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  • College

    I'm 17, turning 18 in 6 weeks. I've graduated high school and been accepted to college on scholarship. My mother is refusing to let me go. She says if I show up for enrollment she will declare me a runaway. My dorm payments have already come out. If I wait to enroll when I'm 18 I will lose out on all my scholarship money. What are my options. It's August 6 and I am supposed to be in school August 24. Help me!

  • #2
    Hello there,

    Thanks so much for reaching out. We are so sorry to hear about this situation with your mother. We are here to help however we can.

    You mentioned that you are currently 17 years old. Until you turn 18, in most states, parents/guardians do have the legal right to determine where you live. So it is possible that your mother could file a runaway report and that police may want to bring you back home if they find you. But, that said, given your situation—that you would be enrolled in and attending college and so close to 18 years old—not all police departments would choose to put resources into reuniting you with your family for such a short period of time.

    It may be worth anonymously calling your local police department’s non-emergency line (or that near your college) to learn about their policies. We could hop on that call with you too if you’d feel more comfortable. This is where you can look it up, if you decide you want to:
    Also, we aren’t legal experts here, but we would be happy to connect you with free or low-cost legal aid resources in your area to talk more about the specifics of your situation with potentially losing the scholarship after payments have already been made. They may be able to help clarify things better on that issue.

    Or, if you think dialogue with your mom about it may still be possible, one option might be to schedule a time when a trusted friend or relative could be there to help you explain your case to her, just so you have a little more support. If nobody comes to mind, we also offer a conference calling service to help youth and parents talk through issues they are having, where we serve as a mediator for the call. We’d be happy to explore this idea further if you’re interested.

    And if you have other ideas or questions, we are here to talk through those as well. Feel free to connect with us via our 24/7 hotline number: 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat with us at:

    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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