Get an education I didn't I'm now a 46 year old nobody with an abusive JW wife with no means to break free I got no education and cleaned windows and pioneered and yes I am damn bitter !
The Timing of Telling My Parents My College Plans.
If you need genuine advice pm me
Just another caution: my father refused to fill out the financial aid forms for my sister. Until you're 24 (I believe) colleges assume your parents to be responsible for some of your college expenses. Even if your family makes very little money, they require the FAFSA form to prove that to be true before you get any financial aid.
My sister had to go through a long and complicated process to be declared an "independent student" before she could get any financial aid, including loans. They do not grant this status lightly.
Unless you have the cash in hand, you will not be able to enroll. Do you have $5000 to write a check to the local community college? (I'm not being snarky. If needed, you could work for a year first to make the money.)
Also, the FAFSA forms need to be filled out by May 1st for the following Fall Enrollment.
So, there is no Later for you. You either have to get your family's cooperation now, or get yourself to the local community college's Financial Aid office to plead your case as an independent student. And that's tough.
Also, I'm not sure about 4 year college application deadlines, but it seems VERY late to not have even applied for the 2017/ 2018 school year! So, time to do some research!
Community colleges have open enrollment, so you would be guaranteed entrance, and, if your ACT scores are good enough, you can avoid placement tests. (If you score poorly on the placement tests, you will have to take remedial classes first, for no credit and at full price.) You can plan your transfer to a 4 year school and coordinate classes so you don't lose any credit. This will lower the cost of your education.
Plan on coming up with $60,000 if you are footing the entire bill yourself. I don't say this to scare you, but to emphasize the amount of planning and research that you must do! And you are running behind! You either need your parents cooperation in filling out the forms or you need to start talking to Financial Aid departments to figure out the appeals process to declare you an Independent Student. You'll need to be able to explain and prove why your parents should not or will not be responsible for their part of your education expenses.
Just a note, if your parents DO fill out the FAFSA, but decide NOT to pay their Expected Family Contribution, then that amount will fall on you as well. So, go make friends with people at Financial Aid and make this happen! Just so you know, you will probably get Financial Aid, but it will probably be in the form of loans. I'm middle-aged and will be paying Student Loans for a long time yet.
But, you're young, and doing this now is the right thing to do. You have plenty of time to pay off loans before middle age! And, it's definitely worth it in the long run with the increased earning power. But, it's a complicated and long process, so start now!