It’s a Christmas Miracle!

Yesterday, there was a great and mighty happy dance.

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We were totally on budget (or at least close) until about a month ago, when we stopped and thought, “How are we going to pay tuition?” Oh, snap. That’s about $2400 we weren’t counting on.

Fortunately, I have a job. Yay! We did some quick math, and discovered that we could probably afford rent, tuition, and bills for December and January, provided I keep said job and work at least 30 hours a week, and still have just about enough. Of course, that meant eating only food storage for a month. Boo. (But we have a working oven now, so that means homemade pizza! Yay again!)

In the course of all this, we starting considering financial aid again. I haven’t applied for financial aid since my sophomore year, because my taxes didn’t look poor enough for a need-based grant, and my grades didn’t look good enough for a scholarship. But with some help from friends and family and a little elbow grease at some part-time jobs, I managed to graduate without any debt. Ethan had a trust fund that took him up through this last month, and he didn’t apply for aid or scholarships because he figured there were others who needed it more. But now – we needed it.

It didn’t take too long to fill out a FAFSA, and apparently we’re pretty poor. Just got married. Not much in the bank. Independent, but only one of us working part-time. One of us going to school. Yup. We’re actually kind of ideal for financial aid. Woohoo.

So Ethan went into the financial aid office yesterday to follow up on his application. He called me up to tell me that we’ve got over $5000 coming in a Pell grant – which means we won’t have to pay it back. The government will cover the coming semester, reimburse us for last semester, and give us the extra for future schooling.

It’s kind of amazing how much pressure that takes off my brain. I’m not exactly relieved to need the extra help – but, boy, am I relieved it’s here! I did a sort of office-chair version of my Thank-you-Jesus dance (later followed up with a much more reverent prayer), and did a little bouncing around. Taking pressure off my brain apparently takes pressure off my body as well. Merry Christmas! ♦

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