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Question about Marriage, Step kids and Financial Aid for College

amber3902's picture

Obviously, if you are married, you file your taxes together.

So when your step kids applied for financial aid for college, did your income affect the amount of financial aid your stepchild was awarded?

amber3902's picture

It's perfectly legal to file taxes separately, you just can't claim a lot of deductions when you do it - like EIC, daycare expenses, tuition and school fees, etc.

amber3902's picture

I'm asking because I am curious if my BF and I were to get married, how his income would affect things when my daughter goes to apply for financial aid.

It seems like the better, although sneaky thing to do is to wait to get married until after she applies for financial aid.

Pilgrim Soul's picture

In my situation, we have filed taxes jointly after marriage - BIG mistake! This year, after a long drawn out court battle with BM, we will be filing separately for the next couple of years till YSD is emancipated. BM claimed that YSD, a freshman in college this fall, got very little financial aid compared to her siblings. DH has been completely shut out of her college application process, so i have no way to verify how much she got. But he did fill out FAFSA and other paperwork last January including my income - even though i asked him not to do that. Having my income added may have influenced her situation with FA.

I have to tell you though that since my BS in a junior in high school, i have learned a lot about FA by attending parent info nights his school has put on for weeks. So Fin. aid consultants explained that public and private colleges look at different things on the application. For public, it does not matter where you live, whether you rent or own. For private everything matters, and if you give them the data, they will happily add the step-parents income into the mix. I am afraid that is what happened with YSD. She went into a private school ( 50K x 4) and got according to BM zero finanicial aid. Very smart choice...

I plan on only using my income on my sons' college apps. My DH's income has always been looked at by colleges his two older brats went to, so i am not sure why everyone else thinks it's only the CP's money that matters.

Another downside to filing jointly is that BM tried to add my income to DH's and claim that he now makes so much more and that amount, our joint W2s, should be used to calculate the pro-rata share for skids' college expenses. So she basically tried to rob my children blind. What a toad...