Every time I get a note from someone like Frances, I’m assured that this site will be in business for a long time.
Unfortunately for Frances and the millions like her out there, the process of getting financial aid dollars is difficult to navigate and it seems there’s no good one-stop source for answers to all those complicated questions (although I’m trying to make this site into that source).
Anyhow, so you get a student like Frances, who thinks she has no way to pay for college, when in fact it seems like she still has lots of resources at her disposal.
So for the past two years, I attended a private university, and had decided to transfer to a state school because the cost of attendance is a lot less and it is much closer to home.
Smart move if money is an issue.
I am a theater major, and really value and take my training seriously. Right now, I am facing that great possibility of not being able to finance my education.
I hope that’s not the case, but let’s see what we can do about it. You didn’t include any specific information about the costs of your new state school, so I’ll wing it here with some standard info about student loans and how they work.
I am considered a dependent to my family and have no credit to my name, therefore I cannot apply for a loan without a cosigner.
A private loan, that is. The most common types of student loans are Stafford Loans and Perkins Loans , neither of which use your credit history to determine your eligibility, and you don’t need a cosigner.
If you’re a junior or a senior and you’re a dependent student, you have $7,500 available per year just in Stafford Loans — $5,500 in subsidized and another $2,000 in unsubsidized. Hopefully that’ll at least get you started off in the right direction.
According to the FASFA, we have not qualified to receive grants, work-study or much financial assistance because of my family’s income.
Yes, you have to be pretty low-income in order to get a Pell Grant or an FSEOG grant.
However, due to some extenuating circumstances, we currently have a bad credit score.
The key issue here is HOW bad the credit score is. The feds require your parents not to have what’s called an “adverse” credit history — basically you’ve got to be in foreclosure, bankruptcy, tax trouble with the government, or other serious financial straits to get denied a PLUS loan.
So if you aren’t sure, apply for the PLUS Loans and see if you can get them. There’s a good chance that, even with very imperfect credit, your folks may still be able to get a PLUS Loan for you (if they choose, of course).
My parents are also still paying for their student loans, and right now any extra money we have is going towards our basic needs. There are also no close family members that are financially stable. I have also applied to some external scholarships, and currently haven’t won anything. And since I am a transfer student, by the time I got my acceptance to the university, it was past the due date for the university scholarships.
I have not been able to find a job, so i am currently unemployed. We already have been rejected to some private loan companies, therefore at the moment I do not have any means to finance my education.
The rejection from the private loan companies make more sense, since those loans are just like any regular loan that’s NOT from the government for school: they’re heavily dependent on your credit score. In a situation like you described, private lenders are going to the be the least likely to give you any money.
I don’t know if there are any options available to me or what I can do to be able to attend school.
Well, there are quite a few left, I think. I’ll skip any talk of scholarships here, since it’s probably obvious that everyone’s preferred way of paying for college is to win scholarships.
In case that doesn’t pan out, though, definitely consider the tried-and-true Stafford, Perkins and PLUS Loans I’ve mentioned above. The first two, and perhaps the PLUS, too, should be available to you regardless of your credit or current financial issues.
Hope this helps. Anyone else got any thoughts for Frances about scrimping through school when resources are tight? Let us know in the comments below.