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Attending college on green card.

Attending college on green card.

Old Sep 27th 2012, 9:47 pm
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Default Attending college on green card.

Greetings everybody,
I got a green card through the lottery and I'l be moving to the US in about 2 weeks for the very first time. I'm a single male aged 24 and I plan on attending college around the East coast, probably in Maryland.

My question is what are the chances of actually getting a college degree with my parents having to not spend a dime? I intend on attending a community college first and then transfer to a four year later on. I also plan on starting in the fall of 2013 so maybe have money saved up by then to pay for my first semester and possibly the second as well.
I will be completely self dependent and so rent and bills will fall on me. So I'm looking at a combination of community college/public universities/federal grants/federal loans/scholarships/work to get me an education. How feasible is that? Any experiences would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

Last edited by ZeeBrainY; Sep 27th 2012 at 9:51 pm.
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Old Sep 27th 2012, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

If you are a US PR, which you will be, then you are entitled to the same support a 'home student' would receive, a combination of loans/grants. Be prepared for lots of debt at the end of it!

As for specifics, that depends on income etc and no one can take an educated guess at that without more details on your finances.
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Old Sep 28th 2012, 12:10 am
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

Be aware, however, that community colleges and state universities typically have a residence requirement before you qualify for "resident" vs "non-resident" tuition rates.

If you don't start until fall 2013 you may be OK but check the exact requirements as soon as possible otherwise you might find yourself paying a higher rate for your entire first year just because you were a week or two short on the residence requirement. Also find out in advance what criteria the particular state uses to determine residency when it comes to tuition fees.
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Old Sep 28th 2012, 2:02 am
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

Originally Posted by ZeeBrainY View Post
Greetings everybody,
I got a green card through the lottery and I'l be moving to the US in about 2 weeks for the very first time. I'm a single male aged 24 and I plan on attending college around the East coast, probably in Maryland.

My question is what are the chances of actually getting a college degree with my parents having to not spend a dime? I intend on attending a community college first and then transfer to a four year later on. I also plan on starting in the fall of 2013 so maybe have money saved up by then to pay for my first semester and possibly the second as well.
I will be completely self dependent and so rent and bills will fall on me. So I'm looking at a combination of community college/public universities/federal grants/federal loans/scholarships/work to get me an education. How feasible is that? Any experiences would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.
It's possible. The community college route is a good starting point. I know a girl who paid for community college out of pocket....only cost around $1000....and was a stand out student so got a full scholarship to finish at the state university. She then went on to do a PhD, again of full scholarship. She just graduated with zero debt! So it's possible, but very rare, average student graduate with $25k debt
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Old Sep 28th 2012, 2:40 am
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

You'll want to look at https://studentaid.ed.gov/ The key bit is that at 24, you count as an 'independent student' for financial aid purposes, meaning the government does not assume your parents are giving you any money for education.

For you (not your parents) to not spend a dime is incredibly improbable. No loans is improbable, but doable.

Like someone else said, you need to figure out what the requirements for in-state tuition are. In many states, you need to have been living there for a year not in education to count as a 'resident' for tuition purposes. (I think California would rather you not have left the state for a year, even. Someone I knew had to produce their adoption papers to be approved as a resident for tuition purposes, despite having lived in California since they were under a year old, which is way more extreme than most places. In any case, save your first electric bill and so on to show when you arrived in the state.)
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Old Sep 28th 2012, 9:50 am
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

I just love this forum. Thank you guys so much for coming through. And the was some fast action I didn't expect replies this fast. And following everyone's advise I looked into Montgomery College's residency policies and they seem to have 3 classifications on the school website, i.e Out of State,In-State and in County tuition fees. So I read the "Determination of Residence for Tuition Purposes (Word - 24.8 KB) " on

http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/EDU/Plain.aspx?id=2070

and it looks like acquiring residency in Montgomery County in MD might take as little 3 months. Or am I not reading things correctly here. I hope it's like that anyway.

If I end up paying out of State for the first year, would I qualify to pay in-state/in County tuition after the first year?
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Old Sep 28th 2012, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

Originally Posted by ZeeBrainY View Post
I just love this forum. Thank you guys so much for coming through. And the was some fast action I didn't expect replies this fast. And following everyone's advise I looked into Montgomery College's residency policies and they seem to have 3 classifications on the school website, i.e Out of State,In-State and in County tuition fees. So I read the "Determination of Residence for Tuition Purposes (Word - 24.8 KB) " on

http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/EDU/Plain.aspx?id=2070

and it looks like acquiring residency in Montgomery County in MD might take as little 3 months. Or am I not reading things correctly here. I hope it's like that anyway.

If I end up paying out of State for the first year, would I qualify to pay in-state/in County tuition after the first year?
I tried to scan through the document, but sorry, don't have time to take a real hard look at it.
In my experience, the admissions department of colleges are very good at answering any questions you may have. I would give them a call.
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 9:16 am
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

Best to call the school. Paying for school here is never free, but you've received the information about in-state vs out of state tuitions. I did look through your link and am shocked...it does appear to be three months in Montgomery County to be considered resident. New York is one year, unless that has changed....they must really need students!

You need to call regarding admissions as well. There are always things they will need to decide if you are eligible to enroll or not, such as High school courses taken and the US does rely on entrance exam, such as the SAT. Will you be required to sit it first?

You will have access to loans, some government but mostly bank-secured. You start to pay back loans after six months of graduation. Your parents will not have to pay a dime but with no US credit and no income, the financing groups like banks may require a joint borrower. My brother had to include our dad after all in financing for the very reason.

Good luck! Sounds like a great adventure.
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

Just thought, it may be a 3 month residency rule for the county but it may be a one year residency rule for the state.
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

It seems to me that it takes a shorter period to acquire residency in a county as opposed to a state. I checked out another school in Baltimore county and with that one it took 6 months to become a county resident and a year to be state resident. Then again I haven't looked at other states on MD.

And yes I would have to take standardized tests. Would I be able to build a US credit history by the fall of 2013? I think I will be calling the schools when I get there so that I know exactly where I stand. But again, thank you guys for the enlightenment you've shed. Goes a long way.
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

Originally Posted by Bomjeito View Post
You will have access to loans, some government but mostly bank-secured. You start to pay back loans after six months of graduation.....
Sometimes it is straight after you graduate, sometimes you have to pay it back as soon as you get it.
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 8:44 pm
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

Originally Posted by ZeeBrainY View Post

Would I be able to build a US credit history by the fall of 2013?
Without living here, having credit cards, car loans, utilities, no.

The wiki up top is a good starting point to get a hang of the credit history and score shenanigans.
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 9:17 pm
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

I'm offered subsidized and unsubsidized loans for my college, both through the government. Both allow me to pay after graduation, but only the latter accrues interest whilst I'm still in school.

A year or two at a community college is a good idea though. Especially if residency is a bit of a grey area. Maryland may also have a state grant for students, just as we have in California that would be more than worth looking into. Tremendous debt is almost always the way it goes though.
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Old Oct 1st 2012, 5:31 am
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Sometimes it is straight after you graduate, sometimes you have to pay it back as soon as you get it.
Hmm...my brother just finished school and yes, the bank loans kicked in within 60 days and the federal loans after 6 months. Oh and the bank loans accrued interested while in school.

However, I think I read somewhere the federal loans may be deferred if you don't have work (an Obama initiative..) or are involved in some type of federal program like AmeriCorps, VISTA or Peace Corps (that has been in place for donkey's years.)
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Old Oct 1st 2012, 6:08 am
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Default Re: Attending college on green card.

By the way (just in case he doesn't already know this) since the OP is male and under the age of 26 he is required to register for Selective Service when he becomes a US permanent resident.

Failure to register will, among other things, make him ineligible for Federal student loans and cause problems if, in the future, he wants to apply for US citizenship.
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