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Old 03-31-2010, 01:12 PM   #1
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Default My Rant about Financial Aid

Well my last post was about how I was excited that I was accepted into DePaul University's BS in Animation program.

I had researched tons of schools and I finally found one in DePaul that appears to meet my two priority goals:
1. Get a degree in Animation (more from the computer aspect of things rather than traditional hand drawing animation)
2. Be a school that is more well known, has better credibility, and good job placement.

I recently filled out my FAFSA and it turns out I will be getting ZERO in financial aid to attend DePaul.

My rant is about financial aid. The main reason I didn't get anything was because of the money my parents make and I am claimed as a dependent of theirs. If I was independent I would get a ton more in financial aid. (but if I did that I would have no health insurance-RISKY!)

My parents gave me 1000 dollars for a high school grad present and said "For college expenses...the rest is up to you." Here is my main point: Just because my parents make X amount of money-doesnt mean that they the ones paying for my schooling. Financial aid shouldnt be based on how much money your parents make.

Now that I finally find this school, and I tell everyone this is where I plan on going, and I have to tell them all-nevermind I can't afford it. And I cant file for scholarships because at DePaul you have to have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA to fill out transfer student scholarship applications. My GPA is a 3.3.

Depauls tuition is 28,240 a year. This doesnt include food, dorm, books, etc.
I'm not taking out a [COLOR="red"]80,000 - 100,000 dollar loan[/COLOR]
when Animation is already a tough industry (film or game) to get into and entry level jobs pay only 40,000 for the first 3 years. (this number is based on my average in my own research.) What if I can't get a job? Loans need to begin payoff after six months after graduation. I have try to be realistic instead of optimistic or pessimistic. There are more animators than there are jobs for animation, especially with game design companies closing every single week!

Well thanks for listening to my rant. If you have any advice or want to rant about your own financial aid problems then lets hear em.
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:12 PM   #2

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Location: Redmond, WA

I'm heading to DigiPen this Fall, and I was almost in the same boat. I get the minimum amount for financial aid (~5.5k loan iirc), though my parents are helping to pay the bills. I'm currently making a bit of money on the side through Flash game development, but you've got to be willing to teach yourself to do that.

You're not in a good situation, I agree, and unfortunately there's not many options for you. There's a few different ways to be considered an independant, but it looks like you've already considered that option.

If you have a lot of drive you could try breaking into the industry by working to support yourself while you hone your animation abilities. It's not an easy path, but if you can put together an amazing portfolio then you can still get a job.

Other than that...well, I believe we may see some legislation that helps freshly graduated highschool students that aren't getting any financial support from parents, but I doubt we'll see it for another 5-10 years. That doesn't help everyone graduating right now, but you've got to work with what you've got.

Last edited by Ezion : 04-01-2010 at 06:05 PM.
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