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Cooldil17's avatar

What does it take to qualify for FAFSA aid?

Asked by Cooldil17 (482 points ) October 20th, 2009

I live with my mom who makes too much money making it so I do not qualify for the FAFSA, however, my father makes a lot less money than my mom. So if I put his information in on the FAFSA will I get approved? What would I have to do to do that?

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17 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

There is no such thing as “qualifying” for the FAFSA. The FAFSA is an application. If you fill it out, you are APPLYING for financial aid, not qualifying for it.

If your mother is your custodial parent, there’s nothing you can do except fill out the FAFSA with her information.

buckyboy28's avatar

I think it has to do with your permanent residence. I think you have to prove that you currently live with your father and that you have lived with him for a certain amount of time (I think it is 12 months, but I could be wrong).

casheroo's avatar

Who do you live with? Does anyone claim you as a dependent?
If anyone claims you as a dependent, you have to list them on the FAFSA application.

btw, “the fafsa” is cracking me up

Cooldil17's avatar

Every year my parents alternate on who claims me on their tax returns?

jackm's avatar

Yes, there are some legal loops you need to make sure are filled, but I have a friend who listed his broke mother on the form when his dad made a lot of money. He is now going to college for free. Have your mom look into what needs to be done for this.

casheroo's avatar

They alternate? Okay well FAFSA application time is coming up, you have to wait until whoever claims you files their taxes and then you can complete the application. They can’t file their taxes until after January 1st (they need to get their tax information back first). So, you have to be patient.

DrBill's avatar

It does not matter who claims you on taxes, it matters who has physical custody.

Cooldil17's avatar

@jackm Can you go into a little more detail about these legal loops?

jackm's avatar

From the website:
“If your parents are separated or divorced, the custodial parent is responsible for filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The custodial parent for federal student aid purposes is the parent with whom you lived the most during the past 12 months. (The twelve month period is the twelve month period ending on the FAFSA application date, not the previous calendar year.) Note that this is not necessarily the same as the parent who has legal custody. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, the parent who provided you with the most financial support during the past twelve months should fill out the FAFSA. This is probably the parent who claimed you as a dependent on their tax return. If you have not received any support from either parent during the past 12 months, use the most recent calendar year for which you received some support from a parent. These rules are based on section 475(f)(1) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 USC 1087oo(f)(1)).”

It seems that you can just say you lived with your father for the past year….

casheroo's avatar

@DrBill That’s confusing to me. You always have to give them your tax information when doing FAFSA, how could you just not give them tax information for the person who claimed you on taxes? Sounds like fraud to me. My school does a verification method and I had to resubmit my paperwork through them as well, they do it so no one lies to them.

SheWasAll_'s avatar

My friend’s parent’s worked out their own loophole for things like FAFSA and other financial situations. Her parents are divorced with joint custody. Her mom, who makes loads of money, doesn’t claim her as a dependent, while her “disadvantaged” father does. Then, because of this, she gets some federal aid and any other expenses are paid for by mom.

loop holes like this make me jealous of divorced-home kids. my parents are still together and the government says they make too much money for me to get any sort of aid. bastards.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Check with your school district; they may have a FAFSA assistance day. The aid rules also factor in your parent’s age. If they are over 50, you are eligible for more aid that under 50. The rationale is that, under 50, they can stop making retirement contributions to finance your education, and recover from it. FAFSA also determines work study eligibility. And “too much money” varies from school to school—your parents may make too much money for assistance from a state university, but if you are looking at a private school, that may not be the case.

rockstargrrrlie's avatar

@SheWasAll_ There’s really not too much to be jealous of- many kids of divorced parents actually get somewhat screwed over by the FAFSA. My father declared bankruptcy while I was in college and is a self-employed musician. My mother is the custodial parent for both my sister and myself. Her husband does not (and has not) contributed to either my nor my sister’s needs- he has two children of his own that he supports, who are also in college. His income and property are still included when my sister files the FAFSA. As a result, my sister qualifies much, much less financial aid than she would if my parents were still married.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Your father has to claim you on his taxes the same year that you apply for the FAFSA. If your mother claimed you then you will get denied. Another option that is practical and many students use is to get yourself legally emancipated. That also solves the problem.

wundayatta's avatar

From what I understand, people making as much as 120K can be eligible for financial aid. I suppose it also depends on what school you are going to.

MuffinMonarch's avatar

NOTE: FAFSA DOESN“T CHECK CRAP; don’t ask me why but trust me when I say that FAFSA really doesn’t check anything, they just look at what you send them and assign you a score and send it to the school.

So you can say you live with your dad and only put down his info. Though, I would put down independent because you get a bunch more aid that way.

Trust me on this, myself and 3 siblings have done this and it really works that way.

RedPowerLady's avatar

What @MuffinMonarch Is not true! Don’t do it.

They can’t check everyone but they do check. I volunteered while in college helping people get into higher education. We had to have FAFSA training to volunteer.

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