Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

Financial Aid and step parent income..

melxoxo007melxoxo007 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
Hey,
So here's a situation, my mom is married to this man and together they make about 95,000 a year. That's almost 6 digits of income and I'm scared financial aid won't help me much. His money, which is a lot, is going nothing to me nor my college needs. So this is upsetting that I have to include the whole entire household income to get financial aid. Is there any loop holes I can do? I was told to go independent...since I'm 18. Or live with my aunt and other stuff but my guidance couselor said no, that won't work because I'll need my mom's information anyways....which will include my stepdad's. I'm planning to go to Connecticut State school, everything is about 10,000 ish a year. I'm in top 30% (very very top =[) with 3.4 GPA. My SAT and ACT scored sucked so..they won't help me..yeah. Can someone roughly tell me how much I'll get? And loopholes to get more?
Post edited by melxoxo007 on

Replies to: Financial Aid and step parent income..

  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,780Super Moderator Senior Member
    I was told to go independent...since I'm 18. Or live with my aunt and other stuff but my guidance couselor said no, that won't work because I'll need my mom's information anyways....which will include my stepdad's.

    For financial aid purposes you are not considered an indepepndent student at 18. Your GC is correct. When your mom fills out the FAFSA she must include your stepdads income. With 95k income it is highly unlikely that you will receive any state or federal aid outside of stafford loans. Based on what you said about your GPA/SAT scores, it does not look as you are in a position to get merit money.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,945Registered User Senior Member
    You cannot "go independent". It is not a choice you make. FAFSA asks a series of very specific questions to determine whether you are a dependent for FA purposes. The questions are things like age (to be independent you would have to be 24), marital status, are you married, do you have a dependent you are supporting, are you a veteran etc. Unless you can answer yes to one of the questions you are a dependent. 18 does not make you independent. Nor does living with your aunt (or living alone and being self supporting). Your Mom's financial information and that of her spouse is required on your FAFSA. You will not be eligible for federal grant money but will be eligible for federal student loans.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 36,136Registered User Senior Member
    The FAFSA computes an Expected FAMILY Contribution. Your stepfather is a member of your family. Presumably your whole family benefits in some way from his income...including your mom and you (think things like housing, utilities, food, etc)...thus freeing up some of your mom's income which would otherwise be covering these things.

    Because your mom is married, your stepfather's income and assets are included in the calculations for EFC. There is no way around this.

    And agreed with others...you can't become an independent student just because your parent (or stepparent) is unwilling to pay for your college expenses.
  • SLUMOMSLUMOM Posts: 3,610Registered User Senior Member
    Even if your stepfather & mother had a pre-nuptial agreement that he would not pay for your college education, that just would not fly! Third party agreements are not recognized.

    If your stepfather has children from a previous marriage & they are his "dependents" then that is usually recognized. You haven't said if you have step siblings or what your biological father's situation is either! That comes into play, if you have a stepfather, a mother & then a father & a stepmother, all who work! That is 4 incomes! It all will depend on the school's policy toward non-custodial parents, and public vs. private schools.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 36,136Registered User Senior Member
    For FAFSA purposes, the only children who will "count" are those who are residing IN the household of the parent/stepparent and student. If the step parent has children who reside elsewhere (with their mom for example) they cannot be listed on the FAFSA as members of the household...because they are not.

    And for FAFSA...only the parent and stepparent count.

    Ah...but for Profile or schools that request non-custodial parent info in any way...EVERYONE counts as noted by SLUMOM...parents, and stepparents...all.

    Any way you can live at home and attend Central, Eastern, Western or Southern CT State Universities? Is one of the community colleges near you? Most of the community colleges in CT have articulation agreements with the four year public universities here to accept you and your general ed credits taken at the CC. That would further reduce your costs.
  • melxoxo007melxoxo007 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    What if they're divorced?
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 36,136Registered User Senior Member
    If your parents are divorced, you list only your custodial parent (the one with whom you live the most) and their spouse (if they have one) ..that would be your stepdad and all of their income and assets. For members of the household, you list only those who reside where you do. That is for the FAFSA.

    Now...if you apply to a school that requires the CSS Profile or a school form that asks for non-custodial parent info (info from the parent with whom you do NOT reside)...you will have to provide income and asset information for that parent and spouse AND your custodial parent and spouse.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,945Registered User Senior Member
    If the step parent has children who reside elsewhere (with their mom for example) they cannot be listed on the FAFSA as members of the household...because they are not.
    Actually they do not have to live in the household to be included as a member of household for FAFSA. If they would be a dependent of the parent for FAFSA they can be included . For instance my son was still a member of household on my daughter's FAFSA her freshman year even though he was not living at home (not was he in college), because if he had been going to college (as he did the following year) he would have been our dependent for FAFSA. (though if they are living with the other parent then they would be that parent's dependent for FAFSA so could not be included as a member of household for this student).

    Completing the FAFSA 2010-2011/The Application Questions(59-79)
    73. Number in parents' household. Enter the number of family members in your parents' household.

    The following persons are included in your parents' household size:

    * You (the student), even if you do not live with your parents.


    * Your parents (the ones whose information is reported on the FAFSA).


    * Your parents' other children, if your parents will provide more than half of their support from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011 or if the other children could answer "No" to every question in Questions 46-58.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 36,136Registered User Senior Member
    What are questions 46-58?

    Thanks for the clarification Swimcats.

    To the OP...are your mom and stepdad divorced?
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,945Registered User Senior Member
    46-58 are the dependency questions (age, marital status etc).
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 61,173Registered User Senior Member
    What if they're divorced?


    Who??? Your parents? or your mom and step dad?

    If your mom and stepdad are divorcing, then maybe his income won't count...not sure.
  • bchan1bchan1 Posts: 793Registered User Member
    "What if they're divorced?"

    I wonder how many parents have contemplated divorce after realizing how the financial aid formula at a FAFSA only school really works????????????????
  • GardnaGardna Posts: 1,002Registered User Member
    I wonder how many parents have contemplated divorce after realizing how the financial aid formula at a FAFSA only school really works????????????????

    I know you're just kidding, but that seems like a bad call. FAFSA only schools just aren't that generous. It's not like you're looking at a full-ride; even with half that income, or a quarter of it, or even 1/8 you're probably just looking some small federal grants, some slightly larger loans, and a substantial gap at most schools. I'm not sure exactly how much your average divorce costs, but I'm pretty sure that it's more than the $5000 or so you might get in federal grants.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 61,173Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^

    True...but you don't even have to really get divorced. Just separated.

    And, in some cases, the couple is "separated" but still living in the same house. I'm sure there are such scams going on. For those going to a local state school, a $5550 grant can pretty much pay for all of tuition. So, such a scam can "pay off" in that aspect.
Sign In or Register to comment.