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I have a question about Cost of Attendance. Many schools will add to the maximum allowable amount eligible for loans to account for the increased living expenses with a spouse and kids. Is this all up to the school to determine total eligibility?
I have encountered varying budgets for total COA from several schools. Some schools base entire living expense budget on a single student with a roomate. This makes no sense for those with family. If truly trying to get a mix of backgrounds and experience, this seems heavily in favor of a younger demographic.
I have seen values range from $0 additional borrowing eligibility up to $5000 for a partner and each dependent child (Thats an extra $15,000 per year for me). Yes, I understand that the student is the only one eligible to borrow for, but we are all leaving our jobs and will have no income. I can cover some of these costs with savings, but it really limits the choices of where I can go.
Anyone with a family have any advice on this, or corrections to my assumptions if flawed?
I have a family...and yes, the cost of living did limit where I could go. I didnt even apply places that didnt have a workable affordable housing solution as that will be our biggest expense and some affordable schools or decent public school options. We are not in the stage were we could squeeze into a 1-bedroom or even 2-bedroom place either.
My husband will work but probably not for the first quarter as he will be looking for a job in our new area and we will live on savings for that quarter or possbly longer. He is still an active reservist so we will have some income and healthcare through that. I am an inactive reservist and could change my status if need be (but I highly doubt it.)
We will lose my income but all the rest of our expenses remain the same. We will actually save on housing because we will be renting out our house and we are trying to get into subsized student family housing because they have 3 bedroom family apartments.
I havent looked at borrowing for living expenses yet, but I also havent heard from the financial aid office yet. I called to inquire about our living expenses and didnt get much in response...I think the bottom line is that was that its my problem not theirs but we get killed on FAFSA becuase of the way it is calculated so I havent expected them to offer me much in terms of loans. Also, I thought you were ex-military (but maybe I am wrong). The post 9/11 GI Bill includes a BAH with dependents...
Last edited by dcdevil on 30 Apr 2010, 12:35, edited 1 time in total.
GrantChap, as you've already somewhat gotten a feel for, it is going to depend on how each school views your specific situation. From the financial aid talk at an admit event that I attended, the schools are limited by regulations on how much more they can loan you beyond their standard COA. You're correct that the COA is based on some broad generalizations, so there is some flexibility to account for dependents, housing costs, etc. Within those limits though, it's pretty much up to the Financial aid officers. Each school will probably have a different idea of what your additional need is. Sounds like your next step is to contact the school and speak to them specifically about your situation. Good luck!
Re: Cost of Attendance with Family
30 Apr 2010, 12:18