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FAFSA getting married in high school

collegebound404collegebound404 Posts: 1Registered User New Member
If I get married in high school to my girlfriend before I attend college next year at a public school would I be eligible for funds. Right now my parents makes to much money for me to be eligible for the Pell Grant but are still paying student loans so they do not have enough money for my education. My girlfriend also has parents that make to much money, but she has two other siblings in her household. One of her siblings is attending college. Will it negatively effect my girlfriends status, or will she benefit too?
Post edited by collegebound404 on
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Replies to: FAFSA getting married in high school

  • HImomHImom Posts: 18,484Registered User Senior Member
    Would STRONGLY urge you to really think about this before blindly deciding to do this. A LOT of things will happen if you decide to get married in HS & FAFSA may rapidly become one of the smaller considerations. Please think this over VERY carefully and talk it over with your HS guidance counselor, college counselor, family & other trusted adults. It is not a prudent way to try to get FAid for college.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 62,384Registered User Senior Member
    Not a good idea. But to answer your question you would have to marry very very soon because you'd have to marry before you submit fafsa. You can't submit fafsa and then marry and change your status.
  • GardnaGardna Posts: 1,013Registered User Senior Member
    I'm going to be charitable and assume that you're getting married out of love and not some kind of ridiculously clumsy attempt to get financial aid.

    To answer your question, you might (MIGHT!!) be eligible for a Pell grant and a subsidized Stafford loan. See, the thing is even though as an independent student you might be better off EFC-wise than if you were dependent with affluent parents, most schools don't have a lot of money to give out. Of course, you shouldn't mind too much, since you aren't actually getting married just to win the FAFSA.
  • PutturaniPutturani Posts: 1,097Registered User Senior Member
    Oh God please THINK this through very carefully before going through with this marriage. I have a friend in a similar situation (getting married in high school - not for fin aid) and I see some problems cropping up already so be careful!
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 36,949Registered User Senior Member
    Well...here's the thing. You will have to list ALL money paid on your behalf on your FAFSA forms. SO...if your parents are helping you with rent, utilities, health insurance, cars, food, clothing, cellphones, internet access etc, THOSE monies will be listed on the FAFSA. If you are earning enough money to pay these bills all by yourselves you may find that you aren't eligible for the money you think you will be eligible for.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 62,384Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^^

    I agree....

    But, if they lived in one set of parents' home for free, would they declare that in some way? If so, how.

    I can see having to declare some amount towards food, but how would they figure what they're gaining in housing? Or would they have to?
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,854Super Moderator Senior Member
    for the most part, the parents are not living in their home for free. Even if there is no mortgage, there are taxes, water, sewage , upkeep of the home and utilities. A prorated share is being paid by the parents on the sutdent's behalf. The students are also demonstrating that they do not support theri respective spouse.

    At schools that give institutional aid, even though they may be considered independent for federal aid, the school does not have to grant them independent student status for insitutional aid especially if they cannot demonstrate that they are self sufficient and not receiving anything from their parents (the school will ask how they are eating and putting a roof over their head).

    your girlfriend will benefit from having a sibling in college. IF the parents are now swinging the EFC for the older sister, it will be the same EFC, but now for 2 kids instead of one (so essentially they would be paying out pretty close to the same amount of $$)
  • SLUMOMSLUMOM Posts: 3,610Registered User Senior Member
    It seems to me if both your parents & your girlfriend's parents make that much money, that they would like to declare both of you as dependents for 2010 on their tax returns!

    If you have lived with your parents for over half of 2010, they may declare you as a dependent, there is that option open to them. The FAFSA you file in February '11 (picking this time frame as tax returns may be finished) is based upon 2010 income.

    Now if you have very little income for 2010 & say you are "independent" and "married" that will raise some red flags to the colleges you have submitted the FAFSA to. The colleges may decide that you are not "independent". So, if you are considering marriage for FA, then this may just backfire on you & your girlfriend.

    FA offices may also ask for your parents' income & assets even though you are "independent", before they award any of their institutional funds (Grant $) to you. That situation can occur as well, as it is their money to disperse in any way they like!
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Posts: 33,204Registered User Senior Member
    To really knock down your EFC, be sure to add a couple of dependents.
    :rolleyes: <
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 62,384Registered User Senior Member
    for the most part, the parents are not living in their home for free. Even if there is no mortgage, there are taxes, water, sewage , upkeep of the home and utilities. A prorated share is being paid by the parents on the sutdent's behalf. The students are also demonstrating that they do not support theri respective spouse.


    I agree, but what portion would they put down as a prorated amount? If they live in a home with 6 people, would they put down 1/3 of housing cost? or if they occupy one bedroom in a 4 bedroom home, would they put down 1/4 of housing cost? If there isn't a formula, then people are just going to put down some guessed number and who could argue with that?
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,854Super Moderator Senior Member
    Financial aid can ask for any and all back up documentation. They can ask for the parent's bills then prorate them. Living in one bedroom is not living in one bedroom, they occupy common areas; living room, bathroom, kitchen. Smart logic for the fafsa now being directly tied to the IRS will soon flag if the students ssn is showing up somewhere else in the IRS database.

    If they are low income enough to apply for an opportunity program, some schools may ask for 2 years of tax information.

    Over the long range it would not be a good idea as students most likely would lose health benefits through parents once they get married and they would have to prove adequate health insurance in order to not pay for college insurance benefits. Because they are younger, a lower amount of their income/assets will be protected. In NYS TAP awards for independent students are lower than they are for dependent students. Overall, I think students will lose more then they have to gain.
  • GardnaGardna Posts: 1,013Registered User Senior Member
    But they're not necessarily getting married for the FAFSA though, right? He's just asking to see how it would affect it. No one would be that irresponsible and reckless as to think that getting married and:
    To really knock down your EFC, be sure to add a couple of dependents.

    ... actually having children would be a good strategy to reduce your EFC. They should get married for the right reasons -- ie, to seal the marriage alliance between their two families. Or, love.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 62,384Registered User Senior Member
    Smart logic for the fafsa now being directly tied to the IRS will soon flag if the students ssn is showing up somewhere else in the IRS database.


    But, wouldn't that only be a problem for 2011 on? Even if they got married - say - Jan 1st - their parents would have the right to declare them as dependents for 2010.

    It seems that as long as the parents didn't claim them for 2011 and on, then it wouldn't be a problem.


    Financial aid can ask for any and all back up documentation. They can ask for the parent's bills then prorate them. Living in one bedroom is not living in one bedroom, they occupy common areas; living room, bathroom, kitchen.


    ??? so, in a somewhat different case, if a parent is living with a significant other who earns/pays most of the bills, but only the parent's income is used on FAFSA, financial aid office can ask for the SO's bills and all back up documentation?

    I agree that the couple isn't living in just one bedroom. I was just asking what formula is used...is it by number of bedrooms, or number in household.

    And, what if the home is paid off, so there are few household bills...just utilities and taxes?

    And, I guess, technically, the parents could charge the married couple some low amount for rent...say $100 a month utilities included...and wouldn't the FA office just have to accept that?
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,854Super Moderator Senior Member
    The school has every right to ask you how are you eating and keeping a roof over your head. If you are living with someone (even a SO) and they are paying the rent and buying the food, it can be considered monies paid on your behalf.

    married students living with parents are being "supported" by their parents.
  • HImomHImom Posts: 18,484Registered User Senior Member
    I would think if the couple are charged below market rent (e.g. $100), the FAid office could say that is a subsidy by the parents & find the couple is NOT independent.

    If you apply for student housing where you will be attending college, you may also be limited to married student housing which may NOT be where you envisioned living (may be with a lot of older students and their kids, far from the relatively carefree freshmen w/o spouses & kids).
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