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  #1  
Old 07-02-2008, 02:12 AM
justme920 justme920 is offline
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financial issues

Alrighty, well this fall I will be a senior, and I just got my SAT scores back and found out that I qualify for automatic admissions at Texas A&M (my dream school). That was quite a relief, for like 3 seconds, because then my parents started freaking about the costs. Due to a divorce and some really sucky divorce lawyers, my parents will not be helping me pay for my education. Because of this i am aware of and fine with the fact that student loans and debt is an unavoidable part of my future. I've been looking at places like myrichuncle.com just to kinda get the feel for student loans and such. Last year I really started looking into greek life and I think that it is something i really want to be apart of. I also know it has dues. They advertise that some student loans will be sent to you not the school, for any educational costs (such as room board transportation books etc,) would sorority dues fall into that category? I'm pretty sure that I could make the argument that it is beneficial to my educational expierence but I just wanted to check with people that would know before I get my hopes up or anything. I know it may be a smidge early to worry about this, but I'm just a worrier by nature. Thanks for your help!
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2008, 02:49 AM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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This is something you would need to ask the loan company, since they're the ones that determine what is considered an "educational expense."

My guess is that sorority dues would not be, since that's not something that (unlike books, tuition, dorm fees, etc) is essential for you to attend school (joining a sorority is a bonus, but you don't need it to attend college).

Check with the company though, because they're the ones who would know.
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2008, 09:25 AM
ISUKappa ISUKappa is offline
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I agree to check with the loan company. "Dues" can encompass a lot of things, including room, board and meals if the chapter has a house facility. Because that takes the place of you living in the residence halls (which is generally considered room and board), that *might* be covered. The amount that is paid to the organization's headquarters or is used for social or other chapter officer expenses may not be.
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  #4  
Old 07-02-2008, 11:26 AM
BetaAST1899 BetaAST1899 is offline
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From someone in the same sitch...

I am currently paying for my education myself as well---and I had to take out additional loans than my scholarships and federal loans---and I use my additional loans to pay for my dues because, like you said, they come to me...my loan company doesn't really care what you are using the money for, I just have to prove that I am a full time student(by printing an official copy of my sched). Hope that helps.
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2008, 03:36 PM
oncegreek oncegreek is offline
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Try to get Stafford loans through the government. There are many, many loan forgiveness programs out there, but most of them only forgive government loans. If you go to work in certain fields, such as teaching, or any of the public service fields, you may qualify for loan forgiveness. (I am a teacher in a title I public school, for example, and all my loans were forgiven) The Los Angeles Times had an article about this a few days ago (in the business section)- just google LA Times, and go from there. Also, for sorority dues, maybe you could work part time? (again, that worked well for me)
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2008, 06:57 PM
sarahsmilehawk sarahsmilehawk is offline
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I'm a pell grant recipient and I'm in a sorority. It's not easy. And honestly, it's not smart. I shouldn't have gone through recruitment at all, and I have really struggled to pay for the cost of a sorority, even with a LOT of loans. But I really, really wanted to be in a sorority and now I can't imagine not being in one.

Are your parents helping you at all financially? Mine refuse to pay for anything other than Christmas presents. If yours are giving you some help but just can't dole out the thousands it costs to go to college, it may be more reasonable.

If you can get federal loans, do it. Private loans are much higher interest and will haunt you for 20+ years.

My sorority has house fees AND dues. I can use my loans to pay the house fees because they are part of my room and board (this is probably more legitimate now that I'm living in the house, but liveouts still pay for meals there, which would be considered "board"). The dues are only a couple hundred dollars per semester and can be paid with a good old fashioned job.
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2008, 06:22 PM
justme920 justme920 is offline
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no, i'm getting no help from my parents. they would if they could, but they just aren't able. does not having a lot of money hurt my chances of joining a sorority? would it cause me to be looked at differently than others? i know the steryotype of rich sorority girls is just that, but generally steryotypes stem from a bit of truth...
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  #8  
Old 07-07-2008, 06:51 PM
LadyLonghorn LadyLonghorn is offline
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The most important thing is that you can meet your financial obligations. Sure, there may be groups that could look down upon those who are not as financially fortunate, but those are probably women you wouldn't feel comfortable being sisters with anyway. Good luck to you (in spite of the fact that you'll be an Aggie heh heh!)
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2008, 08:38 PM
ausguals ausguals is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justme920 View Post
hey advertise that some student loans will be sent to you not the school, for any educational costs (such as room board transportation books etc,) would sorority dues fall into that category? I'm pretty sure that I could make the argument that it is beneficial to my educational expierence but I just wanted to check with people that would know before I get my hopes up or anything. I know it may be a smidge early to worry about this, but I'm just a worrier by nature. Thanks for your help!

Trust me...loans do NOT follow what you spend the money on, because all they care about is the interest they get when you pay it back. I'm currently paying for more than half of my education and no loan company has ever asked me what my "education expenses" consisted of. They basically consider anything you need money for while in college to be an "educational expense".

Just make sure it is something you are REALLY finding worth doing...depending on your chapter, dues can be HIGH and sometimes taking out that much more of a loan will be something you regret in the long run...taking out debt for a sorority is a huge decision.
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2008, 05:45 PM
wildcatfan wildcatfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justme920 View Post
Alrighty, well this fall I will be a senior, and I just got my SAT scores back and found out that I qualify for automatic admissions at Texas A&M (my dream school). . . i am aware of and fine with the fact that student loans and debt is an unavoidable part of my future. . . I know it may be a smidge early to worry about this, but I'm just a worrier by nature. Thanks for your help!
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsmilehawk View Post
I'm a pell grant recipient and I'm in a sorority. It's not easy. And honestly, it's not smart. I shouldn't have gone through recruitment at all, and I have really struggled to pay for the cost of a sorority, even with a LOT of loans. But I really, really wanted to be in a sorority and now I can't imagine not being in one. . . If you can get federal loans, do it. Private loans are much higher interest and will haunt you for 20+ years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ausguals View Post
Trust me...loans do NOT follow what you spend the money on, because all they care about is the interest they get when you pay it back. . . Just make sure it is something you are REALLY finding worth doing...depending on your chapter, dues can be HIGH and sometimes taking out that much more of a loan will be something you regret in the long run...taking out debt for a sorority is a huge decision.

I am impressed, justme920, that you are mature enough to be weighing financial implications as a high school junior. You are a smart girl with a good head on your shoulders (and you are not worrying about this too early.) We need people like you in the greek system.

Having said that, however, I really hope that you carefully weigh the advice of the posters before me. Belonging to a sorority on top of paying for college costs can get terribly expensive. I really worry about kids getting out of school these days with overwhelming school loans. Will the degree that you are pursuing prepare you for a fairly lucrative career? You really need to crunch the numbers. If you get out earning only, say, $35K a year and you have $50K in student loans, that can be very discouraging and take a seeming eternity to pay off. And remember, government student loans are not bankruptable. They will follow you forever.

We are probably all aware of girls that have deactivated because the financial costs have been too high. That's not a good situation for either the girl or the house.

Certainly just because you can get additional loan money does not necessarily mean that you should. You need to very carefully consider the additional enjoyment of belonging to a sorority vs. the years of paying off the loans that will follow. Good luck to you.
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2008, 06:01 PM
sarahsmilehawk sarahsmilehawk is offline
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Is there an adult in your life who could sit down with you and help you figure this out? I know I could have avoided a lot of costly mistakes if my parents or SOMEONE would have given me some guidance.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2008, 06:16 PM
justme920 justme920 is offline
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i hope to major in biology. depending on how my anatomy class goes this year i may take the pre med route, but other wise i will major in bio and hopefully go on and get a masters afterwards.with the bit of research i've done, i can make a decent living with that. i am the only one in my family in 50years to go to college so i cant get a whole lot of help there. Especially since my great uncle who went to college is in buisness and thinks anything but is a waste. I may be being immature about this, but college loans and such dont scare me. It seems like its a good investment. Loans obviously aren't my first choice but if i had to pick between school or not having debt i would definently pick school. I know sorority life isnt a requirement, but just to pick a number, say dues are 2K/year and I work part time for some of it, is 6-7K really make that much difference? It seems like to me if i'm gonna leave school in debt, i might as well get the expierence out of it that i want? what do you think? is it worth it? does an extra 6 make a signficant difference?
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2008, 06:31 PM
sarahsmilehawk sarahsmilehawk is offline
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Don't forget all the CRAZY interest you'll be paying.

My biggest concern about my own loans is that, even on a 20-year repayment plan, I may not be able to afford my minimum monthly payments. There are people out there (lots of them!) who graduate and get good jobs and still end up using A THIRD of their income to pay back these loans! That's money that should be going into your retirement fund, or your childrens' college fund.

Fortunately, you have time to mull all this over and make your decision when the time comes. But PLEASE don't take student loan debt lightly.
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  #14  
Old 07-10-2008, 08:35 PM
ausguals ausguals is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justme920 View Post
is 6-7K really make that much difference? It seems like to me if i'm gonna leave school in debt, i might as well get the expierence out of it that i want? what do you think? is it worth it? does an extra 6 make a signficant difference?

My sororities dues (which are the highest on campus from what i know) are about $1300 a year, but you have to factor in things like t-shirts, other fundraisers (most charge a $5 entry fee, to raise money, duh, and though it doesn't seem significant...it adds up!!), basically, hidden fees...things that you don't think about when you think of the cost of your sorority. So, total, while I'm paying just $1300 annually, in the end it may be closer to $2,000.

And to me, it is worth it, because I'm at such a HUGE school. I transferred here knowing no one, so its helped me out a whole lot with that. But, when rushing, make sure that you really, really, really think about it. If you feel like you want to accept a bid not because you feel at home but because you "want to be in a sorority," then don't do it. Trust me, i know people who have done that an inevitably ended up dropping.

$6k in debt can actually end up being around $7k in debt, depending where you get your loan. DEFINATELY start applying NOW for scholarships---though these probably won't get you money for sorority dues, they WILL pay for tuition, which could free up money for you for sorority dues. Try fastweb.com...its definately the best one I've found. Also look at estudentloans.com for loan comparisons.

The best advice I can give you is to start saving now. Think about if you REALLY need that starbucks or those really cute shoes that probably will only go with one outfit--because the money you could save instead of spending on those, even though it will only make a difference of a few dollars, could be money you could put towards sorority dues or college tution. It does add up, trust me. I transferred out-of-state from an in-state school (where i didn't pay for anything, because my dad did) and now I'm going to be in about $50k-$70k in debt when i get out, and saving up was something that I really wish I had done in high school--you'd be surprised, because while you say now that you will have a part time job, sometimes when you get to school, you realize that your schedule really can't handle more than a few hours per week. And while every bit helps, so does saving now instead of paying later.


sorry this was a freaking book/lecture, i just wish this was stuff someone told me before i went to college.
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2008, 11:40 PM
adpiucf adpiucf is offline
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Don't get loans through myrichuncle.com. They have some crazy fee you don't find out about until the end. Go through your school, and the FAFSA form.

Work in the summertime and save up money for dues. If you can handle it, get a part time job during the school year that will still allow you to study and have some free time.

I attended a state school, and was in a similiar situation. I had loans, no family help and I also worked. As I got further along in school, I had less free time between class, work and interning. However, I justified the sorority costs by living in the house, and it was certainly a lot cheaper to live-in. It was a lot of fun, too.

Find out the cost of dues and look at your other costs. Ask mom and dad if they'll at least give you a food allowance once you leave the nest. Go through recruitment knowing what you can afford.
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