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Financial aid package seems a little off...

GotdangitDaleGotdangitDale Posts: 3 Harvard Champion
Hello CF,

This post is regarding my financial aid package. First off, I don't want to seem ungrateful, however, I sent in my FAFSA kind of late because my mother was putting off, and at times refusing to give me answers to the questions it was asking. Finally in April, almost 5 months later from the date I started it on January 1st, I sent it in.

So, my school is IUPUI in Indiana. I've already submitted the enrollment deposit as well as completed the necessary placement tests. I'm a California resident with a ~3.2 GPA and an EFC of 00000, which, from what I've read up on, should give me quite a bit of financial aid.

I'm going to use approximate numbers here. I logged into the system's Student Center and on my to-do list, and it said I needed to accept or decline awards. So I go and look. I've received the Federal Pell Grant in $5,500 give or take, and I still have yet to accept the Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan which would amount in another $5,500. That leaves me with another estimated $30,000 to pay per year, which would ultimately add to about $160,000 to get out of college. I'm terrible at math though.

Is this my financial aid package? Are they likely to add anything else on to that or update it, or is that basically all I'm getting?
Post edited by GotdangitDale on

Replies to: Financial aid package seems a little off...

  • dodgersmomdodgersmom Posts: 47
    edited May 2013
    This is a state school that doesn't meet full need for in-state students . . . and it certainly doesn't meet full need for out-of-state students.

    Your EFC of zero would get you substantial aid only if you were attending one of the handful of schools that meet a student's full financial need - and those are most often private schools that are very hard to get into.

    What I don't understand is that you're a California resident, and likely would qualify for substantial aid if you attended a California school (and had submitted FAFSA on time). So why do you want to attend school in Indiana???

    Your Pell grant would probably be almost enough to pay for community college for your first year, and if you submit your FAFSA on time next year, you'd then be eligible for Cal Grants to help you pay for your remaining years. (Keep in mind, though, that you CANNOT miss the March 1 deadline next year!!!)

    Please rethink this . . . Indiana is just NOT affordable for you!
  • GotdangitDaleGotdangitDale Posts: 3 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    California is a toxic place for me on an emotional level. I know deep down that I would be unsuccessful in my educational endeavors staying in this state for a number of [personal] reasons. As far as FAFSA is concerned, I nagged at my mother day and night for weeks to no avail. She told me nothing, and last minute, gave me the answers to everything--bear in mind that it's not my fault.

    As per why I want to attend school in Indiana, there's a number of reasons, but I don't particularly want to post them here. Reconsideration is definitely going through my mind, but really, I have nowhere to stay in California anymore; although I'm a California resident, I'm currently living out-of-state due to lack of housing in my resident state.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 125
    edited May 2013
    California is a HUGE state. No matter where you were from, you could have gone VERY far away from that location and still have been in California where you likely would have had sufficient aid to attend school.

    Indiana is not going to fill the gap between their OOS and instate costs. As noted, they don't meet need for all Indiana residents.

    You may need to rethink your college plans for the upcoming year as that $30,000 will need to be paid by someone...and it sounds like your parents can't do so. You won't be able to take loans in your own name for that amount...and even if you could, amassing $120,000 in undergrad debt is really too much.

    At this point, you are a resident of CA, and that is where you will find the least expensive costs.

    You don't mention your SAT/ACT scores or GPA. We're they sufficiently high that you might have garnered merit aid someplace?
  • GotdangitDaleGotdangitDale Posts: 3 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    SAT (Critical Reading + Math) was 900. My GPA stands at 3.2. Probably not.

    Something happened in California (nothing criminal) which affects what I want to do career-wise. The catch is, it only applies to California. Part of my education would, unfortunately, require said activity. That's a part of why I'm avoiding it.

    If I move to Indiana, get a job (to prove that I'm not just in Indiana for school), state ID, etc. would that help? I mean, a year is still a year, but I can't NOT go to school. It's my only choice at this point.
  • dodgersmomdodgersmom Posts: 47
    edited May 2013
    No matter where you were from, you could have gone VERY far away from that location and still have been in California where you likely would have had sufficient aid to attend school.

    No, not necessarily. Cal Grants are NOT intended to cover housing. So, staying at home and attending community college is generally affordable . . . but once housing costs are added in, it's a different story.

    The OP is in a difficult situation, but IUPUI doesn't look like it's going to be the solution.

    Honestly, if you can't swing a place to live in California, you might be better off postponing college for the time being, until you've established residency elsewhere and can attend college for a more reasonable cost.

    Also, depending on what your SAT/ACT score is, you might be able to find a school where you'd be eligible for a full ride. Maybe not this coming year, but the year after instead. (And that would give you a chance to retake the SAT or ACT if you need to, to improve your score.) Here's the list of schools that offer automatic merit scholarships based on GPA and test scores alone:


    You are eligible for these awards if you have the qualifying GPA and test scores and enter as a freshman. In other words, take a few classes somewhere else, just to pass the time, and you will be out of luck - you will no longer be eligible for these grants.

    California has a great student aid system, but if you don't have a place to live there, and if your mom can't be relied on to cooperate in getting the FAFSA filed on time, it may not be an option for you. Take a look at the automatic merit award schools and see what you think.
    I can't NOT go to school. It's my only choice at this point.

    Unfortunately, not going to school may be your only choice at this point.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 125
    edited May 2013
    Even IF you reside in Indiana for a year before enrolling in college, your state of residence will be where your PARENT(S) resides. It is not easy for an undergrad student to establish residency in a state that is NOT where the parents reside. Sorry...but that is the way it is.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 125
    edited May 2013
    Just for the record...your financial aid award is not "off" but your expectation of what a public university in Indiana would give you as an OOS student was "off". Even IF you had submitted your FAFSA earlier, you would not likely have gotten additional aid from this school.

    When you were looking for colleges, did you consider affordability,,,and how you would pay? That should, perhaps, have been your number one criteria.
  • 2collegewego2collegewego Posts: 24
    edited May 2013
    Ok, here's the thing. You thought that with an EFC of 0, you would get a lot of aid. That's not true. The only thing the EFC gives you is a full Pell grant which you are getting. Just about everyone who fills out a FAFSA can get the federal loans so you got that. There are only a few other sources of money: 1- parents and student, 2- the schools to which you applied who give you money because they want you to be a student at their school, 3- your state that may give students who stay instate money. That's basically it for most people. There are a few exceptions: a few national-level very competitive scholarships for real stand-outs, students in the military get some aid and there are some employers who help pay tuition.

    So, the way I see it, you have a few options:
    1- Stay in CA and attend cc.
    2- Work (wherever you are) and save your money so you can pay for college.
    3- Try to get a job on a college campus that will give you tuition reimbursement. Note that these jobs are competitive and you may only be able to take a couple of classes at a time so it can take a long time to graduate.
    4- Join the military. Only do this if you would really consider being in the military.
    5- Apply to one of the work colleges: College of the Ozarks, Berea, Alice Lloyd

    Some other facts: if you are self-supporting, schools differ on how they determine residency for tuition purposes. So, for any school you are considering, you need to find that page on their website. Here are IUPUI's requirements which basically say that if you're 21yo, your parents' residency will be used. (See rule 2A)

    Rules Determining Resident and Nonresident Student Status for Indiana University Fee-Paying Purposes

    Note that other schools in the same state may have different rules so you need to look up each school individually. In general, in the best case scenario, a school may allow you to be considered instate if you worked and supported yourself there for at least one year before attending. They may ask for bank account statements, car registration, etc. The schools that allow this are generally *not* the main colleges in a state but the community colleges or smaller, less competitive schools. So start looking at community colleges where you are living and see what their residency requirements are.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 216
    edited May 2013
    It's unfortunate that some students and parents don't understand that public univs charge a high rate to OOS students because they're not paying taxes there. These schools aren't then going to hand you large amounts of need-based aid to cover those high OOS costs. Why would they bother to charge high OOS rates if then they would have to hand over high amounts of need-based aid - especially to a student with modest stats.

    If you still need $30k per year for this school, then your expectation was wrong. That's $120k for your education. Why would some public in another state give a non-resident $120k in need-based aid? Wouldn't you think that the school would need that money for something else, such as giving aid to its own instate students?

    You can't afford this school. Your parent is low-income and can't qualify to co-sign the loans needed. Plus, the loans would be ridiculously high. You shouldn't borrow more than about $30k TOTAL for your ENTIRE undergrad.

    What is your career goal?

    At a minimum, you can do the first 2 years at a CC. You can then do the second 2 years at a Calif univ. Then move to another state to do your career.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 252
    edited May 2013
    You are getting good advice and explanations here. The bottom line is that getting money out of college is very difficult and the vast majority of colleges do not meet need. They tend to do exactly what IUPUI did. You got the federal entitlements which would be pretty much the same where every you choose to go to college. You have to find a college you can afford on that.

    There was a young woman who said she HAD to leave her locale, who found a very inexpensive CC out of state, but still low tuition even for OOS that helps students with housing, and is going to an OOS CC with PELL and Stafford loans and some savings. She was posting on this board.

    Between PELL and the Staffords, you can get about $11K a year. If you can earn about $5-6K, you might be able to swing a room share somewhere and go to college on your own. But that means looking for inexpensive tuitions. IUPUI is not one of those schools. In state is probably the best option, because the price is right. But you can look at other state schools too for low sticker prices and research, call and see if it's doable. But getting any money out of schools other than those entitlements is highly unlikely. out of state. In state, if your family income is below a certain threshhold there might be state aid. Don't know CA rules and programs well enough to tell you for sure. You have to check it out. Out of state, nope.
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