Our family is in the fortunate situation to be able to pay for our kid's university, but a young person in my life is interested in a college education and her parents are unwilling/unable to contribute. The young woman will be working full time and is trying to save money for transportation, living expenses and her schooling. She has been homeschooled and does not seem to have received any college counseling.
she has no clear plan how to proceed.
I don't really want to give you advice, but I can tell you how my sisters and I got ourselves through college (and sister later law school) without any help from our parents. My sister also homeschooled high school, but ended up getting her GED at 16. I moved out at 17. (It's a long story, but I stopped going to high school during my junior year and petitioned the state of IL for a diploma.)
We had to get ourselves "emancipated" at the university. My sister had to write a letter to the school saying my parents did not support her, so they wouldn't factor our parents' finances when considering financial aid/student loans.
We took out student loans for our tuition and my sister would take out extra student loans for living expenses. I tried not to do this, but she did.
We both worked. She worked at Bed, Bath & Beyond after school (Lol) and I worked at a warehouse overnight. I would work from midnight to 6 or 7am. I would come home to my apartment, get ready for school, go to classes throughout the day and try to go to bed at 5pm. I would try to sleep from 5pm to 11-ish. We both lived on very little money. Sometimes, we didn't have money for groceries or gas and if there was an emergency, well, oops.
My sister and I were very goal-oriented. We would take as many classes as they would let us and we would take the summer session, too. Time = money when you're going to college (and don't have any help). I would never go to college aimlessly. I would have a clear and specific goal.
We managed to graduate. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science and my sister ended up going to law school. My other sister is a Nurse Practitioner, but she used ROTC to get through college without our parents. She also had to get herself "emancipated", because I remember when she was filing for that (and she was irritated by it).
Our financial aid office was really used to kids having all kinds of "situations" and gave advice on what to do.