My mom wishes to bury me for college financially. Please help!

<p>First of all, BG info:</p>

<p>My dad died last November in a car crash. We have no income but my mom received about 500k from life insurance and she gets 1.5k a month for me and another 1.5k a month for my brother. Attorney fees and such have cost about 10k or so. Mom is not working right now.</p>

<p>Ok, right now I plan to attend Penn. As of this moment, Parental Contribution is around 12k and my contribution is about 2.8k in work study. I am a full IB student with a heavy courseload and I do not have a job at the moment because it used to be my mom's business before she stopped working due to dad's death. I plan to work over the summer and throughout the school year to contribute to my schooling.</p>

<p>However, my mom simply does not want to pay for anything. She says there are plenty of people who are successful without college, and those that do take out loans. Therefore she says I should "take out loans just like everyone else" so she wants to shove the whole bill to me and just have me take out a 14k student loan.</p>

<p>Now, there is no way I can afford that. What are the legal issues surrounding this? I want to put my 200 deposit in to Penn but mom was against me doing it at first because she didn't want to be locked in with a bad package. However, she doesn't want to pay for ANYTHING now and I don't have 200 dollars to spend for the deposit, and the financial aid department said they would take my app to committee on Monday (my mom had been talking with the FinAid department).</p>

<p>Mom and I got into a huge fight and now she refuses to talk to me until Monday (she's on vacation right now) after she speaks with Financial Aid again, and I fear that she is going to make this situation very bad for me financially.</p>

<p>What can I do to avoid getting swamped??</p>

<p>legendofmax,
I am so sorry to hear this. Is there another family member you can talk to if this does not resolve itself on Monday?</p>

<p>No... none of my family members went to Ivies -- they went to community colleges and dropped out so no one in my family in general thinks much of college. Mom talks to my family members whenever we fight and tries to get them to back her up so she feels secure. Her mindset is that college is not needed for success because my Dad never went to college, and therefore you don't need it. However I think that that reasoning is ignorant.</p>

<p>My condolences on your father's death.</p>

<p>After a death, particularly an unexpected death, the deep grieving goes on for as long as two years. My guess is that your mom -- with the death and with her parental responsibilities -- is stretched through to the max and can not clearly think through the situation. She also has some very realistic financial problems. The $500 k is not a lot of money when she had been counting on your father's income, and when she doesn't have a job.</p>

<p>I imagine that she's doing her best to simply get through each day. The pending loss of you, too, as you get ready for college, may be especially difficult for her. Most parents grieve when their children go off to college because that means the end of the kid's childhood. For your mom, your growing up and leaving home probably adds to her grief about losses.</p>

<p>My advice would be to see if she would be willing to go with you to a family counselor to help make decisions about your college and to also help her and you deal with the loss of your father. If she's not willing to go to a counselor, is there a person like a pastor who might be able to help?</p>

<p>Given your circumstances, it may be that Penn would be willing to give you extra time to make up your mind about whether to attend.</p>

<p>Your mom is scared and worried. You can't blame her, the whole thing sounds horrible. </p>

<p>It sounds to me like you really should stop worrying until Monday. There's no point in worrying until you hear back from Penn, because you won't have a 14K loan if they change the package (and they've agreed to consider it).</p>

<p>Perhaps you could spend the time until Monday writing a persuasive letter to your mom? You could plan to get a summer job, which would reduce your loan need, and perhaps she could pitch in part of the money. A total indebtedness of 20-30K is heavy, but not unmanageable (my H had 10K in loans when he left college in 1979, and incomes were a lot less then--and then were paid off by the time he was 30). </p>

<p>And your mom may feel better about paying for college after a year or two, when she sees what her financial situation is. 500K may seem like a lot to you, but it's not a lot to live on for the rest of your life.</p>

<p>But you won't get anywhere if you both take absolute unsympathetic stands.</p>

<p>There is a fair amount of evidence that a college degree means a lot financially - I don't know if printing that out would help or not. I think that you may need to think about plan B at this point - are there any lower cost options in your pile of acceptances?</p>

<p>Thing is she doesn't feel like she wants to chip in anything. I can't afford 14K in loans every year when my mom is off gambling in Vegas. I mean there's just something WRONG with this picture isn't there?</p>

<p>" I am a full IB student with a heavy courseload and I do not have a job at the moment because it used to be my mom's business before she stopped working due to dad's death."
" Her mindset is that college is not needed for success because my Dad never went to college, and therefore you don't need it. However I think that that reasoning is ignorant."</p>

<p>I think it's important that you develop a lot more empathy for your mom. </p>

<ol>
<li><p>Just because you're in a full IB program doesn't mean you can't hold a job. I know students in full IB programs who hold jobs. These include students who are in the top 5% of their class. That's simply what one has to do if one's family is in a financial crunch, which is the case with your family.</p></li>
<li><p>Yes, your mom is not very informed about colleges. However, the tone of your posts indicates that perhaps you look down on her and your other relatives. It may be that your attitude and lack of empathy for what she's going through now are putting up some barriers preventing both of you from understanding each other's viewpoints and finding a mutually agreeable solution.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Northstarmom: I'm going through a tough time too... but yes I am angry in general at my mom, but only because I've been fighting with her ever since I was little. She's never found importance in education and would, for example, lock my computer when I had a ton of work to do because she felt I spent too much time working. I understand that she is having a rough time too but when I see how she spends her time it makes it hard to feel sympathy for her financially.</p>

<p>I hope, then, that you'll be able to get involved with her in counseling. That may be the only way to resolve the problem. Perhaps your GC can intervene or your pastor can intervene if you go to a church.</p>

<p>It also may be that you'll need to accept a more affordable college. What are your other options? I assume that a student who could get into Penn may have excellent merit aid offers from less competitive colleges.</p>

<p>Hum, could you defer a year and work?</p>

<p>Maybe you should tell them about how your mom doesn't feed you, Legend...</p>

<p>I agree with NSM and Dmd. Though you feel under a lot of pressure, you still have time to work things out. I was talking to a friend whose kid is still doing visits and is adamant he won't choose April 30.<br>
Your mom, too, is under pressure of another sort. $500k is not a lot to live on for the rest of your life. For example, if she's not working, she probably does not have health benefits. A major operation could easily set her back $50-100k. </p>

<p>So, what to do? Wait until Monday to hear back from Penn. If it's negative, talk some more about taking on loans. As Dmd suggested, once you are in college and doing well, and your mom has gotten over the worst of her grief and maybe gotten a job, she may feel better able to help you. In the meantime, try to see things from her perspective and show some empathy: it will perhaps prompt her to try to see things from your perspective.
CC is a good place to vent. I'm glad you took advantage of this forum. Good luck.</p>

<p>You are a legend, max. Here's a big cyber :: hug::.</p>

<p>You will get through this.</p>

<p>Believe it or not, 15k a year is not an insurmountable amount of money to borrow. And you might be able to whittle that amount down by working as an RA for a year or taking a year off to work. those are two things I did because my parents were unwilling to foot a bill they originally promised to foot.</p>

<p>I borrowed the money. I didn't want to. I was very nervous about it at first-- but my babysitting bosses, two attorneys, told me I would NEVER think about that money when I was older.</p>

<p>They were SOOOOOO right. I've spent that amount of money on airfares.:eek:</p>

<p>And now, I am telling you....</p>

<p>Don't worry about the money. </p>

<p>Money comes and it goes. Try not to let it dominate your life. You will be able to make money after you graduate. Find an optimistic attitude.</p>

<p>And take the pressure off of your Mom and your relationship with your mom. Don't let money come between you. That would be too tragic. What a terrible time in her life. She must wake up at night and wonder how her life turned to jelly. She cannot be herself at the moment.</p>

<p>She will work her way through that grief. Give her love, time and patience. In a few years, she may be more generous. </p>

<p>Lastly, try sending a PM to 'tlaktan'. He's swallowed the loan business and is now actively trying to whittle down a similar amount with outside grants. He might offer a shoulder to lean on and some sage advice....</p>

<p>Every time I try to talk with Mom on the phone she starts screaming at me and I can barely get a sentence out... reasoning is too difficult! Legally is she allowed to just "back out" of a parental contribution like that? If she backs out, would my package be better in any way?</p>

<p>It is possible to have a heavy courseload and a job. I have held the same job for two years taking a fully courseload of all AP/GT classes, comm. college classes, and since oct. I have had another unpaid internship. What it requires is a lack of sleep and a willingness to forgo some of you free friend time. However, it creates killer time management skills.</p>

<p>Perhaps you could talk to your mother and make a deal where you get a job to help pay for college and she contributes at least some of the money? Then you would be getting "real life" experience, helping out with your mom, and making your loans smaller. </p>

<p>Just a thought.</p>

<p>alita: I had been working with a full IB courseload for all four years of high school until my dad died. I'm currently #1 in my class so I do know that it is possible.</p>

<p>I am trying to get a job for college and during the year, no matter what my financial situation is, I will be doing this. That much is certain. I am just worried about the cost of the school here and how to pay for it.</p>

<p>" Legally is she allowed to just "back out" of a parental contribution like that?"</p>

<p>Yes. She is under no legal obligation to pay for your college. Meanwhile, colleges tend not to fill in for parents who have $ but refuse to pay. This is because if colleges did this, it would open the floodgates for many parents simply refusing to help with their kids' colleges.</p>

<p>What are your other college options? Is it possible for you to start college at a lower priced college and then transfer to Penn?</p>

<p>No... I have to have Penn. I guess if I absolutely had to I'd take the loans. I didn't work this hard to get screwed over.</p>

<p>You need $14K. How much of that can you earn? Do you need to borrow the entire amount or can you pay half and borrow half? That would put you over what the govt recommends over 4 years, but still doable and far less than many kids are contemplaing. In this case, I would do as Cheers recommends. I think you would do well.</p>