In case you missed it, here’s part I
So there I was, ready to start school. I had always figured that it would be pretty easy to go back whenever I was ready; after all, most of my friends had gone to college. I had a direction to aim for, and I was really excited to head in that direction. Since my grades had slipped so much in high school due to my depression, I decided to go to a community college for a year or two to clean up my record. I was living in Minneapolis at the time, so I applied to MCTC (Minneapolis Community and Technical College). I was accepted and diligently filled out my FAFSA information.
While filling out my FAFSA, I realized that I was still considered dependent on my parents since I was 22. I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 18, and that’s when any financial support on their part stopped. For four years, I had been totally independent, but there is really no loophole on the FAFSA for a single, childless, non-veteran under 24.
This really f-ed my shit up, because I had to report my parents’ income, and with my full-time (albeit nearly minimum wage) income on top of that, I got practically no financial aid. Thinking I was being smart, I had never taken out a credit card because I didn’t want to accrue any debt, I had no credit at all, and since my parents wouldn’t co-sign a loan for me, I was unable to take out a private loan (although, it’s better that I didn’t because the interest rate would have been insane).
I wasn’t making enough money to save money, so there was just no way I could pay for tuition and books. Realizing that I really, really wasn’t going to be able to go to school yet was one of the most disappointing moments of my life.
We moved back to New York about 6 months after I got shut out by the Feds, and continued to research my funding options. I found out that you only had to be 24 in December of the year that you go to school, so I wouldn’t have to wait quite as long as I thought. I applied to a local community college for the Spring semester, filled out my FAFSA, and finally, finally was considered independent and able to gear up for school.