Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Good News?!?

Well the good news is Anna was accepted into Eastern Illinois University. The bad news is we have to pay for it. We should qualify for grant money but we can't really find out until the first of the year how much we get. So I will just panic until them. ;) I'm sure that I'm not the only parent that feels panic stricken when they find out their child has been accepted. Anna said she felt so relieved when she finally got the acceptance letter. And I had just the opposite reaction. The good thing is the school is super helpful and gave us all the info on grants and scholarships. And Anna has a cousin that is graduating in December from EIU that can help us find grants and scholarships. She is our ace in the hole until we figure this all out. I'll keep you posted on which corner I will be panhandling on.
Thanks for stopping over,
SonyaAnn

18 comments:

A.Marie said...

Well, congrats to Anna, but I know what you mean about the panic part. When my neighbor girl got accepted into a private college, she was estatic and her parents were like, "OH NO!" Her tuition then, about 6 years ago (when she was a starting Freshman) was around $17,000! Yep, there is THREE ZEROS BEHIND THE 17! I just about died! Her parents paid that for 4 years. I could not have done it.

The Mom went back to work full-time, and most of her income went towards the college tuition.

A.Marie said...

Forgot to mention...when our now teen son was around 5th grade, we heard about College Illinois and set him up. It is expensive every month, and we don't have much wiggle room, but by the time he is a Senior, we'll have it paid for. So, his tuition will be covered, but that still will leave books, lab fees, etc. that will have to be paid for.

SonyaAnn said...

A.Marie-Yup, its $17,000 a year at EIU. I was going to go back to work full time and dot he same thing as your neighbors but my FIL is a CPA and he figured that if I went back to work we wouldn't get any grant money. If I stay home we should get as much as if I worked. I figure we will wait to see what we can get and then decide if I need to go to work. I just if I could even find a job around here.

SonyaAnn said...

A.Marie-My wonderful inlaws saved some money to help the kids. But it won't cover it. Mind you I'm grateful for every penny but the burden is on us which it should be. So fingers crossed about the grant money.
And good for you for paying it all ahead of time. We are pretty tight with the budget and I don't know how I could have squeezed that much out. You are really impressive!!!

McVal said...

Congrats! With 7 kids (at the time) my parents couldn't afford college tuition for any of us. They did fill out the financial aid forms with us tho and when we graduated, we had a hefty price tag to pay off ourselves. But we did it... Good luck to you! The grants and scholarships will bring it all into the reasonable range.

Annie Jones said...

Congrats to Anna! And some smelling salts to you...

Linda said...

Congrats! I was lucky my daughter went to the community college here in Vegas, She paid for her classes and I told her I would pay for her books and Labs. She got a scholarship that paid for her classes. I was stuck paying for all her books. It was expensive. But still a whole lot cheaper than paying for college.
Her book ran about $700. to 1000.
a semester. A whole lot cheaper than $17000.
Hope you have a great week!
Linda

SonyaAnn said...

Linda-That is still really good that you only had to pay up to a $1000. Anna should get some scholarship money and grant money. My FIL is a CPA and said we should be fine. He does someone elses taxes that is in the same boat as us and said we should be fine. I'll keep everyone posted.

SonyaAnn said...

Annie Jones-Funny! Seriously, I may have a break down. So many others have done it, I'm sure we will make it! I just don't do well with the unknown!

SonyaAnn said...

McVal-Its great that even though they had 7 kids they did what they could to help you. It sounds like you had great parents.
I know we will figure it out, I'm the type that likes to know the financial end right away. Only a few more weeks and we will know how screwed we are!;)

Pam said...

Congrats to Anna! I will probably be panhandling on the street corner with you next year when we find when Brittany does college applications. She wants to go to Emory. It's only $54,000 this year. Pocket change I say! (Ack!!!)

SonyaAnn said...

Pam-WOW! I thought $17000 was high! Good luck, I'll let you know how it all works out. We can all live in a tent together.

slugmama said...

Congrats to your kiddo on getting in to the school of her choice!
Now go have a good stiff drink...lol

My sage advise from the bankroller of a new college freshman...Get your 2009 taxes complete ASAP after Jan. 1! You need that done to fill out the FAFSA...the sooner you get that done, the better if you need aid.
And when the feds tell you(according to your FAFSA form)how much you are REQUIRED to spend of your income to pay toward your kid's college bill, don't have a heart attack!LOL It is ridiculous!! We are by no means 'rich'...our FAFSA said we were required to spend $39K on our kid's schooling(and that's per YEAR!)before federal financial aid would give us any money.lolol Obviously, the feds gave us nothing toward college.

Make sure that her college AUTOMATICALLY considers incoming students for any school sponsored scholarships...if they don't automatically do that, then YOU have to be proactive and have her apply for those as well as the Federal FAFSA ones.
Take out the aid that will cost you the least in interest(usually the Federal). Don't get suckered in by these companies that offer to 'help' you apply for aid. You don't have to pay to find aid avenues.
Don't miss deadlines.
Be open for any kind of aid(scholarships, grants, work/study)...you can always decline some types after you see what it will cost.
IF you don't get enough aid from the Feds, you will need to take out personal/private financed loans. Companies will try to talk you into taking out loans in YOUR name rather than your kid's name. Taking them out in your name means that if your kid defaults on paying after graduating, YOU are held responsible to pay off the loan. Parents interest rates are lower generally BUT make sure you are SURE your kid is responible enough and won't default before taking out a loan in your name.

And do NOT raid your retirement accounts or 401K or anything else to pay! If you can't afford it, take out the loans but avoid home equities and personal loans. Have your kid take out educational loans. If you have to cosign, remember what I said above. Better that they owe money when they are done than you owe money. It is easier for someone just starting out to pay back loans than the parents having to replenish retirement accounts. While you can get loans to go to school, no one will give you loans to retire.

Since we were able to save some(and are still saving for #2&#3 kidss)for our kids for school, we set aside X$ for each and they are told the amount. They then have to choose to go to a state school and have little or no loans to pay back or splurge and go to that private high$ school and if they can't get scholarships, they know they will have large sums to pay back. It's their choice.

#1 kid went the state school route. #2 kid who is a junior in HS this year has her eye on private out of state schools(big prestigious ones)so she's got to kickass in high school to get there since no one will give her free money for being poor, just for being smart.lol
#3 kid will prolly live at home and commute to comm. college and then transfer out to a 'real' school for the final 2 yrs.

It's great that EIU has a book rental program. That will save you TONS! We rented #1's books this fall thru Chegg.com and saved about $400 for the semester.

Good Luck & just lmk if I can help with anything.

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-You wrote a book! I had to laugh at the stiff drink part.
I felt so much better about the whole college "thing" after I read what you wrote. We should qualify for some money but we are going to be short. I'm trying to free up some $ to help but in the end we will probably have to take out some loans. After all the helpful info I'm starting relax. My FIL is the manager of the company so we should get the W2 forms faster than anyone. It's nice to finally "know" someone.
Thank you so much! I will be coming back to you when I have questions or I need someone to hold me up when I pass out!

Frances said...

SonyaAnn, follow all Slugmama's advice. It is all good. We have a student in her 5th year in college and she will probably be going next year. She got enough financial aid to pay for all of it, which totally surprised me the first year. LOL!

I guess the government thinks we are poor. LOL!

Frances said...

Oh, and congrats to Anna!

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-I hope the government thinks we are poor too! Dens dad thinks that we will be short anywhere from $5,000-7,000 a year short. Remember Press your luck, I'll be yelling big bucks, no whammys!!

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-I'll tell her!!