If you read these pages often enough, you might begin to pick up on what seems like an anti-private school bias. I end up advising lots of students to go to community colleges or cheaper state schools over private schools.
But it’s not that I have anything against private schools per se; I’m just concerned with value, and private schools with their high price tags have a much higher bar to clear in the value department than cheaper options. And when you’re not a wealthy or well-off family, the difference in the price tag can mean lots of anxiety.
Just ask Ryan:
Hey Judge Josh,
I’ve been reading your articles for awhile now and you give some really helpful advice so I wanted to see if you help me out with my problem.
Thank you, and I’ll try my best.
I guess I’ll start from the beginning so understand everything. When I was in high school, everything I did was geared towards college. I took honor and AP classes (and did well enough to get college credit), participated in extra-curricular activities such as school clubs and running on the Varsity Track team. I got accepted into NYU which was great because it was my dream school…. until it became a nightmare.
You’d be surprised how many notes I get along these very lines — and by that, I mean about NYU specifically.
The tuition cost around $54,441 a year.
Yep, that’s the part I remember from each story.
Yes, I know thats a big number, which did set off alarms in my head. When I got my financial aid, I wasn’t exactly happy. I got 2 Stafford loans, one subsidized and one unsubsidized, a $10,000 scholarship, pell grant, ACG grant, and a plus loan.
Yeah, exactly. Don’t take this the wrong way, because I’m just being honest and it’s better that you understand this now than later — this financial aid offer shows how little NYU values you. They don’t give a damn about whether you stay or go or if they ever see your face again.
Think about it — they gave you $10k, which is a fine amount to win if you’re on The Price is Right, but like you said, it’s less than 20% of what you need to pay their tuition. The rest of that aid package you got didn’t come from them — it came from the federal government. NYU’s basically treating you like a dog, throwing you some table scraps in the hope that you’ll go away.
T his was a problem because they wanted me to take out a $33,000 plus loan, which was impossible since no one in my family has good credit (keep that in mind for later) so I had to get an additional unsubsidized Stafford loan when I was denied the plus loan, which was the only thing they could do at the time after the school basically cut my financial aid in half.
Right. That’s them telling you, “Hey, take it or leave it, buddy. Not our problem.”
I ended up going anyway because everyone, including my mom AND guidance counselor told me it was worth it instead of listening to that nagging voice in my head saying that this was not going to end well.
With apologies to your mom and your very, very bad guidance counselor, the voice in your head was the smart one. Chalk this one up to the lesson of trusting your own instincts.
Well fast forward to March and after finding no alternatives to paying off the $9000 I owe, I was asked to take a leave of absence because I couldn’t pay the tuition and not rack up any additional charges. This was after they dropped me from all of my classes in the middle of the fall semester and forcing me to re-register in new classes in different sections and subjects from my old ones (You can imagine that I did n’t do as well as expected….1.0 gpa)
Yes, none of that surprises me. I’m guessing it didn’t surprise NYU much, either.
I’ve tried everything I could think of to get back into school but nothing has worked out.
I assume you mean “get back into NYU,” which is something I’m going to advise you against. Strongly. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Think of it this way: NYU is a wealthy playboy man-whore who has his way with lots of girls, whenever he pleases. He gets what he wants from you and then spits you out. After you’ve been spit out and left on the curb a couple times, it’s time to pick up what’s left of your pride and look for someone new.
I can’t get a student loan because I don’t have a co-signer(no one in my family can’t or will and family friends won’t consider it) plus with me not in school at least half time, it won’t get approved anyway.
Well, if you’re in school half-time, you can get a student loan without a cosigner. You just need to find a different school.
I can’t get a private loan because like I said earlier, no one in my family has good enough credit.
Yes, definitely harder to get those. They take your credit into account, whereas Stafford Loans don’t.
I tried to register at another school as a freshman but my financial aid gave me away.
I don’t understand what you mean by this. The number of successfully completed credit hours will determine whether you’re a freshman or not. If there’s a piece of the equation missing here, let me know what it is so that I (and the extremely knowledgeable set of commenters we have here) can help you out with your next step.
I even went crawling back to NYU and asked for an emergency loan but my situation wasn’t a good enough emergency to convince them to give it to me.
So now I’m pretty much out of options with September a month away. Things have gotten even worse with my mom’s union informing her that they plan to drop me from her health insurance because I’m not in school.
Well, we need to get you in school somewhere, somehow, and quickly. Are there community colleges nearby where you can sign up for two courses at least, which will give you halftime status?
I have to pay back the student loans I took out (and the school didn’t even get the total $9500 I took ou t because i left school so they sent the other half of the money back to the government) while dealing with the prospect of losing my health and dental insurance.
You have to pay the student loans back eventually, sure, but you won’t have to pay them back right away if you get into classes somewhere. And you should also be able to save your insurance that way.
I can’t move on with my life because nyu won’t release my transcript with out the balance being paid off.
You should be able to enroll in community college regardless of this. Don’t get me wrong, I know you would of course prefer to transfer the credits you earned at NYU, naturally. But if they’re gonna hold you hostage to your balance due, and you can’t pay it, then we have to consider Plan B. You don’t HAVE to transfer your credits to your second school; it’s not required of you.
The critical mission here is to get you back in school so you can save your insurance and, as a second matter at this point, continue your schooling. So let’s work from there.
So what I’m pretty much asking is there anything else I didn’t think of to possibly pay down my balance without it taking years with the minimum wage job I have or am I just completely screwed like most other people have told me?
Well, I can’t quite tell exactly how much NYU is demanding in order to release your transcripts, so I’m not sure how much money you’re trying to come up with. Fill us in the comments section below so we can figure this out.
The best overall strategy here that I can see is to quickly enroll in two courses in a community college so that you can be enrolled half time and save your insurance and also keep the student loan payments at bay. I could be lacking some information/understanding here, so please do come back and let us know what’s going on, and we’ll try to help you out further.
Readers — if you understand something here that I don’t or if you’re ready to give some advice or ask questions of your own, knock yourself out in the comments below.