TL;DR story of my financial status ahead.
I still live with my parents, but only because I don't see it necessary to rent an apartment when my school is so close to my house. I'll most likely move to Orlando after I graduate and share rent with my friend, but for now it's financially easier like this. Besides, even if I wanted to live on my own, I couldn't, at least not for the school I'm going to. Not just because I can't afford the dorms, but there's other factors.
First of all, I don't get any sort of financial aid, only loans. I think it's because when I applied for it, both my parents were employed. Now, I'm not complaining at all about this, after all I've already adapted, but sometimes I wish things were a little easier for us financially. My mom has been laid off twice from her job now and she's going to a career college to work on something else, because she's deemed it impossible to get an engineering job in this area and with the economy being what it is. My dad is well off, but he makes less than half what my mom made when she had a job, so it's not as easy as it once was.
My school is EXPENSIVE, let's just leave it at that. Even for the gargantuan amount of money you have to pay, there's still buying your supplies for every class and such, some you don't even end up using later, and can easily amount to $100 per class. I did so well in high school but I didn't get any financial aid or anything from it, because it didn't count towards this school, I'm guessing. (but it's the only school with animation around here so I have no choice) So sometimes I feel as if it was all for naught since most of my friends who got into the same school managed with a G.E.D. I just wish I had a LITTLE bit of financial support because I am managing through loans and I know it's going to come back and bite me in the butt later. D: (my parents won't pay for it, I have to) A lot of the students at my school are completely baffled when I tell them I get no financial aid. Like one time this guy invited me to eat lunch at the school cafeteria and I told him I had no money. He asked me how much I had left on my "card." I told him I don't have financial aid pay for my food and he looked at me like I had showed him a live unicorn. :|
One thing I did to avoid the mass of money is to take the general credits in a cheaper community college, which helped out the strain a bit. Though thankfully they were transferrable in my school. This school has a campus somewhere else where they aren't, for some strange reason, even though it's basically the same school!
So basically, my school has these very annoying schedules, especially for animation students. They're around 3-4 hours per class in an 11-week term, and even if you register early for classes there is probably no way you'd get classes at the exact time you want them because the professors are constantly being switched around. Also you're forced into 5 classes per term. (this is one of those schools where they want to get students out as fast as possible, you see) Because of this it makes it very difficult for me to get a solid job. (imagine trying to tell my boss every 11 weeks that I have to change work schedules again)
So, I work a temp. pool job. I get $12 per hour, but I am only allowed to work nine hours a week. (It was eight before but I got a raise) So yeah, I really don't make much. 3/4 of my monthly paycheck goes into my savings for my car and such, the rest is used for whatever I want, though sometimes I have to use it for food and school supplies. But it's ok at least I have a house, some people are far, far worse. You have no idea how many of my friends have come over to stay at my house after... Issues.