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Ballet Talk for Dancers

feeling overwhelmed -sure I'm not alone

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Yes, it is quite sobering to learn that one does not qualify for certain types of financial aid, such as the federally-backed student loans.  lizzyhultz1, I feel your pain.

For those going forward, I would again suggest visiting College Confidential for all things college, especially financial information.  

Our high school had a program whereby it helped everyone file financial report so that we could see what finiancial aid our students might qualify for.  We did that when DD was a high school freshman  when they encouraged parents to do so, which was invaluable.  I remember the gut-punch feeling I had when I learned the amount of annual “expected parental contribution” for us.  We most definitely did not believe we had that kind of money laying around to pay out-of-pocket!  However, we did manage to do so.  

Although I was still shell-shocked, hubby looked at it sanguinely:  the bad news is, we don’t qualify for financial aid; the good news is, we don’t qualify for financial aid, i.e., we did very well for ourselves after all.   It’s definitely a big raise once they are through college!!!! :) 

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lizzyhultz1, is your dancer planning to obtain residency after the first year?  That alone should save you tens of thousands of dollars for the next three years?  I know it’s hard to not have them home for more than 30 days in the year, but it’s worth it.  

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 Residence status is not at option unless she goes to Utah, which is not too on the list. The one top on her list we do not know if a dance scholarship is an option yet. I know there is no way i can afford a monthly payment for the next 4 years that is more than my mortgage. 


I am now completely confused on the parent plus loan. The school made it sound like we are financing college but someone i talked to (has college student) makes it sound like a co-sign situation.



Overwhelmed and confused. 😂

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For my oldest, we took the Stafford Loan that they offered her, which was not much.  I believe it started at $5,500 freshmen year and went up $1,000 each year thereafter.  They we took out private co-signed loans for the rest of what we could not contribute.  The private loans allow the parents to get off the loan after the student pays 36 consecutive months on time.  I just called them to get the paperwork done to get us off these loans.  

I think we are considering taking out a line of credit on our home and using that to cover what the Stafford loans and scholarships do not.  This is all a lot and it's stressing me out.  I really do not want my dd to have more than $40-50k in loans to deal with when she graduates but I also don't think it's fair to give her more money for college than my older girl (who chose a field which is much more lucrative).  And, then I have my son bringing up the rear to consider in a few years.  Ugh.

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Oh, I’m sorry, I assumed Utah was her chosen school.  Our fafsa EFC was outrageous - about 1/3 of our salary.  Plus, we have other children, a mortgage, etc.  The parent plus loan is pretty common in our circle of friends.  It is basically a co-sign by the parents, I think.

Going in person to the college financial aid office is probably the most helpful.  Over the phone we’ve gotten students that aren’t super knowledgeable of the options.  

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What I have learned in the past 24 hours. A parent plus loan is a loan for the parents. The kids are not responsible. The federal loan she will be able to do is maxed at $5500 freshman year, $6500 sophomore year and $7700 junior and senior year. After that and the grants/scholarships, it is the parents responsibility to finance it. There are other college loans available that we could co sign on except our DD does not have any credit and does not turn 18 till about 3-4 weeks before college starts so will not have time to obtain credit prior to freshman year. 

I have also learned that being a middle class family she does not qualify for 90% of the scholarships out there. Most she has applied to she has not got or we haven't heard yet. 

I also have learned that our DD has her heart set on one school that i am afraid is not the right financial decision. Seeing her heart broken and in tears is something i can barely handle. Hope is not lost yet but I am feeling close to defeated.

Thankful to have others that understand this journey. I do not think anything bad on programs, there just isn't enough money in the arts programs to go around. 

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Lizzyhults1, my heart goes out to you and I hope a scholarship is coming soon for your DD.  DH and I are fortunate that DD has ruled out the program we would struggle to afford, otherwise we would be in the same position you are in.  I think a big part of the reason she crossed it of the list was because of the high price tag.  Though DH and I never told DD that she couldn't go to the school, we made sure she was aware of the cost of each university (we casually asked when she applied or was accepted, etc).  It was not the sole factor in her decisions, but she has definitely taken it into account (I know because it was part of the chart she made up to help her make college decisions :)!).  Perhaps your DD will surprise you and make the mature decision herself.  It may be a hard one, but it is part of growing up.  However,.... I still hope that miracle scholarship appears in the mail for your DD!

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I’m sorry lizyhult1, I’m hoping for a solution for you . Education in this country should not be so out of reach....  I do know friends of mine in the past have reached out to schools ( not any that we are talking about but other colleges) and we’re able to get tuition down - they have told me the “price” is not necessarily the cost ... worth a call to say how much she wants to go there etc ... maybe there’s something they can do to help 

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My son is not a dancer, but a film major. He desperately wanted to go to a certain arts college but it was out of reach even with FA, scholarships, etc. I called admissions and she suggested my son write a letter to her and she would get it to the people that needed to see it. She said have him write why he wants to go to this college, etc. He wrote a heartfelt letter and received another $8000 from a donor. He is graduating in May and could not be happier- except for all the student loans he will have!

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Lizzyhultz, for my oldest, we had to cosign on a student loan for her.  She did not have any credit, it was approved off our credit but we were the cosigners.  After 36 months of her making regular on time payments, we were able to get our names off the loans and they are now in her name only.  I would check into that further.  

I also contacted the head of admissions and recruitment to see if there was any possibility of waiving her out of state residency or waiving the fees.  I detailed the scholarship amounts that other universities offered as well.  He responded quickly and let me know that they could not waive residency or fees but asked me to send her 7th semester transcript and he would take it to commitee and see what they could work out.   We're also taking out a home equity line of credit just to have some funds available in case we need it.

Balletgirl22sk - that's fantastic!! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

This has been a stressful exciting full year. We are finally at the end of this process and moving to the next chapter. Our DD has committed to a program!

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Hip Hip Hooray!  DD has also chosen and committed to a university.  So happy to be done with this process! 

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