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Hello! I am 27, divorced mom to two little girls from my previous marriage and mom to a wonderful little baby boy. I've wanted to go back to school for a few years, and now I've realized that this is my only option.
Long story short, my job of 7 years booted me after exhausting my FMLA leave, and I need to do something that can support my three children.
My plan as of right now is working a part time job, possibly working another part time job starting in december, but also going to school full time in january. With three little ones at home and my wonderful boyfriend being out of work, he is taking on the role as stay at home dad for now.
I'm terrified that we are going to sink even more than we already have. Our income is a total of $1,200 a month. Half of that is from unemployment from my boyfriend, the other half is from me. That's all going to dramatically change in the next couple of months and I'm scared.
Basically, what can I do to go to school full time but still be able to have a liquid income for living expenses? What loans/grants are you using? I already applied for financial aid and was approved though I know that it won't be very much at all.
Mommy to Charly (4), Peyton (2) and Oliver 8/25/12.
you can get a Pell Grant from financial aid the maximum per year is $5550 (my school splits that where you get half one semester and the other half the next, and you only get the full amount if enrolled for that schools 'full' credit load and then you only get whats left after all books/tution is paid)
Part of Financial aid is also Stafford loans. There is subsidized and unsubsidized. The unsub will incur interest while you're in school the sub wont incur any till 6mo after you graduate or stop attending school. I'm not sure the maximum on that but I personally get about $5k a semester between the two, and my husband makes just under $30k a year (we're a family of 4).
Other then those I suggest talking to your school about scholarships and such.
It can be very scary, but it can also be done. I don't usually talk a lot about our financial situation on here, but I will share a little bit here. My husband and I are both full time students. He is a fill-in minister (works 2 services a month) and has a work-study 15 hours A MONTH through the school. I sell jewelry that I make (online and at vendor fairs) and tutor at school (8 hours A MONTH). We each get PELL Grants (which pretty much covers our tuition and books at a community college) and take full loans through Stafford/Direct loans.
You have to be extremely strict, budgeting every single penny, and you have to give up just about anything extra (cable/satellite, cell phones, internet, movie rentals, going out to eat, etc.) but it can be done. You just have to ask yourself (and be honest!)if you can be that strict on yourself. Remember than any loans you take you have to start paying back 6 months after you graduate. If you can't find a job in your field, you can end up in much worse shape than if you didn't go back to start with, so you really need to look at what you are wanting to study and the outlook for careers in that field.
I hope that some of this is helpful. Welcome, and best of luck!