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FAFSA/student financial aid profile nightmare

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meanderson

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I just sent these in two days ago to come close to meeting Emory's suggested priority deadline, and now I'm not sure I did them right.

Background: I'm 24 and haven't been supported for 2 years by either parent, except for staying alone my mom's old house some. My parents are divorced and my mom is remarried. Which set of incomes do I include? The instructions for the CSS profile indicated that I needed to include my mom's financial information, but am I suppose to include her husband's income with this? I talked to someone in a similar situation who didn't do this, but if my mom files "married-jointly" then there will be no way to separate and verify her income from her husband's for Emory's financial aid office when I have to send in tax returns.

So confusing...Michael
 

ayndim

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For the FAFSA you will use the income from the parent who provided the most support. And if it was your mom you will need to provide both her and her spouses information. If you got support from neither I would pick the one who made the least amount of money (include your moms spouse when figuring it out). It might not seem fair to have to put down your parents income but I have to too. And I am 32 with 3 kids! Lucky for me my dad is retired
 

cali99boy

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if you are 24.. you can put yourself down as an INDEPENDENT student. In this case, you don't have to put down any of your parents income.:D
 

ayndim

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Most med schools require that you put down parental info for campus based aid. And there is a federal need based aid for people who supply parental info. It would be a bad idea not to supply parents info in my opinion. Unless your parents are rich and refuse to pay for you education.

An addition to my last post, if your parents divorced before you were out on your own you will need to use the parent's info (and their spouse) from who most recently supported you. So if you lived with your mom after she was divorced you will need to use her and her husbands info.
 

meanderson

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that's sort of what I thought. My mom and her husband combined make about $90,000/year total(55/35). It's just my luck that due to a one-time retirement payout my mom's income jumped about $15,000 and will revert to normal next year. My dad is single and makes about $20,000/year. I guess since I did live with my mom after their divorce(from the time I was 5 until 22) I have to submit their income under the parental section. thanks....
 

ayndim

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Talk to the financial aid dept at the school. You can sumbit paperwork regarding a one time income. And the school can then adjust your fafsa. I used to be a FA officer and I did this more than you would think. And your income is weighed more heavily than your parents.
 

drlexygoat

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For those going to med school next yr,

you DO NOT have to supply your parent's info. On Sect 3, I think, if you answer "yes" to the question "Are you going for a professional or grad degree nxt yr", you don't even fill out your parent's info because it tell you to skip that section.

MEd school aid via the government is ONLY determined by your income and ability to pay. School-specific aid may want to look at your parents, info, however.

Just wanted to let you all know.
 

elias514

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drlexygoat is wrong. In order to qualify for institutional aid (i.e., financial aid from the medical school itself, NOT the federal government) you MUST submit parental financial information on the FAFSA. However, if you do not want to receive any funding from the medical school itself, which means that you only want to apply for federal loans, then you can put just your own financial information on the FAFSA, because all medical students are classified as graduate students (and grad students by definition are independent). If you choose to omit parental financial information on the FAFSA, you forego a lot of "free money" in the form of institutional grants.

I don't know why med students are considered dependent by medical schools and independent by the federal government. The discrepancy seems utterly ludicrous to me, but this is the reality of applying for financial aid for med school. I myself just finished all the applications and forms for next year--what a joy that was.
 

ayndim

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This is from U of Michigan
In order to be considered for federal and institutional funds, applicants must complete the Free Application for
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the University of Michigan Medical School Financial Aid Application, both of which are available at Financial Aid Application and Instructions. Institutional funding consists of university grants and loans. In order to be considered for ALL types of aid available, federal as well as institutional, students must provide parental information on the FAFSA form. If no parental data is provided, students will be considered for federal loans only.

http://www.emory.edu/FINANCIAL_AID/faq.html

Technically, the federal does not require you to submit parental information. But be warned if you don't you will exclude yourself from many campus based aid programs. Almost every med school requires parental info for students to recieve any aid other than federal student loans.
 

Petitpois

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Originally posted by meanderson
I guess since I did live with my mom after their divorce(from the time I was 5 until 22) I have to submit their income under the parental section. thanks....


I would specifically ask the school what is okay. I vaguely remember at one school I visited, they said if your parents are divorced, you should pick your poorest parent and put them down. They said they didn't care which parent you're closest to, blah blah blah, just put down the parent with the lowest income for max financial aid. If this true at the school you're applying to, then it would really help you.
 

ayndim

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This is direct from the federal government.

If my parents are divorced, whose information do I need?

The parent that you lived with the most during the past year. It does not make a difference which parent claims you as a dependent for tax purposes. If you did not live with either parent or lived equally with each parent, the parental information must be provided for the parent from whom you received the most financial support or the parent from whom you received the most support the last time support was given.


It may be different for medical school, since the aid is given by them but I would check first. You don't want to get into trouble with financial aid and risk losing it. It would be great if you could put down your poorest parent.
 

Nor2themax

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$90,000 a year? That nothing to worry about. My parents combined for $115,000 a year and I just got my aid packages and my EFC (Expected Contribution from ME) is $0

Hehe! Full loans! Yay!!!

Nora
 
E

Eraserhead

my efc is over 10,000 and i have no money and neither do my parents. its all because i worked full time this year. hopefully they will all take this into account.
 

Tbonez

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My efc was 21100 (wife's a pharmacist). Although I was told by the fin aid office at OU that you can make around 100k (about what we made) and still receive some aid through the school if you apply early in addition to any unsub. stafford loans you want to borrow. Guess it depends on the school though.
 

ayndim

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Originally posted by DoctorKevin
my efc is over 10,000 and i have no money and neither do my parents. its all because i worked full time this year. hopefully they will all take this into account.

They should adjust your fafsa if you can prove that your situation this coming year will be drastically different. I.e., you aren't working, will work part-time or only during the summers. But don't count on them taking it into account on their own. You need to let them know and sumbit whatever docs they will require.
 
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Blade28

Strange, when filling out the FAFSA for med school, you don't need to put your parents' info. As a grad student, you're considered independent. (I'm not sure what would happen if you did - I haven't, for the past three years, and I've been getting the usual [max] amount of financial aid.)
 

Soccrtrela

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Yeah, I sorta found myself in a predicament with this darned FAFSA thing.

I have been financially independent since I was 18 (I am now 21)... I moved out at 17, and a year after that, I was not listed on my parents' taxes anymore. I have always preferred to be independent, but I first sought financial independence so I could change my state residency, and have remained this way since.

I did not list my parents' info on my FAFSA this year, since my parents have enough money to support me, but it is MY choice that I do not accept much money from them (besides small gifts here and there). When my parents feel that they are supporting me financially, they tend to use it as leverage in any decision I make in my life. It's a complicated situation, so I won't get into it.

Problem is, now I am ineligible for some scholarships from some schools... which are need-based. But my parents have enough money that I doubt I would get the scholarship anyway. Did I just screw myself over? Be honest....
 

rgporter

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Originally posted by cali99boy
if you are 24.. you can put yourself down as an INDEPENDENT student. In this case, you don't have to put down any of your parents income.:D

Wrong. I'm 28 and I still have to put my parents down. Med school is different than undergraduate (where that is true). Most schools use EFC to determine what kind of school based financial aid package you will recieve.
 

rgporter

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Originally posted by DoctorKevin
my efc is over 10,000 and i have no money and neither do my parents. its all because i worked full time this year. hopefully they will all take this into account.

Tell me about it. My wife and I made $70,000 this year. Will I have a job while I'm in school, No. So why do they care how much money I made this year, they should just look at your savings and base it off that. Oh well, it just means I will have to take out more private loans.
 

ayndim

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I am telling you guys. Make an appointment with the financial aid office and get your fafsa adjusted.
 
B

Blade28

Originally posted by Soccrtrela
When my parents feel that they are supporting me financially, they tend to use it as leverage in any decision I make in my life. It's a complicated situation, so I won't get into it.

I totally understand...that's EXACTLY how I feel!

Originally posted by Soccrtrela
Problem is, now I am ineligible for some scholarships from some schools... which are need-based.

How are you ineligible? Don't you have no money of your own?
 

drlexygoat

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Just to clarify my earlier post and re-iterate what others have said:

1. Stafford loans are determined by your income and not your parents. For unsubsidized, it's not need-based so you can borrow the full amt (30k / yr i believe) if you just ask for it. For subsidized loans, you need to demonstrate some kind of need. The govt and school evaluates this based on the EFC (which is calculated ONLY on your income and NOT your parents). The med school is the one who decides who will get subsidized loans and who won't and it varies from school to school. They MAY ask you for your parents info when deciding this, but more than likely yours will be enough.

2. Any other loans (private companies, perkins ?, etc) will need your parents info. Some are need based, others aren't.

Moral of the story: Stafford doesn't require your folk's info for unsubsidized but the med school may wnat it when they decide who gets subsidezed Stafford's.

One more thing: dont' freak out if your EFC is way high (10k, etc). That doesn't put you out of the running necessarily for those subsidized need-based loans. Each school is different and calculates who gets their funds differently.
 

meanderson

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I think some of the disagreement is due to distinctions betweens loans and grants. Some schools(stanford is one that comes to mine) give a good bit of need-based institutional grant money. You aren't going to be eligible for this unless you list parental info on either your FAFSA or an additional need profile(schools vary here).

So to get stafford loans, no. To be eligible for some free money yes. Some schools give out very little or no institutional grants, however, so this might not be a huge issue.
 

Soccrtrela

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Originally posted by Blade28
I totally understand...that's EXACTLY how I feel!



How are you ineligible? Don't you have no money of your own?

Hey Blade~

Whew, I'm glad SOMEONE knows where I'm coming from :) I love my parents and they are generally very supportive and want me to do well.... but as long as I need them financially, they don't see me as a true adult....

I am ineligible for a scholarship from the UW School of Medicine specifically (and I know this applies to a few other med schools too) because I did not list my parents' info in my FAFSA. The UW scholarship application form explicitly states this (unless both parents are deceased).

I think some schools do not want to give out need-based scholarships to students without knowing the parental info because they would never know how much each student is being helped. It makes sense to me, and it's the most fair way to do it.... just sucks for people like us. I just CAN'T have financial ties to my parents during med school... my relationship with them is sooo much better when I don't, and it will be better for me in the long run so I can focus on school...
 
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