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This doesn't make sense to me...help! - Page 2

post #21 of 62
It depends. I got enough in grants and scholarships to pay for my tuition and books and to live on, too (with the help of some other government subsidies, like section 8 and good stamps). OTOH, we were really poor...
post #22 of 62
FA really is only to cover school expenses, tuition and books if that... There should be no reason you cant work and go to school both.

Remember anythign that is a 'loan' needs to be repaid.
post #23 of 62
I don't think I've ever heard of financial aid covering more than the cost of tuition, living in a dorm, and sometimes books.

In a PhD program, there is often a small living stipend. But I've never heard of that for an undergrad or a MA course.

People work or take out loans or live off family for their living expenses. Usually a combination of the above.
post #24 of 62
Depends where you live. In Ontario, someone with dependents may receive a student loan of up to $23,000 per year, and only $10,500 remains repayable in the end (if you pass, etc.). The government pays your loan interest while you're still in school. The numbers may have changed slightly since I received loans several years ago.
Edit: that's for 12 months, and tuition for your standard undergrad would be $7500 or so for that time frame.
post #25 of 62
For our masters degrees, dh and I worked full time and took courses at night. We were both very lucky that our parents paid for our undergrad degrees.

There is a supermarket chain around here that will pay for a couple of college courses a semester if you work for them part time. That's a great deal for people who don't mind stretching out their degree over a few more years.
post #26 of 62
It really depends on a lot of things. Since dp and I are not married yet, they only take my income into consideration (and consider me a single mom). I worked a little last year, but only part time at a low paying job. For this fall I got $2775 in a Pell grant, $950 in a CAP grant and $480 in a Federal SEOG grant. So that's $4205 for the fall (I will get the same in the spring). I go to a community college so my tuition is $1975 per semester. That leave me with $2230 to pay for books (which I can usually get for about $400 each semester and that takes into account me selling books back from the previous semester) and other expenses. Even taking out the $400 for books and the $125 each semester for a parking pass that leave $1705 extra per semester. At the job I was working, with the hours I was working, that would have been about 14 weeks worth of working for me. The semester is only like 16 weeks long so in my case it does pay for me to go to school (I "earn" just slightly less through grants than I would if I had kept my regular part time job).
post #27 of 62
When I was working on my master's degree, I was offered enough in subsidized loans to cover my tuition+books, and was eligible for enough in unsubsidized loans that I probably could have lived pretty frugally on that money. I turned down the unsub loans (and in fact, part of the sub loans) and worked instead. Still ended up with 30K in loans (+ 12K left over from undergrad), but others in my program could end up 100K in debt.

But undergrad is different. At least when I was in undergrad there were pretty major limitations on how much you were allowed to be offered yearly in government-backed (Stafford) loans. Those limits don't exist for graduate school.
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschick View Post
When I was working on my master's degree, I was offered enough in subsidized loans to cover my tuition+books, and was eligible for enough in unsubsidized loans that I probably could have lived pretty frugally on that money. I turned down the unsub loans (and in fact, part of the sub loans) and worked instead. Still ended up with 30K in loans (+ 12K left over from undergrad), but others in my program could end up 100K in debt.

But undergrad is different. At least when I was in undergrad there were pretty major limitations on how much you were allowed to be offered yearly in government-backed (Stafford) loans. Those limits don't exist for graduate school.
Sadly in grad school I did both the sub and unsub loans and have a high debt load. I think each semester I ended up with about 4-5K to use towards living expenses, at the time I was working pt so that extra helped fill in the gaps. But there was no way I could have lived off of it.
post #29 of 62
One thing that I haven't seen mentioned... some graduate programs do not allow students who are getting a stipend to work outside the university. My dh and I have both encountered this (at some schools/programs, not others)... the rational is that a graduate student stipend is paid because the student "works" for the university. An additional job would take away from the time spent at school. Around here a lot of grad students work for goods/services/discounts instead of money or go straight to barter in order to avoid having their stipends revoked.

The programs dh has been investigating (biomed, phd) offer stipends around 20-25k in addition to full tuition but expect students to be putting in 40+hrs/week for 4-5 years. We're a single income family of 5. There is just no way a 25k/year stipend will cover our living costs... but I haven't found a job that would let me cover the difference once child care for three is added in. We're brainstorming like mad and looking into lots of options but we'll probably end up taking out some loans as well.

Anyway, I think a lot depends on what sort of degree program you're in and what sort of student the school is used to dealing with. Like, a 20k stipend might be fine for one person, or even two...but maybe not for a family or as the only income. But if they expect most of their students to be single or able to work a PT job in addition to funding then they may not see the "problem". I know our local university offers affordable housing to student families... but only if you have two or fewer children. The birth of a third child terminates your housing contract!

Have you contacted your school's financial aid office, ombudsman, student life department, or similar to discuss options? Can they offer an assistantship? Point you towards grants available through your dept or field? Suggest a financial mentor?
post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Om Girl View Post
I just received my financial aid award letter and the amounts of aid offered just cover my tuition and books.

How do people afford to go back to school when they have kids, a mortgage and a car payment? I don't understand how others make this looks so easy.
I use a combinations of loans, grants and scholarships.



Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post
Indeed. I've encountered lots of undergrads lately who say they "can't" work because of school. I just laugh at the silliness.
I would not call it silliness. I was asked during the interview for my undergraduate program if I was financially prepared to not work for the next two years as the work load required complete dedication. We were given a schedule of our classes that did not include times and told to be available Monday - Friday from 8am to 5pm. I managed to obtain a copy of the schedule due to the fact that I have a child but I was asked not to share it with classmates. They will receive a copy the first day of class.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
One thing that I haven't seen mentioned... some graduate programs do not allow students who are getting a stipend to work outside the university. My dh and I have both encountered this (at some schools/programs, not others)... the rational is that a graduate student stipend is paid because the student "works" for the university. An additional job would take away from the time spent at school. Around here a lot of grad students work for goods/services/discounts instead of money or go straight to barter in order to avoid having their stipends revoked.

The programs dh has been investigating (biomed, phd) offer stipends around 20-25k in addition to full tuition but expect students to be putting in 40+hrs/week for 4-5 years. We're a single income family of 5. There is just no way a 25k/year stipend will cover our living costs... but I haven't found a job that would let me cover the difference once child care for three is added in. We're brainstorming like mad and looking into lots of options but we'll probably end up taking out some loans as well.

Anyway, I think a lot depends on what sort of degree program you're in and what sort of student the school is used to dealing with. Like, a 20k stipend might be fine for one person, or even two...but maybe not for a family or as the only income. But if they expect most of their students to be single or able to work a PT job in addition to funding then they may not see the "problem". I know our local university offers affordable housing to student families... but only if you have two or fewer children. The birth of a third child terminates your housing contract!

Have you contacted your school's financial aid office, ombudsman, student life department, or similar to discuss options? Can they offer an assistantship? Point you towards grants available through your dept or field? Suggest a financial mentor?
Financing an education is not exactly black and white.
post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewsMother View Post
I would not call it silliness. I was asked during the interview for my undergraduate program if I was financially prepared to not work for the next two years as the work load required complete dedication. We were given a schedule of our classes that did not include times and told to be available Monday - Friday from 8am to 5pm. I managed to obtain a copy of the schedule due to the fact that I have a child but I was asked not to share it with classmates. They will receive a copy the first day of class.
Say whaaaat? What sort of program? At a university? That's the strangest thing I've ever heard! You say two year so I wonder if you are talking about a specialized program?

I second the notion, though, that it's always possible to work. Waiting tables a night or two a week takes little time and pays well (relatively). Most undergrads work, and those that don't almost always accumulate loan debt (unless their parents are paying for their living expenses).

It's not easy. In fact, it sucks. I wanted to quit so many times during my undergrad! But it [typically] gets easier after the BA, when you can teach and get a stipend. My h is a PhD adjunct and we live off his teaching stipend now and it's pretty good (though he does teach 5 classes, so, it's no joke).
post #32 of 62
For me, I started out at the community college where tuition is super cheap. I never expected to live off my student money though, it just helped us pay a few bills here and there- my husband works. I did really well at the CC and got a full tuition scholarship at the university I just transferred to. I get $2775 pell grant plus $400 SEOG grant per semester. After fees and books (I am renting my textbooks for far less than buying them) I am saving $2500 per semester (which will be applied to our rent = 625/m), and DH is barely making enough to cover the rest of our living expenses, and he is working around my school schedule (he is working at the university and they are super flexible- luckily!).

I would suggest going to the women's center at your school and applying for all the scholarships you can- there are many out there just for women, mothers, single mothers, married mothers, people with a large gap between HS and college, etc. My school even offers a scholarship to help pay for childcare during finals!

Also, next year, I plan to apply for jobs within my undergrad program. Those pay either hourly, or about $1500 a semester.
post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizzyQ View Post
For me, I started out at the community college where tuition is super cheap.
I started at the CC, too, but my experience was that once I transferred to the state university, I got significantly more money in scholarships and grants, so for me, attending the university resulted in my having more money to love on. YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
One thing that I haven't seen mentioned... some graduate programs do not allow students who are getting a stipend to work outside the university.
I thought the OP was talking about undergrad, but I guess she didn't specify. Anyway, my university has this rule - well, you can go to the grad school and try for an exception, but our stipend is enough to live on and we're pretty busy with research and academics, so in practice we rarely do.

We are allowed to work up to 6 hours a week on campus, so I (and half my department) work two 3 hour shifts a week in the computer lab... easy work, and I spend 95% of my time there studying and maybe 5% changing toner, answering questions, etc.
post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Om Girl View Post
I just received my financial aid award letter and the amounts of aid offered just cover my tuition and books.

How do people afford to go back to school when they have kids, a mortgage and a car payment? I don't understand how others make this looks so easy.
It's not easy. I'm going back to school in January and I am crunching the numbers now, too. I really don't know how other's do it. For me, I'll be applying for a federal grant and I have some money available for me to use through a military spouse career program. I'm hoping between the two I'll have enough for school, books and a bit to put towards child care for my kids. Because in SoCal I'm looking at -at least a thousand a month for my two kids, unless I manage to get them into a military center, and then the waiting lists are crazy.

When the money gets really tight I'll be taking out loans and we'll be dipping into our savings account if need be. Oh, and my dh is military and took one college class before realizing he's just not cut out for college. He decided to stay in the military so I can have his GI Bill. So that will cover 3 years of my grad school.

But in the short term we're just crossing our fingers and crunching numbers and really hoping things work out.
post #35 of 62
I worked through my degree, full time plus sometimes I had to work more than one job to get by. My school discouraged you from working while student teaching, but they couldn't flat out forbid it. I lasted about a month of student teaching and working, then I did quit for the rest of student teaching. I pretty much ate ramen and lived in fear that I would end up homeless. But I did it.
post #36 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by imbarefoot View Post
My husband is getting his way through school by scholarships and FA. He's currently working on his Bachelors at Evergreen State College, after just graduating with an AA. After he completes his Bachelors, he'll go for his Masters at Evergreen as well. At that point, he plans to enter the workforce (God willing!) and work on his Doctorate evenings/weekends online.

He has done 100% of his schooling by scholarships and FA. FA doesn't reward much, like you said. It covers tuition and books. However, he's tapped into resources like TRIO and uses their loaner books, so he rarely has to buy books. He also tries to pick his books up at local garage sales. We've had good luck finding some he needs, and others he doesn't that we pick up for a dollar and sell to the school for $30-75! Back to scholarhips, he spends significant time and effort on this. He uses local resources at the school like TRIO who help point you in the direction of all the scholarships to apply for, when there is open money to anyone who applies, help with writing your essays and even free printing. My husband also takes the time to get excellent referral letters from past teachers, as well as taking the time to write out thoughtful thank you notes back to those teachers. I think most people think scholarships are too much work to apply for or that they won't get scholarships for whatever reason. What we have found it, is that although you do want to put in some time and effort, the rewards are well worth it! My husband has changed his "major" ohhhh 4 times? And he just tailors his essay to whatever he's going for at the moment, hehe.

As of this upcoming year, my husband just recieved a 3 year, full ride scholarship to the Evergreen State College, as well as nearly 30,000 in scholarships (8 of that however, is student loans and 2 of that is work study-neither of which he plans to use). He also still recieves FA. He also has gotten other small scholarships (1000 and less). Because of his hard work, it provides him with the ability to not only go to school, but to be able to NOT work while he does so, giving him more time to focus on his schoolwork and get top notch grades. We live off of his FA and scholarship money, and although things are tight, we are able to live comforable and frugally in Olympia. Which isn't the cheapest place to live!
Can you please tell me more about how he has used trio to get scholarships/grants? After you mentioned it I visited the website, and it appears they offer grants to SCHOOLS that offer the money to their low-income students. I'm trying to find better info.

I'm a post-bacc student (already have one bachelor's, going back for my second, unrelated, bachelor's) and therefore I do not qualify for Pell, etc. I get only loans through my school. I want to explore more free money, as I'm SO tired of debt. But I'm a SAHM to almost 5 kids, so there is NO scenario where childcare would pay, so there's no working more than the tiny bit I do work online. TIA!
post #37 of 62
I'm no help jessica, but wow, so I wont get pell once I finish this BA? Makes me think I need to just keep changing my degree for the next 10 years lol...ugh. I only go to school for the $$$ lol
post #38 of 62
Quote:
I think most people think scholarships are too much work to apply for or that they won't get scholarships for whatever reason.
Quote:
What we have found it, is that although you do want to put in some time and effort, the rewards are well worth it! My husband has changed his "major" ohhhh 4 times? And he just tailors his essay to whatever he's going for at the moment, hehe.
Maybe that "reason" is that they don't lie about what they intend to study and do. I don't mind that I worked my ass off to go to college but I do mind paying taxes that will not fund honest people to go to school because some people decide that that money should just go to whomever is best at writing a scholarship essay, rather than who intends to use the funds as the benefactor intended (to teach, to nurse, whatever).

That is really audacious.
post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
That is really audacious.

post #40 of 62
The reason I get money is that I have an EFC of $0 and take out loans. I know I'll have to pay them when I graduate, but, assumedly, I'll be making more than my current $8500 a year. I am studying to be a geologist, so my outlook is okay. Make sure that you are not wasting time/money by taking classes you don't need and make sure to take a full 15 hours. You will get the most money this way and will be able to focus on your studies. Again though, this is based on EFC and school costs. Community colleges aren't ones you can really do this with i have found as they have different financial aid rules. I go to a large public university.
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