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Discussion Starter #1
(Sorry this got so long... please read and help)<br><br>
This is not for me. It's for my sister who is quite panicked right now. I'm afraid that this has gone beyond my range of financial knowledge, so I'm hoping someone here can help me help her. My sister came to me with full faith in my ability to understand and help with all things financial and I'm afraid I've quite failed her this time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Her son is graduating high school this year. He is a poor student, an apathetic student, but he and my sister both want him to try to "pull himself up by the bootstraps", get to college, more importantly get away from his friends, and start trying to be a responsible young man. So far, he's been quite the slacker and he has a rare liver disease (his liver is gradually failing and he'll need a transplant eventually) on which he blames most of his problems (he has been in and out of the hospital since he was about 5 years old). His problem is that he hasn't cared about his education and his health has given him a great scapegoat on which to blame it all. He's realized this, though, and really wants to try to get his life headed in the right direction. That's the background.<br><br>
He was admitted to one state college in the town where he lives. He wants to go to a private christian college about 2 hours away (and closer to us). We're not quite sure if he's going to be admitted to it yet. The estimated cost is about $17,500/year.<br><br>
My sister recently got her associate's degree and is making okay money, but she has astronomical debt from that just in the two years she went to school. Her husband's a firefighter and has a second job. The are drowning in debt because they did an 80/20 loan on their house and they really couldn't afford the house. They are desperately trying to get out from the burden of a house that needs lots of repair and on which they owe more than it's worth. They have no investments for my nephew's education, even though I gave them some money to invest for that purpose several years ago. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
They filled out FAFSA (or whatever the financial aid acronym is) and was told that they qualify for 0 Pell Grant and only about $2600 for Stafford loan. My nephew's only hope now is a scholarship (not based on merit, but rather because of his rare health condition). It's still not enough.<br><br>
My sister was told that she could get a (parent's) loan, and that she would have to start paying on it immediately. $208/month repayment at 8.x% for (she wasn't sure of the term), which would increase by this amount each year. So next year she's looking at payments of $416, the following year, $624, etc. This sounded REALLY fishy to me. I advised her to not go a step further until we could research this more. (The loan was a traditional education loan through a local bank.)<br><br>
I KNOW people who are strapped for money, but appear richer than they are on paper send their kids to school. What can she do?? I know there are ways to finance an education without it costing you $800/month in repayment.<br><br>
I have offered to go with her to the financial aid office of the one university where my nephew has been accepted to discuss ways of financing his education. I'd like to know beforehand what are some of the options.<br><br>
Looked online and found some info about PLUS loans and other parent loans and they sound nothing like what my sister was told.<br><br>
(When I went to college 20 years ago, I basically put myself through with work-study and very little in loans, so this is the bulk of my knowledge about financial aid.)<br><br>
Thanks for any info you guys have.
 

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I know this isn't exactly the advice you asked for but I hope it is helpful to you.<br><br>
Because your nephew hasn't performed well in school up until now (and assuming from what you say it is more about lack of hard work than lack of aptitude) I would advise your sister to not take out ANY loans to send her son to college at this time...especially an expensive private school. He hasn't shown the maturity or work ethic to make taking on such a large liability reasonable to his parents.<br><br>
I say this as someone who works in higher education who is married to someone who works in higher education. A college degree can be an essential element to pulling up by one's bootstraps or getting ahead in the world. However, it can also be the greatest mistake you can make if the student isn't intellectually, emotionally or financially ready to take on the challenge. We see too many kids are pushed into college and end up flunking out, overwhelmed, discouraged, and sticking themselves or their parents with a ton of debt to boot.<br><br>
Perhaps your sister and her husband can make a deal with the son. He can live at home next year, pay nominal rent, get a job and they will match whatever he can save for college during that year. Once he realizes how long it takes to earn $17K, he may reconsider using that money to go a private school OR he may realize that it is worth it to him to take out the loans he wants. Either way, he will have gained some maturity, gained an appreciation for the financial sacrifice it takes to attend college, and perhaps gained a better idea of where he wants to go professionally in his life after college. All of these things would be a big help to him selecting an appropriate higher education program and having the motivation to seeing it through.
 

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...or he can get a job and on take the amount of credits he can afford at he community college. I started out at community college (I was a "C" hs student-though in retrospect my school was a bad fit) and later transfered to the best public university in my state.
 

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Having counseled college students (was the Director of a Career Development office at a private college before I decided to SAH), I'd second the recommendation from McFeelings.<br><br>
Junior college, community college, the local public college would be *fabulous* options for the first year of college for a student with the academic record and motivation you mentioned.<br><br>
After a successful year at one of those institutions, the student can then apply to transfer to the small private college and could well have a stronger academic record.<br><br>
Many colleges have different scholarship programs for transfer students because the college is sort of winning the student away from a competitor.<br><br>
The other thing to take a look at is how did the student score on his ACT/SAT? High school academic records aren't the only determinator of potential success. If his ACT or SAT score was below the mean, then I would most assuredly not take out loans at this point in time.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>McFeelings</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7966800"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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Because your nephew hasn't performed well in school up until now (and assuming from what you say it is more about lack of hard work than lack of aptitude) I would advise your sister to not take out ANY loans to send her son to college at this time...especially an expensive private school. He hasn't shown the maturity or work ethic to make taking on such a large liability reasonable to his parents.</div>
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I wouldn't have them take out any money based on his past performance it's just too risky.<br><br>
I'd have the schools/them relook over his finacial aid info. Is there a local CC he can go to for a year or so that would be really affordable then after he's proven himself transfer somewhere?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My sister is determined to get him to college and at this point, if they didn't already have a home equity loan, they'd leverage their home to send him.<br><br>
I too, think it's a bad idea. I've given her the hard, cold numbers, but it's not my place to tell my sister if or where her son should go to school.<br><br>
My dh is a university professor and I used to be a lecturer. I'm very aware of academia (just not financing) and I DO agree that he probably isn't ready. At this point, she cannot even afford state/junior college. She is being told that there is no aid available to her and they are drowning in debt. Surely there is something she can do.<br><br>
I'm looking for advice about where to go to get information about financing. I'm not really looking for an evaluation about whether or not my nephew should go to college or what he should do with his life. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
I gave the background so that people wouldn't suggest scholarships and to know that he doesn't have the option of going anywhere he wants.<br><br>
His SATs were barely above the minimum they give you for just showing up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>velochic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7967003"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">it's not my place to tell my sister if or where her son should go to school.</div>
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You don't have to help them dig their financial hole though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I'm looking for advice about where to go to get information about financing. I'm not really looking for an evaluation about whether or not my nephew should go to college or what he should do with his life. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br>
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K...they are broke; can't afford diddly squat. No one is likely to get a loan. He's going to have to get a job and go to community college like anyone else who has less than stellar grades and who's parents look rich on paper, but are not (like me at that age).<br><br>
She <i>could</i> try a four year state financial office and see what they can do; it may be less than half of a private school tuition.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>i'mmykid'$mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7967161"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You don't have to help them dig their financial hole though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> You know, I try to help here at F&F all the time and get lambasted for it publicly and privately with the "don't tell me what the hell to do" when all I've done is given some financial facts. People think that if you tell them "hey, you know that's not such a sound financial decision" you're trying to attack them personally.<br><br>
I've TOLD My sister that it's not sound financial sense for her to finance sending him to school. She realizes it isn't and accepts that it isn't, but she also feels very strongly that this is about more than just schooling. She needs to get him away from his friends if he is going to get serious about life. They are all good kids (no drugs or alcohol), but they all just spend hours goofing off and acting more like they are 12 than 18. Because of his grades, the two options are local state school (where all of the friends are attending) or this christian college about 2 hours away, which is a little more expensive.<br><br>
But I've also promised her that I would check to see why *HE* can't pay for his own way through school. Why *HE* can't get any loans to put himself through school. And why she is being told that there is no way she can get some decent loans for it. If he really wants to go to school, why can't he pay for it with financing of his own? At this point, it appears that they couldn't pay for either, so it's really a moot point until I get some more information for her.<br><br>
I'll just keep digging through the million google links and see if I can learn what I need to for her.<br><br>
ETA: He has been admitted to a 4-year state... this is the school that is local to where they live and where "the whole gang" is going. Living at home probably wouldn't make much difference in his goofing off. It doesn't now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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You mentioned you might go talk to the financial aid office on behalf of your sister. Perhaps your sister might go with you, bringing along the type of income information she used to fill out the FAFSA. I know that based on federal rules, the aid office may not have that many options, but sometimes financial aid officers have a little bit of leeway on aid amounts (only sometimes, though) or can do some creative research and come up with grants and scholarships. I've had friends qualify for grants that they didn't find in researching on their own, but that the college aid office found that they qualified for.
 

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You know <b>Velochic</b>, you are one of the people I really admire on this board with respect to finances. You tell people like it is to try to get them to be financially secure and free. And I can totally see why your sister has approached you for help. But it seems to me that given all that you've said (and your understandable desire not to judge) that the best thing for you to do in this situation is to tell the truth and step away.<br><br>
If your sis asks advice, I'd be short and sweet: "You can't afford to send your son to college. His best hope is to go directly and personally to the financial aid offices at the colleges he would like attend and see what they advise him to do."<br><br>
Then I would step away from situation entirely. Anything else would probably just make you complicit in making a REALLY bad financial decision for your sister and/or nephew. Sucks I know. You sound like a peach of an aunt and a sister. Sometimes the best advice is no advice--just truth.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>velochic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7967360"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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But I've also promised her that I would check to see why *HE* can't pay for his own way through school. Why *HE* can't get any loans to put himself through school. And why she is being told that there is no way she can get some decent loans for it. If he really wants to go to school, why can't he pay for it with financing of his own? At this point, it appears that they couldn't pay for either, so it's really a moot point until I get some more information for her.<br></div>
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In doing private loans, I got turned down at like 5 different places when I tried to apply on my own as a full-time student. I did need a credit-worthy cosigner. Unfortunately, I didn't know anybody like that, lol! Perhaps instead of a parent loan, your sister might look into a loan where her son would be the primary signer and she would co-sign. These such loans are typically deferred until 6 mos (I think) after graduation. Many private banks offered these types of loans when I was looking a couple of years ago. HTH.<br><br>
ETA -- This is the type of loan I am trying to describe: <a href="https://www.wellsfargo.com/jump/EFS/alternative" target="_blank">https://www.wellsfargo.com/jump/EFS/alternative</a> .<br><br>
Also, a site with general explanation and a comparison of some loan rates: <a href="http://www.finaid.org/loans/privatestudentloans.phtml" target="_blank">http://www.finaid.org/loans/privatestudentloans.phtml</a> .
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>velochic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7967360"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> You know, I try to help here at F&F all the time and get lambasted for it publicly and privately with the "don't tell me what the hell to do" when all I've done is given some financial facts.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">But I've also promised her that I would check to see why *HE* can't pay for his own way through school. Why *HE* can't get any loans to put himself through school. And why she is being told that there is no way she can get some decent loans for it. If he really wants to go to school, why can't he pay for it with financing of his own? At this point, it appears that they couldn't pay for either, so it's really a moot point until I get some more information for her.<br><br>
I'll just keep digging through the million google links and see if I can learn what I need to for her.</td>
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<br><i>His</i> financing is dependent on <i>their</i> income/assets until he is <b>23</b> . It is virtually impossible to be financially emancipated from one's parents and I don't see anything in his circumstances to make emancipation likely; bad financial management on their part doesn't count; btdt. My parents were retired house rich-cash poor in a high COL; I could only get small non-subsidized student loans. If your sister would get you on the phone with the schools financial aid guy he could tell you why he isn't eligible for better aid.
 

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Oh, Velochic, what a headache this must be giving you. I think you've pretty much exhausted all the options here. She should just make doubly sure she filled out the fin aid forms correctly. He definitely won't be getting Pell Grants; the income limits on those are low. But by offering your nephew such a small amount of loans, that means that the school thinks the family makes enough to cover all but $2600 a year of the costs of attending. Even assuming he lives at home, that still sounds weird to me, unless your sister's household income is really high.<br><br>
Check with the university's Web site and see what the give as the estimated cost of attending. Work backwards from there.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Herausgeber</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7967560"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, Velochic, what a headache this must be giving you. I think you've pretty much exhausted all the options here. She should just make doubly sure she filled out the fin aid forms correctly. He definitely won't be getting Pell Grants; the income limits on those are low. But by offering your nephew such a small amount of loans, that means that the school thinks the family makes enough to cover all but $2600 a year of the costs of attending. Even assuming he lives at home, that still sounds weird to me, unless your sister's household income is really high.</div>
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In the eyes of college financial aid, parents with an income $50,000 are "rich" enough to pay the majority of college costs (at least this was the case in 1997). Aid is also based off of the parents' previous year's tax return.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>McFeelings</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7966800"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I<br>
Because your nephew hasn't performed well in school up until now (and assuming from what you say it is more about lack of hard work than lack of aptitude) I would advise your sister to not take out ANY loans to send her son to college at this time...especially an expensive private school. He hasn't shown the maturity or work ethic to make taking on such a large liability reasonable to his parents.</div>
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I agree with that. It really doesn't sound like he's ready for college right now.<br><br>
ETA: Ooops, sorry. I think community college could be a great idea. Are there any other colleges he could consider? It might be worth it to look for other options.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Okay, I think I've found some stuff that will help me understand better and I have gained some other information that makes a difference.<br><br>
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT REPLIED!!! (and yes, I meant to yell <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">)<br><br>
I don't think this PLUS loan will work for them because they made these poor decisions about using funky financing on their home. Their mortgage rate is really high and they have some issues with medical bills from my nephews surgeries on his liver. When they refinanced their home they got screwed, so their mortgage payment is too high, and I don't think they are eligible to get an education loan. I remember advising her to not do 100% financing for her home, but I guess went ahead, ignoring the info I gave her. That's probably the number one factor here. Because they are house poor (have no equity in their home), but their salaries are sufficient, the loans my nephew could get would be considered aid and they can't get that because of their salaries. But because they have too high debt to asset ratio, they can't get decent loans of their own (which I've advised against, anyway). I think this has turned out to be a real lose-lose situation!<br><br>
My nephew has been working after school/summers for 2 years now. I guess he hasn't saved a dime for college.<br><br>
This makes me so sad that my sister waits until 4 months before her kid goes off to college to even think about what to do to pay for it and then calls me panicked. They just bought him a freaking $13,000 car!!!! It was a settlement from an accident, but why didn't they save any of *that* for school? I'm just really upset right now.<br><br>
And I have no answers.<br><br>
Thanks for letting me vent! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Yeah, it sounds like school isn't really a priority in that household, even if they say it is. You've done what you can. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just wanted to post separately and say that I agree with those of you who are talking community college. I also think that if he really *wants* this (to go to college), he's going to have to step up to the plate and WORK to get there. I think he's been handed things on a platter all of his life because he has this disease and people (including myself) have felt sorry for him. I think you all are right.<br><br>
I'm going to go to the financial aid councilor with her next week, but I don't see much hope.<br><br>
Thanks again everyone!!
 

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Maybe you could gather a list of alternatives like AmeriCorps, or programs that require employement in disadvantage areas in exchange for an education, or maybe he could become an apprentice in a trade (unions pay well <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ), or she could require that he do volunteer work like Habitat if he is not in school.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
And thanks everyone for the hugs. Those of you who frequent here probably realize how not being able to find a financial solution is hard for me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 
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