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Are My Chances of Receiving Financial Aid Ruined?

HelloImChelseaHelloImChelsea Posts: 695Registered User Member
I am applying ED 1 to Scripps College.

My parents separated in July. The divorce has not yet been finalized.

My mom submitted the CSS/Profile a few weeks ago. She used information from 2011 when my parents were still together.

I emailed Scripps' financial aid office yesterday to ask if my dad still needed to fill out the Non-Custodial Profile.

This was her reply:
"In that your parents are separated, you will need to complete the CSS Profile (and the FAFSA come January 1st) with the information relating to your custodial parent only.
Your parents will need to separate out their individual income/asset information and custodial will provide only their information and non-custodial will complete the non-custodial form with their information only."

My problem is that my mom put down on the CSS Profile as if she and my dad were still married - because they were in 2011.

The Non-Custodial is also going to be difficult to complete because my dad doesn't really have a gross adjusted income...

Am I overthinking this? Please help!

My mom already doesn't want me to attend Scripps, so she'd be happy if we received little to no financial aid!
Post edited by HelloImChelsea on
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Replies to: Are My Chances of Receiving Financial Aid Ruined?

  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Posts: 11,562Registered User Senior Member
    Your mom will have to sign the ED agreement, so she needs to be onboard with you applying ED first of all. If she knows enough about your father's income and asset situation this year you could run the Scripps net price calculator both ways and see if there is much difference. Really with the limited information you are giving no one can really tell you how much different it will be with the form as if your parents are married vs. the forms being filled out separately. You might be able to glean some information from existing Scripps parents or students. If your mom and dad are friendly, he might be willing to give you (or your mom) the information you'll need to run the net price calculator.
  • HelloImChelseaHelloImChelsea Posts: 695Registered User Member
    momofthreeboys: The assistant director of financial aid emailed me back and said that by reporting my parents' separation, their individual incomes and the adjusted gross income, the financial aid award will be off.

    She said that I should send a letter saying what my mom's income is (it's <$40,000), but my mom doesn't want to do that. My mom was very frustrated because she doesn't think we can afford Scripps (let alone afford the plane ticket) and she says that she has done her part because she filled out the CSS Profile exactly as it asked.

    My parents' income combined in 2011 was about $100,000, but for 2012, it's only $65,000.

    Honestly, my dad has some issues and he doesn't know where to find the financial information that I need. He and my mom don't get along, either.

    I'm feeling so discouraged because I've been working on my applications and essays since July.

    Scripps has been my dream since my sophomore year. I have other safety schools that I could afford very easily, but attending one of them won't be completely the same.

    My mom also wants me to graduate with zero debt, but that is not going to happen.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,410Registered User Senior Member
    Write the letter for your mom, so that all she has to do is sign it. Promise her that if the aid package doesn't work out, you won't go to Scripps.

    But to be perfectly honest, given the mess that the finances are in, you might be better off to apply in RD so that you have time to get the financial info from your parents. As things stand, whatever offer you would get now could be way off from what it should be simply because you aren't able to give Scripps accurate info.
  • SlitheyToveSlitheyTove Posts: 5,878Registered User Senior Member
    Even before reading happymomof1's reply, I was going to suggest that you ask to have your ED app converted to RD. Sorry, I'm sure that's not what you want to hear. :( Given everything you've said, it seems like a better idea to try for the most accurate FA read, even if it means giving up any potential admissions tip from applying ED. If nothing else, it's going to be frustrating for your parents to fill out the forms. Better to give them more time to do so, rather than rushing through it for ED purposes.

    Hang in there!
  • CaliMomof5CaliMomof5 Posts: 39Registered User Junior Member
    I agree with the previous posters- change to RD. You will not have accurate financial aid information until it is too late.

    Switching gears- Have you even visited Scripps at all? If your stats and application are excellent, you may be invited to come out and compete for a scholarship. They pay for your airfare. My daughter was invited last year and enjoyed the experience very much. The young women spend the week-end there and are given a taste of life at Scripps. How are your stats?

    In the end- Don't hang your hat on just one school. Apply to a nice variety. Your mom has legitimate concerns that may or may not be an issue depending on your financial aid package- which you won't know about until it is too late. So, ask if you can convert your application to RD and good luck!
  • HelloImChelseaHelloImChelsea Posts: 695Registered User Member
    No, my mom won't let me visit. She doesn't see the point. I also live in southwest Missouri.

    I only got a 27 on the ACT. It's not high enough to get a scholarship.

    What good will applying RD do if I've already submitted the CSS Profile?
  • HelloImChelseaHelloImChelsea Posts: 695Registered User Member
    happymomof1: Should I hand write the letter or type it?

    Should I say "My income is such and such..."? or "My mom's income is..."?
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,410Registered User Senior Member
    Type it. Write the letter as though she were writing it, have her double-check the figures and your spelling, and then have her sign it. Just pretend that you are her secretary.

    Applying RD will give you time to correct your Profile, so that the aid offer can be more accurate. Right now, whatever you might get in a preliminary offer will have to be revised (possibly drastically) in the final offer next spring after your up-dates are in. This means that you really truly won't know if your aid from Scripps will be enough until AFTER you have cancelled all of your other applications should you be accepted to Scripps in the ED round.

    What is it that you like so much about Scripps? If what you are looking for is a women's college, there are two right in Missouri: Missouri | The Women's College Coalition Visit their websites, and see if they could work for you.
  • HelloImChelseaHelloImChelsea Posts: 695Registered User Member
    happymomof1: How can I correct the Profile?

    I actually like the Consortium. I'm also planning to apply to Pitzer and Claremont McKenna (though both have low acceptance rates) RD.

    I plan to double major in International Relations and Economics with a minor in Arabic. When I last looked at Stephens College and Cottey, neither had what I wanted. :(

    If Scripps doesn't work out, I want to attend Drury University in Springfield, MO. It has International Relations and Arabic. I can also get a $10,000/year merit scholarship.

    I'll attempt to talk to my mom again. She's getting annoyed.
  • HelloImChelseaHelloImChelsea Posts: 695Registered User Member
    Should I include anything else in the letter besides:

    To the Financial Aid at Scripps College:

    The income that I earned from work in 2012 is (amount).

    Sincerely,

    (name)
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Posts: 12,080Registered User Senior Member
    Ask Scripps about correcting the CSS (and Fafsa) now. The CSS you submitted so far is only a first pass, does not yet include 2012 info.

    In our case, (another college,) unlike the Fafsa, the corections were done manually on the printout of the first CSS, then mailed in. In our experience, FA folks then did the swapping on their end. I'd say, speak with FA, which gives you a better chance to ask more questions- just don't mention Mom's preference that you not attend. I think it's fine to mention a concern about the drop in income and confusion about Dad's earnings now- but you should have your ducks in a row, when you call. Know what the corrected 2011, 2012 amounts are and 2013 predictions.

    Some will note that FA isn't going to bend just because you are facing this new challenge-- they'll still evaluate you per their policies. But right now the point is to ask questions and get an idea of what they recommend. And get more accurate info to them. A headache, yes. Sorry for this bump in your road.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Posts: 12,080Registered User Senior Member
  • HelloImChelseaHelloImChelsea Posts: 695Registered User Member
    Lookingforward: I'll email the FA lady tomorrow to see what we can do.

    My mom decided that I should apply RD to Scripps because she doesn't want me to be legally bound to it. We'll also be able to compare FA packages.

    Two days ago she wasn't going to let me apply at all, so I'm happy with RD, but I'm going to have to wait 4-5 months before I get my decision. :(
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,884Super Moderator Senior Member
    I think that the decision for you to apply RD is for the best. In your current situation, you were a train wreck waiting to happen. somewhere along the line they are going to ask for a non-custodial profile from your dad. You state that your dad is not the most willing participant when it comes to doing this paperwork.

    Keep in mind that when you apply ED, you are receiving a package based on the information that they have in hand. A final package will come in once you file the FSA, submit the tax verification forms, non custodial profile etc. I think that right now it is in your best interest to be in a position to compare packages since your mom does not want you to graduate with debt (IMHO, this is highly unlikely).
  • arabrabarabrab Posts: 4,729Registered User Senior Member
    Dear Chelsea -- I'm glad you're able to apply to Scripps. But, this is also the time to start looking at college options that are affordable for you -- probably in-state public colleges -- and finding some reasons to fall in like with several of them. Maybe Truman State? Great school, solid programs, and you're in range for some scholarship money and probably some financial aid. And, it has relatively low costs. But, their deadline for full scholarship consideration is December 1st, so you need to apply soon. (Bonus: no application fee!)

    Hope for the best financial outcome and admissions decision from Scripps, but make sure your plans consider that you might not get admitted, or might not get nearly enough financial aid. Make sure you have a good place to go next year.
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