devildoc2

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Here's my situation. I am married. My wife makes about 25k per year. She is going to continue to work while I am in school. My previous job I made about 20k per year. We have a 5 month old baby.

My parental situation is thus:

Father/stepmother: make about 40k combined, and have 2 dependents/children

Mother: makes about 40k, has 1 dependent/child

I have no brothers or sisters in college/school.

I am trying to get as much financial aid as I possibly can. Even if its all unsubsidized loans, I dont care I'll take it. Here are my questions:

1) Should I report my parental income to FAFSA or not? I always assumed that its better not to report their income.

2) How do I tell FAFSA that I wont be making 20k per year anymore since I'm not working? Do they take that into consideration? Or are they just going to see our combined 45k income from last year and ASSUME that I will continue to make that much money?

3) Do both my parents income have to be reported? or can I choose one or the other since they are divorced?

4) Do I have to include my stepmother's income along with my dad's? Or just my dad's income?

5) Does the financial aid they calculate take into account living expenses? Do I get to determine what my living expenses are or does FAFSA include default amounts for food, housing, etc?
 

Fermi

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devildoc2 said:
1) Should I report my parental income to FAFSA or not? I always assumed that its better not to report their income.
Some schools specifically require parental information, as well as certain loan programs like primary care loans. Otherwise, for standard Stafford and Perkins loans, you don't have to report parental income.

devildoc2 said:
2) How do I tell FAFSA that I wont be making 20k per year anymore since I'm not working?
I believe you have to put down your income as you reported it on your taxes, regardless of whether you'll have a job. My school had its own "special circumstances" application which you could file after the FAFSA, in which you would give your estimated income when you will be in school. You also had to provide documentation like your last paycheck or a letter from your employer. The school would then reduce the EFC that was calculated by FAFSA.

devildoc2 said:
5) Does the financial aid they calculate take into account living expenses? Do I get to determine what my living expenses are or does FAFSA include default amounts for food, housing, etc?
Living expenses are taken into account, but they are set by each school (not by you or by FAFSA) depending on their determination of the local cost of living. Again, you may be able to apply for special circumstances if you have children, extraordinary medical expenses, etc.
 
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devildoc2

devildoc2

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Here's my financial background:

My credit is poor, because I had to go into debt consolidation on a credit card that was $15,000 balance. If it wasnt for that, my credit rating would be excellent because i have no other defaults and no late payments on anything.

I have undergrad loans of $40,000 that are in deferment while in med school.

Can my wife serve as a co-signer for a private loan to make up the difference between our actual cost of living and the lowball screwjob the med school tries to give to the students?

all in all, I look to be about $200,000 in debt when all is said and done. I'll probably have to max out on the federal loans limit of 180k or whatever it is.

I knew I shoulda gone to my state med school instead of paying a ridiculous 40k per year for a fancy private school. Damn!
 

Fermi

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Looking at your situation, I'm not sure that student loans shouldn't be able to cover what you will be missing, unless your school is pretty draconian about not giving out grants/scholarships and increasing the budget for students with kids. If you're making $20K now pre-tax, I'm convinced you can make up much of whatever your after-tax income is with loans, remembering that you will be able to save even more on income taxes with the tuition credit and interest deduction on unsubsidized loans.

Talk to your school's financial aid office; they are usually very willing to work with students to find the money somewhere.