Stitch626

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Since the 2005-2006 FAFSA is coming out in a week, I have a financial aid related question. Sorry if this topic has been addressed in previous posts.

Is it disadvantageous to claim yourself as a dependent on your 2004 tax return as it relates to the amount of money you will receive in financial aid packages (for public/state universities)? That is, will I receive less money from a school because they may deem my parents able to help pay for my med school tuition?

My parents are insisting that I do not take an exemption so they may claim me on their 2004 taxes.
 

An Yong

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For Med School: No, it won't affect your financial aid.

For undergrad... not sure.
 

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Why don't you just offer to pay the difference in taxes? I think it may make a difference on your FAFSA, but why don't you just compare your award under both circumstances to determine what the most financially smart route would be. I've paid my parents not to claim me several times to claim the education credit, and it's paid off.
 
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heard it may affect award money given out by the med schools themselves because they are need based.
 

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Stitch626 said:
Since the 2005-2006 FAFSA is coming out in a week, I have a financial aid related question. Sorry if this topic has been addressed in previous posts.

Is it disadvantageous to claim yourself as a dependent on your 2004 tax return as it relates to the amount of money you will receive in financial aid packages (for public/state universities)? That is, will I receive less money from a school because they may deem my parents able to help pay for my med school tuition?

My parents are insisting that I do not take an exemption so they may claim me on their 2004 taxes.

Are you talking about for med school or undergrad?
 

Stitch626

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I know being a dependent shouldn't affect the money awarded by FAFSA (since FAFSA defines all medical students as independent), but I thought the financial package awarded by the individual medical school might be influenced by your dependency status and thus, expected parental contributions. I assumed this since I've heard that most medical schools require that you submit your parent's tax forms, even if you're 35 years old and clearly independent.

Any more thoughts on this?
 

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so how does all this fafsa stuff work? where do i get the forms? what do i need to fill them out? what are all the dealines? and any other stuff i have to do for financial aid?

any help would be much appreciated!
 

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Stitch626 said:
I know being a dependent shouldn't affect the money awarded by FAFSA (since FAFSA defines all medical students as independent), but I thought the financial package awarded by the individual medical school might be influenced by your dependency status and thus, expected parental contributions. I assumed this since I've heard that most medical schools require that you submit your parent's tax forms, even if you're 35 years old and clearly independent.

Any more thoughts on this?


In that case, I don't know... you'd probably have to check with the individual schools.
 

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LauraMac said:
so how does all this fafsa stuff work? where do i get the forms? what do i need to fill them out? what are all the dealines? and any other stuff i have to do for financial aid?

any help would be much appreciated!


1st, go to : http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
You'll have to sign up for a PIN btw.

-Get your W-2 forms or tax forms and your parent's tax forms
-Fill out the forms on the above website

Since your W-2's probably won't arrive till around February, you still have plenty of time.

Man, I really have some bad insomnia tonight =(
 

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An Yong said:
1st, go to : http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
You'll have to sign up for a PIN btw.

-Get your W-2 forms or tax forms and your parent's tax forms
-Fill out the forms on the above website

Since your W-2's probably won't arrive till around February, you still have plenty of time.

Man, I really have some bad insomnia tonight =(


thanks for the information. after browsing the site i think i know what i need to do now. good luck with the insomnia problem!
 

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I have what is probably a stupid question: Why is the 2005-2006 FAFSA not mentioned anywhere in view on the FAFSA web site? Not even a mention of when it will be ready to be filled in.
 

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PhotoMD said:
I have what is probably a stupid question: Why is the 2005-2006 FAFSA not mentioned anywhere in view on the FAFSA web site? Not even a mention of when it will be ready to be filled in.

Because you can't start filling it out until January 1. BUT, you can start a 2004 application or fill out the pre-application worksheet in order to get an idea of what will be on the 2005 application (it doesn't change too much from year to year).

Happy hunting! :thumbup:

-tx
 

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Can someone please tell me if you hadn't yet paid one year worth of taxes and your credit isn't that good; will that affect you getting financial aid? Can someone please tell me?





txguy said:
Because you can't start filling it out until January 1. BUT, you can start a 2004 application or fill out the pre-application worksheet in order to get an idea of what will be on the 2005 application (it doesn't change too much from year to year).

Happy hunting! :thumbup:

-tx
 
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HIghbury said:
Can someone please tell me if you hadn't yet paid one year worth of taxes and your credit isn't that good; will that affect you getting financial aid? Can someone please tell me?

A bad credit report will definitely affect the individual school's financial aid package that they are willing to offer you; however, to my knowledge, it won't affect your federal aid (since it's need based).

Some medical schools will require that you send them a credit report after matriculation to assess what they are willing to give you; this is strictly for internal purposes from what I know, especially since once you get into their school, they usually automatically put you into a pool of need-based and merit-based scholarships, as well as internal loans that the school may have contracted with a specific or their own bank (i.e. in the case of tufts, as my current M1 friend tells me)...

As for claiming independent status, I talked to my accountant about this a few years back, and he told me that the age differs with every state on when you are able to claim independent status; that being said, I know that med schools generally want you to submit your parental information with your own information REGARDLESS of status, and in this respect, I'm not sure how much it counts whether you are independent or not (i.e. at my wake forest interview, fin aid talked about how they want to make sure that you are using all of the resources available to you)...

HIghbury: I'm kind of in a similar situation with you regarding a bad credit status, and I plan to get a credit report soon. Although my issues dont have anything to do with back-due taxes, I did take the steps to cancel all necessary credit cards, including those from clothing stores, etc. (they will consider these to be "the amount of possible debt" and therefore will affect you very negatively) and will make sure that no mistakes have been made on my account (such as identity theft, etc.)

Sorry for this long post; I hope that it helped! :)
 

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Fantastic post. The length in irrelevant. Thank you for your input icecream4me




icecream4me said:
A bad credit report will definitely affect the individual school's financial aid package that they are willing to offer you; however, to my knowledge, it won't affect your federal aid (since it's need based).

Some medical schools will require that you send them a credit report after matriculation to assess what they are willing to give you; this is strictly for internal purposes from what I know, especially since once you get into their school, they usually automatically put you into a pool of need-based and merit-based scholarships, as well as internal loans that the school may have contracted with a specific or their own bank (i.e. in the case of tufts, as my current M1 friend tells me)...

As for claiming independent status, I talked to my accountant about this a few years back, and he told me that the age differs with every state on when you are able to claim independent status; that being said, I know that med schools generally want you to submit your parental information with your own information REGARDLESS of status, and in this respect, I'm not sure how much it counts whether you are independent or not (i.e. at my wake forest interview, fin aid talked about how they want to make sure that you are using all of the resources available to you)...

HIghbury: I'm kind of in a similar situation with you regarding a bad credit status, and I plan to get a credit report soon. Although my issues dont have anything to do with back-due taxes, I did take the steps to cancel all necessary credit cards, including those from clothing stores, etc. (they will consider these to be "the amount of possible debt" and therefore will affect you very negatively) and will make sure that no mistakes have been made on my account (such as identity theft, etc.)

Sorry for this long post; I hope that it helped! :)
 

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Is the potential loan amount larger if you submit the fafsa earlier? Does anyone know? Thanks
 

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CalH22a said:
Is the potential loan amount larger if you submit the fafsa earlier? Does anyone know? Thanks

NP HIghbury! Glad to have helped :)

CalH22a: Yes, it does matter; however, only at the individual school level. Usually federal aid is independent of when the FAFSA is filed, given that it's filed before the deadline (sometime in April). However, when you submit a FAFSA, it will be a couple of weeks (from what I know) until it is submitted to the individual schools; the individual schools cannot start assessing your financial aid until they have the FAFSA on hand. Therefore, the earlier that you submit the FAFSA (and any other internal documents that they have, in addition to your tax report), the earlier that they can start assessing your financial need, and therefore have a bigger pool of money that they can allocate towards your financial aid. If you apply later, then they have less money to start out with, and therefore would be less able to give you aid.

That being said, I am planning to file my taxes in Jan/Feb, as soon as my W-2 comes out; I've hassled my employers to submit this information ASAP just for purposes of maxing my financial aid for school. Even if you can't get around to filing them this early, you could always make estimates based off of your past year taxes (as long as you don't think that this year will be drastically different), and then submit them your current tax record copies later; they will still consider you for financial aid prior to submission of your actual current tax forms as long as you give them an estimate.
 

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just my 2 cents...

I have been independent for years and was told at all my interviews that for the purpose of the FAFSA, all graduate students are considered independent. However, and this is a BIG however, for the purposes of school related aid: scholarships, grants, and loans that are not federal, they require my parents' information regardless of the fact that I have not been a dependent for years. In addition to this, one school said they required both parents' income despite the fact they have been divorced since I was five and received NO aid (including child support) from my father ever. Seems pretty unfair to me.

I asked them what am I supposed to do if I can't get financial information from him and they said that it would exclude me from their school's financial aid as they required it. :(

The schools all said it didn't matter if you are married, have 10 children, and have been independent for 40 years, you still have to provide your parents income for their awards.

:thumbdown:
 

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it's so nonsensical, but a part of me understands why they might need to do this. You would think that there would be alternative procedures for limited number of special situations.
 

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icecream4me said:
I did take the steps to cancel all necessary credit cards, including those from clothing stores, etc. (they will consider these to be "the amount of possible debt" and therefore will affect you very negatively) and will make sure that no mistakes have been made on my account (such as identity theft, etc.)

Oh. I didn't know that we should cancel credit cards from stores :mad: Damn it. I have a million of them. Which credit bureau did you use to check your credit report?
 

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Scubadoc said:
In addition to this, one school said they required both parents' income despite the fact they have been divorced since I was five and received NO aid (including child support) from my father ever. Seems pretty unfair to me.

My parents are divorced too. I don't understand why we always have to include financial info for a parent who doesn't help pay for anything. All it does is disqualify me for financial aid :mad: :mad:
 

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2005-2006 FAFSA is available to be filled out online now! (can't submit until January 1).

EDIT: nevermind :( its available in the drop box, but I got this message:

FAFSA on the Web has encountered an error. This could be due to normal maintenance or because you selected a 2005-2006 option that is not yet available. 2005-2006 options will be available beginning on January 1, 2005.



-tx
 

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What if you don't have parents? Does anyone know if this will automatically exclude you from receiving financial aid from the schools that require parental income information??
 
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How can you not have parents?

Oh and do we list every school we still have a chance at on the FAFSA (i.e. even if on hold, waitlisted, etc...)?
 

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Pinkertinkle said:
How can you not have parents?
binary fission?


Originally Posted by Pinkertinkle
Oh and do we list every school we still have a chance at on the FAFSA (i.e. even if on hold, waitlisted, etc...)?
i'm ~95% sure the woman who gave the fin aid talk at wake forest (that or dartmouth) said that you DO list schools where you aren't in yet.
 

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You can not have parents if they're both dead...
 

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tinkerbelle said:
Oh. I didn't know that we should cancel credit cards from stores :mad: Damn it. I have a million of them. Which credit bureau did you use to check your credit report?
All three. Equifax, Tran Union, and I can't remember the name of the 3rd. They all have different info, so if you want to be thorough, you need to check them all.

I wanted to ask too, when you say include parental info, do you mean on the FAFSA? Or can you wait until you're accepted and then the individual schools will have apps that require parental info? My parents are a pain with this kind of stuff (ie I'm "independent" for a reason), and I don't want to go to the hassle if I don't even know I've been accepted anywhere.
 

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I called loyola to ask if I had to include my parents in all of this snazz. they said that if i want need based grants, then yes. For loans, either subsidized or unsub, i dont have to include them on fafsa or anywhere else. I still have to call my other schools and check, but since the sub/unsub loans are federally guaranteed, I would expect them to be the same across the board. parents only need to be included if you want need-based aid, which most peops dont qualify for anyway.
 

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Stitch626 said:
Since the 2005-2006 FAFSA is coming out in a week, I have a financial aid related question. Sorry if this topic has been addressed in previous posts.

Is it disadvantageous to claim yourself as a dependent on your 2004 tax return as it relates to the amount of money you will receive in financial aid packages (for public/state universities)? That is, will I receive less money from a school because they may deem my parents able to help pay for my med school tuition?

My parents are insisting that I do not take an exemption so they may claim me on their 2004 taxes.

If you have an undergraduate degree and are filling out a FAFSA for a graduate school, your parents MUST NOT be included. This is unrelated to whether or not you are claimed by them.
 

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If both parents are deceased, then expected family contribution will be zero.
 
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Unrelated question...is it better to fill out the pre-fafsa, which is available now, or just wait until Jan 1st when the real one becomes available?
 

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Haven711 said:
Unrelated question...is it better to fill out the pre-fafsa, which is available now, or just wait until Jan 1st when the real one becomes available?

You can do it all in one day on Jan. 1st.
 

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right...i know that. But you can submit the pre-fafsa now, and they claim they will process it by early to mid january.

I will be indisposed for the majority (depending on how the night goes, maybe ALL) of Jan 1st...and I don't really feel like filling the fafsa out hung over anyway, so I'd rather do it now. UNLESS it will make the whole process slower. Does anybody have experience with this?
 

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Haven711 said:
right...i know that. But you can submit the pre-fafsa now, and they claim they will process it by early to mid january.

I will be indisposed for the majority (depending on how the night goes, maybe ALL) of Jan 1st...and I don't really feel like filling the fafsa out hung over anyway, so I'd rather do it now. UNLESS it will make the whole process slower. Does anybody have experience with this?

You know; you don't HAVE to do it on the 1st. As long as you have it in by March you are fine.
 

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medic170 said:
You know; you don't HAVE to do it on the 1st. As long as you have it in by March you are fine.

It is not recommended to wait that long to do it.

It should be completed in January.
 

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OSUdoc08 said:
It is not recommended to wait that long to do it.

It should be completed in January.

But most of us do not even get our W2's until Feb. I have been using it for four years and I have never had any problems turning ity in in Feb. Maybe its different for med school ???
 

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medic170 said:
But most of us do not even get our W2's until Feb. I have been using it for four years and I have never had any problems turning ity in in Feb. Maybe its different for med school ???

You are right--Feb. is ok.

However, you do not need your W-2's to submit the FAFSA.

You may use estimates. I have used the FAFSA 5 times now and they have all been completed prior to recieving the W-2's. Exact numbers aren't neccessary.

If for some reason there was a major error on your estimate, corrections can be made online even after it has been processed.
 

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OSUdoc08 said:
You are right--Feb. is ok.

However, you do not need your W-2's to submit the FAFSA.

You may use estimates. I have used the FAFSA 5 times now and they have all been completed prior to recieving the W-2's. Exact numbers aren't neccessary.

If for some reason there was a major error on your estimate, corrections can be made online even after it has been processed.

Quite true! :D
 

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So, we CAN submit the pre-fafsa now..but is it beneficial to do so?
 

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umm.. FAFSA only gives you 6 spaces for schools, but I applied to more med schools that taht ... how can I list them? Remember ppl said you have to list all schools you applied to (and still waiting for decision) regardless the status ...
 

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faradayampere said:
umm.. FAFSA only gives you 6 spaces for schools, but I applied to more med schools that taht ... how can I list them? Remember ppl said you have to list all schools you applied to (and still waiting for decision) regardless the status ...

So my parents are divorced, but I live equally with both parents/ families. They split the costs for everything. Does anyone know what parent's income I should claim? Can I pick the smaller of the two?
 

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fun8stuff said:
So my parents are divorced, but I live equally with both parents/ families. They split the costs for everything. Does anyone know what parent's income I should claim? Can I pick the smaller of the two?

I think you have to combine them.
 

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faradayampere said:
umm.. FAFSA only gives you 6 spaces for schools, but I applied to more med schools that taht ... how can I list them? Remember ppl said you have to list all schools you applied to (and still waiting for decision) regardless the status ...

Does anyone have an answer to this?
 

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fun8stuff said:
So my parents are divorced, but I live equally with both parents/ families. They split the costs for everything. Does anyone know what parent's income I should claim? Can I pick the smaller of the two?

You don't fill out information about your parents as a graduate student. It is not considered.
 

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brats800 said:
my question too...

No, just make estimates. You can fill out a correction later if you are way off.
 
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