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Financial Aid and Parents Income?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Benzeno, Jun 11, 2001.

  1. Benzeno

    Benzeno Member
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    I received from my school a demand for a copy of my parents' Federal Income Tax return. (I declared independent status on my FAFSA form and have been on my own since I was 18) I am over 40 years old and they are retired in Arizona. I will not ask them for this invasion of privacy and see this as a completely unreasonable request. Without it the office will deny me any institutional aid.

    Do I have any recourse?
     
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  3. C U in MD school

    C U in MD school Senior Member
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    yeah
    just dont give it to them
    u have to show them ur own tax info showing that ur indept.
    u can also fill out a form that says u are
    good luck
     
  4. Christiangirl

    Christiangirl Membership Revoked
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    I have a friend who applied this year and was accepted to UNC, Duke, and Wake. She is 30 and has not had a relationship with her father for many years. All of the schools had her write a statement and then they all agreed to just considered her fin need based on her income and her mother's. I am not sure if they would have agreed had she not produced neither parent. But you should check with the school and see if they have a policy for appeal. Personally, I don't think your parents should see it as an invasion - most parents would love to see their child complete their dream at whatever cost.
     
  5. Ironshank

    Ironshank Junior Member
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    I am still undergrad but what do I tell them when they ask for my parents Taxes. my father is disabled and dying, my mom works at wal-mart. Do the schools expect you to have lots of support from your parents? :confused:
     
  6. spacecadet22

    spacecadet22 Senior Member
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    I know of some older students who went through this with a bunch of schools too. My only advice is that you can usually request to be considered independent with your reasons clearly stated in a written letter. Most financial aid departments grant you reprieve from their ridiculous policies if you have been independent for more than 10 years. Also, if they don't first agree to consider you independent, ARGUE with them. Ask to speak with the director and then go to the dean of the school. It may take some work but you can be released from this duty!
     
  7. kris

    kris Senior Member
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    My parents saw it as an invasion, and I don't blame them. I'm 31 and married.

    Some families are just more private about these things than others, especially when the request seems so unreasonable. My parents have never openly discussed their finances with me. It's simply none of my business.

    --kris
     
  8. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator
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    I didn't get any questions regarding my parent's income tax... I was under the impression that if you are applying for a professional degree you are expected to be independent.... Correct me if I'm wrong please....
     
  9. Benzeno

    Benzeno Member
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    To quote from the letter,

    "Although most of our matriculating medical students are considered "independent" from their parents for a number of years, the Institutional Methodology does not exempt students who are considered independent"

    I know my parents would consider their finances to be non-of the University's business.
     
  10. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator
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    Very interesting.... As I post up top, I didn't get any notices of the sort.... When did you receive this notice, if you don't mind me asking?
     
  11. 12R34Y

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    why 10 years of being indepedent? if you've been indep. for 1 year it shouldn't matter! that's the whole point.... you are INDEPDENT.

    I'm not yelling at anyone i just want to know why you have to show parents stuff EVER for anything if you are indepedent?

    thanks,

    later
     
  12. spacecadet22

    spacecadet22 Senior Member
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    I have been independent for the last 4 years and none of the schools I appealed my case to would agree to consider me independent for Institutional aid. Their overwhelming "collective" reasoning was that your parents income sets a measure to which we can all be compared to see if we come from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, the schools also told me that even though we have been independent they "know" our parents will most likely contribute some money to our education and the amount of money they can count on our parents giving us is largely a reflection of their income--hence no real financial aid for me and for many of us.
    End of story. Good luck in your appeals to these ridiculous finanical aid departments.

    PS...about the 10 year rule...they said if you have supported yourself for 10 years then most likely the chances of your parents helping you out would be slim--hence you need aid.
    This process is almost as ridiculous as the admissions process.
     
  13. tbachi

    tbachi Member
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    My parents are retired too and were self-employed (No pension, etc). Luckily if I am in this situation, I will be able to post my parents income as $0. I guess there are still some ways you can beat the system, but I know most of you aren't in that situation. I will finally be able to get financial aid!!
     
  14. Benzeno

    Benzeno Member
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    My point is not whether or not my parents have money (they don't) but whether or not the university has the right to ask for the financial records of someone who has no financial obligation to the student. It's true that the trust funders of the world benefit on the side from their parent's wealth, but there must be a provision for the truly independent. I consider my tax return to be confidential and would not share it with the school if it didn't mean the difference between getting the loans to attend or not. I don't expect my parent's to have to disclose because I'm trying to improve myself. I have a mortgage to pay, and two children to raise and need every bit of aid I can get. The prospect of 4 years without an income is very intimidating. Sometimes I get the feeling that these aid offices don't have the best interests of the student at heart.
     
  15. kris

    kris Senior Member
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    What did the school say when you asked them about it?

    At my school I only had to provide parental income if I wanted to be eligible for certain kinds of aid. They assured me Federal aid counted me as independent.

    So if by 'institutional aid' you mean funds from endowments to the school (non-federal funds), I think they can run it how they please.

    In your case it almost sounds as if your school isn't letting you be categorized as independent. Do I have the story right?

    I was just wondering what they said to you about it.

    Good luck.
    --kris
     
  16. Christiangirl

    Christiangirl Membership Revoked
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    Personally, I can see your point. People tend to like to keep their financial matters private - but you have to decide that regardless of how much you dislike this, it really is a small thing in the big picture. There are too many other things to worry about and fear as far as med school. The reality of this med school process is that many things may not be perceived as fair. However, the schools financially do not have enough money to consider everyone independent who does not want to share their parents records. Personally, this would hurt more people than the number of people the current policy affects (myself being one of them)-- there would not be enough money to go around for those who truly have no way of financially attending school. If the parents really will not oblige, then you should have the right to appeal. However, if it does not work you should be prepared to deal with not getting any institutional aid. You can still get federal aid. Sorry and I wish you and your family the best.
     

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