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Student Loans & Cost Of Attendance

Established Contributor

Student Loans & Cost Of Attendance

Hi,

 

I'll be transferring to a four year college in California next month. The financial aid award and federal loans I qualify for are not enough to cover my expenses. My expenses will significantly exceed the school's estimated COA. Is it true that federal and private loans cannot exceed the school's calculated COA? The school requires students to report any private loan they have been approved for.

 

 

7 REPLIES
Established Contributor

Re: Student Loans & Cost Of Attendance

Yes, it is true. And the schools I attended had policies in place whereby if you took out private loans in excess of COA, they reduced your federal loan package.

Why are your expenses so high? Is there any way you could trim the budget, so to speak?
Established Contributor

Re: Student Loans & Cost Of Attendance

I'm assuming that the COA is cost of attendance. As far as I remember, student loans are meant to be applied towards expenses directly related to the educatoin. Tuition, books, study materials, etc.  Loans are not meant to cover room and board - like, rent, food, bills, lifestyle, travel, etc.

 

Edit: after checking, it does look like most of the time CoA does include room and board figures and loan amounts are meant to cover these too. For some reason I remember my loans having stipuations that they are only for school related expenses. Could be wrong though.

New Contributor

Re: Student Loans & Cost Of Attendance

I would call the financial aid office at your new school and explain your situation to them--why your CoA is going to be more expensive than they estimate, etc. A lot of times financial aid offices are willing to work with you if you can explain the circumstances to them. At least that was my experience. (Although I did go to a state school in NY, so maybe things are different other places.) Couldn't hurt to try.

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Established Contributor

Re: Student Loans & Cost Of Attendance

I need the extra cash for personal expenses. I've reduced my personal expenses as much as I possibly can.

Regular Contributor

Re: Student Loans & Cost Of Attendance

Expenses in excess of actual Cost of Attendence (tuition, books, fees, misc expenses, room and board as determined by the school) will not be covered by student loans, via Federal aid, school loans/grants, and/or private school loans.  If you require additional financial support, you have to trim your personal expenses as much as possible and look into obtaining a part-time job.  You want to stay away personal loans since the repayments are due the month after its disbursement.

Established Contributor

Re: Student Loans & Cost Of Attendance

I say this as gently as I possibly can, because believe me I have been there - but if you can't get the expenses to fall into place maybe this is not where you're meant to be. Can you delay entry and save up some money to help defray expenses? Go to a less-expensive school? Share housing somehow? Drive a cheaper car?

 

There are lots of ways to go about getting a degree.

Established Contributor

Re: Student Loans & Cost Of Attendance


InvincibleSummer3 wrote:

I say this as gently as I possibly can, because believe me I have been there - but if you can't get the expenses to fall into place maybe this is not where you're meant to be. Can you delay entry and save up some money to help defray expenses? Go to a less-expensive school? Share housing somehow? Drive a cheaper car?

 

There are lots of ways to go about getting a degree.


I've actually been working on my expenses for the past year or so. I've reduced them to the bare minimum. I used to be $13,000 in credit card debt and I paid off my cards in full last month. All I have left is my car payment and my cell phone bill. My cell phone is $80/month. My car payment is about $300/month and the lease ends next February. However, I've exceeded the mileage allowance so I'll most likely be forced to keep it.