are you looking to major in? I know lots on schools in- state and in the New England area if you're interested.</p>

<p>Also, your schools counselours provide a wealth of information for local scholarships. And I'm a big fan of AmeriCorp. They're the ones who helped me apply to college :)</p>

<p>Oh, and Americorps/ Peace Corps offer $$ for tuition after completion of the program. >></p>

<p>The Peace Corps offers loan deferment, but not direct money for tuition.</p>

<p>If your EFC is 0, you'll receive a federal Pell grant of $5550 per year and it's likely you'd receive a SEOG grant and some work study. I don't know how much TEXAS grants are worth, but that would be gift aid too. Then you'd also be eligible for Stafford loans up to $5500 for your first year (of which $3500 can be subsidized. Definitely look for schools that have good merit aid or that have made pledges to support low income students. Texas A&M, for example, has the Aggie Promise which covers tuition and they allow it to be stacked with their Regents Scholar awards. Decent aid is out there...you just have to hunt for it!</p>

<p><a href="https://financialaid.tamu.edu/Types.aspx%5B/url%5D"&gt;https://financialaid.tamu.edu/Types.aspx&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I cannot thank you guys enough!
My major would be either communications (advertising and public relations) or marketing.</p>

<p>I would also look into ROTC scholarships.</p>

<p>I think Texas state schools are going to be your best bet. Look into the aid programs that Texas offers.</p>

<p>I think they also have their own version of FAFSA for low income students (something like TAFSA). But, also do FAFSA!!</p>

<p>I think the TAFSA are only for kids who are undocumented (international?). They'll only qualify State aid. If you can do the FAFSA, you're good to get state and federal aid. No need to do both.</p>

<p>I visited UNT and liked it a lot. It's in a small town, Denton, and I hear they're very good for the arts and I think Comm.</p>

<p>I'm wary of Texas State. It's a definite party school and not known for academics. A good teacher friend did not like that school when she attended.</p>