Scholarships, Financial Aid, Financial Aid Appeals, EFC Appeals, SAP Appeals

How To Find Overlooked Scholarships, and Save Money In College


Today’s Episode was recorded live at a Hy-Vee Restaurant in Macomb, Illinois. In this episode, we talk to students about saving tips while in college. In addition, we interview Kristin Ferguson Senior Online Associate at ScholarshipPoints.com, an EdVisors company about search strategies both online, and hyper-locally. We answer a listeners question about helping her son find the aid he needs after his release from a correctional facility.

Download The Episode: Ep07 June 20, 2012
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79 thoughts on “How To Find Overlooked Scholarships, and Save Money In College”

  1. My parents made $74,000 last year that they claimed on their taxes, but I did not qualify for financial other than student loans. They struggle from paycheck to paycheck each month and will have my brother attending college in less than two years. I will be a freshman at Texas Tech in the fall. Can you give me some advise?

    Like

    1. Hi Kenny,

      Thanks for your info. To give you the best answer, i wanted to ask a couple of questions, which you can direct mail to me via twitter if you wish to keep it private.

      1) Are both parents working?
      2) Have either had a sever pay cut this year due to layoff, salary reduction, or a change in jobs?
      3) Have you submitted a financial aid appeal yet?
      4) Did you work last year while in high school?

      These answers will help me to give you the best answer I can and get you on the right path to lowering your costs. Its not fair for your parents to have to shoulder such a burden and I want to help. Feel free to reply at anytime.

      Regards

      JR

      Like

      1. I am Jasmine Belton and I want to ask questions too. My sister is going into college this year and Im in college my third year. My parents both have hralth problems and work but my dad is part time and my mom has taken another position less pay because she has health issues too. Our money is very tight and I want to complete my degree but have an outstanding debt since my parents did not qualify for a parent plus loan. I have been with this program for a long time and seemingly can not get my name in the winnings yet. I am hopwful because it would really help me to do what I need to do to finsh. I am working two jobs to help but it is a strain because I also want to do my best academically. What does it take to win in this program and what am I not doing right?

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        1. Hi Jasmine,

          I know it can be frustrating to pay for college given the effects of the recession. But I think we can make some progress to getting you more aid that requires less work. However to help I will need to know a few more things to give some accurate advice.

          1) Are either of your jobs provided through the “Federal Work Study Program”?
          2) What is your Expected Family Contribution for this upcoming year
          3) Have you Already filed the FAFSA
          4) Did your mom take this position in the last 12-18 months?
          5) Did you parents take a hit to their retirement portfolio, if any
          6) What is your current major
          7) Do you want to attend grad school after your BA? If so, in what field
          8) What is your current career goal?
          9) Have you ever received any of the following grants: Pell, SEOG, TEACH?
          10) Approximate GPA?
          11) School of attendance?
          12) How many years do you have left before graduation if you are taking at least 12 SH each semester?
          13) approximately how much did you earn last year from your jobs (you only, within about $1000)

          I know it seems like a lot, but this can help me narrow down a solution that should help you quickly. Or at the very least, stop the bleeding of cash and get it under control.

          Regards

          JR

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      2. Sorry, I did not see your response until now.
        Yes, both parents are working and neither of them have had a layoff, salary reduction or job change.
        I did not know that we could appeal. Do I do that through my college that I will be attending?
        Yes, I am working a part time job that I started after spring break. I barely make $100/week which helps pay for my gas and that is about it.
        My dad has a friend that has put three of his kids through college and he told us that our EFC is high. He suggested that we call the college’s financial aid department so that they can help go over our FAFSA application to make sure it was filled out right.
        Thank you for your quick reply. Can you help suggest anything else?

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      3. Sorry, I did not see your response until now.
        Yes, both parents are working and neither of them have had a layoff, salary reduction or job change.
        I did not know that we could appeal. Do I do that through my college that I will be attending?
        Yes, I am working a part time job that I started after spring break. I barely make $100/week which helps pay for my gas and that is about it.
        My dad has a friend that has put three of his kids through college and he told us that our EFC is high. He suggested that we call the college’s financial aid department so that they can help go over our FAFSA application to make sure it was filled out right.
        Thank you for your quick reply. Can you help suggest anything else?

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        1. Hi Kenneth,

          Thanks for responding. As I mentioned your friend was right: now appealing your financial aid isn’t hard just paperwork intensive. First, contact the schools financial aid office, you are or will be attending. Then, leaks to speak to the advisor that handles appeals. Ask about the procedures for an appeal and then ask for a redetermination of your EFC. Give them the paperwork they have asked for and hopefully you will have a lower efc. If not, it cannot go up. You lose nothing by asking for a review.

          Regards

          Jr

          Like

  2. hi there, my daughter is gonna be a second year college student, and im a single mom, with the hike in college fee(15%) this it is gonna be more difficult for she is a premed major so working is out of the % if she wants to succeed, we have been trying to get some scholarship since she started with no luck, is there a stradegy to applying and getting scholarships. we are really in need

    Like

    1. Hey Carren,

      This is JR, and I appreciate the email. As a single parent, I understand and empathize so I want to make sure I give you the best info I can. Can you clarify something for me…

      1) Do you have any other children?
      2) If so, are any of them in school as well?
      3) What is your annual salary range?
      4) What is your daughters career goals and current undergraduate major?

      Let me know ASAP so I can get on finding you a solution and some help.

      Regards

      JR

      Like

        1. Hi Caren,

          Thank you for your patience. So lets get started.

          On the upside, your a single parent. This is actually good news in many respects with regard to financial aid. First off, could you confirm to me your EFC number this year? With what you are telling me, it should be near Zero given the number of kids and who’s in school.

          Now here the good news, she is a Biomed Science Major. The STEM fields have never been hotter and there should be aid out there for her. Also, is she a member of a minority group. That can help sometimes in the STEM fields as it opens up some specific scholarships off the top c my head. However, heres how to conduct a search in order:

          Government, Institution, Online, Library, Local.

          Government: Make sure you are getting every bit of aid you have coming by considering the following:
          *Have you been laid off or had a large shift in income over the last 12 months?
          *Did you divorce within the last 12 months?
          *Will you be attending school at all next year?
          *Have you lost work due to injury or accident?

          If any of these may apply, you should immediately talk to your financial aid office and ask about appeal procedures to have your EFC reconsidered. The worst that can happen is they deny your appeal. Your EFC WILL NOT go up based on an appeal; it can only remain the same or go down. And like a golf score, the lower the EFC the better.

          Institution:

          How thoroughly have you examined UCF’s scholarship office at http://finaid.ucf.edu/scholarships/ ? Have you searched it fully yet? If not, dig into it now with gusto. Don’t worry if you are too late for a few you may qualify for, just mark them down for next year and apply then. But keep going and searching. Also, don’t be afraid to call the advisor of her department, as she/he may know some that aren’t easily found?

          Online:

          Ok, so you don’t waste time clicking to nowhere, here are a few sites I prefer that go deeper into the scholarship pie. Ill skip ScholarshipPoints.Com since you were referred from there:

          http://www.petersons.com/college-search/scholarship-search.aspx has a wide database that is bigger than most, and a somewhat friendly search engine feature.

          http://www.collegeboard.org/ has a solid database of both undergrad and graduate scholarships

          http://www.scholarships.com/ has a respectable number of scholarships, some of which will likely not duplicate what you have already seen

          http://www.cappex.com/ is a newer one I like

          http://www.zinch.com/ crowd sourced and might add one scholarship that can make all the difference.

          Library: Ok here it is: more than half of all the aid I received was not found online 0 found it the old fashioned way…I READ A BOOK. The one I recommend the most is the guide by The Tannabes called the Ultimate Scholarship Guide 2012! You can find it everywhere, and possibly pretty cheap online. But if your strapped for cash…as all single parents are… get to the library and get it there. Then sit down with a pen and pad of paper, and comb through its sections starting with major, then career, then interests, and so on. Don’t quit until you have scanned the whole thing. Its intensive, but worth it I promise.

          Finally… Its Time to go Local!

          Not sure where you are from in Florida, but there are rich resources all around you. Check with local hospitals in the area, and ask about any scholarship programs they have for undergraduates and medical students. Many hospitals use scholarships as a recruiting tool and a gesture of good will in the community to those in BioMed fields. Also, check with local non-profits. Many of these are hidden gems as they might have small grants in the amounts of $250 to $500. But they begin to add up quickly.

          These instructions should give you a start. I know you are busy, and I know its hard. Believe me, I helped my sisters do the same thing as well and they were single parents. But if you stick with it you both can make it happen. But you have to get to work on it NOW! Every second you wait the competition gets the jump on you. Apply for everything you qualify for, even if you don’t think you will win. Do you abject best to put her out there to win!

          If you need any other help with your scholarship efforts, I am always here to answer your questions. No matter what, don’t give up hope, keep pushing!

          Regards,

          JR

          Like

  3. I have not heard from Financial Aid and I submitted my FAFSA back in February, there were issues because I had two last names, and there was much confusion. Payments are now due in about a month. I can’t be approved for any loans because of my parents credit history, are there any more options because I would really hate to see my college dream go?

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    1. April,

      This is something I have dealt with before and would like to advise you personally to ensure you deal with the hiccup. Can you tell me the following things to help clarify:
      1) did you divorce during the year that caused the name change
      2) did you inform you schools financial aid office
      3) if not, when did the change occur this year or last year?

      Regards

      Jr

      Like

    2. April,

      This is something I have dealt with before and would like to advise you personally to ensure you deal with the hiccup. Can you tell me the following things to help clarify:
      1) did you divorce during the year that caused the name change
      2) did you inform you schools financial aid office
      3) if not, when did the change occur this year or last year?

      Regards

      Jr

      Like

      1. No, I happen to have both of my parents last names I just found out that one of those last names is considered my middle name. So I have my first name, two middle names, and one last name, No I have not yet informed them.

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        1. April,

          I have a plan to fix this, but let me check with my resident expert at CSUMB today to figure it out. I should have an answer shortly.

          Stay tuned I will email as son as I have a solution.should only take a couple of hours.

          Regards

          Jr

          Like

        2. Hey April,

          Still checking on this: want to make sure I have the right answer. Dont worry I haven’t forgot you. Don’t worry there is a solution, I want you to have the best one.

          Regards

          Jr

          Like

        3. April

          Sorry if it took me a day or two to get back to you, but I wanted to find a proper solution for you because glitches in the system tend to be messy. But lets get started:

          First things first, we need to confirm if a FAFSA result was ever transmitted to the school. The FAFSA works off of the Social Security Number, not your name. If there was a misstep, there would be what is known as a bounce-back. Start by contacting your office of financial aid at your school to see if the FAFSA was received. Inform the counselor what happened and see if they can locate the data. If not, we have to go back to the FAFSA and correct the original data starting from the application and make a correction on the web.

          As a precaution, I would go to http://pin.ed.gov (type this into your browser direction to be safe), and get your FAFSA Pin if you don’t already have it. Ask for it to be seen on the screen and not mailed to you.

          Next, of to http://fafsa.ed.gov, and check the status of your application. Your SSN, Name, and Pin should all that you need to get this done. Once you have done this, you can correct the name on the application if needed. But make sure you check with Financial Aid first. If it can be solved at the school, you should do so. If it can’t, go to the web sites I indicated and get the ball rolling. It shouldn’t take long after the correction to get something done at the FA office, as most pull down data once per day at least.

          I hope this helps, but don’t hesitate to contact me again if you need any other help. Good luck.

          Regards

          JR

          Like

  4. Hi, I am a mother of two from a middle class family. I have a daughter who will be attending college as a freshman this fall, and I have a second daughter who will be a high school senior this fall. This post is concerning my second daughter.
    A few years ago, I invested some money in the market (about $3,000) for my second daughter because I thought it would be a smart way to save up for college. But the one thing I did wrong is the equities are under her name, and one of my friends told me that this would greatly affect the student’s expected contribution. Also, she has a car and a job for the past year, and has been saving up all the money from the paycheck.
    How will all my daughter’s ‘assets’ play into the financial aid equation? How much will this impact the aid we will receive.

    Like

    1. Hi Lee,

      I’m glad you have asked this question, because so many don’t know about these issues.

      You are correct; all of those factors will effect your efc, and here’s why:

      parents are assessed at a rate of no more than 5.64% of after tax assets as a part of the efc; so if a family had 10,000 in free assets, no more than $564 of it would be fair game for the efc calculation.

      For your children who are dependents the rate is a whopping 20%! So any saved money, or investments you put into her name are hit at that level.

      So that $3,000 equity investment would be hit at a 20% rate excluding any gains on the investment. In addition, your daughters work efforts and savings are also taxed at that rate. Many try to do the right thing and encourage their children to work while in high school to learn the value of a dollar. My father and mother did the same thing. However this factor actually reduced my ability to pay for college when I was about to leave high school. Unfortunately, the upstanding way your raised your daughters and character they have displayed actually works against them with regard to financial aid. But don’t fret, as we can get in front of this and minimize the damage.

      My assumption is that you have not filed the FAFSA for your second daughter at this point and only have an EFC for your first daughter. If so you are in luck and can resolve this issue before filing for her as well.

      Here is what I advise

      Since you have not filed the FAFSA, here is a where you can help protect your assets through the use of a 529 college fund. Believe it or not a 529 can help you right up until graduation as you can place funds into that 529 from both you and your child’s savings. Cashing out those equities and moving funds into a 529 in YOUR name not your child’s name. This way the assets while assessed, will be at the lower rate. In addition, the 529 fund can be spent on any educational expense without tax penalty. Your state may even offer a tax break that lowers your AGI on the next years FAFSA! my own state of Illinois offers up to $10k per year AGI reduction on the state 1040. However your state of Missouri offers between $8k and $16k of AGI reduction. This is quite valuable to you as a resident.

      Now here’s what is great: when of put those funds into a 529 plan, you can use them funds for EITHER of your daughters. The only stipulation is it be spent on educational expenses. So it will offer you maximum flexibility for either daughter.

      Now it’s important to keep in mind that with two children in college, the EFC for each one will drop lower than they would alone. The EFC equation takes into account the number of children in the household actively attending school more than half-time. This. Means more financial aid will be available to your children as she enters school.

      It’s important to be proactive when approaching the FAFSA. So whets time for your daughter to go to school you need to keep in mind that changes in your life may effect the EFC. Did you or your spouse either get laid off, receive a reduction in pay, or your small business take a revenue hit due to the down economy? The same question would apply to your child. If any of these apply, a financial aid letter appeal would be appropriate. Talk to the office of financial aid where your daughter will attend and find out their procedures for applying. for an EFC Override or Change. They will ask for the circumstances, and the necessary evidence and will consider the request as per regulations

      As for your daughter, it may be better for her to volunteer her last year in school rather than work. The revenue from work will penalize you, while volunteering benefits her with regard to scholarships while still offering work experience.

      Now let me offer the caveat that is if you have a retirement portfolio, check with your advisor about your best financial options. Also, you can use a private financial aid counselor. There is someone I recommend to everyone that can help you deal with these issues on a very personal level and is trustworthy is Jodi Okun http://collegefinancialaidadvisors.com/tag/jodi-okun (twitter: @jodiokun) and she can be emailed at jodiokun@gmail.com. She can help you with even more advanced EFC reduction strategies to help get more aid and reduce the need for loans.

      I hope this information has helped you. If there is anything I have left Out, or anything else you wish to know, feel free to email me at anytime via the site, directly, or via twitter. I will be have new podcasts on EFC reduction tips in the coming weeks for parents.

      Also do not forget the value of scholarship searches. Start NOW, TODAY! Partner with your child and get the ball rolling, the hours you spend now helping your children find the cash, will save them and yourself potentially tens of thousands Ioan costs. I wish the best of luck for both of your daughters in college. Again, feel free to contact me at anytime.

      Regards,

      JR

      Like

      1. Thank you! that was a very detailed response. I have looked into education savings plans, and I have discovered that Coverdell and the 529 offers investment options that does not guarantee a profit. The 529 in my state offers limited options, but what I would like to know is, are the options in the 529 managed by professionals that constantly tracks the market? Will the 529 be a better bet than a Coverdell account?

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        1. Lee,

          Profit on the plan is less of the goal, as opposed to protecting the asset. you would want a very safe low yield with heavy finance over equity, in fact no equity would be fine. The point is to put the money somewhere where you get the best treatment on the FAFSA and on your taxes.

          Now here’s the rub…coverdalls suck. check out my podcast page for 529 Day and listen to two experts break down how tight coverdalls are when compared to 529 plans. No plan is more flexible, immediate, accessible to all ranges of income, and useful than the 529. Againm check with your financial professional, but in my experience, research, and personal opinion, 529 plans are massively superior. I myself have one for my son AJ in a Utah Plan.

          Now the plans in Missouri are respectable and mostly track the market rather than exceed it. But again the smaller amounts you are looking at it is a negligible thing. The goal is to protect, to reduce EFC, and reduce tax liability overall. So make the best decision based on the circumstances.

          now the question is, have you begun your scholarship search? This should be done more than a year before to get the best results. Would you like to learn about the best search tips?

          Regards jr

          Like

  5. Hi! So here is my situation… I am having to pay for college on my own and I am about to transfer as a Junior to a bigger public state university from a community college. My Dad is our only source of income, part of the clergy, took a severe pay cut in the past few years but is slowly recovering… He makes JUST enough that I don’t qualify for pell grant. I was offered $7000 in fed unsubsidized loans. I am not comfortable taking that big of a loan when I have grad school to worry about in 2 years. I am working now in my home town but I don’t want to work my first semester because of a volunteer work class that will require much of my time. I have money saved up but it would only last me barely a year without work. I have a very high GPA (3.8), graduated with an AA degree, and was department scholar for my major. There are just hardly any scholarships for transfer students…

    My major is social work with a possible minor in criminology or criminal justice.

    Any suggestions?

    Like

    1. Anna,

      I think things may not be that bad if we work it right. First off, can you tell me a few details by answering a few questions:

      1)did your dad take a pay hit this year, or last year before he filed taxes?
      2)is he the only one employed, or does both parents work
      3) were you working while at CC
      4) do you plan to go to grad school
      5) do you actually plan to work as a social worker when you graduate or go immediately for your MSW?
      6) Did you have a 529 plan or any savings?
      7) have you already filed the. FAFSA for this year?
      8) what state are you in.

      I can help you through this and perhaps find some programs to assist. I myself was a transfer student, and it got me an obscene amount of money. Keep hope!

      Regards

      Jr

      Like

      1. 1. No. This is the first year he is recovering some of his salary.
        2. He is the only one employed.
        3. Yes, I was working while at CC. I actually work for the State of Florida. Only part time though so I can’t do their college pay plan.
        4. Yes.
        5. I plan to go straight into my MSW
        6. I don’t have any particular saving plans. Just my regular savings/ checking account.
        7. Yes. Turned in my FAFSA in February.
        8. Florida

        Thank you so much! It’s nice to talk to another once-transfer student…

        Like

        1. Anna,

          I am going to tackle this step by step as you actually might have more going for you than you think.

          Appeals:

          First, lets hit the financial aid side of things: It seems that talking to your financial aid advisor may be a great start. You might have what are known as “Special circumstances” which can greatly affect your EFC. It would seem that his lack of income from the prior year should be a huge factor and reduce your efc. So contact your financial aid office at the new school and ask what the Financial Aid Appeal system works. They will likely ask about your circumstances, what changes have occurred in the last 12-18 months, and ask for certain documentation. Don’t worry, the worst that can happen is your EFC does no change at all. It cannot go up this year! You have nothing to lose by having it reexamined.

          Be sure to mention any added costs you may be experiencing such as long commutes, excessive expenses, and personal difficulties that may be relevant. If your EFC drops, you may become eligible for both state and federal aid programs such as Pell, SEOG, and others. This can replace some of the Loan based aid.

          Internal Aid:

          Believe it or not, your university scholarship office actually has a bunch of scholarships tucked away that while not specifically for transfer students, transferring does not disqualify you. So begin with an internal search to find additional programs. Now you may not be able to make the cut this year, but can in successive years. Don’t dismiss anything you may remotely qualify for. I often won scholarships that were peripheral and lost ones that were well targeted. Don’t quit.

          External Aid:
          After a hard core local hunt, its time to widen the net. Now you can begin online with the typical sites such as Zinch.com, Fastweb.com, ScholarshipPoints, and other online search engines that can get the ball rolling. But your best bet is to check out the book The Ultimate Scholarship Guide (http://www.amazon.com/The-Ultimate-Scholarship-Book-2012/dp/1932662944/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1340942994&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=tannabe) which is what i feel is the most thorough book out there. This scholarship “Bible” is one you will begin to drag with you everywhere and search through for candidates. The best scholarships and the most valuable i found were through that book.

          PayBack Programs:

          Sometimes, student loans are a fact of college. But keeping them under control is key. Check out the link below for student loan payback programs that are for Social Workers Only! https://collegemoneyman.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/537/ I compiled this for someone weeks ago, and hope it can help you now.

          Its a lot of information to take in all at once, but I want you to have as much info as possible. Now if you feel you have to take on additional loans in the beginning, do so, as long as you make sure your scholarship hunt for the next year is going to be aggressive. The idea is to taper off them in successive years so that your debt is minimal. No debt is better, but manageable debt is excusable.

          I know it seems like a lot, and I know where you are coming from. It was scary for me, and its worrisome for you. But whatever you do, DONT QUIT. Keep hunting, keep looking, keep pushing, and keep striving. Don’t be afraid to be told no; let the “yes’s” drive you on.

          No matter what, feel free to email me again at anytime with additional question. Good luck, and good hunting Anna.

          Regards

          JR

          Like

  6. well i have already recieved my financial aid from my school, its pretty good, i have a merit scholarship, a grant (from the school itself), a pell grant, and subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and possible fed-work/study. This all totals up to the tuition which is great, but the other expenses are still quite costly (room board, other fees, etc…) what i have a question about is about plus loans…i already looked at their website and have talked about it with my mother, and she seems skeptical to cosign for it (no she hasn’t applied yet, and not really sure if she qualifies because she has credit card debt and declared bankruptcy about 9 years ago), and i’m wondering is it better to have a plus loan or some other type of private loan. and the amount the i would approximately need a loan for is 13,000-15,000 (my school is private)

    Like

    1. Hi Julie,

      Its late, but I want to tackle this question on Friday for you. Until then, know that you are doing all the right things, and asking the right questions. On friday I should have a response for you. However I have a couple of quick questions:

      1) Is this private school a non-profit, or a for-profit school?
      2) Were you accepted to any other schools, if you are an incoming freshman?
      3) What year are you in school this year?

      Let me know as soon as you can.

      Regards

      JR

      Like

      1. It is non profit. I was accepted to other schools, both private and public, but the financial aid was either the same or lower. In regards to public which is ideally cheaper, i didn’t recieve any merit scholarships, and i also didn’t recieve much grant money, since the financial aid there is so competitive (most likely since it is one of the largest public colleges in the country). So pretty much across the board, what i would have to pay out of my own pocket would have been relatively similar (i would have had needed to buy a car to commute if i chose public, my mom and i debated about it for awhile, the costs like I said would have been the approx. the same) so I chose a college that I know would not make me waste my time, and it would be worth it. And even if i did want to change now, it’d be difficult to get the schools okay with it since it is way past the dates to confirm acceptance to the school.. I also wouldn’t do community college because I already have the credits through ap classes to be exempted from requirement classes (ex math and writing), and I know that if I transferred over any others, such as ones required for a major, it may not be acceptable for the college…and i will be an incoming freshman…, uhm i also did want to mention that i have applied for outside scholarships as well but i won’t be hearing back from those until late summer, so its not smart to wait that long to think about the what ifs for how much to borrow for a loan, the 13-15000 would be the max if anything.

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  7. JR,

    Thanks for being so open and willing to help out all of us who need it! I have a rather unique situation – I am going to be a graduate student at the University of New Mexico in the fall, studying Orchestral Conducting (M.M.). I live in New York now and went to undergrad in New York. I was offered a small scholarship from the school, and have some external ones (32BJ, Kosciuszko Foundation), but I could really use any and all additional help I can get. I’ve applied to all of the scholarships that I qualify for on various sites – College Prowler, Scholarship Points, Fastweb…my question is: these scholarships appear on the same sites repeatedly, and so after a while one stops finding new scholarships it seems – besides everyone and their mother is applying for the same exact ones – how do I find the scholarships that I qualify for that may be hidden? At the moment, I’m going to have to take out approximately 15k in unsubsidized loans next year, and was really hoping to fit under 10k. Do you have any advice on how to go about this? Also, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of sites directed solely for graduate scholarships – do you know of any? Btw, I am considered an independent as per my FAFSA. Thanks so much!

    – Wojciech

    Like

    1. Hello Wojciech

      I take it you either went to NYU or Juilliard for music. Ok, so here is where we try to drill down and get you what you need and reduce your loan amounts. If you can, please answer the follow questions to help me narrow down so issues to give you the best advice. Please do not use specific information that can identify you to be safe.

      1) Do you have any student Loans currently? If so, what is your total amount
      2) Do you plan to work in an an orchestra setting, or in education as either a teacher or professor?
      3) Are you a US Citizen or permanent resident?
      4) Were you laid off, or otherwise displaced from the job market in the last 12 months?
      5) Are you married, or have children? Do you plan on getting married within the next year
      6) Are you currently of have you been in the military in the past?
      7) What was your AGI last year?
      8) Have you changed jobs since then last year to a lower paying one?

      These will help me flush out where to get the ball rolling as to how best to aid you. Now to help yourself out, since you have already mentioned scholarshippoints.com, I would like you to go to a couple of deep scholarship search websites that have the more specific and esoteric scholarships that would be more applicable to your educational path.

      http://www.petersons.com/college-search/scholarship-search.aspx has a wide database that is bigger than most, and a somewhat friendly search engine feature.

      http://www.collegeboard.org/ has a solid database of both undergrad and graduate scholarships

      http://www.scholarships.com/ has a respectable number of scholarships, some of which will likely not duplicate what you have already seen

      http://www.cappex.com/ is a newer one I like

      Zinch.com is also a new one that crowd sources info, which may also filed some results.

      Whatever you do, don’t get frustrated. It can be a paid, believe me I know. It literally took me over one hundred man hours to find all the aid I needed for my studies. But a graduate degree and $250,000 later, it panned out well. its summer, begin your search RIGHT NOW. After you send me those answers i can help you strategize the best approach to your financial aid situation.

      regards

      JR

      Like

      1. JR,

        In answer to your questions: 1. I have only ~$4,300 from undergraduate loans ; 2. I would love to work in an orchestra setting, although I would also love to teach at a college – so both I guess? ; 3. I am a US citizen ; 4. I was not laid off or displaced ; 5. I am not married, no children, don’t plan on getting married ; 6. I have not been in the military in the past (although I was close to doing it at one point) ; 7. If I made over 4k, I would be surprised. I was a student full-time, and had a part time job playing at a church. Not enough to file taxes, and I’m sure it wasn’t over 5k. ; 8. I have not changed jobs – still a full-time student. I am hoping to line up some part time gigs in grad school though.

        I have checked out Cappex and Scholarships.com. I agree with you that they both have scholarships that not many other sites have. In fact, Cappex even has a music scholarship! I will check out the other two per your suggestion.

        Like

        1. Hi Wojciech,

          I am gonna do a bit of digging to get my bearings. I have to admit I have seen many majors but this one is unique and I want to find a solution for you that can help. Give me about 24-48 hours.

          Keep the faith, and don’t give up!

          Regards

          JR

          Like

  8. Hi, I will be attending a university in the fall as a transfer student from community college. I will be a junior this year and, like a previous post, I have federal financial aid that will cover my tuition but not all of my living and travel expenses. I also do not feel comfortable taking out large student loans. Due to mild learning disabilities and the difficulty of my classes, I will not be able to work or do the work-study program while attending the university and I will not be allowed to attend part-time. The money I have saved will last only the first year. I don’t know if this is relevant, but I am a non-traditional student(> 25 years) and I plan on going to graduate school. I have been using Fastweb for about a year now with no luck and have also joined Scholarshippoints.com, Zinch and CampusLive but have not been able to get any other scholarships. I don’t have the best GPA due to my learning disabilities, so many of the scholarships I don’t even qualify for. Most others are contest/drawings, which I never win because there are so many users. These websites are all first places that advisors tell students to check out, which means I am competing with thousands of other students for scholarships. Is there a way to get scholarships that will be better use of my time?

    Like

    1. Hi lisa

      Actually, there is hope, so don’t despair. Could you answer a few questions for me to help me give you the best answer:

      1) What is your major/Intended Career Path?
      2) What major will you have when you attend grad school?
      3) Do you have any student Loans currently?
      4) Were you laid off, or otherwise displaced from the job market?
      5) Are you married, have children?
      6) Are you currently of have you been in the military in the past?
      7) What was your AGI last year?
      8) Have you changed jobs since then last year to a lower paying one?

      This will help me narrow down the best way to help you out.

      Thanks

      JR

      Like

      1. 1. My current major is geophysics. I would like to get into field work/research (either exploration geophysics, seismology or planetary science).
        2. I intend to either continue with geophysics in grad school or perhaps get into astrophysics.
        3. I do not currently have student loans.
        4. I have not been laid off or displaced from the job market.
        5. I am not married and do not have children.
        6. I have not been in the military.
        7. My AGI last year was $11,630.00.
        8. I have not changed jobs, but I did have my hours reduced. I am a part-time hourly employee at the community college I attended and will be leaving that job when classes begin.

        Like

  9. I have been looking for scholarships for the past year. I am a junior at Liberty Universtiy. I need some help to pay for my college. However, I cannot get much aid because my parents make too much money. If you could help me that would be great.

    Like

    1. Hi Jordynn,

      I know it can be frustrating to pay for college given the effects of the recession. But I think we can make some progress to getting you more aid that requires less work. However to help I will need to know a few more things to give some accurate advice.

      1) Do you have a job provided through the “Federal Work Study Program”?
      2) What is your Expected Family Contribution/EFC for this upcoming year (if known)
      3) Have you Already filed the FAFSA?
      4) Did your mom or dad have a career or job change in the last 12-18 months (New job, lay off, discharge, end of contract, business slowdown, reduction in pay)?
      5) What is your current major
      6) Do you want to attend grad school after your BA? If so, in what field
      7) What is your current career goal?
      8) Have you ever received any of the following grants: Pell, SEOG, TEACH?
      9) Approximate GPA?
      10) How many years do you have left before graduation if you are taking at least 12 SH each semester?
      11) approximately how much did you earn last year from your job (if applicable)
      12) Since you go to liberty, what is your christian denomination (Catholic, First/Southern Baptist, Lutheran, etc)?

      I know it seems like a lot, but this can help me narrow down a solution that should help you quickly. Or at the very least, get your costs down as much as we can. I look forward to hearing from you.

      Regards

      JR

      Like

      1. 1. No I don’t have a job through this program.
        2. I don’t know
        3. Yes I did apply for FASA and got some money
        4.Yes. My dad changed jobs less than a year ago
        5. My Major is Psychology
        6. I am going to attend grad school. Professional Counsoling is going to be my major
        7. I am hoping to work with troubled youth
        8. I don’t have any grants and was not eligable for any of them.
        9. I have a 4.0 GPA
        10. 2 Years left in my degree
        11. $500. I have a small summer job.
        12. Non-denominational

        Thanks for your help.

        Like

        1. Jordynn,

          Thanks for the info. Let me do some digging and find out what I can to give you a game plan to begin to follow to get your costs under control. Again, I know it sucks to have our best and brightest be distracted by the high costs of tuition, however keep the faith. Don’t let it get you down. I should have an answer or two soon.

          Regards

          Jr

          Like

  10. Hi there! Well this is my deal. I am going in as a freshman to uc berkeley. I applied to a lot of scholarship but obtained very few. Most of my first year at Cal is paid for but all my others worry me. I would like to see if you can give me some advice on where to look for scholarships. I graduated high school with a 4.1 gpa and as a valedictorian. Thanks so much!

    Like

    1. Hi Berlin,

      Thanks for your question. You have a great start GPA wise, and given the school. I myself am from Monterey Bay California, and was stationed in SF. Love the UC Berkeley, Campus.

      Now, to help narrow some things down I need a little info. Help me by answering the following questions if you can.

      1) What is your Expected Family Contribution for this upcoming year
      2) Have you Already filed the FAFSA
      4) What is your intended major
      7) Do you want to attend grad school after your BA? If so, in what field
      8) What is your current career goal?
      9) Have you ever been awarded any of the following grants: Pell, SEOG, TEACH, California BOG Waiver
      10) Have either of your parents that you live with lost a job, changed jobs, been laid off, had a work stoppage or slow down, or had a reduction in pay in the last 12 months?
      11) Are you a member of a minority group (you can skip this if you are uncomfortable, it just helps me narrow down a couple that are large and easy to access)

      This should get me started. You have something to work with, now we need to refine it.

      Regards

      JR

      Like

      1. 1. $0
        2. yes
        4. legal studies
        7. yes law
        8. immigration lawyer
        9. I believe I did. I am not sure because I can not seem to access my financial aid info but I believe I did.
        10. mom lost her job and dad had reduction in pay
        11. yes hispanic from guatemala.
        thanks so much hope this helps!

        Like

  11. Hi, I’ve got QUITE the load of questions/information for you, so I understand if it takes you a while to answer.
    The upcoming school year is my senior year in high school. I’ll be attending Tidewater Community College for a Dual Enrollment program in which I can gain college credits for dirt cheap while I’m in high school (working on my advanced diploma). My problem though, is financial aid. I’m so ill-informed it’s not even funny >_< I managed to acquire 43 hours of community service (i have more than that but the rest isnt on paper) and as of now have a 2.6 GPA (working on getting at least a 3.0 during the summer).
    I signed up for several scholarship websites such as Scholarshippoints and Cappex, and I also have an account with NPDOR, but I haven't recieved anything yet. My question is, as a Psychology major, how would I acquire the FAFSA and other financial aid WITHOUT asking for a loan? I'm concerned about student loans because I don't want to run myself into debt before I find a decent job. My parents aren't going to straight up pay for college (understandable) but I can't do it on my own either so they'll help if i put something into it (I don't really have a choice). My dad's retired navy and i have a little sister in elementary school.

    Like

  12. I am an older person returning to school and do not make much money, only 200 a month, I have not worked in the last two years except for taking care of my great nice and nephews, which is how I make my money. I would like any info you may be able to help me with. I am attending Kaplin University Online. thank you

    Like

  13. Hello my name is Tiffany Burdette and I am a current student at West Virginia State University but I am trying to obtain enough enough money/scholarships to transfer over to Kentucky Christian University to study music ministry. I am very exicited to to go there, but as of right now, my dreams and goals seem like there never going to happen. I have been working since I have been old enough to work to reach my goals (I am only 20 yrs. old). I have signed up with Salley Mae, Upromise, Scholarshippoints.com, College Prowler, Mypoints Bonusmail, etc., yet I seem to be getting no where. With my parents help, I filled out my FASFA and when I looked at all the loans I would have take out, my parents said that there is no way I can go to KCU. I need some major help to be able to go towards my dream college and I feel like I am all out of options. If you can think of anything that I might have overlooked please let me know. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope that you have an amazingly blessed day.

    Like

  14. Hello! My name is Athina. I am currently a sophomore at the Universityat Albany studying Psychology with a minor in Business. In the future I hope to become a Clinical Psychologist and eventually open my own office to service abused woman and children. As my second year of college is approaching I can’t help but feel pangs of anxiety and stress over how I’m going to pay for this upcoming year. My parents are married, I have two younger brothers that are in high school and an older sister who is also attending college. Im not too certain what my EFC is this year but all that I have recieved thus far are loan options. I have already taken loans out from Sallie Mae, the Parent Plus loan and Stafford loan through the school. Unfortunately, things at home have taken a turn for the worst. With my father away in Africa handling some family issues my mother has just lost her job that provided us with much of our annual income. She still has a part time job and some money saved away for rainy days like these that are holding us over. She is currently in search for a new job but im not sure if she will have made enough of a progress by the time school begins again. I am currently working this summer hoping that it will help offset some of the expenses. I have signed up for scholarship points, Fastweb, and Cappex but I’ve had no luck so far. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance!

    Like

    1. Athina,

      Thank you for your email. I totally understand what you are going through and think I can offer some solid advice for you. Give me a day and I think I can suggest a strong course of action. If you could however answer a few questions it would be a huge help:

      1) can you look up your efc for me to give me a solid picture of where you are at now
      2) what are your parents ages
      3) did you work last year?
      4) are you full time this year?
      5) are you considering working towards your Ph.D.?
      6) Are you A member of a minority group or disabled (you may skip this if you are uncomfortable answering; however it gives me other avenues to explore
      7) GPA last semester, and cumulative

      Regards

      Jr
      7)

      Like

      1. Hi JR,
        Sorry it took so long for me to reply I’ve been so busy lately but here are your answeres
        1) My EFC is 10,794…I’m not certain if they considered the fact that I have a sister that is also in college…im not too sure how that works
        2) Mother is 46 my father is turning 49
        3) I did work last year during the summer I made about $2,000
        4) If by full time you mean 40 hours a week yes…however my job describtion is a sub meaning that I fill in for people and I have no set days
        5) Yes I do plan on working towards my Ph.D
        6) I am an African American
        7) and my last semester I recieved a 3.32 and the cumulative 3.37

        Like

  15. Hi, My mom is getting married in October. She was also just promoted and is making a LOT more than she was during the last fasfa year. Combining my mom and stepdads salary they will make around 90,000 a year. If my mom claims me as an independant she will have 2 dependants (me and my sister) My boyfriend has proposed to me and we are looking for a good time to get married. We are not sure how to get the best EFC. If I get married in December and file the 2013 fasfa independant from my mom would my EFC be better? My fiance and I have a combined income of around 24,000.

    Like

  16. My son is a rising senior at USA in Mobile, Al. He has a chem dept scholarship of $2,500/yr; presidential of $2,500/yr and the balance of 30 hrs in his Fla prepaid acct (pays $3400/yr). He is out of state and living in an apt which I pay for ($750/mo plus food). Saved and has $5200 in an account – should be more but he spent it. He is working on campus 20hrs per week not a subsidized slot (160/wk). As a single mother who owns her own business I salary about $48000 but have to claim $80000 in income so he does not quality for grants. Paying for school is grueling and with the economy is very stressful. He wants to go to dental school and will have to get loans then so am trying to avoid these for now. if he doesn’t get into dental school this round, he want to go back to complete his math degree. Any suggestions most appreciated.

    Like

  17. Hello Jr, My name is Kellie and I just graduated (May 2012) from Hunter College with a 3.797 GPA, where I majored in Psychology and minored in Dance. My mother was just laid off from her job and my father is no longer financially supporting me. I would like to get my doctorate in clinical/counseling psychology. I was told that this area is very competitive, thus I am considering getting my PsyD (rather than a PhD) where I know they admit more students. However, PsyD programs tend to not have as much funding as PhD programs. What can I do to offset these costs besides working my butt off and taking out student loans? Right now I am doing two unpaid internships and studying for the GRE, but even with my experience and scores, I may not receive adequate funding from schools. I’ve been looking for scholarships, but I don’t see many geared towards PsyD students, or recently graduated students. I would also be interested in fellowships. Thanks a lot for ANY advice.

    Like

    1. Hello Kellie,

      The answer to your question will be on this weeks podcast on Wed. I would love to chat with you via Skype so I can do it Live if you like. Please contact me if you are interested. I like your stats, and think you have great potential and want to help find you a solution to this issue.

      regards

      JR

      Like

  18. i was raised by a single parent she who no longer works and and has been getting government aid for… i want to say 4-5 years now and I’m not trying to be like that i am grateful for her and everything she has done but i don’t want to end up depending on one check a month i know how hard it is.I graduated June 14th 2011, I have gotten into this out of state college i really love Lincoln university, Pa and i barley made the payments with the finical add and loans that i got, and I’m on summer break back home in long beach, CA and it is so hard to find a job i have applied every where since April still nothing, my finical aid is NOT anywhere near enough my mother doesn’t want to take out the parent loan and im just stuck i don’t know what to do i am trying not to give up but i am at a dead end i get up every morning and apply to scholarships and i am still in the same place.

    Like

    1. Hello Dominique,

      Thank you for your email. We will be answering this question on the next episode of our podcast on Wed. Tune in, and if you like we can setup a phone call via Skype to answer your question live!

      regards,

      JR

      Like

  19. Hi Jr. my name is shannon and I am attending a community college this fall semester, but the problem is that my parents are not helping me at all, instead my aunt and uncle are giving me a helping hand, and in order for me to make it through college finanially I am going to have to recieve student loans. I only 18 and I still need my parents to co- sign for my financial aid, but they refuse to do it and without their signature I cannot recieve any loans to help me pay for college what so ever, and I do not want to put the full load on my aunt and uncle because they have done enough helping me with the things they have done already. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do or where I could go to help me out with my financial problems besides getting financial aid?

    Like

    1. Hello Shannon,

      Thank you for your email. Could you help clarify a couple of things for me so i can better answer your question. Feel free to ignore or skip and question if they are to personal. However answering them will allow me to offer a solid solution.

      1) Are you not on good terms with your parents due to any form of abuse?
      2) Were you a runaway around the time you turned 18?
      3) Were you in anyway a “Ward of the Court” at the time you were 18?
      4) Were you an LGBT youth who left the family due to intolerance or the threat of abuse?

      I apologize if any of these questions are sensitive however they offer me some options to assist you.

      Regards

      JR

      Like

  20. Hi, I am an international student and have been pursuing my graduate studies for the past one year. I would like to know what’s the best way to apply for scholarships and could you please direct me to some sites which are trustworthy. I don’t want to depend on my parents for the next semester fees and the fees at my school is really expensive plus they hardly offer financial aid or have many on campus jobs. Would be really grateful for your help. Thank You.

    Like

    1. Hello Sanjana,

      We are going to answer your question on this weeks podcast, so tune in there on Wed. for the answer. However it would help to know what your major is and what country you are from? Also, what visa class you are on. If you would like, you can call me via Skype and ask it live as well! Hope this helps.

      Regards,

      JR

      Like

      1. My major is Food Safety and Technology. Its a part of the College of Science and Letters. I’m on a F1 visa which is a student visa and am from India. I would surely listen to the podcast.
        Thank you.

        Like

  21. Hi Jr, I am Catherine and I am attending Michigan State University this fall as a junior with a associates degree. I have my first year cover because my parents are helping, but I am trying to find more scholarship, loans or grants that will help pay the rest of the years I need to be in this University. My major I am working on is Animal Science for my bachelor degree and after I am finish with this degree, I want to earn admission in to the College of Veterinary Medicine. Adding the years studying this majors is around seven years, but adding the amount of money, my parents can’t help me through does years. I have applied to loans and they have denied me because my credit is low or I need a cosigner. Yes, my parents can cosign but I want loans under my name. I have applied for scholarships and for FAFSA. FAFSA as giving me loans, but the money does not cover my tuition. As well my parents don’t want to take the parent loan. How can I find more scholarships or loans that I can register under my name without a cosigner? ( I have use scholarshippoints.com, scholarship.com) Or even grants? I just want to find money that will help me cover the rest of the tuition FAFSA loans does not cover through does years.

    Like

  22. We live in tough economic times. And whenever times gets tough, the scam artists multiply. Examine student loans carefully. The good news is this country has been through much tougher tougher times, and then there has been college graduates. SEEK FOR COLLEGE FUNDS CAREFULLY!

    Like

    1. Brad, you are very right, and scams occur. If you listen to my most recent podcast you will hear my interview about one in particular called the “USA Scholarship” that is based in DC that railed one in profanity from three languages about my questions about his program. Avoid these and remember the following:

      *No one can guarantee you a scholarship
      *No scholarship of there than two I know of charge anything
      *No one can do a better hunt than you can, other than an ethical financial aid advisor, public or private

      Regards

      Jr

      Like

  23. I am a full time college student, married, with a2 year old. I work part time and my husband is full time. Are there any scholarships for college students to help out with child care specifically?

    Thanks!
    Ashley

    Like

  24. Hi Jr,

    I am a third year, full time college student at Sam Houston State University. Every year, I fill out the FAFSA form in hopes of getting enough financial aid to pay for school; however, I only get federal sub and unsub loans because my EFC is too high.My parents both work for the post office so together they make a little over 100,000 a year. Due to certain circumstances though, they had to file bankruptcy almost 2 years ago which is drastically affecting my ability to get financial aid. Because of this, I am also not able to get the Parent PLUS loan which payed for a loarge amount of my schooling. I hold an on-campus job making about $400-500 every two weeks, but I have my own apartment so most of that goes to bills. Is there any way you can help me?

    Like

  25. Hi, I’m a post-bacc student and can’t seem to find any financial help besides loans from the fafsa. Since I’m a post-bacc student I can’t get grants from fafsa.

    When I go to scholarship websites (like fastweb) I don’t know what to select as my college status and everything seems to be aimed at high school students. Am I considered a non-traditional student, an undergraduate, a graduate (all of the above haha)? I’m in classes with undergrad students, but I have a degree already. It’s confusing and I was wondering if you had any suggestions/help. I’ve done lots of googling but no luck.

    Thanks for you time,
    Candace

    Like

    1. Hi candace,

      This one is always tough. If you go back for a post bacc, you are not eligible for more loans than you would have been as a senior in College. At the masters level, your limit would have been around $35K. At the BA level, its $9500. The question is, why are you pursing a post bacc as opposed to a Masters? Also, no grants are given after the first degree, except in one instance: The TEACH GRANT (see episode 6 of my 2-minute podcasts this week) might be able to help if you are planning to teach. You may want to check with the financial aid office if you are in this field. However, most Post Baccs are meant to bring in income for the school as opposed to helping the student. this is one area where one is trapped but he financial reality of the aid system driven by going forward towards grad school over a post bacc.

      I would advise you pursing a Masters over a post-bacc if possible. there at least your financial aid level will be higher, and your eligibility for more aid on the scholarship and grant side will rise accordingly. Wish I could be of more help, but this one is just a bad situation financial aid wise. however, i will be checking in with my core of financial aid advisors to see if there is a solution I can find.

      regards

      Jr

      Like

  26. My son will be a sophomore this year in College. I did not qualify this year for the parent plus loan and the student loans my son was able to get are not sufficient to cover his entire tuition. The EFC on the FASFA for us is the total cost of his education which we cannot pay. I have been applying on line, unsucessfully I might say, for scholarships for him. Because of our income which is right around 100k per year, he also doesn’t qualify for work study. I’ve already asked the school for additional funds as well. What can we do?

    Like

    1. Well, lets start with some top hits in the appeal area. Have any of the following occurred ini your lives in the last year: Layoff, work slow down, pay cut, work stoppage, lower revenues in a home business due to economy, another child entering college, or any other life altering event that effects your income such as heavy medical bills? Also, does you son attend a private school, or a public institution, and in which state?

      Let me know as soon as you can so I can help give you a plan of action.

      regards

      JR

      Like

  27. Hello, I am a female college student who is currently attending a community college in California. I am an English major looking at a minor in legal studies, and I have just completed over 70.0 units of coursework, graduated with an AA in Humanities, and received two scholarships from my community college, though one is pending my enrollment in a four-year college and I have until Spring 2013 to enroll. I would enter my private liberal arts transfer school as a junior, and the only thing holding me back is financial aid. Only one parent works in my family and they makes too much money for me to qualify for more than 1 grant, 1 merit scholarship, and 2 Stafford loans, all of which would not cover the cost of my tuition and fees, excluding room and board, as I live close enough to the school to live at home, though I would like to live on campus. However, they are likely to be forced to retire, though i will not know until after my transfer school has started. I did not receive work study, and am unemployed, though I did work part-time from about September ’11 to January ’12, filed taxes, and am still looking for a job. I have filled out the FAFSA, and both my parents are college graduates. They both didn’t have to take out loans at all.

    Additionally, the deadline to send in my enrollment deposit is July 15th, and I barely received my financial aid package about a week ago due to the college selecting me for sending in additional documents which they did not notify me about. I had been calling them regarding the package for over a month before I was finally able to figure this out. As a result, I have been frantically trying to figure my package out and how to come up with additional funds. I am doing much of the work figuring out my education path and financial aid on my own, and feel very overwhelmed and confused, because I don’t want the burden of loans to fall on my parents, who have to help my siblings with college, one of whom is 1 year from going to college. A friend of mine who goes to a public state school has told me about calling the financial aid office to ‘discuss the EFC,’ but I don’t know how to go about doing this, nor do I know if it is appropriate.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and thank you for your time.

    Like

    1. Ada,

      CALLING THE FINANCIAL AID OFFICE IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL! Im not sure what school you have chosen, but I am sure you are worked hard to get there. Now we just have to get you in and paid for. Your friend is right about the EFC, or the expected family contribution. Check my websites second 2 min episode at https://collegemoneyman.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/642/ to learn quickly about the EFC and how it effects you.

      But to get the ball rolling, start by doing the following.

      1) Contact your financial aid office immediately and ask to speak to the appeals coordinator. Explain in detail what you have explained to me. Make it clear all of the changes happening now. Has their been a big change in income. Will their be a big change this year? What while that change be? Tell them every gory detail, leave nothing out.

      2) Rethink your strategy for acquiring extra aid. When you were accepted to this school, what package did they offer you? Also, did you apply to any other schools that you may have not liked as much but gave you more aid? Try contacting the office of admissions and talk to your admissions counselor. Let them know that their school is your first choice, but that cost may force you to another school. You may have a shot at additional aid once you show additional interest in the form of admissions scholarships. You have nothing to lose by doing so.

      3) Ask why you were not given work study. You need to ask them directly why work study was not an option and that you want it before loans as it is cheaper and won’t affect you in the coming years EFC calculation.

      4) Call the business office, and ask for an extension for the initial payment. Make it clear the confusion about the paperwork from financial aid. Don’t blame the financier aid office, that always looks bad and turns them off. Just let them know there was a bit of a mix up you have now corrected and that it is critical your appeal gets worked out.

      Let me know what happened. Either way, good luck. Also, one more thing. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, and I know you look forward to your private school education. however, the word “Private” also means, “Expensive”. Often at three times the rate with regard to tuition costs. Always consider your alternatives at the state level at CSU or UC systems. I say this only because I always advise students, never take out more in loans than you would make in your first years salary. No matter what, go after what you want, but do so fully aware of the cost. Keep fighting, and let me know what happens.

      Regards,

      JR

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  28. Hey i have a baby and im a single teen mother. Dont i qualify for the pell grant and how much would i be getting? if i get the pell grant would financial aid still pay for my school? Plus i have a 3.5 gpa i was going to do bright futtures but my guidence counselor said i need three computer classes! is this true. I have over 100 community service hours and i feel like i did it for nothing 😦

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    1. Sekelya,

      Yes you are right, as a single mom you should get full aid. Pell alone won’t pick up the whole tab except at a community college. But if you filed early enough there is other aid you will be receiving as well. Be sure to file your FAFSA ASAP if enrolling this year. No matter what, it doesn’t matter what program you graduate high school in, only that you do so. For a community college, GPA does not matter as much as at a 4 year institution. Either way, good luck in your endevourz. Feel free to email at anytime.

      Regards

      Jr

      Like

  29. Hey,

    I have been accepted to transfer to the Rochester Institute of Technology. As excited as I was I just found out I may not be able to pay for it. I have been trying to apply for loans so I can pay to go to the school. However I have no credit, and no cosigner. My mom can not take out more loans because they said she took out too much already for my freshman year at LIM College. I am stuck and don’t know what to do. I never thought it was possible to get into the school of your dreams to find out you can’t even get loans to pay for it. Are there any banks you know that would give a loan to someone with no credit and no cosigner. I have been working for almost 5 years, yet i still don’t qualify. Scholarships are not much of an option because I need to know by august 1st. Please I need help!! I don’t want money to stand in my way of a great education.

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