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It's interesting how one mistake will alter your life - forever.


I was a straight A student. I had high marks, I went to schools for the gifted, I had IQ scores far above normal students. I should have been the valedictorian, I should have been the one going to Harvard and later to Yale, but that all changed. It changed with her - my daughter.


I couldn't handle it, I was weak. I started failing classes, I was skipping school, I had to take summer courses. I barely graduated. Then I ran away. I joined the Marine Corps. Colleges wouldn't want me anymore, this was my only choice - to prove that I could still be someone. But I'm not a somebody.


My time was up and I left the military. I came back home, to go to school, to make ammends with her. "The best laid plans of mice and men..."


Today I learned that my license has been suspended. My car was impounded and I walked 3 miles back home. I can't afford to pay my nearly $500 a month child support order, so of course the logical conclusion is to suspend my license and preclude me from making any money at all. Last week the judge told me I can't be a student anymore. So much for college. So much for trying to be somebody. My child support is based off of how much money I can make, not how much I am making. Now I have 15 days to magically make $1500 appear or I go to jail - jail has nothing on this living hell. It doesn't matter if her mother doesn't let me see her, it doesn't matter that her mother continually lies to me and to the courts, it doesn't matter that I want to make something of myself, it doesn't matter that I have crippling depression and think of killing myself on a nearly daily basis; all that matters is that the check every month.


So here I stand a broken soul, lost amoung the confusion of what life is supposed to be. Lost amoung the beauracracy of unjust and biased governmental systems. Lost amoung broken dreams. What more is there? I threw my life away 8 years ago and it's not ever coming back.


One mistake will take it all...

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First of all, welcome to ena,


It seems that you are in a predicament,


But my question is: why you cannot work while going to school?,


So that you can pay your child support,


And get to go to school at the same time,


There are many on campus jobs that pay very highly,


At most colleges/universities that you should look into,


Also scholarships, FAFSA, grants are available too,


Your options are not closed and are not limiting,


You just need to go out and grab them.


I would be happy to help if you want advice on schools or anything,





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I do work while I go to school, I also have "income" from the military (GI Bill). This is of no concern to the court. They expect me to be working 40 hours a week. Both physically and mentally that wouldn't allow me to pursue the degree I want. This aside from that I don't make enough to pay child support, living expenses, and school.

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Working 40hrs a week,


You could still go to night school,


At a local junior college (for 2yrs),


And then transfer to a 4yr university thereafter,


Why can't you do a work study,


Where the govt pays for a great deal of your schooling,


And work 20hrs a week there,


I believe that's the maximum for work study,


And then work another job on the side,


40hrs/wk isn't really that much,


You could definitely take classes at the same time.


I just am not really understanding what is going on here,


I am wondering about maybe if you aren't looking at all of your alternatives,


I had many friends in college who did work study,


The govt paid their schooling if they worked on campus,


It was an amazing deal,


And then they received money for rent, books, etc.


Your worry is the $500 a month,


But you could take an outside job,


On the side as well,


Don't limit yourself,


Education is very important,


And the child support can be worked around.

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Here's about work study:




What is Federal Work-Study?


The Federal Work-Study Program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to each student’s course of study.


How much will I make?


You’ll earn at least the current federal minimum wage, but the amount might be higher depending on the type of work you do and the skills required. Your total Federal Work-Study award depends on when you apply, your level of need, and the funding level of your school. Commissions or fees must not be paid to Federal Work-Study students.


How will I be paid?


If you’re an undergraduate, you’ll be paid by the hour. If you’re a graduate student, you might be paid by the hour or you might receive a salary. Your school must pay you at least once a month. Also, your school must pay you directly, unless you request that the school make payments to your bank account or use the money to pay for your institutional charges such as tuition, fees, and room and board.


Are Federal Work-Study jobs on campus or off campus?


Both. If you work on campus, you’ll usually work for your school. If you work off campus, your employer will usually be a private nonprofit organization or a public agency, and the work performed must be in the public interest. Some schools might have agreements with private for-profit employers for Federal Work-Study jobs, which must be judged relevant to your course of study (to the maximum extent possible). If you attend a proprietary school, there might be further restrictions on the jobs you can be assigned.


Can I work as many hours as I want?


No. The amount you earn can’t exceed your total Federal Work-Study award. When assigning work hours, your employer or financial aid administrator will consider your class schedule and your academic progress.

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Here's about federal grants:




What is a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant?


An FSEOG is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need—that is, students with the lowest EFCs— and gives priority to students who receive Federal Pell Grants. An FSEOG doesn’t have to be paid back.


What’s the difference between an FSEOG and a Federal Pell Grant?


The U.S. Department of Education guarantees that each participating school will receive enough money to pay the Federal Pell Grants of its eligible students. There’s no guarantee every eligible student will be able to receive an FSEOG; students at each school will be awarded these funds based on availability at that school.


How much money can I get?


You can receive between $100 and $4,000 a year, depending on when you apply, your need, the funding level of the school you’re attending, and the policies of the financial aid office where you attend school.


How will I be paid?


Your school will credit your account, pay you directly (usually by check), or combine these methods. Schools must pay students at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter). Generally, schools that do not use traditional terms must pay you at least twice during the academic year.*

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Here's about Stafford loans:





What are Stafford Loans?

Direct and FFEL Stafford Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. You can receive a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan for the same enrollment period.


A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need (see financial need page). You won’t be charged any interest before you begin repayment or during authorized periods of deferment). The federal government “subsidizes” the interest during these periods.


An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You’ll be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it’s paid in full. If you allow the interest to accrue (accumulate) while you’re in school or during other periods of nonpayment, it will be capitalized—that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.


NOTE: If your interest is capitalized, it will increase the amount you have to repay. You can choose to pay the interest as it accumulates; if so, you’ll repay less in the long run.



Who can get a Stafford Loan?

If you’re a regular student* enrolled in an eligible program* at least half time,* you may receive a Direct or FFEL Stafford Loan. You must also meet other general eligibility requirements (see eligibility page).


How do I get this loan?

You apply using the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA (see “Applying,” , just the way you would for other federal student aid. Then, you sign a promissory note* that you’ll get from your lender, for FFEL Stafford Loans, or from your school, for Direct Loans. The promissory note* is a binding legal document; when you sign it, you’re agreeing to repay your loan under certain terms. Read the note carefully and save it.


How much can I borrow?

If you’re a dependent undergraduate student (see “Dependency Status,” , you can borrow annually up to


$2,625 if you’re a first-year student enrolled in a program of study that is at least a full academic year.*


$3,500 if you’ve completed your first year of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year.*

$5,500 if you’ve completed two years of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year.*

If you’re an independent undergraduate student or a dependent student whose parents are unable to get a PLUS Loan (see page 24), you can borrow annually up to

$6,625 if you’re a first-year student enrolled in a program of study that is at least a full academic year* (only $2,625 of this amount may be in subsidized loans).

$7,500 if you’ve completed your first year of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year* (only $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans).

$10,500 if you’ve completed two years of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year* (only $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans).

For periods of study that are less than an academic year,* the amounts you can borrow will be less than those listed. Check with your school’s financial aid office to find out how much you can borrow.


NOTE: Stafford Loans are not made to students enrolled in programs that are less than one-third of an academic year.*


Generally, if you’re a graduate student, you can borrow up to $18,500 each academic year.* (Only $8,500 of this amount may be in subsidized Stafford Loans.)


NOTE: The amounts given above are the maximum yearly amounts you can borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. You might receive less than these amounts if you receive other financial aid that is used to cover a portion of your cost of attendance.*


Generally, the total debt you can have outstanding from all Stafford Loans combined is

$23,000 as a dependent undergraduate student.

$46,000 as an independent undergraduate student (only $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans).

$138,500 as a graduate or professional student (only $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans). The graduate debt limit includes any Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.

NOTE: Your school can refuse to certify your loan application or can certify a loan for an amount less than you would otherwise be eligible for if the school documents the reason for its action and explains the reason to you in writing. The school’s decision is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.


How will I receive my Stafford Loan?

The loan funds will be sent to your school. In most cases, your loan will be disbursed in at least two installments, and no installment will be greater than half the amount of your loan.


Your loan money must first be used to pay for your tuition, fees, and room and board. If loan funds remain, you’ll receive them by check or in cash, unless you give the school written permission to hold the funds until later in the enrollment period.


If you’re both a first-year undergraduate student and a first-time borrower, your first disbursement can’t be made until 30 days after the first day of your enrollment period. That way, you won’t have to repay the loan if you withdraw during the first 30 days of classes. (However, you might owe money to the school for a portion of tuition or other fees.)


Can I cancel the loan if I change my mind, even if I’ve signed the promissory note*

agreeing to the loan’s terms?

Yes. Your school must notify you in writing whenever it credits your account with your Stafford Loan funds. This notification must be sent to you no earlier than 30 days before, and no later than 30 days after, the school credits your account. You may cancel all or a portion of your loan if you inform your school within 14 days after the date your school sends you this notice, or by the first day of the payment period, whichever is later. (Your school can tell you the first day of your payment period.) If you receive Stafford Loan funds directly by check, you may refuse the funds by returning the check.


What’s the interest rate on these loans?

The interest rate is variable (might change each year) but does not exceed 8.25 percent. For July 1, 2002 to June 30, 2003, the interest rate for loans in repayment was 4.06 percent. Interest rates are adjusted each year on July 1. You’ll be notified of interest rate changes throughout the life of your loan.


Congress changed the interest rate calculation for Stafford Loans made on or after July 1, 1998. If you have loans first disbursed before that date, your interest rate might be different. For interest rates on a FFEL Stafford Loan, check with your lender. For interest rates on a Direct Stafford Loan, check with the Direct Loan Servicing Center.


If you have subsidized loans, you won’t be charged interest while you’re enrolled in school at least half time,* during a grace period, or during authorized periods of deferment. Interest will begin to accrue (accumulate) when you enter repayment.


If you have unsubsidized loans, you’ll be charged interest from the day the loan is disbursed until it’s paid in full, including in-school, grace, and deferment periods. You can pay the interest during these periods, or it can be capitalized.


Other than interest, is there any charge to get the loans?

You’ll pay a fee of up to 4 percent of the loan, deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. For a FFEL Stafford Loan, a portion of this fee goes to the federal government, and a portion goes to the guaranty agency* to help reduce the cost of the loans. For a Direct Stafford Loan, the entire fee goes to the government to help reduce the cost of the loans. Also, if you don’t make your loan payments when scheduled, you may be charged collection costs and late fees.


When do I pay back these loans?(1)

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half time* enrollment, you have six months before you begin repayment. This period of time is called a grace period.


During the grace period on a subsidized loan, you don’t have to pay any principal, and you won’t be charged interest. During the grace period on an unsubsidized loan, you don’t have to pay any principal, but you will be charged interest. You can either pay the interest or it will be capitalized.


After you leave school or drop below half time* enrollment, your lender will send you information about repayment and you’ll be notified of the date repayment begins. However, you’re responsible for beginning repayment on time, even if you don’t receive this information. Failing to make payments on your loan is likely to have a negative effect on your credit rating.



1. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has issued special guidance for those called to active duty as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks. If a borrower’s loans are in an in-school status, in-school deferment status, or in a grace period when the borrower is ordered to active duty or reassigned, the loan holder must maintain the loans in that status during the period of the borrower’s active duty service or reassignment, plus the time necessary for the borrower to resume enrollment in the next regular enrollment period reasonably available to the borrower. The maintenance of loan status may not exceed a total of three years, including the period of time necessary for the borrower to resume enrollment.


For a borrower whose loans are in repayment, the loan holder must grant a forbearance (temporary suspension of repayment) for the expected period of the borrower’s active duty status, beginning on the first day of active duty, not to exceed one year. Forbearance beyond the initial period will require supporting documentation and a written agreement by the borrower.


For more information about loan repayment options that might be available to a borrower in this situation, the loan holder should be contacted directly.




Are there any tax credits available for paying back these loans?

Yes, there are tax incentives for certain higher education expenses, including a deduction for student loan interest for certain borrowers. This benefit applies to federal and nonfederal loans taken out to pay for postsecondary education costs. The maximum deduction is $2,500 a year. IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Higher Education, explains these credits and other tax benefits. You can find out more by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. TTY callers can call 1-800-829-4059.


Is it ever possible to postpone repayment of my loan?

Yes, under certain conditions, you can receive a “deferment” or “forbearance” on your loan, as long as the loan isn’t in default.* A deferment allows you to temporarily postpone payments on your loan. If you have a subsidized loan, you won’t be charged interest during the deferment. If your loan is unsubsidized, you’ll be responsible for the interest during the deferment. In that case, if you don’t pay the interest as it accrues (accumulates), it will be capitalized and the amount you’ll have to pay will increase. Click here for the list of deferments available for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 1993.


For information on deferments available to borrowers with outstanding loans received before that date, FFEL Stafford borrowers should contact the lenders or agencies holding the loans. Direct Stafford Loan borrowers can contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at



The Direct Loan Servicing Center

Borrower Services: 1-800-848-0979 or 1-315-738-6634

Fax: 1-800-848-0984

TTY: 1-800-848-0983


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Wow, now I see why you received that award rose...I'm in somewhat a similar situation to yours diffusion, only worse, fed up my life...and for me the shame of becoming a "loser" as anyone would put it is pretty unbearing...the difference between us is that you have the willpower to improve your life while I can't bring myself to do anything, so I'm sure things will be looking up for you

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Rose has some fantastic advice. However I also want to give you a little dose of reality.


It's funny that I don't see anything in your post about your daughter, other than how you resent having to support her. Lets face it, you were the one who ran away. There are severe consequences for this and you are experiencing them right now. Your daughter is innocent in all this. She needs food, clothes, doctors, and a home to live in.


Get yourself a job. If you have one, the court is much more likely to consider adjusting child support to match the income you have. However they will look very unfavorably on an argument that I can't work so much, I want a different career, it interferes with my plans, and so on. None of that matters because the child needs the support NOW. If you make a good effort and get yourself a reasonable job that makes a reasonable wage, then you can talk about how to get yourself back on track with child support. Until then they are going to throw the book at you - because you haven't been doing what they have ordered you to do.

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Im sorry but im with avman on this, there is an 8 year old girl out there that needs you to do the right thing, you can regrat all you like but it will not change a thing, you start a new here and now. You where in the Army I dont know how you did there but it may be time to think about going back but this time think about the carer lader there, you can be some one there and make amends for what you thing you did wrong so for. Me I dont thing you did any thing wrong other than to be human. Your a man now and its time to look at very hard at the cards you have now and play them the best you can.


As for callage give it up for now im 40 and doing a PhD 10 years ago I walked away from my 1st PhD and got a full time job I need to to get a house and save some cash. Then when I was ready I went back, Now i have a garte job that pays more than most PhDs get so you can do well.


As for being smart I have an IQ if 150+ i know this as part of being tested for Dyslecia is lots and lots of IQ tests.


For all them smarts i have messed up my life at times but each time I picked myself up Smiled and headed out once more with hope in my hart.

Yes some say Bigger the brain bigger the pain but the truth is brains help with that day to day hard stuff that others get snowed under,


Use your head now, sort your life out and start working to a better one.


I use three words every day that keep me start and on the right path.




be true to your self and to others

Be strong for your self and then others

Honor your self for trying to do the right thing every day and others who try to do the same.


Good luck and I know you will do whats right.

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Diffusion read this it may help you see how to be not just a man but a good man.



By Rudyard Kipling


If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;


If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;


If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;


If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;


If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

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Rose has some fantastic advice. However I also want to give you a little dose of reality.


It's funny that I don't see anything in your post about your daughter, other than how you resent having to support her. Lets face it, you were the one who ran away. There are severe consequences for this and you are experiencing them right now. Your daughter is innocent in all this. She needs food, clothes, doctors, and a home to live in.


I appreciate the dose of "reality"... as if I was oblivious to the fact that I resent my daughter and that there are repercussions for not towing the line. The reality is that she is the reason I can't afford to live on my own, she is the reason I nearly failed school, she is the reason my car was reposessed two years ago, why I had to live with my grandparents when I was 25, why I'll never get married, why I'll never have any other kids, why my credit is in shambles and why I'll probably never be able to have a house of my own...the list goes on and on. Do I resent her? You're damn right I do. Of course, I'm truly the one to blame, and I hate myself everday for it - but then again it's all semantics. No matter where the blame is placed, my life is still the same. I'm ashamed I'm not a father, I'm ashamed I'm not a man, I live with it everyday, but I'm disgusted that this is what life is. If this is "life", I want a refund.


Here's reality: I'm tired of being neglected as if my life and my goals don't matter. My daughter is safe, she has health care, she has clothing, she has food - that is without my money. I'm paying for summer camp, dance lessons, and her mom's new car (I believe this is the 3rd in two years)- things I never had in life. The state's best interest is in protecting it's bottom line and it's self image, not in my daughter's well being and especially not in mine. It doesn't matter if I never see my daughter again, as long as her mom's getting my money. The state doesn't promote family, it promotes self preservation. Well I won't support that. I will not turn a blind eye and ignore the bias and utter disrespect while the state gives it to me up the a**.


Reality bites, and I'm sick of it.

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I can only keep your daughter in my prayers and hope that someday she will find a father that loves her. I am so sad for her.


As for you, you might consider some counseling for your anger. You seem to be blaming your daughter and ex girlfriend for everything that went wrong in your life - but until you start taking some responsibility for yourself things will not change.


I'm not going to disagree that things can be stacked against a father in family court, but the reason they are that way is because of situations just like this. Fathers who bail on their children is what caused the creation of all these laws and consequences in the first place.

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"Of course, I'm truly the one to blame, and I hate myself everday for it - but then again it's all semantics. No matter where the blame is placed."


Here you ay "your the one to blame" and then you ask about placing the blame, stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop this blame game. Come to tarms with the way your life is our you will crush yourself under you own hate and angre. No one here will judge you for the act you are the feather of a child. Some here can not have children even with IVF most I feel would in a moment swop places with you just to have that one thing you have that they will never know. To have a child.


Don't hate yourself for the dream of a better life lost. you know that's rubish that better life could have held hells much wase that yours no, so stop beating your self up over bast deeds there done gone over time to do now not later.


"why I'll probably never be able to have a house of my own..."


"the list goes on and on. Do I resent her? You're damn right I do. "


Look if your carring this guilt, resentment and hopelessnes around with you, others will pick up on it. but more inportently you self image and out look will be servily limited.


You have a stark simple choice

live out your life in regret and selfhate angrily slinking from what you see as and unjust world thinking of your self as a victim until the day you die.




start to believe life is just how it should be, that dealing with all the highs and lows is good for it makes character and pushis us to be more than we ever could be. There is a way to get all you won't in this life and also give love to all your children.


It all comes down to belife in your self and not wasting you life on "what could haves"


never wish your child harm, nore blame her or your self for you actions in making a life, no mater what you do in this world that will always be your greatest achievement.


good luck and hang in there, your life will change them moment you see that the power to make that happon is in your hands alone

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