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Stepmom2345's picture

Crazy thing about FASFA.  If the child lives with Dad and stepmom it is stepmom's income that is included and not BM. How crazy is that. 


Jcksjj's picture

Its dumb but yeah they go by household income. When the time comes we plan on making BM be the one doing all that out (she technically has custody anyway since there is no court order) since she makes way less. 

TimeToGo's picture

So BM claims this kid for tax purposes? Keep in mind, FAFSA is now expected in October of Senior Year (even though most Colleges apps are due in November of Senior Year). That means BM has to claim the kid Junior and Senior Year, during HS and then throughout College. Not worth it.

Jcksjj's picture

She claims her every other year, it's not a huge deal to us since we have 3 others to claim anyway. What happens in that situation then? Do they use both households incomes?

TimeToGo's picture

FAFSA goes by who claims the kid. And who claims the kid can claim the related College expenses.

ndc's picture

Actually I think it goes by whom the kid lives with more in the applicable year.  I have friends who switched their majority time from one house to the other in order to be able to use the income of the lesser-earning parent.  Of course, for many schools it doesn't matter unless you qualify for a Pell Grant, because often either the school has no money to give or it requires Profile or its own form, that covers all parents, in addition to FAFSA.

mro's picture

Many schools have a separate form on top of the FAFSA, which DOES take into account both parents, and things like home equity.  Pays to investigate that before making the short list of schools.

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

is living with her and not working and not going to school.  My friend says its her fault that her daughter isn't enrolled in school this sesmester because my friend didn't do her taxes and thus the daughter couldn't get financial aid.

If the adult is 20, why can't she do her own taxes and do her FASFA based on her own income  

simifan's picture

You still need parents information for 2 years after you are "self supporting"

fourbrats's picture

asks for parents income until your child turns 25, has a child or gets married. DS had a child at 20 and got married at 22. We still have to do DD20s paperwork for her. My husband is on VA comp so only my income counts but we do have to mark down how much he gets in compensation. The kids are mine not his. Our daughters together will have to do the same. DD hasn't lived at home for almost two years. 

TimeToGo's picture

VA SCC offers free or reduced tuition at state schools, based upon percentage of disability. 100% SCC equals free in-state for dependents at lots of state schools!

mro's picture

Unfortunately they look at the parents' income even if they are not contributing, until the kid ages out (24 I think), gets married, or joins the military. Or has a kid. Sux, but there it is.

ESMOD's picture

Because all parents would get their kid to claim they are self supporting so they would be eligable for grants if they 

My SD's both moved out of their mom's when they were in HS.. lived with grandparents.  But, mom still claimed them on taxes.. and they used her for the FAFSA which was pulling teeth because she didn't want to pay for their college.  They had a hard time explaining to her that just because the form comes back with a "family contribution" doesn't mean that the family is obligated to pay it.. it just means the kid has to figure out how to make up the difference.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

LIterally EVERY year in college I had to provide my parents' income. I thought it was ridiculous too. Especially since I was self-supporting, moved out at 18, and didn't see a penny from them for college. But their income disqualified me for a lot of aide and pell grants I otherwise could have used.

futurobrillante99's picture

Yes indeed. That's why my former stepchildren lied and said they lived with their mom. She's on SSDI.

mro's picture

We delayed getting married for that reason - until after YSD filled out her last FAFSA.  Wasn't going to include my income, which was substantial, which would have hurt her financial aid. And wasn't going to contribute either.  Not that they would have asked me to as we keep finances separate.  I have a friend whose kids were basically cut off from any aid because of stepfather's income.  Financial aid is so screwed up.  They punish the kids and families that work and save, and favor single parents over married ones.

thinkthrice's picture

into community college by the BM so CS could continue past 21 has StepDaddyBigBucks on the FAFSA.  Not that it matters because SD was in college for about 12 seconds before she dropped out but enough to claim her on their taxes. 

AshMar654's picture

Yup totally how it works. They used my step-dads income when I got federal aid. Yup you guessed it I did not even get enough to cover all the tuition as my parents made too much. Oh yeah 80,000 a year back in 2004 was too much money for me to get full financial aid. I had to get private loans for the difference. Maybe the federal covered just tuition but I doubt it cause I owed a lot more in private than I did in federal.

I could have gotten more maybe after a few years if I had claimed myself but it benefited my parents more to claim me every year and they gave me what I would lose on taxes for not claiming myself. Plus I would only have been able to take advantage of it my junior and senior year. By that time I was getting more federal aid enough to cover full tuition. Not sure it is still this way but the longer in school the more federal aid you will get each year.

Personally I think our Higher Education system needs a serious revamp of sorts. It has gotten way to costly and lets face it the jobs and wages waiting for kids with a degree on not that great anymore.

ESMOD's picture

I think they need to limit financial aid/loans to amounts that can "reasonably" be repaid.  They should require that the loans that people take on can't be more than X amount of their projected income the first 5 years they graduate... and it should be based on the ACTUAL earnings of graduates of that school's program.. and it should be program specific.  So, if the graduates earn 30K avg the first 5 years.. then perhaps they say.. you can't borrow more than 20% of the avg 5 year... 30K for that program.  If it is a program that has graduates who make 45K/yr avg then you could borrow 45K etc...

This would be a start at preventing people from running up their loans because there would be a natural limit placed upon them.. they may need to work to make up the difference.. or perhaps some schools will need to learn to offer a more reasonably priced curriculum?  It also might discourage people from spending a gazillion dollars in loans in areas of study that don't have much opportunity for earnings.  I mean, sure.. go ahead and go to college for sculpting... but be prepared to pay your way.. because you are going to have a hard time repaying that loan on barista salary.

They make it easy for families/kids to obligate themselves to loans.. when the area of study isn't going to net them any kind of decent salary.. the kids don't understand what it will mean to have that pmt obligation.. it's just "free" money at the time to them... a future obligation.

In a way, higher education has kind of gotten like medical expenses.  Because we have insurance.. they can charge more right?  Because kids can get loans.. schools aren't incentivized to keep costs affordable for their students.  They add fancy student commons.. gyms... etc.. to lure kids and their parents into paying inflated tuition.. only to be taught by low cost graduate assistants...  Perhaps a lot more kids would be better off entering the workforce.. getting a skill like electrician.. HVAC.. or maybe get their education while working.. like my YSD is doing.. 2-3 classes a semester.. paid for in full by her employer.  It will take her 2x as long to get a degree.. but she is earning money and gaining work experience.  Shoot, she earned 50K last year between her 2 jobs... and also got free tuition through her employer.. that's a lot better than us taking on tens of thousands in loans!

AshMar654's picture

It is a good plan in theory. I think since the federal government is so willing to give out this money for loans they should step in with the Universities and try to get they to get their tuition down. They can do it they just dont because hey more of the people in office making up these rules have enough money to pay their kids tuition.

I wish they would curb the interest rates as well. I always make my payments have not missed one since I started in 2010 and it has not been easy since I have always paid at least 455 a month. I now pay 500 a little over the minimum but I just started doing that. The banks kept raising my rates there for a while. I never qualified for the repayment program as all my loans were not all federal.

There is a lot wrong with how much higher education costs and how banks are allowed to raise rates on people who actually pay their loans and how easy it is for people to just not pay them. yes their credit is ruined but that is about it. I have friends that do not pay and still had nicer cars then me and just lived life as they did not exist. It is truly messed up.