What do I do if I suspect that one of my parents is unsupportive of me going to college?
As a current high school graduate, I'm looking forward to starting off at my community college this fall. I finished registration and got my financial aid straightened out, and FAFSA looks like It could really help me. During my spare time< I scroll online for any scholarships that could help. One night, I showed my mom what FAFSA could help me with, but she only focused on the EFC and how I mentioned that it outlines a recommended family contribution. Being brutally honest, she told me "Your dad expects the government to help you with everyhing and still wishes that you woud be working instead. Even though as parents, we both should support you, especially in something like this."
Keep in mind, I will be the first in my family to go to college. I'm just not sure why he would expect me to work, when he knows I want to do better than whats happening right now. He, himself, once showed me one of his pay stubs with his annual income and told me to try and make double that in the future. Simply put, I would like some advise to help me explain to him that it may be difficult, but not impossible to make the effort. Thank you to anyone who responds. #college #psychology #teaching #financial-aid #community-college #first-generation
Hi Briana! I worked for a local university specializing in first generation college students in academic advising. First of all, you're doing great by applying and getting your parents involved! It's natural for parents of first generation college students to feel really apprehensive about sending their kid(s) to college. The EFC is a really important factor, but there are many ways to alleviate the gap in between your offered financial aid and the EFC. Apply for as many grants and scholarships as possible, either through the university or through local businesses, churches, non-profits, etc. http://www.imfirst.org/scholarship/ is a great site among any others. You can also apply for work study when filling out the FAFSA. If you're deemed eligible for that, you are able to apply for on-campus positions such as working in the library, gym, as a tutor, etc. More here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/work-study
All of what I mentioned are unfortunately very competitive, but there are options. Many universities have specific resources or departments (such as where I worked) that are specific to first generation students and offer many resources parents as well. Where ever you are applying, I recommend contacting the admissions office and finding out the resources available to you. Depending on your major as well, you can also contact that department to see what scholarships and grants are available for you. The conversation you'll have to have with your parents is probably very difficult, but I would research the resources available to them as well so they understand what the college application process is, what resources are available to you, etc. Specifically, research the colleges and universities you are applying to and ask an admissions counselors what resources are available. Your guidance or college and career counselor in school may be able to help you this as well.
PS - I was a first generation student too and didn't know any of this existed so I love passing information on to other first gen students!! There's a lot out there, but you just need to research and ask questions. I personally found my parents were just scared because they did not know the college process and were unfamiliar with a lot of things in college. I tried to find the best way to include them and make them understand that it was an investment in my future. no easy task by any means, but I couldn't be happier with my decision to go to college as well as make an effort to involve my parents.
Sometimes the best way to win someone over to your side is to show them that you know the value of money and that you are trying to reduce the amount of money required for an education. Here are some tips that will give you some ideas that you can present to show that you are interested in keeping costs down:
Here is a site that will help with scholarships:
By showing that you understand the cost involved and want to reduce the amount of expenditure required and that you are looking for scholarships to help pay for your education, you may help to convince the non supportive parent that your education is a sound investment in your family's future.
Best of luck!
Please keep me posted. I would like to follow you progress!