I can feel her pain. Having came to this country with a backpack (no joke) I ended putting myself through an Ivy League school through a combination of things (tough I did have some help from my Dad initially). I also transfered from a community collage having done 2 years there first.
- shafferama, is right on the money. Especially if she is a good student the school would mostly likely view her as an "asset" and would try and work with her. Some schools are better than other in that regard. Not all schools have the same amount of grants available. Like shafferama said, an adviser can explain the options. I for example utilized:
- Pell Loans: Government subsidized loans at a favorable rate.
- Regular loans (coordinated through the school not an outside bank): I think there were two kinds (Stafford and something else). Gosh it feels like it was forever ago. The important thing is that I ended up using the loans not only for school but for living expenses as well!
- Various School grants
- What a about a dorm? usually they are subsidized by the school.
- Why do the parents have to co-sign the loans? Maybe it is something new. Maybe it is becuase she is younger than I was. If her parents are struggling as well it may be of benefit to her in some sense. I don't remember what the threshold is, but depending on how much they make, if it considered sufficiently low it will help her eligibility.
- Does she really have to be in school 5 days? I remember I used to build my schedule in such a way that I would have classes back to back few days during the week. One semester, granted as sophomore, I lucked out and only had to come to school 2 days a week. She can also try and take as many independent study classes as she can to avoid having to physically attend classes.
I think loans are her best bet. I know it may sound scary but it really not that bad. After I graduated I got a good Job and payed them off sooner than you require.
I don't know if that helps at all, but I wish her a lot of good luck!