Worried About Being Able to Afford Living On Campus

Published: April 06, 2018
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I got accepted into my number one college. I really want to live on campus but my dad is refusing to cosign for a loan because I need an additional 11,000. He is refusing because he said if I cant pay it off that he will have to.My plan was to get my bachelors degree in biology and then do a fast 16-month program to be an RN, so I know I would be able to pay it off but he is not budging. Not only does this make me feel sad but it's putting me in a really tough position. We are going to the college to see if they could get me more money but if not I don't know what to do. My dad and family are moving to Florida and if I do not live on campus I have to get an apartment with my friends but then Id have to buy a car and get a job and pay for rent while I go to school and I'm not sure if I can handle all of that. I would much rather live on campus for one year and while I'm on campus get a job an save up when I don't have to pay for anything. Could I get a loan on my own, I don't know what to do. Living on campus was my dream and I want to be an RN then a Nurse practitioner so I know one loan is not going to really hurt me because I can responsibly pay it off. What should I do?
Signed: Worried About Being Able to Afford Living on Campus

Dear Worried About Being Able to Afford Living on Campus,

First, let’s start with the great news here – getting into your number one school! That is a very exciting thing and certainly an accomplishment to be proud of. So congratulations from TeenHealthFX! We would also like to commend you on having a plan set for yourself about your education and career. Not everyone your age is clear about this, so congratulations on that as well!

As for your concern about living on campus, FX can appreciate your stress about this. Not only does it sound like living on campus will be easier for you to manage, but living on campus for your first year can also be a fulfilling experience in terms of meeting people and establishing some very special connections with friends. To help you figure this out, FX suggests the following:

Ask your father if he would sit down with you to help you make a realistic plan for yourself. Let him know that you are really feeling stressed out about how to proceed and how to manage this, and that you could use his assistance in making a plan for yourself. Also, find out from your father what makes him so concerned that you will not pay him back for the loan. Be careful in this part of the conversation to approach it as genuinely curious and wanting to understand where he is coming from, rather than being defensive or attacking. After discussing these things, ask your father if there is anything that would help him feel better about cosigning a loan, such as having a contract written up between the two of you that could be notarized by a public notary.

If your father won’t talk to you about this at all, are there any other family members who could get involved and perhaps have more of an influence on this topic?

Speak to a guidance counselor at school or to someone in admissions at the college to find out about options. College admissions offices and high school guidance counselors are generally full of information and resources for students who need financial assistance in some form or another.

For more information, read the article No Scholarship? Here’s How to Pay For College.

Signed: TeenHealthFX