Home Stretch: Parenting Kids from 16-21dirt track date -- Saturday, February 22, 2003 -- 06:38:39 PM
I thought this subject deserved its own thread because I have learned so much, and enjoyed reading so much, stories from TPW'ers getting their kids ready to leave home. I've NOT enjoyed the FAFSA stories, but I hope to learn more about the perils of applying for college.
Renamed on 7/24/03.This thread is tagged: teenagers
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I wish Nancy C. would show up here so I could kick her ass. I am pissed that Alex apparently applied to places that all have rolling admissions so SHE ALREADY HAS ALL THE INFORMATION THAT MATTERS TO HER. I am likely to kill Lindsay long before the most anxiously awaited letter arrives during the first week of April.
dtd, they require financial information from one parent only. The form says that the parent with whom the applicant spent the majority of time during the last year should provide information. Whichever parent reports must include information for the stepparent if they are remarried. Access to the submitted form is via PINs - both the student and the reporting parent get a PIN to sign electronically if they wish - or by secure email links with the student's SSN and DOB.
It doesn't get factored in. I presume someone got tired of kids getting screwed by absentee NCPs so they set it up so that only one parental unit must report. For us it was as good as it could get because we were able to choose which parent was likely to result in the lowest expected family contribution due to joint custody.
This bodes well for us...now I just have to hope that they don't change the rules in the next few years! We were assuming that BOTH household incomes would be factored in and that the kids would not get diddly squat.
That's what I assumed, as well, until we actually went through the process. Mine still won't get diddly squat for need-based - but you have to file the FAFSA even for merit-based.
It doesn't get factored in.
Are you sure? I thought I recalled the ex getting a separate form that also needed to be filled out. My form was the "master" so to speak, but I seem to recall that they also collected his data. I only remember this because I had to nag constantly for the fuckhead to send it in.
How much merit-based aid is available?
We've been assuming that we'd end up paying if not all, then mostly all of the college expenses for the 3 kids less the state-mandated contribution from my ex for J&C, which is his proportional share of an in state public institution. Looking over the forms, it may be that SD will qualify for some kind of need-based aid if her mom's income is the only one factored in. We're assuming her mom will not have any money to pay for college, but if her "contribution" is being the one to file so that SD is considered for need-based aid it reduces the burden on us to fund the whole thing.
This has been very encouraging--thanks Sunny!
Well, Lindsay was offered a merit scholarship at Indiana with her acceptance. I don't know if she's competitive for merit-based at NYU but their merit-based scholarships come from each individual school and she's likely to be more competitive academically in the School of the Arts than she would be in the School of Arts and Sciences. Every school has the category of Trustee/President/Dean's scholarships, usually for the top 1 - 5% of their admitted class. There are Robert Byrd scholarships that are merit-based and state administered. And then there's the whole host of outside scholarships from Rotary clubs, booster clubs, race-specific, major-specific (I had a chemistry research fellowship that paid tuition and books and was not need-based), etc. All of those awards decrease whatever need-based aid is awarded, though, so it's critically important for Lindsay to be searching those sources out because she's not going to get diddly need-based.
Once a kid is actually in college, there's no opportunity for merit-based aid, is there? Given that our daughter wasn't eligible for needs-based aid and our financial situation hasn't changed, there's no point in putting in the forms again this year, is there?
I got my fellowship at the end of my freshman year. It depends on the institution, I would guess. I would have her contact both the financial aid department and the department chairman for her selected major to find out about available funds for upperclass students.
My SATs and grades were stellar but it didn't do me a heck of a lot of good for freshman year because I applied very late and they had already given away their merit-based scholarships. My freshman year performance was excellent and I let it be known that my continuation had some financial strings attached to it and let the bidding between biology and chemistry begin. Chemistry won, to my great benefit.
You should fill out the FAFSA every year. My parents' expected contribution is more than the cost of the state school I attend but they still offered parent loans and I am offered unsubsidized loans. Now, my parents don't actually have the money to pay for school that FAFSA thinks they have so I take out loans myself every semester.
And it's very frustrating for me as I am no longer a dependent on my parents' taxes but still have to put their information down when I apply for aid. I'm about to turn 23 and I will have to put them down for another two years as the cutoff is 24 but I turn 24 after FAFSA deadlines. Trying to avoid loans for a few years (so I took some semesters part-time and one off completely), as well as changing my major after 3 1/2 years, means I'm in school for a few more years. I don't know why I was so afraid of loans.
Well, speaking as someone who has been paying student loans for the past ten years and who expects to continue consigning a big chunk of my monthly income to loan payments for another five years minimum, I'd say loans suck. But if the alternative is no college, then take out the loans, because your earnings will be better for your whole life, not just for the 10 or so years you'll be making payments.
(I paid off my undergraduate loans in about seven years, with a couple of years off for grad school. My grad loans, for twice the undergrad amount, will be paid off in another four or five years.)
Yeah, loans suck but I might have been closer to finishing had I taken them rather than go part time. My loans aren't huge since I've been attending a state school.
Reading through some of these threads, I really wish I had more guidance in choosing colleges. My parents had no advice not having gone through the process themselves really and my sister had a unique situation. When I was 17/18 I thought wanted to study journalism. I got information from tons of different schools but really didn't have the information to make a good choice. I didn't know myself well enough to know what sort of school would be a good fit. It did work out I guess, since I ended up at our excellent state school where I could try different things out but I didn't get the whole moving away from home experience.
We made two major mistakes in Alex's application process. First, we weren't aware of how many schools require SAT II's, so Alex took her writing SAT II late. Then we had to pay a rush fee to get the scores to the schools, and 3 accepted her before having received the scores.
And Wake Forest requires applicants to fill out separate applications for scholarships, which are due before applications for acceptance. We missed that deadline, so even if Alex is accepted at Wake Forest, I don't think we could afford to send her.
Almost all Alex's colleges required both the FAFSA and the Profile. Three required noncustodial parent forms, tax forms from the ex, Alex and me, W-2s, and business owner forms. Plus two required corporate income tax forms from me. For Franklin & Marshall, the FAFSA is due February 1, which is almost impossible, since W-2's don't need to be mailed until January 31. It was a lot of work and I have a feeling we're not going to qualify for need-based financial aid anyway.
I was very surprised that Alex heard back so quickly from her colleges. She applied to Guilford and Goucher in February and was accepted within 2-3 weeks. I was at a business meeting today, and we were all talking colleges, since many of us have college-aged kids, and I told them about Alex's acceptance to the College Park Scholars program at Univ. of MD. Everyone raved about the program and had stories of kids with straight-A's and very high SATS who didn't get in. I wish I knew on what basis Missy was accepted. It must have been her volunteer work and extra-curriculas. Or her essays.