View Full Version : FAFSA/ financial aid question

03-18-2008, 08:43 AM
In 2009, when I am 31 years old and my kids are 10, 9, and 6, I plan on going to college. My plan is to take my time doing this, so I can pay my way through community college and just finance the state college part. I am shooting to be done in about 8 years, right when my youngest starts middle school. But, after reading the FAFSA threads, I am not sure if this realistic. I know I can't finance unless I am going full time..which is why I am waiting till state college time, but I am hoping that since my husband only makes $80,000 (or is that considered a lot? :scared1: ) I should be able to get all the loans I need. I don't plan on working and going to school. But, what could throw a wrench is my son will graduate when he is 16 (turning 17 that September). I'll probably still have a year or two of college left. Will it screw up the financial aid for either of us I will still be going to college when he is eligible to start? Am I crazy to think I am going to get the loans I need so I can go back to school? After reading the FAFSA threads, I am kind of scared now!

03-18-2008, 09:23 AM
you should meet with the FAFSA Counselor at the cc you are attending or want to attend they can help you there

Amy Epcot
03-18-2008, 09:41 AM
I work in Financial Aid so I'll address a few points in your email. Working your way through a community college is a great idea and a much wiser money decision in getting a college education and kudos to you for getting your degree! As far as then going to a state university and financing your education, you do not have to be full-time to be eligible for loans but you do have to be registered at least half-time. There are a multitude of ways to pay for college through grants, loans and work-study but with an income of $80,000 grants may not be available to you. However Stafford loans and private loans are available to borrow and with Stafford loans there is a limit for each year but private loans can be borrowed for the remainder that a Stafford loan or any other aid wouldn't cover. Definitely make an appointment with your FA counselor at the school you plan on attending to talk about all available options.

FA can be complicated so go straight to the source rather than listening to chatter on message boards and one person's situation is always very different than another's. Educate yourself by looking on Federal & State FA websites but make that appointment to speak to a professional.

One more thing, you going to college at the same time as your child will have no effect on his/her financial aid. The government no longer counts a parent in college as a family member in college for the purposes of Financial Aid so you're out of luck there. Too many parents taking advantage of the result of more than one family member claiming to be in college, dividing the EFC (estimated family contribution) by the number in college. It is nice if you have more than one child in college at the same time though!

03-18-2008, 01:12 PM
Thanks. Considering I won't even hit state college for at least 4 years, probably no point in worrying about it till then. It does totally stink that I am going to college for legitimate reasons..and it means I will have to pay for a ton towards my college PLUS my three kids (and my first two are only 15 months apart, so it will mean three of us in college at the same time, and only two of us counting!!!) :scared1: :scared1: Almost makes you not want to further your education!!!

03-18-2008, 01:20 PM
I agree, get started on the Community College part and start researching for the rest.

What are you going to study? There are many fields (Education, Nursing, Social Services) where if you agree to work for a couple of years in under served areas, you can get your tuition or student loans discounted.

Really research for programs like that. Go into the financial aid offices and ask if they know of anything for non-traditional students that could help you out.

03-18-2008, 01:58 PM
Go ahead and fill out the Fasfa.

It will give you an idea of your estimated family contribution.

But, we had three kids in college and had an income a bit lower than yours and the combined, for three kids, estimated family contribution was around $14,000.

So, for most of us a Pell Grant is not an option.

However, my kids would have qualified for Pell Grants if I just divorced my husband.
And you know, I have thought seriously about it.

03-18-2008, 02:19 PM
I'm 35 and planning to start on my master's this summer. We made 64,000 combined last year, and my expected contribution is $8000! I'm just waiting to hear about loans. I don't know what to expect, since luckily I was on a full scholarship for my Bachelor's degree.

03-18-2008, 02:52 PM
Hi! I am currently going to community college. You do not need to be full time in order to FAFSA loans. With your income level you will most likely not get any grants, but should be able to get loans with no problem. I am able to get loans (our income is very similar to yours) as long as I attend part time (at least 6 credits per term). It has been slow going since I only take two or three classes per term, however I've already gotten two years down and should be done in the next two or three. At that time my son will be around 9 years old, and it will be so worth the hard work.