How to answer FAFSA question 45J in my situation?

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Jul 11, 2019
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Hi all, I'm an incoming MS1 desperately in need of financial aid lol. Here's the question I'm unsure of:

Money received, or paid on your behalf (e.g., bills), not reported elsewhere on this form. This includes money that you received from a parent or other person whose financial information is not reported on this form and that is not part of a legal child support agreement. If someone is paying your rent, utility bills, etc., while you attend school, include the amount of that person's contributions, unless the person is your parent whose information is reported on this application.

This question pertains to the year 2018 (for the 2020-2021 FAFSA). Since I'm a medical student, I'm considered independent for the purposes of the FAFSA, but in 2018 I was filed as a dependent for IRS purposes.

In 2018, my parents paid for my rent which totaled about $7,200. My parents' information is not included on my FAFSA since I'm automatically an independent student. So do I report the $7,200 for this question or no? Thanks in advance!


Senior Member
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2006
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If you don't include your parental income on your form you aren't going to get need based aid from your institution (depends on the institution). Enter parental information and ignore that specific question since it will be reported elsewhere on that application. There's no harm in including parental information as your EFC is going to be 0 unless you had income/assets. Read this for more than you ever wanted to know on how the EFC is calculated.