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futurebirdlawyer

How should I manage my savings before applying for financial aid?

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Hi everyone, 

Sorry if the title was somewhat confusing. I completed my undergrad last semester and have around $15000 in my chequing account, most of which is saved from some of the OSAP and CERB that I received last year. I have around 37k in OSAP loans and I think I will have to make two payments of around $400 in July and August once my grace period expires. 

I fully support my own education so I will be applying to any bursaries that I can. I am concerned that the money in my account may lower the bursaries I receive. How could I best move my money to prevent this? My living expenses right now are quite low at around $500 a month and I do not have to pay rent during the lockdown until I find a job. Besides withdrawing $15000 and putting it in a safe or spending it all on stuff that I don't need, how would you advise that I best manage my savings in this time before law school? 

Thank you so much for any advice you can provide! 

-futurebirdlawyer

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11 minutes ago, futurebirdlawyer said:

I am concerned that the money in my account may lower the bursaries I receive. How could I best move my money to prevent this?

Unfortunately there isn't much you can do about this without running afoul or being dishonest. 

I think most will tell you to use the savings to pay off some of your OSAP debt. That's about all you can do. 

However, you only need to declare those savings once. So you're bursaries for first year will likely be affected but not for second and third year. 

Bursaries are designed to fill a real financial gap for those who cannot afford the full tuition and that's how you should view them. They don't exist to give free rides to people who otherwise have the means to pay some if not all of their tuition. 

 

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29 minutes ago, futurebirdlawyer said:

How could I best move my money to prevent this? 

Now's a good time to develop a habit of abiding by the spirit of the rules. 

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18 minutes ago, OnlyResident said:

Unfortunately there isn't much you can do about this without running afoul or being dishonest. 

I think most will tell you to use the savings to pay off some of your OSAP debt. That's about all you can do. 

However, you only need to declare those savings once. So you're bursaries for first year will likely be affected but not for second and third year. 

Bursaries are designed to fill a real financial gap for those who cannot afford the full tuition and that's how you should view them. They don't exist to give free rides to people who otherwise have the means to pay some if not all of their tuition. 

 

 

4 minutes ago, Tagger said:

Now's a good time to develop a habit of abiding by the spirit of the rules. 

Sorry if I came across that I am trying to get financial aid when it is not needed. I already don't receive all the financial aid I am entitled to because my parents earn a high income although they do not contribute to my education or cost of living. If paying my OSAP loan is the best way to go about it that sounds fine. It just doesn't seem right to me that I could take my 15k, spend it frivolously and receive more financial aid. I have 37k in debt already and may have to tack on over 100k to fund myself through law school. I don't want to deceive anyone or do anything fraudulent but I want to put myself in the best financial situation that I can while still acting honestly.

 

I think "should I move my money" would have been a much better wording. 

Edited by futurebirdlawyer

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11 minutes ago, futurebirdlawyer said:

 

Sorry if I came across that I am trying to get financial aid when it is not needed. I already don't receive all the financial aid I am entitled to because my parents earn a high income although they do not contribute to my education or cost of living. If paying my OSAP loan is the best way to go about it that sounds fine. It just doesn't seem right to me that I could take my 15k, spend it frivolously and receive more financial aid. I have 37k in debt already and may have to tack on over 100k to fund myself through law school. I don't want to deceive anyone or do anything fraudulent but I want to put myself in the best financial situation that I can while still acting honestly.

 

I think "should I move my money" would have been a much better wording. 

Do you know for certain that it will lower the amount you will receive? And, if so, will it lower it by an amount that's more than $15k? Be sure about that before proceeding.

Assuming that to be the case, I think the best thing you can do with that 15k is put it toward the debt.

 

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10 hours ago, futurebirdlawyer said:

It just doesn't seem right to me that I could take my 15k, spend it frivolously and receive more financial aid.

But then you wouldn't have 15K to put towards tuition. So you would need more financial aid. 

Edited by TobyFlenderson
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The challenge that you are going through right now is one that I am mentally trying to prepare myself for in the event that I am admitted for September. 

One thing to note is that some of it is OSAP. It is a loan. Money that you have from a loan should not be considered savings. In BC, StudentAid BC publishes its policy manual online. I intend to familiarize myself with it. If Ontario does, go find it or file an FOI request to get it. You will want to understand the appeal procedure in and out because you may have to use it.

I am taking the approach to pay off every last bit of debt I can (if possible) from now until September. I know I will likely have to go through an appeals process because my income is going to screw me for the first two years of law school in getting government student loans. It is my priority to get government loans because I can get thousands of non-repayable grants. 

You could start putting some in a fireproof safe. Honestly, it wouldn't be the worst idea. Putting extra onto credit cards, etc. 

All of this information is only for student loans. Bursaries need to be for those that truly do need it, and you need to be prepared that some bursary applications will require that you submit copies of bank statements. 

 

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13 minutes ago, OyVey said:

The challenge that you are going through right now is one that I am mentally trying to prepare myself for in the event that I am admitted for September. 

One thing to note is that some of it is OSAP. It is a loan. Money that you have from a loan should not be considered savings. In BC, StudentAid BC publishes its policy manual online. I intend to familiarize myself with it. If Ontario does, go find it or file an FOI request to get it. You will want to understand the appeal procedure in and out because you may have to use it.

I am taking the approach to pay off every last bit of debt I can (if possible) from now until September. I know I will likely have to go through an appeals process because my income is going to screw me for the first two years of law school in getting government student loans. It is my priority to get government loans because I can get thousands of non-repayable grants. 

You could start putting some in a fireproof safe. Honestly, it wouldn't be the worst idea. Putting extra onto credit cards, etc. 

All of this information is only for student loans. Bursaries need to be for those that truly do need it, and you need to be prepared that some bursary applications will require that you submit copies of bank statements. 

 

This is quite strange. You realize that what you are terming "non-repayable grants" are also bursaries that also should be going to those who need it most? Individuals with high incomes before school are not among the most needy, literally the programs are designed to exclude individuals in your situation. 

The OP's position is different though, they don't have high income previously or assets, their net position is -$17k.

OP: Just use the vast majority of the amount to pay down your OSAP debt. You're overthinking it. 

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Just now, Mal said:

This is quite strange. You realize that what you are terming "non-repayable grants" are also bursaries that also should be going to those who need it most?

 

I don't make the rules. I was reading the Student Aid BC handbook today and for my unique situation and what I am looking at, it indicates that grants can exceed unmet need. I just need to qualify for $1 in loans to get the grant. 

I have a higher income now but I also have significant debt from the years of school I have done without any support. Partially my fault because I did not think of applying for bursaries when I was younger. I will happily take advantage of the grants so I can minimize my student debt. Unfortunately for me, gross income is what is used to calculate. As a public servant, my take home pay is comparable to someone who makes at least $20,000 less than I do because I have pension payments (grateful but costly), union dues, taxes on benefits, mandatory life insurance payments, and other random things that come out. 

If I get in for September, my student loan would be calculated with consideration to my 2020 income (and other things), and my loan for the following year with my 2021 income when I will have spent 12 months in school not earning much. So I know I will be needing to appeal.

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23 hours ago, futurebirdlawyer said:

Hi everyone, 

Sorry if the title was somewhat confusing. I completed my undergrad last semester and have around $15000 in my chequing account, most of which is saved from some of the OSAP and CERB that I received last year. I have around 37k in OSAP loans and I think I will have to make two payments of around $400 in July and August once my grace period expires. 

I fully support my own education so I will be applying to any bursaries that I can. I am concerned that the money in my account may lower the bursaries I receive. How could I best move my money to prevent this? My living expenses right now are quite low at around $500 a month and I do not have to pay rent during the lockdown until I find a job. Besides withdrawing $15000 and putting it in a safe or spending it all on stuff that I don't need, how would you advise that I best manage my savings in this time before law school? 

Thank you so much for any advice you can provide! 

-futurebirdlawyer

I'm in a somewhat similar position. I have 23k in BC/Federal student loans and about 11k in cash due to the student loan increases / starting up a job. I think I'm going to try and pay off as much debt as possible in the next couple months and then start saving for law school.

I'm not sure how your school does bursaries, but the UBC bursary calculator seems to only take into account your current cash reserves and not your net financial position. If that's the case I think it's worth it to try and reduce your debt as much as possible before beginning law school since you would qualify for more bursaries and end school with less debt. I don't think it's unethical to do this since I do need the money! I have negative equity and am paying for school myself. 

The thing I'm trying to figure out is if making payments towards my student loans this year will impact my student loan amounts in future years. It doesn't seem like it will, but I want to be sure of that before making payments.  

 

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On 1/16/2021 at 3:10 AM, OyVey said:

You could start putting some in a fireproof safe. Honestly, it wouldn't be the worst idea. Putting extra onto credit cards, etc.

Two things about this:

1. You're suggesting that OP keep cash in a safe as opposed to paying off debt or saving it in an account so that they can misrepresent their financial position and maximize their loan eligibility. You see the problem with that, right? 

2. I'm not the most financially savy person, but, as a student with loans who needs more loans, I think the best financial move you can make with excess cash at this point is put it towards current debt. Literally, I think it will have the highest return to you. Keeping it in cash and putting towards consumer spending means the cash just gets eaten by inflation until you've spent it all on consumables. 

On 1/16/2021 at 3:10 AM, OyVey said:

All of this information is only for student loans. Bursaries need to be for those that truly do need it, and you need to be prepared that some bursary applications will require that you submit copies of bank statements. 

Student loans and bursaries are both for those who "truly" need them. If you have excess cash laying around that can be used to pay for school, that rightly reduces the amount you can loan.

 

 

Edited by conge
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On 1/16/2021 at 2:10 AM, OyVey said:

You could start putting some in a fireproof safe. Honestly, it wouldn't be the worst idea. Putting extra onto credit cards, etc. 

 

If you are advising OP to liquidate assets for the purpose of hiding them from government lenders, then it may not literally be the worst idea, but it’s pretty close. 

Edited by realpseudonym
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21 hours ago, realpseudonym said:

If you are advising OP to liquidate assets for the purpose of hiding them from government lenders, then it may not literally be the worst idea, but it’s pretty close. 

I think I'd rather burn $15k than commit fraud and wonder if it'll ever come back to haunt me.  

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