Should I ask my parents for money?

Sorry, this is going to be long.
I am an international student and I was very lucky to get admitted to a US university with a full financial aid (tuition+ room+board). When I came here, my parents gave me all the money that we had, which was about 1000$. That 1000 was gone in a few weeks - I had to buy a laptop (I’ve never had one before), some clothes (I could only take as much in one suitcase), some medicine, books etc. I’ve been working 10-20 hours on campus every week and I make more money than both of my parents combined. The problem is, I don’t have a social security number, so it takes the university a lot of time to log me into the system. I haven’t received any money yet and I’ve been living with 10$ for a month now. I don’t need money that much (university pays for everything), but it’s getting a bit cold without a blanket and my friends keep asking me for my mobile phone number which I can’t afford.
My parents are feeling much better financially without having to pay for me. I am very happy for them and asking them for more money is the last thing I would want. They’ve been asking whether I have enough and I’ve been lying that I do. Besides, it would take 20$ just to send the money internationally (the average monthly salary in my country is 100$).
My question is, should I just deal with it, continue to sleep in two winter jackets and wait for my paycheck, or admit to my parents that I have actually run out of money a long time ago? They would only be able to send 80$ or so.

Wait for the paycheck.

So, you’re working how long with no paycheck?

Since the beginning of September.

What will they have to go without? Food, medicine, heating oil, transportation? You may want to talk to your RA – maybe someone has an extra blanket, or they can help you get one. I think you need to forego the phone. But your friends probably don’t want to call you anyway, they want to text. Google it, there are ways to text using your laptop.

Or can you borrow $25 from your roommate, and maybe catch a bus to a Goodwill store, where you can pick up bedding very inexpensively?

Also, talk to your boss at work to see if they can help move your paycheck along. If there is some kind of office for international student support, they may also be able to help.

I’d still skip the phone once you are getting paid. You need books next semester, and I assume money to fly home at the end of the year.

Yeah, the phone is the least of my worries. I should receive my paycheck before the next semester (at least I hope so), so books and a plane ticket should not be a problem. I actually planned to save up enough money to bring my parents here for a couple of weeks, which is very doable with the amount of money I am supposed to receive. The university actually gives me a bit more aid than the billed expenses, so I should be able to get that “extra” money somehow. I’ve already done it once, but I don’t know whether the aid is divided by semesters (in which case I can’t ask for more money) or years (in which case I would be able to ask for the same amount).

From previous posts, it looks like you are at Harvard. I suggest you contact Emelyn de la Peña
Assistant Dean of Student Life for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

and explain your work and financial situation. She should be able to help you in the immediate situation, ie get you a blanket and provide some long term guidance.

I’ll try doing that, although I am kind of embarrassed to ask for financial help. I mean, they already give me more that enough, what else can I possibly ask for?

What seems to be the delay with your paycheck? On-campus employment with a student visa shouldn’t take that long.

Good suggestion from @Mom24boys above. Also, I was going to suggest meeting with someone in the International Students office to explain your situation. I’m sure they’d be willing to help as well. The school’s endowment is HUGE! A blanket and a few other things would be a drop in the bucket for them and I’m sure they’ll help you out. Taking more money from your parents sounds like it would put a burden on them. I appreciate your pride and that you might feel a little embarrassed to reach out for help, but I promise you there are people that would like to help you.

They are having trouble loging me into Peoplesoft where I am supposed to input my work hours.

Definitely go talk to an advisor at the school to ask them to advocate for you.

Perhaps the school might even pick up the cost of the laptop if u ask. At my kids’ boarding schools, the full FA kids got a stipend to cover laptop and some appropriate clothing.

Don’t be embarrassed about a bureaucratic delay. Ask your RA about a blanket this evening.

I live in the Boston area. If you still need a blanket (!) please PM me and I will see what I can do.

While it is commendable that you want to fly your parents to the US for a visit, please make sure that you use the resources for the things that you need (not want) first. A blanket (or two) and other basic things like appropriate clothing are needs. I agree, you can probably get by well without a phone now that you have a laptop. You can use Skype or other applications to text and communicate.

Your appreciation & humility are commendable, but harvard wouldn’t have thought to invest so much money in u to just let u struggle and fail over bureaucracy. Perhaps it is not the custom in your home country to ask for help. But you really need to be asking harvard for help now.

Thank you everyone for help! I’ll try to contact someone and explain my situation.

Can’t you do paper timesheets? There really should be a way to work around this issue. How frequently are you supposed to be paid? Every 2 weeks, every month, every semester? If you should have been paid already (or perhaps even multiple times depending on the pay schedule), then you really should keep pushing this on them issue, and ask for help from someone if you have to. Unless the pay schedule is only once a semester or every couple of months or something, you really shouldn’t be “hoping” to get a pay check before the semester is over. You should know when you are going to get paid. I would press them to find out what the real issue is and how to get it resolved in a timely manner.

You need to escalate this issue. A login should not take months to acquire, something is wrong.

Please remember to save some money for good boots, a warm jacket, scarf and gloves.
I value shop at Goodwill. You can find good quality clothes if you keep your eyes open.

This thread should be required reading for a lot of kids on this site.

Colleges do not gamble full tuition and board on someone and then want them to fail. Harvard WANTS you to succeed, and you will do better if you have basic necessities. If you want to look at it dispassionately, it’s in their best interests to help you – and they won’t realize the urgency if you don’t speak up.