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FAFSA help real quick?

Discussion in 'Financial Aid' started by ryandote, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. ryandote

    ryandote Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    So I've got this "friend" who put off filling out his FAFSA until now. He really should submit it within the next few days to get it out on time for his schools, but there is one thing he doesn't really understand.

    Applying for financial aid for the year 2007-2008 requires your 2006 tax info. Neither his parents nor him have filed a return because they are waiting until the April 15th deadline (seeing as they both probably owe money). Realizing that he needs to get his affairs in order quickly, my friend could have his taxes ready by tomorrow. However, his parents' taxes will takes significantly longer, as they need to go to a real accountant.

    How would my friend go about filling out his FAFSA for 2007-2008? Would he just use the "income estimator?" What did everybody else do?
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  3. NN11

    NN11 7+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    I was under the impression that under such a circumstance you use your 2005 returns and indicate that taxes "will be filed."

    Once your FAFSA is processed you can go back and make corrections.
  4. ryandote

    ryandote Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Can anyone concur?
  5. Construct

    Construct 5+ Year Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    New York, NY
    I had the same problem when I was filling out this year's FAFSA. Your friend should give a ballpark number and estimate his parent's income for last year. It doesn't need to be the EXACT numbers that his parents will obviously file on their tax returns, but it should be somewhat close (assuming his parent's have a clue how much money they made last year). Once his parents actually file their taxes, your friend can update his FAFSA through the SAR. The financial aid office at most schools also requires a copy of the student's and parent's tax return at some point in time (usually in may) one way or another, they will get the correct information.

    Bottom line: estimate the numbers (use the calculator if you want, but I didn't need to) and submit the FAFSA asap.

    EDIT: Yeah, you can use parental information from 2005 assuming that their income did not change DRASTICALLY in 2006. If it is close, then I would use the 2005 information.
  6. ryandote

    ryandote Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    hmmm, 2 different answers....but they could be similar.
  7. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    Feb 23, 2007
    Yeah, but I had to ask my friend if he agreed with me. He says yes.

    Keep in mind that the $30K in federal unsub Staffords for med school is not income contingent. My school let me file a FAFSA two weeks before classes started in August. No big deal.

    One other thing--parental income is not used for federal loans in medical school. Some schools may ask for it for scholarship purposes, but your Staffords will be solid. According to FAFSA, pursuing an MD makes you independent.
  8. ryandote

    ryandote Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Thanks everybody. I mean, my friend says thanks.
  9. This question has been answered in previous threads, so you might want to do a search for more information.

    Again quickly,

    You must use your (and your parent's) 2006 tax information. There is a question on the FAFSA application that will ask you if you 1. HAVE FILED, 2. WILL FILE, 3. WILL NOT FILE. Pick which one is correct. If you will file, you can do estimations of what your taxes will be. I know that this is easier for some, more than others. Just do the best you can. The FASFA peeps know that these are estimates. You will have an oppurtunity to fix things later if they turn out to be drastically different. Also, they audit people randomly. If you are audited you have to provided copies of both you and your parents taxes.

    Basically: Don't lie, but don't be afraid if things turn out to be different from what you put.
  10. babel

    babel 5+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    Hey all,

    If you look at "Section 2 - Student Dependency Status" of the FAFSA worksheet (I have yet to fill it out), it says very clearly that if you reply yes to any of those questions, you do NOT have to provide parental information. And not just that it's optional - they instruct you to actually skip the parental information section and move on. And we ALL will reply "yes" to "in 2007-2008, will you be working on a master's or docorate program?".

    So, your parental information is NOT NEEDED for the FAFSA. You will need it, at most schools, to qualify for the full range of the school specific scholarships/grants etc., but it is entirely unneccessary (and will most likely be ignored) for the FAFSA. Granted, we all still need to get this info together soon (e.g. UC San Diego has the deadline for their school-specific financial info as April 17th, or within two weeks of acceptance, whichever comes first), but it is entirely unnecessary at this stage.

    At least as far as I can tell (and as I have gathered from financial aid talks at interviews - UMichigan's was the best).

    Good luck!
  11. Shpamme

    Shpamme status pages confuse me. 5+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    That's so funny, I just posted the same question in Finaid earlier today!

    But Babel's answer is perfect. I totally did not see that fine print until just now!!
    What a relief, my parents are such slowpokes when it comes to getting their taxes done.

    Well, I guess all that leaves is for me to get my 2006 taxes done now. Sigh.
  12. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 1, 2006
    On SDN
    I have the same same situation. My parents will not file for quite some time, but I did get my own taxes done for this year. They gave me their numbers from 2005, and their situation has not changed since then (so it will be close). Funny thing is that they are retired and have no working income, yet their adjusted gross income is quite high because of investment income. In the end, including parental information did not seem to matter much for me because my "expected family contribution" came out about the same as when I filed without parental information in previous years. Go figure. At least its done now.
  13. You can definitely submit FAFSA without parental information (or at least others have told me they have done so), but I'm not so sure that you'll never need it. The following is copy/pasted from the FAFSA Help section:

    Health Profession students must provide parents' information. Although your parents' information is required on your application, your parents' signature is not required.

    If you do not know whether your course of study is a health profession program, contact the schools financial aid office.
  14. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Wild west of Mistytown
    off to financial aid ...
  15. SuperHiro

    SuperHiro Attending 10+ Year Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    Just posting to echo what the others have said. My dad takes FOREVER with tax stuff so I've always estimated the income tax from the previous filed forms. I've been doing it for 4 years for my undergrad and it hasn't bitten me in the ass yet. I think it only becomes an issue if the numbers are way off. :luck:

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