aurevoirLA

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My dad filled out the FAFSA for me when I went into college. He got so annoyed with it, and found it to be a waste of time since we didn't qualify for anything. Now, I'm asking him to help me with it again, and he refuses to attempt it.

So, I wonder if everyone on this site plans on filling it out? If you don't think you'll qualify for any need-based grants, and you're planning to pay for med school off of a savings, is there any need to fill it out?

Hope this doesn't sound bad... I know I'm in a lucky place not to have to worry too much about medschool expense, and I know some others of us are in that position too. Just wanted your opinion.
 

MrTee

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aurevoirLA said:
My dad filled out the FAFSA for me when I went into college. He got so annoyed with it, and found it to be a waste of time since we didn't qualify for anything. Now, I'm asking him to help me with it again, and he refuses to attempt it.

So, I wonder if everyone on this site plans on filling it out? If you don't think you'll qualify for any need-based grants, and you're planning to pay for med school off of a savings, is there any need to fill it out?

Hope this doesn't sound bad... I know I'm in a lucky place not to have to worry too much about medschool expense, and I know some others of us are in that position too. Just wanted your opinion.
I'm in the same boat. Even though my parents don't really give me much money (maybe a couple hundred bucks here and there), there is no way in hell I'll get any kind of money from need-based grants if they want the parental info. Kinda blows, I agree. I'll do the fafsa thing sometime soon anyway, as soon as I get the motivation to look at it.
 

Brain

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I'm also in the same situation. I'll be getting some help from my parents, but certainly not everything so I need some financial aid. I filled out a FAFSA but didn't fill out the parental information part because I know I don't qualify for anything that is need based. In fact, I'm a bit concerned having my parents' info might hurt me.
 

redbeans

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My parents keep reminding me that I won't get any federal aid.

But the schools I applied to kept telling me I had to fill out fhe FAFSA in order to get any loans, and that they would use the parental information even though it isn't normally required going into professional school. Is that true?
 

gdubb

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my mom said fafsa was a waste of time, but all of my schools require it to be eligible for any sort of loan. The way I understand it is they do use parental info for distributing loans because if they just used the student everyone would be equally poor, and they have to have some way to differentiate.

we didn't get any help w/ fafsa during college, but when i filled it out this year my efc was really low and nothing has changed :confused: so maybe it's worth filling out, especially if you have to borrow money

i hate fafsa... :mad:
 

relema

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You don't have to put your parent's info on there if you are entering graduate school/med school. It is not futile to fill it out for med school and it is not too hard either.From what i gather they don't take your parent's into consideration as greatly for med school. The fasfa takes about an hr maybe to fill out if you have all your tax info in front of you. I have never done financial aid before and it wasn't too bad.
 

Tiddly of Winks

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I argued with my dad last night for half an hour over the false logic of using parent info to calculate an expected family contribution now that I'm an independent and shouldn't expect my family to contribute.

The problem was, while I completely agree with his argument, I still need him to fill out the info (which I definitely feel bad about).

This teh suxor
 

Tiddly of Winks

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relema said:
You don't have to put your parent's info on there if you are entering graduate school/med school. It is not futile to fill it out for med school and it is not too hard either.From what i gather they don't take your parent's into consideration as greatly for med school. The fasfa takes about an hr maybe to fill out if you have all your tax info in front of you. I have never done financial aid before and it wasn't too bad.

Hmmmm. Every financial aide talk I went to at my interviews said that we HAVE to include parent info.

I guess we don't really have to (if you are an independent) according to FAFSA, but I wonder what happens if you don't. I guess I just assumed that I had to do it. That, and this little screen popped up while I was doing the FAFSA that said it's a good idea to include parent info if you're going into medicine or if your school requires you to fill it out.

I wonder if, upon receipt of your FAFSA, med schools demand that you fill out the parent info, if you haven't already. Crap, I'm confused now.
 

liverotcod

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1) You must complete the FAFSA to get Stafford loans. Unless you're going to pay cash (which is a bad idea, since you come out ahead by investing the cash and taking a 3% Stafford loan), you need to fill in the student section. You do NOT need to complete the parent section (for any school) to get Stafford loans. The are a federal program and have nothing to do with the school.
2) Different schools have different requirements for their need-based financial aid (loans, mostly, but some grants). In every case I have seen, they need parental information for this. Sometimes they use the parental section of the FAFSA but more often they use a different application, like the Need Access application or a school-specific one.

Therefore, EVERYONE should do a FAFSA - student section. Only if you feel you might qualify for need-based aid do you need to complete the parental portion, and then only if your schools require it.
 

lightnk102

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How many of you have actually filled out the fafsa? You don't need your dad to help you fill out a form. Just get a copy of his 2004 tax returns and you can fill it all out yourself. They tell you exactly which numbers to use (i.e. form 1040, line 6).


I filled mine out last week. And I put my parental information on there as the schools requested, even though I've been independent since 2001 (non-trad student).

Just for some background:
We didn't qualify for federal aid for my undergrad (private school tuition), or my younger brother's undergrad (also private school tuition). The federal loans really do NOT take your parental information into account. I know this becuase after I completed everything, my EFC (expected family contribution) is 0.

The school requests the parental info because they may give out some "free money" in the form of need-based grants to students who come from more disadvantaged backgrounds. So parental info is used for school loans, as opposed to federal loans. The majority of tuition will be covered by federal loans anyways. I think the logic here is that if you come from a wealthier family, you're less likely to fall in a hole of bankruptcy in paying back your loans because your family will always lend you a bit here and there if you really need it. Kids from families with less income don't have that sort of safety net. Fair or unfair - that's my understanding of how things work.

I was told by med schools that putting your parental info on there can only help you, not hurt you. And I believe most schools require it.

The FAFSA really isn't that hard to fill out. After I filed my taxes, it took me a little less than 45 minutes.
 

Tiddly of Winks

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Thanks liverotcod and lightnk102. Good info.
 

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Does anyone know what kind of income we are talking about in order to be denied "need based money?"

My parent's have a pretty good income, but I would still like to apply.

Are we talking more than 100 000, 200 000, 300 000, 400 000, >500 000?
 

lightnk102

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JDAD said:
Does anyone know what kind of income we are talking about in order to be denied "need based money?"

My parent's have a pretty good income, but I would still like to apply.

Are we talking more than 100 000, 200 000, 300 000, 400 000, >500 000?
as much as i'd love to look into a crystal ball and tell you the answer... my guess is that there's no way to find out unless you apply. maybe you'll qualify for some merit-based stuff as well. good luck!
 

liverotcod

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JDAD said:
Does anyone know what kind of income we are talking about in order to be denied "need based money?"

My parent's have a pretty good income, but I would still like to apply.

Are we talking more than 100 000, 200 000, 300 000, 400 000, >500 000?
This is mostly educated guesswork, but here goes:
EFC on $100K would be around $25K. Based an a neat demo that UMichigan did, I suspect that schools would want you to take around $20K in Stafford loans no matter what. So, we're up to $45K between EFC and Stafford. If the budget is higher than that (true for many out-of-state or private situations) then you might qualify for some grant or institutional loans. At UMich, they take your leftover and grant half of it, loan the other half.

More than $200K would almost certainly not be eligible for need-based aid. They're really looking to help people who are at or below the poverty line, who would have to give up eating or their primary residence to pay the tuition.
 

akpete

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Keep in mind that while a lot of schools require parental info for school-based aid, some do not. For example UW-Madison and MCW do not require parental info. Check with your schools.