What can my friend do to get help?
SO here is his story (its long) :
“_I am currently slated not to go to college. I have no help from family, and the financial aid department at NEU won’t help me.
I need your help, now. Here’s my story.
I’ve always lived in a household that wasn’t very conducive to my well-being; my father was never a very positive person in terms of my accomplishments; no matter what I did, it wasn’t enough. That I can live with. It’s his own preference for what he considers “good.” What I couldn’t live with was his attempts to keep me out of college.
Once I had determined that I wanted to go to Northeastern, it was early April. And, of course, deposits are due May 1st to let the school know that they should save me a seat. My father’s reaction wasn’t helpful, but it was ultimate: if I didn’t have a loan secured and in-hand, he would not let me make my deposits. He ordered the bank to ignore any attempted withdrawals from me on my savings account and left me to figure it out. He had no intention of helping me pay, cosigning, or really let me go to college at all, as it turned out. As April drew to an end and deposits were almost due, I confronted him and let him know that, until I turned 18 in June, I couldn’t even be considered for a loan. Obviously, the Catch-22 was that if I couldn’t get a loan in-hand, my dad wouldn’t let me make my deposits, and I wouldn’t even get a chance to go to college this year.
He told me, “Too bad. Get a full-time job, because that’s all you will be qualified for.”
Shortly after, my school principal offered to pay the deposits for me with her credit card. It was the first major obstacle, and that small gesture of aid meant the world to me. I was back on track.
No sooner did my father find out, he told me to call the school and unregister. This was on a Saturday, so I used the weekend as a time to think it over, and on Monday I called the school and told them my story.
At that point they helped me stay a student. They made a note on my file, “Do not withdraw this student under any circumstance.” When I refused to unregister, my father, who was away for work at the time, called the school, as I expected, and tried to withdraw me himself. The school fought for me, and his efforts failed.
From there, he changed to physical abuse. As school drew to an end, he began sending me out into the field at 6 a.m. to rake grass clippings in the sun; our field was big enough that by the time I was done, he would go back and mow it again and I would start again. Any time I caught up, he sent me out to dig trenches instead. Now, this isn’t necessarily the worst, even when these “chores” lasted until 8 p.m., only interrupted for me to go to my part-time job. The bad part is that I get vascular migraines during long periods of physical exertion; even with my medication, I was completing these tasks with my head pounding and my vision blurred.
Needless to say, I fled that house on June 28th and took residence with my high school physics teacher, which I am vastly grateful for; not only would I have continued that vicious lifestyle had I stayed at home, my father would have expected $250 a week in rent. That day was the deciding moment in my life, and suddenly I was much healthier, and on the way to being a much stronger person.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. The only loan company that offers student loans without a cosigner (as I have no credit score, having been 18 for less than two months) doesn’t offer the cosigner-less loan (MyRichUncle.com, PrePrime loan) to Northeastern University students. I was left at a standstill; without a cosigner, I was not going to be able to bridge the gap between my financial aid package, which was mostly based on my father’s income, and my tuition costs.
So, yesterday I called the financial aid department at Northeastern and they told me that they would not give me any further help; my gap was too big. If I might quote Robyn Shahid-Bellot, the counselor I spoke with, “The University would lose less by having you not attend than by writing a check for the aid you need.” Basically, the University doesn’t consider me a worthwhile investment.
That’s why, in my most desperate hour, I seek the help of anyone who would give it. This upcoming Tuesday is the day I have to make my final decision about whether I can attend or not; I have not yet severed my tie with the University.
My total tuition bill, sans financial aid and scholarships, is $21, 299. The minimum due to attend first semester is $10, 549. I have $5000 to my name, which is all I have left in my savings account.
———Marshall R. Brennan