Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Counting Sheep Over College Costs

Unlike others who seem to have no problem nodding off to sleep at the drop of a hat, I'm starting to have problems sleeping lately which I think is a direct result of feeling stressed and overwhelmed about the financing for Amanda to attend art college.  The amount of time that I've been spending lying in bed tossing and turning and trying to get to sleep - and staying asleep - without success is directly related to the amount of time I've spent trying to figure out Amanda's college financing. 

In the past few days, I've spent countless hours on-line researching one scholarship after another and have come to the conclusion that Amanda is basically up the creek with a leaky canoe and no paddles when it comes to grants or scholarships as she's the wrong ethnicity, I make too much money, we live in the wrong place, and she's healthy.  There are scholarships out there for some of the most obscure things but darned few for regular old kids who come from middle income families.

I know that everyone has told me not to stress about it as things will work out but based on my EFC (expected family contribution) on the FAFSA (federal application for student aid) Amanda does not qualify for any grants whatsoever which makes the only option available to her student loans.  Granted, everyone has student loans these days and it's all part and parcel of going to college but there's also the hurdle of her having to have a co-signer and - truth to be told - my credit is horrible and is not going to help her in the least.

I have no credit cards and I have no debt other than average bills and my car payment but my credit took a major hit after my divorce and it looks more like a piece of moldy Swiss cheese than anything.  It doesn't help that I totally suck at money management.  I don't think I could co-sign a loan for a stick of gum, never mind major college financing, so the whole thing has really got my stomach in a knot and my head whirling. 

It stinks that I can't be as excited as she is about the prospect of attending Montserrat as I'm just too busy worrying about where the money is going to come from.  I'm very proud and happy that she received a scholarship (a girl in one of her art classes got accepted into Montserrat but didn't get a scholarship) but there's still a lot of money that's going to have to be paid for her to pursue her dream.  Oh, and for those wondering - her father has not contributed a single dime towards anything to do with her since she moved back in with me in October of 2005 so there's no way he's going to be providing anything towards her college education.

I just need to find 27,000 people willing to donate $1 each as that would pay for her first year of college but alas, I don't have anywhere near that many friends on Facebook and I doubt that putting a virtual tin cup on the sidebar of my blog linked to Paypal would do it either!  I guess I could continue to try "College Financing via the Lottery System" but if Saturday night's dismal results of the two Powerball tickets I bought is any indication, that ain't gonna work either I'm afraid. Sigh. I really should have planned better for all this.

At the rate things are going, I'm going to give myself an ulcer!  Oh well perhaps I just need to learn to relax ...


  1. These are tough economic times for sure. There are student loans that can get Amanda though her college years. It's her investment in herself. Just a thought. I'd hate to see her not pursue her dream because of the cost.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

  2. There is money to be had. Make an appointment with the college's financial aid office and see what he/she suggests. They have been able to find my neice a student loan every semester so far.

    Now granted, she's a whiny little witch about it all the time and is constantly bemoaning the fact that she HAS student loans to pay off when she graduates, and the fact that her parents couldn't just write a big fat check like most of her rich friend's parents could, but she is in fact in her 3rd year, pre-law. Unless she changes her mind and switches back to journalism. Again. She can't make up her mind.

    She makes me crazy sometimes with how self-centered she is. Did that come through? Good.

    At least Amanda is clear on her ultimate goal and that is huge!

    Worrying won't change anything but how much sleep you get. Do what you can and that's all you can do, right?

    I know it's stressful right now, but it will all work out. It always does.

    Big hugs xo

  3. Did student loans change? I had mine without the help of either parent. I'm fairly certain she could do the same unless they've changed.

  4. Absolutely contact and apply for financial aid from Montserrat. They may be able to offer more aid and can help her with Stafford loans and maybe Pell grants. I have two children in college, and an unemployed husband and we have been able to patch together loans and financial aid. Good Luck

  5. There are plenty of student loan programs out there with all kinds of different requirements. Just keep researching. Talk to the financial aid folks at the college. While it seems like there are more barriers and not enough ladders to get you over them, there really are people out there who can help, and who actually want to help you find the right program.

    You'll get this done.

    Oh...write the letter to Amanda's dad anyway.

  6. I was wondering about the Dad part of this, but didn't ask.

    I agree with the others that there are ways to patch together financing.

  7. I know how stressful it is trying to figure out how to pay for college. . .

    In addition to checking with the college, check with her high school counseling department. My daughter's high school (and our local community) have money available for scholarships as well. And hey, putting out a virtual tin cup is not a bad idea! :)

  8. I'm so happy that she got accepted! And that she got some money from the college. Now does the college offer jobs? My niece is going to work at her college, then sophomore year apply for Dorm Administrator to cut her costs. Or is it called Dorm Leader?

    For us, we're doing 2yrs of community college and transferring. I don't want him getting out of college with a Mortgage size debt before he actually has a mortgage.

  9. Contacting the college is a great start. They often have other grants and scholarships that are private. She's halfway there and will fall into place. Good luck!

  10. Anonymous1:44 AM EDT

    community college was my beginning. SO much more affordable!

    I'm going back, in fact. It's still the way to go!

  11. i've been thinking about this too and had one small thought... the guard. we have one grandson getting his college paid now while he does weekends. of course he will have a commitment at the end. don't know if this is a possibility?? good luck honey. it WILL work out.

    smiles, bee

  12. Don't lose hope about that tin cup. Go ahead and create a "Send Amanda to Montserrat" page with samples of her art work and the letters of acceptance and hook it up to a donation site to deposit to a bank account.

    Sure you need to do all the leg work with the financial office, grants and loans, but you just might be surprised by how much you can depend on the kindness of strangers (and friends).

  13. I'm sure it will work out Linda but it doesn't stop you worrying about it I know from experience. The system is so unfair to hardworking people here too. I did a post about it today.

  14. Relax, momma! This will work out.
    Does she really need a co-signer? What if she got a part time job? Would she still need a co-signer? Ayayayayay...I had a job so I did not need a co-signer. Can you go to the finance dept in the school and see what they advise? Thre must be a way!
    Sending you strength, patience and hugs,

  15. I'm sure you're not the only one with worries like that right now.

  16. You know, after you guys pursue all channels, there is the possibility that she just might have to get a part time job. Sure, it's not what anyone wants, but sometimes the harder you have to work for something the more it means to you. There's no law on the books that says you have to come up with every penny. All parents would love to have the luxury of writing that big fat check Barb referred to, but sometimes we don't always get what we want. Don't put a guilt trip on your shoulders. Treat yourself better than that. How many teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, and yes, artists, have had to "put themselves" through school??? And they come out no worse for the wear!

  17. Well, I am late in reading this post (love the Tesla photos). You've gotten lotsa great suggestions that I know you'll pursue. It will work out for Amanda. You'll find a way.

    Big hugs...

  18. honey. honestly. will you PLEASE LISTEN TO ME? there's no cosigner for federal loans. none. only for private loans.

    have you spoken to the financial aid people at her college yet??!!!

  19. Maybe Amanda should divorce you. emancipate herself from you, then she could get a loan... just an idea


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