3 months ago
Admissions Advice

How can I explain to colleges that I'm about to get kicked out of the house?

I'm pretty sure that my parents will kick me out in the end of senior year for being part of LGBTQ+ community (they're really homophobic). Right now they don't know about this, but they will figure it out eventually, as I'm trans person and because of some circumstances I'll have to start transition in the end of this year (I can't delay it). So how can I explain this situation to colleges? Should I do it before or after my parents kick me out? I know it's illegal to kick out minor, but I already have a plan of action, so don't suggest me to stay with them because if I do so, they'll beat the hell out of me. I'm really anxious about it.

Btw i'm international student (maybe it makes some difference, I wrote it just in case)


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2 answers

3 months ago[edited]

I'm very sorry for your situation. You are not an eyewitness to something happening to your friend or schoolmate or neighbor. You are the victim of both your narrow-minded parents but the state of the world we live in.

The way I see it is that you are on your CV because you still want to get into an American college but something personal is happening in your family dynamic that can completely sabotage and risk that.

Because you are an International Student you have some strikes against you in the College Admissions process for US colleges.

1. It's harder for admissions officers to verify and compare you to US students and other Int'l students because each country has its own educational system and cultural norms.

2. There is far less funding available for both merit and need-based financial aid compared to that available for US students. Therefore many more people are competing for the smaller pot of grants that this limited amount of schools can offer.

3. If you come to the US for college, for the most part, it will be a temporary student VISA that will run out unless you win the VISA lottery after you complete your education.

US Colleges for the most part (the caveat being Christian or religious colleges) are not biases if you are cisgender, gay, bi, non-binary, or trans. They just want the best students. So if you are a top student, you will have your chance. As you do more research you will see that some schools are more LGBTQ friendly than others.

The big problem you have has to do with paying for college because your parents already have indicated that you will no longer have a place in their home and lives as a trans person. In the US, parents are obligated to participate in their children's higher education until the child is 21, unless the child is independent. We have many rules for what independent means. So regardless of one's identity and orientation, parents in the US have to comply with willing out the FAFSA and CSS profile until their kids are 21. If the parent abandons their responsibility there is a process for the child to gain "independent" status whereby their financial aid will be based solely on their individual earnings and assets.

I don't know what your financial situation is either personally or as a family. But if you nor your parents are NOT wealthy, and you had some expectation that they would be voluntarily participating in paying for your college for the next 4 years, your decision to begin a transition process (I'm assuming that you are talking about medical/hormone treatments), will put in jeopardy.

It gets very messy if you don't know where you stand with your parents prior to applying for college. All colleges will assume that your parents will participate in paying for college unless you are very poor and live below the poverty line.

Colleges will not give you preferential treatment or a boost for being who you are at face value. So if you indicated you are gay or trans, they are not going to favor you over someone else who is not. Nor will they give you additional financial support at face value because you have come out to claim your identity and all the difficulties that come with that decision. However, they will look at your application holistically and hopefully impartially.

So writing about your trans-phobic parents and the cost of making a decision to be your own person is going to be a complicated and tricky thing to pull off. Why? Because colleges are a business, they are not a social service. So if they think your decision to transition will jeopardize your family's ability to send you college, they will not step in and magically award you more money or give you a boost. It's simpler for them to pick from applicants that may not have their identity tied to financial limbo.

I'm not telling you to do one thing or the other. But I think it very important you realize that once you apply to colleges as either a "dependent" or "independent" financially, you can't change your mind that easy later because it might be too late. If you apply as a "dependent" of your parents, get accepted, and your parents kick you out and refuse to file the financial aid documents, their inaction sabotages your college admissions process. Even if you get in, you can't go unless you find the money to pay for the contribution the colleges expected them to pay. And if the college aid package includes your parent's contribution for 4 years, you will have to come up with the money. You can't tell the college, your parents kicked you out, you had a falling out and have no money, so they need to step in and pay your parents portion. They will not do this. You will be in your home country without a plan.

Therefore I would look into whether or not you can emancipate legally from your parents and become an independent applicant in time before applications are due Jan.1 which is only 4 months away. My gut tells me you won't have enough time. So you may have to take a gap year before you apply to colleges so you can apply as an "independent" applicant that has no connection to your parents financially. That way your application and financial aid will be evaluated solely on your income and assets, not theirs. And their future behavior has no bearing on your college experience. Perhaps having an extra year to sort this out will be good for you and other people involved as well.

The 3rd option is to find a way to reconcile with your parents, perhaps through some joint family counseling. There is always a possibility that you and your parents can find some middle ground where you all can participate in each other's lives. The alternative is digging your heels and slamming the door on your 18 years of life together as a family, and that just seems like the nuclear option that no one wants.

Again I'm sorry for your situation and sorry for the long response. But how you write an essay is not going to fix this problem. Colleges are not going to step in and take sides and give you some sanctuary because of your identity. You have to figure out a way to stand out in the college admissions process given all the existing rules and limitations.

Good luck and I hope you all can have some peace in the end.

3 months ago

Being an international student might not help but the rest might be of great assistance.

Obviously you can’t get US college loans etc. But they are essentially legal usuary anyway.

You can still get scholarships, assistantships, etc.

While your explanation of the situation is obviously lacking details e.g. “Right now they don't know about this, but they will figure it out eventually, as I'm trans person and because of some circumstances I'll have to start transition in the end of this year (I can't delay it).”

This might not be my business and it’s not and I don’t care either way, but you will probably at the very least need to explain:

Why? if it has not been figured out by now, will your parents both FIND OUT and CARE??? Also in the USA oddly you can show an 18year +1day old child the door and tell them to find a new home, you can’t in every situation.

If... such a transition is NOT due to an urgent medical or psychological threat especially in consideration of you seeming to have it planned ahead of time, many would question the claimed threat etc.

That being said, there are MANY UNIVERSITIES in the USA who would in fact be salivating at the thought of taking on an abused, trans LBTQ... non American they could save.

I’d suggest you find a way to include any and all relevent details. You probably don’t want to apply in the South East USA or Southern Central regions, although many Universities are in in atypical areas with highly progressive populations who would love nothing more then to take on a poor, abused, trans, high rated student, from another country!

As to whether this sort of thing is advisable, ethical, moral, equitable etc. I will leave it to you. I’m sure we in the US have have plenty of high ranking, trans, abused, potential students. As to whether your need is greater then theirs I am fortunately not qualified to judge. But I will say hopefully some accommodations can be made if you are truly at risk in some less desirable country. But unfortunately college and universities are not made to get people out of such situations.

You might look into REFUGEE status based on your admitted history, conditions, etc. As I said earlier it’s not for myself or anyone else here to decide your case but it appears there might possibly be less need then want. And more preference rather then danger. But look into Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont in the north east. Oh DEFINITELY NYC! Then I’d consider the Great Lakes area schools or the whole west coast. There are many options between the two but hard to identify everything.


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