Adult student with family questions aid

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
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greenlight
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Adult student with family questions aid

Postby greenlight » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:00 am

All-

I am 30 years old and currently the sole provider for my young family. Going to law school has been a very vivid dream of mine for some time and I have recently begun to take all of the necessary steps in order to make that dream a reality. Pending final LSDAS GPA and LSAT scores (first two large hurdles) I am curious if anyone else has been or is currently in my situation; wondering how I can make it in a T14 law school without income for 3 years and a family to support. I have been to a live forum with someone who touched upon this issue with a UofC admissions officer, but the question was indirect. The answer, to the best of my knowledge, is that Universities will factor into account room and board in their cost of attendance. In addition the FAFSA submission will factor in additional needs required from dependents. What this translates to is a potential for increased monetary lending in order to support my family completely from these loans and awards. Am I completely crazy that this is a possibility?

On a separate note, if it has been very clearly suggested that you CANNOT work a full time job and go to law school in such a competitive/rigorous educational atmosphere, but still are required to fill out your FAFSA before admission into law school, how do you communicate to the financial "powers that be" you will be without income the day you start law school. Shouldn't that weigh heavily on your possible awards, grants, scholarships, etc....?

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

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homestyle28
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:07 am

I'm in a very similar spot OP, heading to NU in the fall. My wife will work, but she works in higher ed and doesn't make enough to cover cost of living in chicago. Some schools will automatically increase your cost of attendance which increases your eligibility for federal loans. If the school does not automatically do so, you can usually request an increase for legitimate costs like childcare. Of course, doing so increases your debt load. Which means LS with family is more of an investment. Anecdotally, I've heard that many older students w/ families perform well b/c we value our time more and are better at managing it.

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greenlight
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby greenlight » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:30 am

I like your thought process. Trust me, when my application is finally submitted to NU (my very vivid dream of attending law school has a face) I will be discussing in some capacity the ability to juggle that is only honed to perfection by a parent. I sincerely appreciate your response. Congratulations on your acceptance to NU.

ArghItsBlarg
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby ArghItsBlarg » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:51 pm

I'm in a similar situation, but I'm going an alternate route. Although I live in Chicago and have a pretty strong chance of getting in at NU, barring some extraordinary scholarship I'll be attending one of the nearby T2's part time. I carry our health insurance, so I don't really have the option of going to school full time, even if we could exist without my salary.

The upside to this is that, with my numbers, I hope to have zero debt. I will be working my ass off to graduate as high in my class as possible to offset any perceived negatives due to graduating from a non T14 school, but I'm not interested in working 80-100 hours/week at a biglaw office anyway, so I think I have a strong stance when it comes time to job search.

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homestyle28
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:00 pm

ArghItsBlarg wrote: I carry our health insurance, so I don't really have the option of going to school full time, even if we could exist without my salary.

Good point here. NU's student insurance sucks for families, wouldn't be surprised if this is true in a lot of places.

09042014
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby 09042014 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:09 pm

Instead of the AJD, NU should have done a PT program. I would have been all over that.

Stay away from Streeterville if you guys need 2+ bedrooms. Lincoln Square is nice and is only 35-40 minutes away. A great place to have a family.

I couldn't afford to live by my self in Streeterville on purely loans.

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homestyle28
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:51 pm

As I have family in Chicago and would like to end up there in the end, I'm seriously considering buying instead of renting. Some of the western suburbs are reasonably affordable

09042014
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby 09042014 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:53 pm

homestyle28 wrote:As I have family in Chicago and would like to end up there in the end, I'm seriously considering buying instead of renting. Some of the western suburbs are reasonably affordable


The commute would suck. Especially if you do start work in Chicago.

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JazzOne
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby JazzOne » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:57 pm

I chose to eschew T14 for a full ride at UT because of some issues very similar to OP's. Consider all you options OP. You might not need to dip down to T2 to get a full ride. Also, your COA can be adjusted for dependents. Make sure you call the financial aid office after your award though. They can massage the numbers if you're nice.

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homestyle28
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:58 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:As I have family in Chicago and would like to end up there in the end, I'm seriously considering buying instead of renting. Some of the western suburbs are reasonably affordable


The commute would suck. Especially if you do start work in Chicago.


Yeah, I'm thinking Oak Park area 45ish minutes on the train is my understanding. My bro and sis in law live out towards wheaton, which is like 1:30 by car most days 1 way, that seems like a crazy commute to me. IMO anything under an hour is acceptable. But we'll see, I could definitely see the appeal of living closer.

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homestyle28
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:05 pm

JazzOne wrote:I chose to eschew T14 for a full ride at UT because of some issues very similar to OP's. Consider all you options OP. You might not need to dip down to T2 to get a full ride. Also, your COA can be adjusted for dependents. Make sure you call the financial aid office after your award though. They can massage the numbers if you're nice.


Did you relocate your fam for the 3 years? There were a whole heap of schools that weren't on my radar just b/c of geography (i.e. where my wife was willing to live).

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JazzOne
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby JazzOne » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:08 pm

homestyle28 wrote:
JazzOne wrote:I chose to eschew T14 for a full ride at UT because of some issues very similar to OP's. Consider all you options OP. You might not need to dip down to T2 to get a full ride. Also, your COA can be adjusted for dependents. Make sure you call the financial aid office after your award though. They can massage the numbers if you're nice.


Did you relocate your fam for the 3 years? There were a whole heap of schools that weren't on my radar just b/c of geography (i.e. where my wife was willing to live).

I'm from Texas, so the geography worked out on that level too. I didn't want to move my family to Chicago since they're from the southwest. I don't really know all your options in Chicago. I was just suggesting that you explore all your options. I don't regret taking that full ride over T14, especially after reading some accounts of T10 2Ls with no summer jobs.

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greenlight
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby greenlight » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:43 am

homestyle28 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:As I have family in Chicago and would like to end up there in the end, I'm seriously considering buying instead of renting. Some of the western suburbs are reasonably affordable


The commute would suck. Especially if you do start work in Chicago.


Yeah, I'm thinking Oak Park area 45ish minutes on the train is my understanding. My bro and sis in law live out towards wheaton, which is like 1:30 by car most days 1 way, that seems like a crazy commute to me. IMO anything under an hour is acceptable. But we'll see, I could definitely see the appeal of living closer.


I would be traveling in to Evanston from Woodstock, IL (if you look at the Chicagoland map the "Woo" may even get cut off). Commute from this distance would be about 1:45 or so. But trying to buy a home in Chicagoland drove us this far west to begin with. Everyone is used to the time spend in the car at this point. Another area that I kick myself for not looking more deeply into is North, but my family lives in Naperville too and we felt the West would be an easier commute South. If you are exploring areas like Oak Park you should look North to Libertyville or Gurnee. Great family areas and good commute to Evanston. You'll all be all but out the train option however.

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homestyle28
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby homestyle28 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:47 am

greenlight wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:As I have family in Chicago and would like to end up there in the end, I'm seriously considering buying instead of renting. Some of the western suburbs are reasonably affordable


The commute would suck. Especially if you do start work in Chicago.


Yeah, I'm thinking Oak Park area 45ish minutes on the train is my understanding. My bro and sis in law live out towards wheaton, which is like 1:30 by car most days 1 way, that seems like a crazy commute to me. IMO anything under an hour is acceptable. But we'll see, I could definitely see the appeal of living closer.


I would be traveling in to Evanston from Woodstock, IL (if you look at the Chicagoland map the "Woo" may even get cut off). Commute from this distance would be about 1:45 or so. But trying to buy a home in Chicagoland drove us this far west to begin with. Everyone is used to the time spend in the car at this point. Another area that I kick myself for not looking more deeply into is North, but my family lives in Naperville too and we felt the West would be an easier commute South. If you are exploring areas like Oak Park you should look North to Libertyville or Gurnee. Great family areas and good commute to Evanston. You'll all be all but out the train option however.


Good to know. Skokie is on our radar as well, as we have some fam in that area too. BTW the LS campus is downtown ( I didn't know that until my interview!)

ArghItsBlarg
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby ArghItsBlarg » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:06 pm

Yeah, I was about to mention, only the UG and School of Business are in Evanston. The Law School is in the heart of the City, just north of the Loop and on the Lake. Nowhere near Evanston, next to the med school and the hospital. NU owns a few city blocks in that area.

Speaking as someone who already lives in the northern suburbs and commutes to the City to work (1.25 hour train ride each way), there are lots of Metra lines available to live in the outlying suburbs, although I wouldn't recommend living as far away as I do. (I live adjacent to Libertyville (which is an expensive suburb, btw) and a way's west of Gurnee. On the plus side, that's 2.5 hours each day that I can study with no distractions save an uncomfortable seat. Definitely, wherever you choose to live, make sure there's a Metra station nearby so that the vast majority of your commute is spent on the train rather than in the car.

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greenlight
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby greenlight » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:54 pm

ArghItsBlarg wrote:Yeah, I was about to mention, only the UG and School of Business are in Evanston. The Law School is in the heart of the City, just north of the Loop and on the Lake. Nowhere near Evanston, next to the med school and the hospital. NU owns a few city blocks in that area.

Speaking as someone who already lives in the northern suburbs and commutes to the City to work (1.25 hour train ride each way), there are lots of Metra lines available to live in the outlying suburbs, although I wouldn't recommend living as far away as I do. (I live adjacent to Libertyville (which is an expensive suburb, btw) and a way's west of Gurnee. On the plus side, that's 2.5 hours each day that I can study with no distractions save an uncomfortable seat. Definitely, wherever you choose to live, make sure there's a Metra station nearby so that the vast majority of your commute is spent on the train rather than in the car.


All great information. Metra is a striaght shot from my house in Woodstock - better than my commute time driving. Bet everyone could get a great deal out this way!

09042014
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby 09042014 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:11 pm

greenlight wrote:
ArghItsBlarg wrote:Yeah, I was about to mention, only the UG and School of Business are in Evanston. The Law School is in the heart of the City, just north of the Loop and on the Lake. Nowhere near Evanston, next to the med school and the hospital. NU owns a few city blocks in that area.

Speaking as someone who already lives in the northern suburbs and commutes to the City to work (1.25 hour train ride each way), there are lots of Metra lines available to live in the outlying suburbs, although I wouldn't recommend living as far away as I do. (I live adjacent to Libertyville (which is an expensive suburb, btw) and a way's west of Gurnee. On the plus side, that's 2.5 hours each day that I can study with no distractions save an uncomfortable seat. Definitely, wherever you choose to live, make sure there's a Metra station nearby so that the vast majority of your commute is spent on the train rather than in the car.


All great information. Metra is a striaght shot from my house in Woodstock - better than my commute time driving. Bet everyone could get a great deal out this way!


It'd probably take 1hr45m to get from Woodstock Metra to Northwestern Chicago campus. But you'd get at least 1hr20m of solid reading time each way.

It'd be tough.

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CSCS Trainer
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby CSCS Trainer » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:35 pm

OP, I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I'm 34 and a divorced father of 3 young children ( 8, 7, & 2 ) that I have joint custody of. Currently I don't have any child support because I have joint custody. I've also been out of "full-time" time work for over a year. I do some consulting work, but nothing full-time and salaried. I honestly don't see that changing any time soon with this economy.

I just finished my master's degree this year and there was no need-based aid available for grad school - I had to take out loans for everything. I wasn't sure if there is need-based aid ( i.e. grants ) available for law school?

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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby 09042014 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:48 pm

CSCS Trainer wrote:OP, I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I'm 34 and a divorced father of 3 young children ( 8, 7, & 2 ) that I have joint custody of. Currently I don't have any child support because I have joint custody. I've also been out of "full-time" time work for over a year. I do some consulting work, but nothing full-time and salaried. I honestly don't see that changing any time soon with this economy.

I just finished my master's degree this year and there was no need-based aid available for grad school - I had to take out loans for everything. I wasn't sure if there is need-based aid ( i.e. grants ) available for law school?


I'm fairly sure NU doesn't give need based. I really doubt Kent, Depaul or Loyola do either. What are your numbers. They do give huge merit based scholarships.

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Chupavida
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby Chupavida » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:14 pm

.
Last edited by Chupavida on Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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homestyle28
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby homestyle28 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:29 am

Desert Fox wrote:
CSCS Trainer wrote:OP, I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I'm 34 and a divorced father of 3 young children ( 8, 7, & 2 ) that I have joint custody of. Currently I don't have any child support because I have joint custody. I've also been out of "full-time" time work for over a year. I do some consulting work, but nothing full-time and salaried. I honestly don't see that changing any time soon with this economy.

I just finished my master's degree this year and there was no need-based aid available for grad school - I had to take out loans for everything. I wasn't sure if there is need-based aid ( i.e. grants ) available for law school?


I'm fairly sure NU doesn't give need based. I really doubt Kent, Depaul or Loyola do either. What are your numbers. They do give huge merit based scholarships.


NU describes all their aid as combined merit/need. Looking at LSN from past years, it looks like they like to give out big chunks to a few people, rather than spreading it around in smaller amounts.

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homestyle28
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby homestyle28 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:32 am

Chupavida wrote:there are also schools that will tell you that they don't give a damn about your situation and expect you to live off the same loans they make available to everyone else.

Can you give any specific examples of this? Every school I've talked to said they increase COA for reasonable/unavoidable expenses...I was under the impression that they are more or less required to if they participate in federal aid programs.

09042014
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby 09042014 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:34 am

homestyle28 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
CSCS Trainer wrote:OP, I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I'm 34 and a divorced father of 3 young children ( 8, 7, & 2 ) that I have joint custody of. Currently I don't have any child support because I have joint custody. I've also been out of "full-time" time work for over a year. I do some consulting work, but nothing full-time and salaried. I honestly don't see that changing any time soon with this economy.

I just finished my master's degree this year and there was no need-based aid available for grad school - I had to take out loans for everything. I wasn't sure if there is need-based aid ( i.e. grants ) available for law school?


I'm fairly sure NU doesn't give need based. I really doubt Kent, Depaul or Loyola do either. What are your numbers. They do give huge merit based scholarships.


NU describes all their aid as combined merit/need. Looking at LSN from past years, it looks like they like to give out big chunks to a few people, rather than spreading it around in smaller amounts.


Yea they call it combined, but nobody without great numbers gets shit. I know people who had no savings our earnins and got nothing. And rich kids on full scholarship.

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homestyle28
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby homestyle28 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:41 am

Desert Fox wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
CSCS Trainer wrote:OP, I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I'm 34 and a divorced father of 3 young children ( 8, 7, & 2 ) that I have joint custody of. Currently I don't have any child support because I have joint custody. I've also been out of "full-time" time work for over a year. I do some consulting work, but nothing full-time and salaried. I honestly don't see that changing any time soon with this economy.

I just finished my master's degree this year and there was no need-based aid available for grad school - I had to take out loans for everything. I wasn't sure if there is need-based aid ( i.e. grants ) available for law school?


I'm fairly sure NU doesn't give need based. I really doubt Kent, Depaul or Loyola do either. What are your numbers. They do give huge merit based scholarships.


NU describes all their aid as combined merit/need. Looking at LSN from past years, it looks like they like to give out big chunks to a few people, rather than spreading it around in smaller amounts.


Yea they call it combined, but nobody without great numbers gets shit. I know people who had no savings our earnins and got nothing. And rich kids on full scholarship.
Can I quote this on my finaid app? Maybe I can guilt them into hooking me up!

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KMaine
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Re: Adult student with family questions aid

Postby KMaine » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:53 am

Just to give an example, I have three children and go to Cornell. The school added the kids' health insurance into my COA, and in addition added $7,500 to my Cost of Living Allowance. I would have a hard time making it work if my wife did not have a job, but the extra helps since she is a teacher and limited to 3/4 time because she has to pick the kids up at school, etc. Good luck to all here. It can be done. The finances are one of the toughest parts, though.




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