Good News! And Bad News...

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by MissO, May 13, 2017.

  1. MissO

    MissO Member

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    Hello all,

    I have some very exciting news to share! After much hard work and diligence, I was finally awarded a 3-year AROTC scholarship to the SMC I will be attending this fall. This is obviously the good news..

    The "bad" news, is that I will have to pay for the entire first year, which is about $50,000. I was only awarded $5,500 in federal loans, therefore I have about $44,500 that will need to be private loans.

    My *hope* is that I will receive a 3.5 year upgrade if I show up and kick butt... :) I am not betting on this happening, but I will be trying my hardest to make it happen. My question is - do I take out private loans for the 1st semester ONLY? Just in case I get an upgrade? I do not want to borrow too much. I guess if I am not upgraded to a 3.5, I will just take out loans again for 2nd semester. Does this sound like a good plan, or should I just take out all $44,500 now?

    Thank you to anyone who is able to offer me some insight on this! God Bless.
    -O
     
  2. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    Apply for the loans you will need for the year. If you get other scholarships or other money, you will get the excess funds refunded and then you can use it to pay back the loan. They distribute it half for each semester.
     
  3. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

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    Which SMC? some allow in state tuition, although I am sure you would know that if it was the case. Secondly, are your parents able to help with a parent plus loan? Obviously you don't need to share your family situation but something that is available to them, while they will accrue interest they will not have to start paying them back until after you graduate and they have lower interest than bank loans. Also not dependent on a credit rating. We took one for my oldest daughter with a 3 year AD, we are starting to pay it back sooner since she is now on scholarship. Also, are there no merit scholarships available through that school? That seems odd in this day and age!
     
  4. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

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    Oh and congratulations!!! Do you mind sharing which SMC?
     
  5. AggieWill

    AggieWill Member

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    Congrats! Same question: which SMC? The smaller schools offer Merit Scholarships, basically, a "discount" to the sticker price based on GPA/SAT...I'd be shocked if you didn't qual for one of those. A&M doesn't do that, and your 1st year sounds like A&M's out of state tuition.....however, the Aggies waieve OOS tuition if you have a $1000 scholarship or larger. As 3 year AD, you can probably win a Corps scholarship and reduce the OOS premium.

    Let us know the SMC, we'll give you some ideas. Absolutely worse case: you have to borrow a bunch in year 1, and start paying in upon graduation. Heck, you can use your stipend as Soph/Jr/Sr to pay down a big portion before you even graduate (10K +) if you're so inclined. So, right now you're in a really good position, it's just a matter of optimizing the outcome.
     
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  6. MissO

    MissO Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. I will be going to The Citadel.
    @Dckc88 they do not allow in state for out-of-state unfortunately. I come from a family of 6, but FAFSA told me my parents make too much money... what they don't understand is that they can't help pay for my education when I have 3 other siblings. I did not get any of the merit scholarships for freshman year at The Citadel, they were awarded back in April I believe.
    @AggieWill I did not recieve any merit scholarships from the school, and of the ~30 additional small scholarships I applied to, I got none. Thank you for providing that "absolute worst case" - eases my mind a bit :) I will probably apply my stipends to my highest interest loan, yes. With looking at Active Duty after college, I agree that I am in a good position, despite 50-70k debt after college (gotta pay room and board for my upperclass years, too...)
     
  7. MissO

    MissO Member

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    Also - how does paying back private loans you over-borrowed work? If I take out $44,500 for the first year and end up only needing about $27,000 of that, what is my plan of action at that point?
     
  8. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

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    As long as they do not have a "pay back early penalty", you can simply pay against the principle at anytime. Also, I believe upon your request the school can return all or a portion of the loan within a certain period of time. For example, my DD ended up getting that coveted 3.5 year upgrade, yet it didn't activate until after the semester started and she passed her fitness test coming back from break. Financial aid advised us to leave the loans to come in as scheduled, as soon as she passed the test and financial aid got the word she was not on scholarship, she simply filled out a form with financial aid and they returned both her loans and our loans.

    As far as your parents not being able to pay for your school, totally get it. One thing to talk with them though is that a parent plus loan is at a 6.8% (or close to), and very easy to get. No credit rating required just cannot have a bankruptcy or something similar. If you find some of your loans would be 9, 10, 11% plus for example, it might be something they are willing to do for you as long as you are willing to make the payments in the future. The other thing to consider is when you graduate taking the USAA career starter loan of 25,000 at a very low interest and pay your parent's loans off or close to pay off. That loan is only a few percent interest and is paid back in five years through your payroll deduction.

    Your 5,500 available this year through direct loans are a little over 4%. Something else to remember for room and board for sophomore year and beyond is the amount you can borrow from direct loans goes up each year ($6,500 next year and I think $7,500 junior and senior), so you should be able to cover the majority of your room and board costs with those lower cost loans.
     
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  9. MissO

    MissO Member

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    @Dckc88 Thanks for all the info. I still have to discuss cosigning with my parents, but I will discuss the option of the PLUS loan as well. The USAA loan is a great idea for after college!
    So, as long as there is no "pay back early" penalty, I should take out the full year's amount. If I get the 3.5 year, then I apply the money from that second semester to the loan that I over-borrowed on? Sorry, I am still slightly confused about it all... Just don't want to make any wrong decisions. Also, yes - the direct loans will cover most if not all of my upper-class year room & boards. Thanks again for your advice.
     
  10. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

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    If you get the 3.5 year it depends how your school handles it. They will either return the money to the lender or give it to you. Better if they return it so it saves you all the fees. If they give it to you then you can turn around and apply it to the loan. In our case the school returned it and it cancelled the loan for the second semester.
     
  11. MohawkArmyROTC

    MohawkArmyROTC Recruiting Operations Officer

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    As mentioned by others, count on paying for the entire first year. 3.5 yr upgrades are rare. Also, ensure that you earn above a 2.5 GPA and pass the APFT in order to validate the 3AD scholarship.
     
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