My parents won't pay for college

I want to go to Fordham University, and I definitely think I can get in. The only problem is that my parents said they won’t pay for college. I won’t qualify for financial aid because my parents make well over 200k+. What can I do?

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I guess the question is why won’t they pay for college? Will they just not pay for Fordham? Will they not pay for a school that is over a certain amount? Are they financially unable to pay for it because you live in an area with a high cost of living? Or have credit card debt? Has there been an expectation that you would apply and they would pay but something happened recently?

If you are in the position of needing to pay for college on your own, you are limited to $5500 in student loans for your first year plus anything you are able to make by working. Do you have a state public school that you can commute to from home? Is that an option?

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hi @helpingmom40, thanks for the reply! I live in a suburb in Texas, so the cost of living isn’t that high, and they don’t have any debt either. It’s just a matter of them not wanting me to leave Texas. I can’t stand Texas, so staying in-state for college isn’t an option. I really want to go to college in NYC, but it’s so expensive, and I don’t know how I’m going to pay for it by working.

Stay in TX if you parents will pay for it!

Explore other areas after you graduate.


It sounds like you will need to find a way to persuade your parents to support you going to NYC for college. Try reading online about persuasion techniques. You will want to avoid approaching it from a “I want to this” perspective and instead appeal to your parents’ wants and desires. Look at it from their perspective and think about their reasons for wanting you to stay. Then try to outline the main reasons why you to attending college in NYC is something THEY should want.

For example, if your parents are big on “maturity” and “responsibility,” you could explain to them how going away to NYC would be the best place for you to gain these qualities they want to see in their child. Or if your parents mainly want you to stay in Texas so they can talk to you all the time, you could appeal to that interest by reminding them how you’ll have so many unique experiences that you’ll want to call and FaceTime them all the time to tell them about your adventures.

Also, if you have to cave in and stay in Texas, there’s nothing wrong with that! Lots of people are moving from places like NYC and California to Texas.

Good luck!


Thank you for the advice!

I always think of the college application cycle as a three legged stool - you, colleges, and your support system. Everything has to be in balance or the whole thing tips over. You may need to compromise on location to keep the stool standing. While that may be the worst option you see right now, college is only 4 years and after that, you are free to explore and live in any number of places. Limiting the geographic radius of your search is ok!


You can’t go to Fordham without their financial assistance.

Saying that they should pay for it because “cost of living is low” is a very immature thing to say. They don’t owe you over 200k in tuition costs.

You need to have a calm discussion about total cost they would be willing to pay for and then discuss realistic options.


Texas is a HUGE state. The Texan schools are phenomenal and they are all different and far enough away such that you can find whatever you are looking for in Texas.
Go to a school in Texas that suits you.

If you want to move after your college graduation, you can send resumes to jobs in NY.

Everything in NY is expensive-Travel, Rent, work, food, living, etc. No one can force your parents to pay for your college expenses. Scholarships are often limited to athletic recruits or certain specific needs of the university. Not easy and not a done deal.


I can’t see any realistic way you’ll be able to go to Fordham and your parents certainly don’t owe that to you. It’s a lot of money and you could find cheaper places.

Your decision is going to be whether to go somewhere your parents are willing to pay for or talk with your guidance counselor to see if your stats might qualify you for a full ride somewhere (those are rare on merit, so don’t get your hopes too high).

If your parents are willing to pay for you to go in state, be thankful. Some students aren’t that fortunate and have to give up on college totally.


I understand wanting to get away. But there’s really no way for you to go to college in NYC without their support. The cost of living in NYC is really very high, and you don’t qualify for resident rate tuition at a CUNY school. Frankly, most families with an income of 200K would find paying for Fordham to be a sacrifice.

As another responder has said, the UT system has many excellent schools. If you have the grades and scores to get in, you might find that UT Austin has some of what you’re hoping to find in NYC. And depending upon what you study, you might wind up in NYC for grad school, or for your career.

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So what will they pay or not pay for?

  • Texas public universities.
  • Texas private universities that are expensive.
  • Any others.


First, you need to understand what their point of view is. If you do not, you will have no chance of convincing them of anything else. (Even then, they pretty much have absolute veto power over your college choice, unless you get a full ride merit scholarship somewhere.)


It is an option, and it may be your only one for going to college directly from hs. Fordham is really expensive and there is no way for you to pay for it yourself as an 18 year old. There are a lot of options for you to pay for other schools, either in Texas or nearby.

If you have good grades and test scores, look at the threads here about merit scholarships at New Mexico, Alabama, Arizona. Do not set your sights on only one school that there may not be a path to finance.

what is it that you like about Fordham? Look for those things in other schools. Is it the Jesuit education? A particular program or major? Basketball? Break it down and find those things closer to home.


If you live on campus, then being a student at UT Austin or Texas A&M is going to be like living in an entirely different world compared to living at home in a suburb in Texas. If your grades are at a level for either of these universities then you would get a superb education at a very reasonable price. I am not as familiar with the other public universities in Texas but my understanding is that there are multiple other very good schools.

The cost of Fordham is a LOT even for someone with an income of $200,000 per year and no debt. Actually, the word “insane” comes to mind when thinking about the cost of private universities in the US.

You cannot pay the price of Fordham without your parent’s very, very significant help. It is just not possible.

I can assure you that employers in the northeast will know how strong UT Austin and TA&M are. We have heard of these great schools even up here. I think that you need to get your bachelor’s in Texas, and then look to move up here.


Look in to UTD. Physically, it’s in TX, but it’s so diverse you may feel like you’re in a different country.

Also, Google “National Student Exchange”. Through it, you could potentially spend a year in a college in or near NYC.

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Why do you want to go to Fordham other than the fact that it’s in NYC? It’s certainly not the only college in NYC and there are other more affordable colleges in the City. So again, is there something specific about Fordham, is it one of its programs that appeals to you?


Sounds like your option is Texas or a power struggle you’re ultimately going to lose. I don’t know how else to say it.


I understand your feelings of disappointment and frustration.

Remember that there are lots of ways to get out of Texas even in you’re going to college there: summer programs or work opportunities, study abroad, etc…

Buckling down, doing well, and letting your parents know you are mature enough to understand and accept their decision (even if you don’t like or agree with it), they will be more willing to support those endeavors.


There are several parts in your problem.
1° you want to go to college outside of Texas: have you explored colleges? Which ones do you like (beside Fordham): in particular, do you want to attend a Catholic university specifically?
2° you want to go to NYC : why NYC specifically?
3° you need your parents onboard : what is their reasoning?
4° your parents want you to stay in Texas: will they pay for Texas public universities? Texas private universities?

Is it more important to you to go to NYC (even if much later) or go to college outside of Texas (after HS)?
NYC : you cannot attend Fordham or another NYC university until you’re 24. Until then, you’re a dependent of your parents for college financial aid/FAFSA purpose.
Leave Texas: this will depend on your stats and on whether your parents would be okay with another state that is not Texas.

What’s your class rank? Your GPA? What core classes did you take this year and are you scheduled to take next year (ie., English, Math, Foreign Language, Science, Social Science)? Did you take the ACT (or SAT)?

In all cases you should apply to the Texas uni

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So is the issue that they won’t pay for college AT ALL, or just not outside of Texas? Unless you have the stats for a full ride (tuiton, room and board) at a college, staying in Texas is realistically your only option.

Lots of people really want to go to college in NYC. Be aware that Fordham is not in Manhattan. It’s in a not particularly great area, the Bronx, and you will still have to get into Manhattan from there.

Your plan is not realistic. Go to school in Texas, live away from home if your parents will pay, then move after you graduate.