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Can you live of grants and student loans while raising a family and going to school full time?

Both my husband and I are thinking about going back to school considering our current unemployed situation.


Asked by Anonymous at 6:25 PM on Apr. 6, 2010 in Just for Fun

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Answers (10)
  • You can do it if you go to a cheap college. My son is going to a really cheap community college and his wife only works part time. Her part time work is less than his grant and scholarship money.

    It looks like max Pell Grant will be $5500 and max Stafford Loan for first year students will be $9,500. My son's tuition and books for 2 semesters was about $1700. That would give you $26,600 tax free for 9 months, if I did the math right. That's almost $3000 a month.



    Answer by Gailll at 6:36 PM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • Yes, but when it's time to pay them back, OUCHIE!! They're going to be HUGE!

    Answer by Pnukey at 6:27 PM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • It can be done, but it's not easy. Nobody gives private student loans anymore unless you have a full time employed cosigner with a good credit score. Without that, you are restricted by the financial aid cap for whatever school you attend. At my current school, that's $17k/yr and that includes what you have to pay for tuition and books, grants, scholarships and loans combined. If you have $10k in grants and scholarships, you cannot borrow more than $7k (unless you can get approved for the mythical private loan).

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:28 PM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • Hmm, thanks NP, neither of us even has an associates degree so we were thinking of going to the community college. CC's here are fairly inexpensive and I believe 10k would cover both of us for schooling. Considering we're living off of less than 13k a year, savings and food stamps right now with no promising prospects for jobs we thought this might be an opportunity to try and better ourselves and get back out of this hole we're in.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:33 PM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • Whoa! That's plenty. And you really can use that money to live on? It doesn't all have to go to school?

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:40 PM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • My fiance is a full time student at a community college and between his grants and loans, he gets about $3,500 every 3 months. And that is what he gets AFTER his books and tuition are already paid for. No, it doesn't all have to go towards school. Whatever you have left over after books and tuition is yours to spend however you want. But don't take that the wrong way... we mainly just use his to live on (bills, etc.) because I was working part time but now I'm on maternity leave.. so we don't have extra money to blow. lol

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:46 PM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • Yes, you can. I'm doing it right now, and I'm a single mom of two kids.

    Answer by popcornlover at 6:48 PM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • Thank you all so much. I am really encouraged by all your replies. I was really on the fence about going back to school because I just didn't know how we could possibly afford it and our savings keeps dwindling every day. It's not a good feeling not knowing how you are going to provide for your children.

    I'm very glad to know it's possible. It may not be ideal but hopefully this is our great opportunity!

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:51 PM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • My husband and I are unemployed (he got fired) and we go to college full time. the only reason we can live off of scholarships and grants is because we are veterans and also get the Post 9/11 GI bill. If we didnt' get a GI there would be no way. It might be possible for you, but we have a kid and he has child support.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:09 PM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • Hubby and I live off of his part time work and his student loans and grants...we pinch pennies but we don't need any food stamps or public assistance aside from that.

    Of course where we live has a relatively low cost of living, and we don't have any other debts to worry about paying...but yeah, I'd say it definitely can be done. Good luck!

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:15 PM on Apr. 6, 2010

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