— STOP– STOP! Stop right now!! I can understand your desire to have your daughter get a great education, but you are going about this in all the wrong ways. Instead you will bury both of you in a lifetime of debt. This is the time to stop and do some thinking.
Before anything else, go online to Amazon and buy this book: (click for direct link) Ron Lieber’s new book, ” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>The Price You Pay for College. For less than $20 you can have it in your hands tomorrow before you make some VERY expensive mistakes.
Then, please read this new column I just posted on my own website, reviewing his book and explaining how to nicely ask for more money.
But here are my own personal responses to your questions:
1. DO NOT take out a Parent Plus Loan. They are the most expensive, when you count all the fees.
2. Do NOT search for a co-signer for private student loans. You won’t get one if your credit is bad — and that means you already have a lot of debt.
3. After reading the book and the column, you might be able to discuss need with the financial aid office and “merit” aid with the admissions office to cut into the gap. If they really want her, they may make a bit more money available.
4. But if there is still too large a gap, then you have to examine alternatives — such as a local community college, where you are sure all credits will transfer. Or finding a job at school to cover her board (maybe a dorm advisor?)
And that is important. I know you want the best for your child, and it appears that you have spent a long time, a lot of effort –and a lot of money — trying to do that. But just STOP right now. A college education is important — but not at the cost of ruining both of your future financial lives. Please read that book!