More money needed than COA

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
Amusei
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More money needed than COA

Postby Amusei » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:28 am

COA amount is absurdly low for what I actually need.

Is there anyway that I can get a private loan that will exceed the COA? Wherever I look, it's always "up to the cost of attendance." I'm talking about hours and hours of searching. Federal loans covered the COA.

Did I miss something glaringly obvious? Or is there no way to get a student loan that exceeds the COA?

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:57 am

Amusei wrote:COA amount is absurdly low for what I actually need.

Is there anyway that I can get a private loan that will exceed the COA? Wherever I look, it's always "up to the cost of attendance." I'm talking about hours and hours of searching. Federal loans covered the COA.

Did I miss something glaringly obvious? Or is there no way to get a student loan that exceeds the COA?


Can you post your school's breakdown of COA vs. tuition? For example, my COA is over 60k. Tuition is 38k. If a person need more than 22k extra coming in (living with a roommate i.e. my hubby-to-be in my case), I'd be really really surprised. I'm just curious as to what the differences are here.

AsylumPB
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby AsylumPB » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:03 am

Sometimes your fin aid office will increase the amount for special circumstances, such as child care, etc. Beyond that, you are probably looking at private loans. I too would like to know the differences in the COA and tuition.

09042014
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:05 am

Plenty of people at your school can do it, why can't you?

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:08 am

Desert Fox wrote:Plenty of people at your school can do it, why can't you?


^^^ what I'm trying to ascertain as well. I need to see numbers to understand where this guy is coming from. I'm thinking maybe he's just looking at what he's getting in scholly and Stafford, noticing he's not getting much more than tuition covered, and is confusing what he was awarded in that respect with COA. Grad Plus FTW.

nontradintexas
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby nontradintexas » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:11 am

From the research I've done, the only lender still offering this type of loan is Wells Fargo. And you'll need a cosigner. And, per the Wells Fargo rep I spoke with, your cosigner will need to have a much better debt-to-income ratio that they would need for any other type of loan (such as a mortgage). I'm not sure why these types of loans are so extremely disfavored by lending institutions, but they are. I do know that when I began looking at this entire process several years ago, there were multiple lenders who did loans not tied to COA. Again, at this point I can only find one.

As far as why a person might need more than COA, there are many reasons - mine is that I'm older and this is a second career so I gave up a decent job (albeit one with no career advancement opportunities) to do this. Having a wife and kids means more expenses, and when your school won't take that into consideration and alter the COA things can be very difficult. Also, the COA at my school is closer to $16k. I do live in Texas where life is cheaper, but it's not that much cheaper. So even after saving, cutting corners, and making sacrifices, there are still bills that a family of four must pay. Plus, it's hard to convince my kids to eat Ramen every day. :wink:

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:16 am

nontradintexas wrote:From the research I've done, the only lender still offering this type of loan is Wells Fargo. And you'll need a cosigner. And, per the Wells Fargo rep I spoke with, your cosigner will need to have a much better debt-to-income ratio that they would need for any other type of loan (such as a mortgage). I'm not sure why these types of loans are so extremely disfavored by lending institutions, but they are. I do know that when I began looking at this entire process several years ago, there were multiple lenders who did loans not tied to COA. Again, at this point I can only find one.

As far as why a person might need more than COA, there are many reasons - mine is that I'm older and this is a second career so I gave up a decent job (albeit one with no career advancement opportunities) to do this. Having a wife and kids means more expenses, and when your school won't take that into consideration and alter the COA things can be very difficult. Also, the COA at my school is closer to $16k. I do live in Texas where life is cheaper, but it's not that much cheaper. So even after saving, cutting corners, and making sacrifices, there are still bills that a family of four must pay. Plus, it's hard to convince my kids to eat Ramen every day. :wink:


I thought though that most schools would adjust COA for someone given your circumstances...do they not?

And in response to the bolded portion, I'm going to guess that deferment for 3 years is probably not ideal for a loan for them, especially when you are maxing out your government-allowed portion. Wayyyy too much risk, especially ITE.

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Grizz
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby Grizz » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:19 am

nontradintexas wrote:
As far as why a person might need more than COA, there are many reasons - mine is that I'm older and this is a second career so I gave up a decent job (albeit one with no career advancement opportunities) to do this. Having a wife and kids means more expenses, and when your school won't take that into consideration and alter the COA things can be very difficult.


Get your wife to work?

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:24 am

rad law wrote:
nontradintexas wrote:
As far as why a person might need more than COA, there are many reasons - mine is that I'm older and this is a second career so I gave up a decent job (albeit one with no career advancement opportunities) to do this. Having a wife and kids means more expenses, and when your school won't take that into consideration and alter the COA things can be very difficult.


Get your wife to work?


Was thinking this, but to keep myself from another debate, keeping my mouth shut. :lol:

nontradintexas
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby nontradintexas » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:09 pm

chicagolaw2013 wrote:
rad law wrote:
nontradintexas wrote:
As far as why a person might need more than COA, there are many reasons - mine is that I'm older and this is a second career so I gave up a decent job (albeit one with no career advancement opportunities) to do this. Having a wife and kids means more expenses, and when your school won't take that into consideration and alter the COA things can be very difficult.


Get your wife to work?


Was thinking this, but to keep myself from another debate, keeping my mouth shut. :lol:


Not sure she'd be on board with working more than the 50+ hours a week she already works.

As for adjusting COA, the financial aid office at my school made it sound like a possibility, but I have yet to find a single person who has received approval on an increase - even people with child care, etc. I'm fairly certain that is something that is school-specific, though, so your results may vary. It's just frustrating that before I started school I asked the question and received an answer that is apparently not true. Again - that's a school-specific complaint. Luckily, I haven't had to apply for an above-COA loan, I've just done the research.

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danidancer
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby danidancer » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:15 pm

For me, it's the 9-month budget coupled with the probable lack of income for 1L summer that's the killer.

nontradintexas
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby nontradintexas » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:17 pm

danidancer wrote:For me, it's the 9-month budget coupled with the probable lack of income for 1L summer that's the killer.


Agreed. However, if you can fit in a summer class, you can borrow COA money for that, too. That helps quite a bit, but it really depends on whether you're going to be spending your summer near your school.

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Grizz
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby Grizz » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:18 pm

danidancer wrote:For me, it's the 9-month budget coupled with the probable lack of income for 1L summer that's the killer.


Get a legal job and then wait tables at night. It's not rocket science.

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danidancer
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby danidancer » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:23 pm

rad law wrote:
danidancer wrote:For me, it's the 9-month budget coupled with the probable lack of income for 1L summer that's the killer.


Get a legal job and then wait tables at night. It's not rocket science.


Yeah... Since I've been working full time for a couple of years after undergrad (class of '07) I think I'd rather dip into my savings to cover the gap, but thanks.

dudders
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby dudders » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:24 pm

rad law wrote:
danidancer wrote:For me, it's the 9-month budget coupled with the probable lack of income for 1L summer that's the killer.


Get a legal job and then wait tables at night. It's not rocket science.


I will also be dusting off my Shoes For Crews and waiting tables in the summer ... probably even if I have a paying gig, to lessen my loans for 2L and 3L and/or have any fun whatsoever.

To compensate for the summer, I'm also dividing my 9-month COA allowance by 12 months. It leaves me with a cruddy budget that will require some scrimping, but I'll manage to pay ridiculous rent in an expensive city and finish out my remaining year of car payments. I'm used to working like a crazy person and scrimping as well, so I don't expect law school to be much different.

nontradintexas
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby nontradintexas » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:14 pm

dudders wrote:
To compensate for the summer, I'm also dividing my 9-month COA allowance by 12 months.



This is the smart way to budget - I'm not sure why more people can't seem to figure this out. News flash: a pitiful number of you will get paying jobs 1L summer - don't expect to make money, expect not to.

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IAFG
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby IAFG » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:21 pm

danidancer wrote:
rad law wrote:
danidancer wrote:For me, it's the 9-month budget coupled with the probable lack of income for 1L summer that's the killer.


Get a legal job and then wait tables at night. It's not rocket science.


Yeah... Since I've been working full time for a couple of years after undergrad (class of '07) I think I'd rather dip into my savings to cover the gap, but thanks.

if you were above waiting tables to supplement your income, you wouldn't have to.

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sophistry
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby sophistry » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:22 pm

dudders wrote:
rad law wrote:
danidancer wrote:For me, it's the 9-month budget coupled with the probable lack of income for 1L summer that's the killer.


Get a legal job and then wait tables at night. It's not rocket science.


I will also be dusting off my Shoes For Crews and waiting tables in the summer ... probably even if I have a paying gig, to lessen my loans for 2L and 3L and/or have any fun whatsoever.

To compensate for the summer, I'm also dividing my 9-month COA allowance by 12 months. It leaves me with a cruddy budget that will require some scrimping, but I'll manage to pay ridiculous rent in an expensive city and finish out my remaining year of car payments. I'm used to working like a crazy person and scrimping as well, so I don't expect law school to be much different.


How do you expect this to work? I don't see how this is possible. If you're lucky enough to get a summer associate gig, or any decent summer legal job, you won't have time to wait tables except possibly on the weekend, right? The summer associates at my old firm worked consistent 10 to 12 hour days, and occasionally weekends. You won't be able to fit another 8+ hour shift in there.

09042014
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:23 pm

IAFG wrote:
danidancer wrote:
rad law wrote:
danidancer wrote:For me, it's the 9-month budget coupled with the probable lack of income for 1L summer that's the killer.


Get a legal job and then wait tables at night. It's not rocket science.


Yeah... Since I've been working full time for a couple of years after undergrad (class of '07) I think I'd rather dip into my savings to cover the gap, but thanks.

if you were above waiting tables to supplement your income, you wouldn't have to.


I doubt you'll be waiting tables next summer.

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IAFG
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby IAFG » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:24 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I doubt you'll be waiting tables next summer.

there is a way to interpret this as a compliment, and i choose to do so

nontradintexas
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby nontradintexas » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:42 pm

sophistry wrote:
dudders wrote:
rad law wrote:
danidancer wrote:For me, it's the 9-month budget coupled with the probable lack of income for 1L summer that's the killer.


Get a legal job and then wait tables at night. It's not rocket science.


I will also be dusting off my Shoes For Crews and waiting tables in the summer ... probably even if I have a paying gig, to lessen my loans for 2L and 3L and/or have any fun whatsoever.

To compensate for the summer, I'm also dividing my 9-month COA allowance by 12 months. It leaves me with a cruddy budget that will require some scrimping, but I'll manage to pay ridiculous rent in an expensive city and finish out my remaining year of car payments. I'm used to working like a crazy person and scrimping as well, so I don't expect law school to be much different.


How do you expect this to work? I don't see how this is possible. If you're lucky enough to get a summer associate gig, or any decent summer legal job, you won't have time to wait tables except possibly on the weekend, right? The summer associates at my old firm worked consistent 10 to 12 hour days, and occasionally weekends. You won't be able to fit another 8+ hour shift in there.


If we're still talking about 1L summer, then the few people who have a summer associate position will get paid for that. The rest will be working as judicial interns (9-5, if that) or for non-profits (3-4 days a week), and the weekend will definitely be open. Most of the people in my class have time to work a few nights a week if they wanted.

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sophistry
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby sophistry » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:47 pm

nontradintexas wrote:If we're still talking about 1L summer, then the few people who have a summer associate position will get paid for that. The rest will be working as judicial interns (9-5, if that) or for non-profits (3-4 days a week), and the weekend will definitely be open. Most of the people in my class have time to work a few nights a week if they wanted.


Ah, I see. I assumed that even the unpaid/low-paid work would have long hours (to impress the boss and network, if nothing else). 4 day, 9-5 work weeks would leave plenty of time for a second job.

dudders
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby dudders » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:48 pm

sophistry wrote:
dudders wrote:
rad law wrote:
danidancer wrote:For me, it's the 9-month budget coupled with the probable lack of income for 1L summer that's the killer.


Get a legal job and then wait tables at night. It's not rocket science.


I will also be dusting off my Shoes For Crews and waiting tables in the summer ... probably even if I have a paying gig, to lessen my loans for 2L and 3L and/or have any fun whatsoever.

To compensate for the summer, I'm also dividing my 9-month COA allowance by 12 months. It leaves me with a cruddy budget that will require some scrimping, but I'll manage to pay ridiculous rent in an expensive city and finish out my remaining year of car payments. I'm used to working like a crazy person and scrimping as well, so I don't expect law school to be much different.


How do you expect this to work? I don't see how this is possible. If you're lucky enough to get a summer associate gig, or any decent summer legal job, you won't have time to wait tables except possibly on the weekend, right? The summer associates at my old firm worked consistent 10 to 12 hour days, and occasionally weekends. You won't be able to fit another 8+ hour shift in there.


See where you said "except possibly on the weekend?" Remove the "except" and "possibly" and there's your answer. And hey, if I'm lucky enough to get a kick-ass paid summer gig where my firm has me working weekends (which seems like a pretty unreasonable expectation for a 1L summer), I'm probably not going to be so worried about getting paid and law school debt am I? ... Besides, waitressing shifts tend to be more in the 4-6 hour range than 8+, unless you're working somewhere that serves food super-late and you're the closing shift.

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sophistry
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby sophistry » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:58 pm

dudders wrote:See where you said "except possibly on the weekend?" Remove the "except" and "possibly" and there's your answer. And hey, if I'm lucky enough to get a kick-ass paid summer gig where my firm has me working weekends (which seems like a pretty unreasonable expectation for a 1L summer), I'm probably not going to be so worried about getting paid and law school debt am I? ... Besides, waitressing shifts tend to be more in the 4-6 hour range than 8+, unless you're working somewhere that serves food super-late and you're the closing shift.


I suppose my "possibly on the weekend" comment was more in regards to finding that gig that allows you to only work on the weekend. At my previous serving job, we turned down people who only wanted to work weekends. But I hear you. I'm definitely going to be trying to find supplemental income wherever I can. I was just surprised that people were suggesting working a late shift after working a full day at a legal job. I'd guess that after the 15th coffee our work product wouldn't be stellar. The whole point of summer work is to impress and network, right?

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sophistry
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Re: More money needed than COA

Postby sophistry » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:07 pm

Amusei wrote:COA amount is absurdly low for what I actually need.

Is there anyway that I can get a private loan that will exceed the COA? Wherever I look, it's always "up to the cost of attendance." I'm talking about hours and hours of searching. Federal loans covered the COA.

Did I miss something glaringly obvious? Or is there no way to get a student loan that exceeds the COA?


Back to the OP--I think your assessment is basically correct. From my understanding, you generally cannot get student loans over your school's COA. Also note that grants and scholarships count against the COA as well. So, for example, you can't get an additional $10k loan over the COA just because you have a $10k scholarship.

The exception to this is for certain allowable purchases/services that go beyond the normal COA. The list of these is very narrow. My school allows a budget adjustment above the COA for a computer purchase, health insurance, and medical fees, but not much else. To get the adjustment, you'll need to submit a form detailing the costs and including receipts.

As for private loans, ITE you'll most likely need a cosigner if you don't have significant assets and great credit. Even with a cosigner, the rates will probably be pretty terrible. Avoid them if you can.




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