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Who pays for college...from FAFSA, just to clear it up! Surprising!

Posted by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:13 PM
  • 29 Replies

The ongoing discussions about whose income should count, not count, who's responsible or not got me to thinking and then researching.  It's not as simple as one would've thought! 

If parents are divorced but not remarried, I can see this being clear cut.  But when parents are divorced and remarried, it gets interesting.

So what I'm seeing is that in the case of a 50/50 where the child spent equal days in each home, whomever provided the most financial support is the one you list AND the stepparent's income then counts.  Else, if the child spends more time in one home, that is the how it's determined. Has nothing to do with taxes.

From FAFSA's website...here's who a student has to include when applying at this time.

Your biological and/or adoptive parents are considered your legal parents. Grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older brothers or sisters, and aunts and uncles are not considered parents unless they have legally adopted you.

Use the table below to determine whose information to provide on the FAFSA based on your parents' marital status.

Parents' Marital Status: Provide Information for:
Never Married The parent that you lived with most during the last 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, provide information about the parent who provided more financial support during the last 12 months, or during the most recent year that you actually received support from a parent.
Unmarried and both parents living together Both of your parents
Married Both of your parents
Remarried (after being widowed or divorced) Parent and Stepparent
Divorced or Separated The parent that you lived with most during the last 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, provide information about the parent who provided more financial support during the last 12 months, or during the most recent year that you actually received support from a parent.
Widowed Your parent
by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:13 PM
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Replies (1-10):
LyndaLoo78
by Skeletor on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:19 PM
1 mom liked this

DAMN IT my professional life is invading CM!!  LOL  I am home sick with the flu and thought I would get a day or two without the word FAFSA.  No dice!!  LMAO

PumpkinSpice8
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:19 PM
Interesting....
whatIknownow
by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Wait, if your father is dead but your mother remarried, you only count your mother's income (not SF).. but if your father is alive and your mother remarried, you count mom + SF??

aeELE
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:30 PM
No. You include Step either way.
Widowed is cover both on it's own and under Remarried.
They are very tricky.

Quoting whatIknownow:

Wait, if your father is dead but your mother remarried, you only count your mother's income (not SF).. but if your father is alive and your mother remarried, you count mom + SF??

aeELE
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:34 PM
So, in order to figure out who gave more financial support in the last year in a 50/50...

How? That seems crazy difficult and involved to me. Or maybe my mind is going off in wild directions calculating percentages of monthly bills and whatnot and there's really an easy way to figure it out??
Birdseed
by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:48 PM
1 mom liked this

I do apologize that the spreadsheet formatting got messed up.  It looked good before I hit post but then the formatting went away.

Anyway..isn't that kind of nuts?

So if your parents are divorced, whomever you spend most time with counts and IF he/she is remarried, their income ALSO counts.

If you spend equal time with your parents, then one has to sort out who did more in the last year to support you.  Boy, how do you calculate that?  Add up CS, stuff you bought the child, etc? 

I will reiterate that I think it's totally ridiculous for parent's incomes to factor in to this whole thing. I think that if parents really want to do their children a favor, let them get low interest student loans and put your own money into a good retirement plan, buy some long term care insurance and make sure that you don't burden your child financially down the line.  Because they don't give "end of life" loans. 

IF a parent wants to help with college, great!  But I don't see why legally a child is an adult at 18 when it comes to voting and going to war but they're still considered to be (and ENCOURAGED to be) a dependent while they pursue college.


Birdseed
by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Sorry!  Had too much time on my hands....

Quoting LyndaLoo78:

DAMN IT my professional life is invading CM!!  LOL  I am home sick with the flu and thought I would get a day or two without the word FAFSA.  No dice!!  LMAO


SassyMom25
by Gold Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:58 PM
What is the age to opt out of entering parents information?
Birdseed
by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM

I'm unclear if it's 23 or 24.  I thought it's 24.  The FAFSA site says born before Jan 1 1991 and that's for filing this year. But that is 23 if my math is right.


Quoting SassyMom25: What is the age to opt out of entering parents information?


jlg12678
by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 3:03 PM

I whole heartedly agree with the discrepency regarding age.

It should be one age for everything....voting, joining the military, becoming an adult, drinking, etc....you can't be an adult in a few areas at one age but not all....makes no sense to me.

Quoting Birdseed:

I do apologize that the spreadsheet formatting got messed up.  It looked good before I hit post but then the formatting went away.

Anyway..isn't that kind of nuts?

So if your parents are divorced, whomever you spend most time with counts and IF he/she is remarried, their income ALSO counts.

If you spend equal time with your parents, then one has to sort out who did more in the last year to support you.  Boy, how do you calculate that?  Add up CS, stuff you bought the child, etc? 

I will reiterate that I think it's totally ridiculous for parent's incomes to factor in to this whole thing. I think that if parents really want to do their children a favor, let them get low interest student loans and put your own money into a good retirement plan, buy some long term care insurance and make sure that you don't burden your child financially down the line.  Because they don't give "end of life" loans. 

IF a parent wants to help with college, great!  But I don't see why legally a child is an adult at 18 when it comes to voting and going to war but they're still considered to be (and ENCOURAGED to be) a dependent while they pursue college.

 

 

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