We just found out Rock Star lost all of her scholarships due to me raking in a cool $44,000 two years ago. Apparently, when you move up from $25,000 to $44,000 you’re suddenly rich! I am probably considered a 2%-er at this level.
You know what’s even funnier than considering $44,000 to be rich? That $25,000, where we were still expected to come up with four grand for college, consisted mainly of five months of generous spousal support. During that time I was also court ordered to pay the mortgage, the utilities, and all the marital debt. My household bills were around $5000/month so my spousal support didn’t even cover everything once I included my car payment and insurance (for both of us, no less!). I actually earned around $3000 that year. I worked from October 31 through December 31st- a full two months. I wasn’t saving up money because I was too busy trying to pay all of our bills. Later, I was busy working two jobs at $10 and $11 an hour, barely making ends meet even with no rent or mortgage.
They’re basing my ability to pay almost $9000 for tuition this coming year on a job where I was scheduled to work only 36.5 hours a week and got paid $11/hour. The $44,000 comes mainly from the large lump sum he had to pay, seeing as how he declined to pay spousal or child support for a solid 10 months. That was the big increase because he sure as hell didn’t pay what he was supposed to the rest of the year until that final month. At that point he was severely behind in child support so what he did pay mainly went to child support. Not to mention that a big chunk of that back support went to pay my lawyer. I was in the middle of a contentious divorce where he was trying to feign PTSD to garner pity from the court so he wouldn’t have to pay much in support.
I can hardly wait to see what next year brings. And no, we can’t appeal the FAFSA. It’s too late. By the time they told her what she was being awarded it was too late.
Instead, she took out a student loan which my mom cosigned on. My credit is still in the toilet after what CF did to us. Right now she’s on target to graduate with about $50,000 in student loans seeing as how the only financial “aid” she qualifies for is more student loans.
I think my favorite part of this whole story is how absurd it is. My kid doesn’t qualify for any kind of aid (aside from loans, of course) because I have been deemed too rich and therefore not needy. Yet, I don’t make enough money, even when CF is paying full support, to live in a home of my own. Or, if I did I would be dead broke all of the time. I sure as hell couldn’t come up with almost nine grand to send my kid to school. I don’t have a bedroom to call my own. If not for my mother’s generosity my kids and I would be living in a homeless shelter. Hey- I wonder if people living in homeless shelters get financial aid? Nah, they probably figure those living in homeless shelters can afford to pay double tuition. They don’t have to worry about rent after all.
My taxable income last year, after I paid insurance premiums, put a tiny bit into my HSA account, and contributed my whopping 6% to my 401k was just over $19,000. But my daughter didn’t qualify for any aid for this year and she won’t qualify next year either because once again he paid me a lump sum for back support. Granted, I took almost half of that payment and sent it to my lawyer for legal fees, and then continued to pay legal fees for another few months, but what does that matter? I’m loaded! Another point not in my favor? He actually paid support the entire year. The fact he’s only paid full spousal support one month out of this year is a moot point. The only thing that matters is that I am rich on paper. Super rich! I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find out she no longer qualifies even for the fucking loans next year. We’re probably put into a special class of people who can easily afford a higher tuition rate.
This circles right back to my post, Always Something There To Remind Me, Part 1. It’s always something. It never ends. There is always some new twist, some new development where he comes along and fucks up our world yet again.
I am so tired of having to comfort a crying and devastated child. I’m so tired of being the one who has to tell a kid that her dreams are being dashed yet again. I’m tired of not getting my full support. I’m tired of having to chase him back to court over and over again.
My current mantra is, “Three more years! Just let me get through three more years!”