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FAFSA, Dependency...I don't get it!! Help!!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by WildTumor, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. WildTumor

    WildTumor Senior Member
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    I don't understand the issue with being a dependent for FAFSA.

    I am filing my FAFSA and Question 49 states:
    At the beginning of 2007-2008 school year, will you be working on a Master's or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.)?

    If you answer yes to this question, then you are an independent. Therefore, anyone applying for Federal Aid for medical school is automatically an independent and does not require parental information.

    Is this correct?


    (I have been bugging my dad to file his 2006 taxes but apparently I do not need it)
     
  2. msl2007

    msl2007 Senior Member
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    You are automatically an independent when you go to med school. This means that your don't need your parents info anymore, just your own, and you can qualify for more aid because your parents' income is not included. Some special loan programs (private, through your school, etc), still require your parents' info on the FAFSA for the special loans, but for regular sub and unsub staffords, you are now on your own!
     
  3. Darkshooter326

    Darkshooter326 Senior Member
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    You officially are an independent, so you don't NEED the parental info. However, I would include it, most places want it. Also, you can fill out the info now with estimates based on previous years, then update later.

    Also, while an independent on FAFSA, you could still be a dependent on the actualtax return.

    Confusing? yes :confused:
     
  4. OP
    OP
    WildTumor

    WildTumor Senior Member
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    Is it better to enter my dad's info from a previous year to get the FAFSA out asap or wait until he files his 2006 return??
     
  5. heathen

    heathen New Member
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    Definitely use this year's. If you want to get it out of the way, you can use those worksheets to find approximates for your Dad's tax return. I recommend bugging your Dad though :)
     
  6. dancin scrubs

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    I actually had the same question and called FAFSA to ask for help. The FAFSA people said that some med schools actually require all students to report your parents info. FAFSA advised me to call my school's financial aid office. In the end, my school wound up not requiring parent info.
     
  7. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member
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    FASFA doesn't require parental info for medstudents, but many schools do in order to consider you for institutional aid (read: scholarships). Check with your schools for their specific requirements.
     
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  8. Dr_Berk

    Dr_Berk New Member
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    I called USC yesterday and they said that parent information is REQUIRED. I think it's dumb :confused:

    I hope it doesn't count against me because my parents won't be helping with the costs =/
     
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  9. searun

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    I have been admitted to several med schools and I am waiting to hear from 6 other schools where I interviewed. So when I file FAFSA, do I list all of these schools to send the report or just the schools that I have been admitted to when I file FAFSA in three days? It is pretty confusing.
     
  10. After teaching high school students how to fill out fafsa information (and doing it myself for 7 years.. yes I said seven) let me try and answer some of these questions.

    1. As others have mentioned, many schools require that you claim your parents. Normally, if you were applying for undergrad funds you would be an independent if you are over 24, married, have kids, or are the ward of the state (an orphan). For medical students there are two reasons that these rules go out the window. The first is, most medical students have zero money themselves and will not be working during school. Second, every medical student will get some kind of financial aid. Most will be in the form of loans, but everybody gets the help they need. By having you claim your parents, it helps schools determine who really needs the relatively few scholarships and school grants available. Since on paper, every student would look poor and needy, there is no other fair way, but to look at the parents income.

    Take home message: The FAFSA will say that you are an independent, but will also ask if you want to include your parents information. Put yes, unless you are 100% certain you will be attending a school that does not require it. It isn't really going to hurt you unless your parents are EXTREMELY well off. You will get aid for medical school. You may just have to pay more interest in the long run.

    2. Also, you HAVE to use tax information from 2006 (the taxes that are due this April). If your parents haven't filed... it doesn't matter! Still submit your FAFSA. There is a question that asks if they have filed, just say that they WILL FILE. You just need guestimates on everything. If they want proof later, believe me they will ask. If the numbers are close, but not exact, they will not hold it against you. They will just adjust the aid accordingly.

    3. List all school codes that you might be attending. You can change them later. I think there is a max of five that can be listed. You can change the codes to the schools at any time. So for now put what schools you were accepted to and if you have room (or don't have an acceptance) any schools you interviewed at.

    4. Also, put off-campus for each school if you are not sure where you will be living. They give more money for off-campus. If you end up living in student housing, they will adjust the amount given to you. But, for now, reserve the max amount of money that you can.

    If you made it through all of that.... Good luck!!
     
  11. JohnMadden

    JohnMadden Political Refugee
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    You can do either option.

    You can add all the schools that you may want to attend (whether or not you've been accepted).

    Or you can add the schools you've been accepted to NOW and then go back later and make a correction to add/remove schools as necessary.
     

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