Did anyone wait until they’re 24 to get full financial aid benefits from college? Or start late in general? Was anyone able to file independency before 24? : personalfinance

 Hi everyone I’m coming on here to ask if any of you had to postphone school to claim dependence at 24 so you could get aid and not be trapped in loan debt forever. Or has anyone graduated later than planned? All stories welcomed. I come from a single mother working class family where my mom basically lives paycheck to paycheck, and only has a 401k she needs to retire on. 

 We live In New Jersey where everything is so damn expensive that social security alone is literally your whole months rent IF you’re lucky. A crappy studio here can go for $1500. My mom couldn’t take out loans in her name (parent plus) because on top of her own debt, she needs that money to retire on. I’m almost half way done with school and I’m 22 and work part time to help pay for books, my train and bus transportation, food, cell phone bill, and frequent doctors visits as I’m diabetic and need to pay for my medicine and visits at a specialist. 

 If I play it smart and keep this up I’ll only be in about 7k worth of debt. Neither my mother or I drive or have even been on vacations in our whole life and after I graduate and get my own place I’d love to get a car and finally be able to live like a “normal” person and take some small trips even within the country to maybe Cali or Florida. Do any of you guys have similar stories? 

 We fell into the middle class category where my mom “made too much money to quality for aid, but was too poor to pay for college” Ofcourse my  part time job check isn’t nearly enough to cover my school fee because even schools in this state are like 13,000 a year state public schools. I could never work full time and go to school full time as I know literally that I am not a strong enough person mentally or physically to do so. Any advice at all? Stories? Recommendations. I guess I want to know Atleast I’m not alone...Thank you all! 🙏

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