Tightening college finances

tightening financesI have learned that there is always a silver lining in even the most tarnished parts of life. Through all the pain of a bitter divorce and a dwindling bank account, I have landed a job I love which is paying the bills. If not for that job, I really didn’t know how I was going to pay anything. I was at a desperate point in my life of being a single mom. No child support has been coming through for months.

I had lost three of my biggest freelance writing clients because of the hard economic times. Now, I get paid every two weeks, and I finally have health and dental insurance for my sons and me.

Scott still does not know where he will transfer his sophomore year, but most likely it will be a community college about 20 minutes from here. He did get accepted at another private four-year college. I thought with my status of being a separated head-of-household with not much income that they would hand over the money. Well, they tried. But basically, we’d still have to pay $12,000 out of the $33,000 tuition and room/board price. Wow. Scott and I both cringed at him taking out more loans. And I really don’t have a few extra thousand dollars hanging around.

The community college would only cost us a few hundred dollars because we would get financial aid because of our situation. Of course, no financial aid is going to pay for his gasoline to and from the college, or the food it takes to feed this teenage male. But hopefully, things will get better off for me if I continue to write for the few freelance clients I still maintain. Also, I’m hoping a judge will order my soon-to-be ex-husband that he needs to start paying some child support.

It has been a difficult struggle to try to make ends meet. But I am proud of my sons for hanging in there with me and having confidence that I would supply what they need, not necessarily what they want. We still have a roof over our head, water running and electricity because I can pay the bills. That’s a good start. But I don’t want Scott to skip any college. I want him to look back and know he did the right thing by continuing his education. With this economy, it’s the best thing he can do. If I have to take out a loan myself, I will.

I went to college on my own. I paid back loans for 10 years, just as he will have to, too. I have friends that regret not finishing out their degrees. I know Scott can do it. I know the sound of loans scares him. But it is definitely an investment I want him to make for himself. His grandparents said they would come through if they need to.

I believe that when you believe in yourself, that the money will somehow happen through one means or another. Scott has looked for summer jobs for the past six weeks since he came home from his freshman year. Nothing has come up. It is a struggling economy in this area of the Midwest. But he’s going to detassle corn for a few weeks and take in about $900. It’s a sweaty, hot, miserable job. I did it when I was a young teenager. But that money is truly needed in this household right now, and will come in handy for tuition or books in August.


Paying for the Second Year