Financial Aid

How to Deal if Your Parents Won't Pay

Kathryn Knight Randolph

October 01, 2018

How to Deal if Your Parents Won't Pay
They may support you in every other way, but unfortunately, they can't always afford to pay for school.
Unfortunately, federal aid isn't distributed on whether or not your parents want to pay for your education; it all depends on if they can. Parents have many reasons for not contributing to their child's education: can't afford it; it's the child's responsibility; sticky divorce. But your parents refusal actually hurts you more than they may know. Regardless of your parents' reasons, the federal government's opinion is this: paying for a college education is your parents' primary responsibility. The government will only finance your education if it's impossible for your parents to pay up. So what should you do? Fill out the FAFSA.
Even if you don't qualify for need-based aid, filling out the FAFSA automatically qualifies you for an unsubsidized Stafford Loan. Yes, "loan" may be an icky word, but a federal government loan is the best loan opportunity that you will ever come across. The interest rates are low, and the payment plans make it easy to pay off your student loan debt. Also, by filling out the FAFSA, you may qualify for subsidized Stafford and Perkins Loans as well as Pell Grants, which are even better. Pitch the idea from the angle that they don't have to help financially but they can do you this huge favor. Additionally, it's not a bad idea to go to your school's financial aid office and present them with your situation. Maybe they can pull some strings or talk Mom and Dad into helping. Still not budging? Check out these other tips on convincing your parents to help this one last time.

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