Saturday, September 10, 2005

The List

I am a bit upset now. Motzei Shabbos I recieved a letter from HESC, the higher education sevice corperation. They denied my application for scholarship based on the fact that I am a dependant of my parents who don't live in NY. Never mind the fact I have been "renting/living/dorming" in NY for over a year. Why shouldn't I be considered an independant? Because I am claimed as a dependant?!
Which brings me to a different, but not a totally unrelated issue, about the clash between independence and authority. I was required to cut into second seder twice a week to take a class in college and my Rosh Yeshivah had a cow. He told me afterward, he debated throwing me out of yeshivah. I don't disagree with him on the issue. Yeshivah is meant to be a place to gt away from the shmutz of the world-but where do I fit in? I am beholdent to the culture I am brought up in, at the same time to face the crazy world we live in with all its hardships. Why couldn't there be a miracle that my application should have been accepted. I wouldn't have minded not worrying from where and how I am going to pay for college. Well, just another headache that I need to pray to G-d to resolve for me on Rosh Hashana. He sure likes a long list.


Blogger Daphna said...

I had a similar issue, though in my case I put off college for a number of years (without my parents claiming me--I was self-supporting) so that I could get independent status.

G-d might solve your problems for you, or he might expect you to show a bit of gumption and solve them yourself. Here are options to look into:

1) Applying for student loans (your parents would have to put down their financial information, if you are a dependent).

2) Go to school part time and work a bit more to cover the tuition. How much is it a year? Consider looking for a job at a small accounting firm-check out haredi owned firms who might be willing to give you a break. That way you won't "lose" as much time in getting your career going even if school takes a bit longer. You will be gaining experience anway. And the practical experience should dovetail nicely with your studies and help you learn more effectively.

3) Figure out what is needed for you to be considered independent. If you parents are no longer supporting you, ask them to stop claiming you on their tax return. It may still take a year or two for you to have independent status. (What happened is that people abused the whole process so Congress tightened the requirements)

4) Consider asking your parents if they can loan you money for tuition. The catch here is that you need to be straight with them and pay it back. Sign a loan agreement if needed. Clearly this may not be an option for you--it was not one for me either, but if it is, it might be the easiest.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Daphna said...

Incidentally, "dependency" status is not based only on where you are living. If you are living away from home, but your parents are providing you 50% or more of your support, they can claim you as a dependent, and to my mind rightly so. On the flip side, if they are not providing that support, they have no business claiming you. (Legally or otherwise).

1:16 AM  
Blogger RuchniGashmi said...

Your Rosh Hayeshiva has certainly allowed guys in your Yeshiva to take off from second seder for college. College is not the shmutz of the world and yeshiva does not exist to keep you away from the shmutz of the world. Yeshiva, especially the type pf yeshiva you are in, is designed or should be designed, to help you learn how to balance your ruchnius and gashmius together into a blend that you hopefully grow upon for the rest of your life. Perhaps it may make sense to tell your Rosh Hayeshiva, as I heard it from his mouth, that there was once a person who had been learning in kollel until his mid-thirties and suddenyl found himself needing to find a job. After working for a few months he wrote Rav Hutner, his rebbi, asking for advice on the following struggle: "I am having difficulty juggling my two lives, that of my home and learning and ruchnius and that of my job and gashmius." Rav Hutner wrote back that, " is impossible to juggle two lives and if that is what you are doing you will fail. Instead you need to learn to blend the two and make it one." I would be curious to know what you Rosh Hayeshiva thinks about this concept.

10:49 AM  
Blogger powder said...

daphna makes some good points.
I also went through what you are, and I had to just suck it up and pay for college by working full time and going to school at night.
My parents claimed me as a dependant, I was out of state, and I worked really hard for a year.
Claiming independance isnt always so easy if your parents NEED to claim you because they need that tax break.
Student loans are probably the way to go, but be careful with those.
You dont want to graduate with over 50,000 in debts!

11:40 PM  

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