Could my son go to college?

I am a single mom of a 14yr old son.I am on disability, plus we get state food stamps, and a tiny amount of finacial assistance.

If my son wants to go to college, would he be able to for free or very little money? Or would he be bogged down with student loans?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    When it comes time for your son to apply for college, he'll do more than just fill out some college applications - he'll also fill out a very important application for federal educational assistance. That application is called the FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Assistance.

    The FAFSA asks lots of questions about your son's financial situation and your financial situation. You're submitting this information to the US Department of Education, and they need to know about your income, your assets, and in some cases, your expenses other than your son's college. All of this information helps the Department figure out how much (if anything) you and your son can afford to contribute to his educational expenses.

    They'll evaluate your information and compute something called an Expected Family Contribution, or EFC. The EFC is the key to financial aid.

    When you complete the FAFSA, you'll tell the government that you want them to pass their analysis on to a particular school or schools. The financial aid offices at those schools will take the EFC score they receive for your son, and match it against the criteria for all of the various kinds of financial aid that they have available.

    With your disability status and low income, chances are that your son's EFC will be zero, or very close to it. The lower your EFC, the more forms of aid he will qualify for - and the greater the amount of aid he can receive in each form.

    There are several financial aid programs that are only available to students who demonstrate "exceptional need". These programs include grant programs, which will give your son a gift of "free" money that he'll never have to repay. They also include work-study programs, which will help your son find a part-time job that he can do while he's in college (the government pays part of his salary themselves!).

    Rich or poor, most aid inevitably comes in the form of student loans, so it's highly likely that your son will wind up financing a good part of his education by borrowing.

    The news isn't all bad, because the government offers a truly economical form of financial aid lending - a form that will offer helpful borrower benefits, low interest rates, low fees, and plenty of time to pay the money back. Some of the loans (and he will surely qualify for this type of loan) include a feature that has the government paying all of the interest on the loan as long as your son remains in school. This will save him hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

    Remember - the whole idea of his going to college is so that he can qualify for good jobs and earn a good living for himself (and hopefully he remembers to help out his mom!!). In this light, you should consider loans an investment in your son's future. I know it's not a comforting thought to think about getting out of school in debt, but financial aid debt is a reality for a high percentage of every college student. The cost of a college education is beyond the means of most families in this country.

    I've attached a link to a great federal booklet that provides a solid introduction to the college financial aid picture. It's called "Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid". Start with that booklet - it's never too early to learn about these things. I think you'll find it informative and quite helpful.

    Good luck to you and your son!

  • 1 decade ago

    Since your son is still a few years away from college there are definitely ways to get him set up to pay for college. It's not too early to start applying for scholarships. Some donors will accept applications from students as young as 14.

    You can also apply for the FAFSA when he is ready to enter college to see what federal and state grants as well as federal loans that he is eligible for. FAFSA also has a FAFSA4CASTER. This is a preliminary financial aid application that the student can fill out now that will give you an idea of what he may be eligible for in the future. You can fill this out by going to http://www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov/

    One of the grants available to students is called the Academic Competive Grant (ACG). This grant is originally awarded based on the classes a student takes and passes during high school. Since he is only 14 it would be a good idea to make sure he is taking the right classes during high school to best meet his needs for college. While this grant is only $750 for the first year every bit helps and it is FREE money! To see what the requirements are for your state visit http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/about/ac-smart/200...

    If he sticks with a community college for the first two years this will definitely be a money saver.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, your son can go to college.

    AS far as the loans go....stay away from them.......for as long as he or you need to .....If you decide to get a loan get the subsidized loan ...the government pays the interest as long as he is in school...

    Your son can go to college for nothing....when it is time fill out a fafsa form- this is mostly on a first come first serve basis... so the earlier he applies the more he can get.

    Do not let your finances get you down and think that your son can't have a college education. Where there is a will threre is a way.

    Community colleges are great monry savers and the finacial aid will cover all expenses.. if he goes to a community college and still lives at home, all his finacial aid money can be used for that purpose,,, books, tuition and other things that he might need while he is going.. also if he goes to a community college he can take courses for a Bachelors degree, the cost is less and he would only need about a year at a university. At community colleges they are affiliated with universitys so he could transfer to one that is affiliated with the junior college and all his credits will get transfered..

    On finacial aid a person is eligible for work study (they work for the college they are attending) he may only get 19 hours per week but they work around the students schedule. The first year that he goes they will go by your income ,if he is not working and if he is then he can just put his income down and not yours.

    If you have any questions e-mail me and I will be glad to help.

    The student loans stay away from them as long as you can.. he may need them if he wants to go further in his educational goals. I have addedd a link for you to check out the finacial aid website so that you can get an idea of what they ask or what papers they will want.

    Here is my story I am 24 and have been attending college for 3 years ( i only had to pay for 1 semester and that was because the school sent it to the wrong college) I have 2 little kids not married attending college. I am working on my bachelors at the community college i got my associates at ( i got mine in paralegal) Also if he does go to a community college I recommend that he get his associates in general studies it will make it mush easier fro him to get his bachelors. In another year I will be done with the community college and will be able to go to a university with all basics that I will not have to take at the university. That means that I will only need a year at a university instead of 2. Even though the university that I will be attending is not the one I wanted ..it will all be done with finacial aid. It is a long process but I will not stop until I go to law school. So what I'm saying is there is money out there for your son to go to college. If I can help you in any way please let me know.. He is young but it is never to early to start. Also when he reaches a junior and senior year I would recommend that he take dual credits (he will take at college and get high school credit and college credit) This will give him 2 years of college credits. By the time he graduates he could be few credits away from his associates.

    Something to consider... Really if you need more info I would be glad to help.

    Source(s): www.fafsa.edu.gov
  • 4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Depending on where you live and what field he wants to pursue, he could go to school for free. In my state, people can get free degrees in education and nursing (provided they pass their certifying exams). Your son could also get a federal Pell grant, which is awarded to students whose parents make little money.

    He could also get a job on campus that would help pay for his education.

    There are other ways to get an education without going into debt. Although no one told me about them, I hope I can help someone else.

    Good luck to your family

  • 1 decade ago

    He should be able to get help with fasfa..when he goes to apply for colleges they will assist him with all that..i don't know what state you are from but the state i am from we have lottery help also..good luck and god bless

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