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Mom refuses to fill out my fafsa

blueyes11692blueyes11692 Posts: 4Registered User New Member
I had to wait a year after graduating high school to go to college because my mom refused to fill out my fafsa and did not have the money to pay my tuition. She is a CNA and only makes about $10-12/hour. She won't tell me her exact pay but I know they don't make much. My dad is unemployed because he was laid off back in 2009 and has refused to work since. The year before last, I kept begging her and begging her and she would just scream at me and tell me to shut up. She was mad bc I was interrupting her stupid "Little House on the Prairie" show. I brought my laptop TO her and told her I would even type everything in if she would just answer the questions, but then she started throwing things at me and yelling more. Finally in July I got her to fill out my fafsa because I started crying about how I didn't want to live in an RV or a trailer like we do now, for the rest of my life. (we have had to live in an RV before, without propane, in the middle of winter and it sucked). Anyways, she did do it but she had waited so long that I only received $600/semester and had to take out loans in my name for the rest. I was not eligible for any parent-student loans because my parents do not meet the credit score requirement. Once again, this year she refused to fill out the fafsa for me and my little sister who just graduated high school and wants to go to college. I moved out in february of this year and have lived with my boyfriend and a roommate since then. I went to back to school at a community college this fall and have paid my tuition myself. But it really is hard trying to keep up with classwork, make good grades, and make sure I have enough hours clocked at work to keep up with my installment payments, rent, groceries, amennities, etc. I talked to her about filling out the fafsa again last night and the same results as always. She just gets irritated and says she doesn't want to talk about it, and that she isn't going to file her taxes until april anyways bc she has a "secret" reason for filing late that she won't tell me about. I know she is just making stuff up so she can hold off on not filing the fafsa for me and my sister until april, and then she will have another excuse. I turn 21 this january, but fafsa won't recognize me as an independent until I am 24. I also worry about how my sister will go to school. I talked to the financial aid office at my school about getting a dependency override but the form says I have to be married, have a child, or prove that my parents abuse me. I don't meet any of those requirements. Except my mom could be deemed abusive, but I will never file a report on her. Besides, it doesn't matter now since I don't live with her. Any suggestions?
Post edited by blueyes11692 on

Replies to: Mom refuses to fill out my fafsa

  • 3togo3togo Posts: 5,232Registered User Senior Member
    edited December 2012
    So sorry you are in this situation.

    Is there an adult who your Mom and Dad trust who might be able to advocate for you. Your guidance counselor, a teacher they like, and Aunt or Uncle they like ... someone with whom they can have a non-argumentative conversation and who can explain the consequences of their not filling out the FAFSA application. This might help them "hear" why they may want to fill out the forms.

    Another possibility is that they do not want you or your sister to see their financial information. Parents can enter the info without the student seeing the info ... perhaps you or that trusted adult can help them understand that option.

    Hmm ... step 1 is probably understanding why they do not want to fill out the form ... privacy, do not believe you will get aid, too much hassle, don't trust the government, etc. Depending on their concern different approach to deal with the concern may be warranted.
  • blueyes11692blueyes11692 Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    I know that she doesn't want me or anyone else seeing her financial documents, but she also knows that I can't see it once it is submitted. As far as taxes go, she did tell me that she doesn't get her tax return back each year because she owes money to the IRS. Either way, it would seem to me that it if it is going to be taken away no matter what, then why does she have to wait the very last day to file? If I got another family member involved I would have hell to pay. I am too afraid to do that. My dad is not the problem. He will sit with me and fill out the info, but he hasn't worked in almost 4 years so he has no taxes to go off of. I need my mom's information but she will always refuse to give it. I honestly believe that she is just too lazy. Which makes me very angry. Especially since she is always pressuring me to be a doctor.
  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom Posts: 1,315Registered User Senior Member
    Your dad may not have any income of his own, but if he's married to your mother, they file taxes together. He has access to last year's tax return. You best bet might be to file the FAFSA based on last year's tax return, assuming that nothing much has changed. Then when she does file, the FAFSA information can be updated to reflect the true numbers. Many families will have to do something similar, because some schools want the FAFSA filed early, and some tax information will not yet be available. This applies more to higher income families, but the FA offices are aware that it happens, and can work with you.

    If you only got a small amount of aid last year, because that is all that was available, but qualified for more, you need to get the forms in.

    If she isn't filing her return because it all gets taken, she may owe back taxes, or unpaid student loans - if it's student loans, that may play into why she doesn't want you to complete FAFSA. She may not want to see you saddled with loans like she was, but I don't know how she expects you to become a doctor without them. The thing she doesn't seem to understand is that the sooner she files, the sooner they can take her refund to pay off what she owes, and if it is paid a bit sooner, the interest that accrues will be lower. Maybe not much, but every bit counts.

    It may seem underhanded, but if your father can get hold of her W2, he can complete the tax return, even if it is not sent in right away. That way you can have to information for FAFSA. My concern for you, given that she claims to have a "secret" is that she is doing one of two things I have seen in the past with clients:

    either she is waiting to find out what dependents she can safely "borrow" from family members (nieces and nephews who she are not being claimed by their parents, for instance), in order to increase her refund, and thus pay off more of her debt...

    or, she may be reducing her refund as much as possible, in the mistaken belief that she is hurting those who are taking her refund, when in reality it just delays the payoff more and more.
  • blueyes11692blueyes11692 Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    Thank you both for your help! Is there a way my dad can get her w-2 even though it is sent to her email? She has it to where her employer sends her information to her online, so she doesn't get the papers in the mail. My dad doesn't know her email address that she uses for that or the password either.
  • intparentintparent Posts: 13,825Registered User Senior Member
    I would fill out the FAFSA to the best of your ability with the information you and your father have, and write a letter of explanation to the college telling them about your situation with your mother. I assume your parents are married and live in the same home? If not, maybe there is a way for your dad to fill out the FAFSA. It is based on who you lived with the most in the past year, and it sounds like you don't live at home any more.

    By the way, her "secret reason" for filing late is probably that she owes the IRS money each year, and doesn't want to pay until the last minute. I believe she can file early, and as long as she makes the payment by April 15 it is fine. It doesn't sound like logic will go far in this situation, but maybe this info could convince her to help you out.

    Also, can your dad sweet talk her into doing this to help you kids?

    You could pull the Santa card. :) "All I want for Christmas this year is for you to do your taxes in February and help me with the FAFSA." I once changed someone's behavior with that trick.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,580Super Moderator Senior Member
    Are your parents married and living together? If so, do your parents file taxes jointly, or does Mom file as Married filing separately? If they file jointly, your dad can order a tax transcript, and he can also order a tax account transcript that I believe will show all sources of income and to whom the income is attributed - in other words, it will be the same as a W2. Call the IRS tax transcript number to find out if the tax account transcript does show this information. Here is the link with info: Order a Transcript. Your dad has every right to get this information if they file Married Filing Jointly; he cannot get it if Mom files Married Filing Separately, though. And remember, you only need the signature of one parent ... you can just use Dad.

    I am wondering, though, why the school wants you to send the transcript and W2's. I would think that your dad can just use the IRS Tax Retrieval Tool (you will see the link in blue on this page: Home - FAFSA on the Web-Federal Student Aid). Many schools will not require W2 forms if you do the direct transfer of the tax information. You can ask your financial aid office.

    If I read this correctly, you are concerned also due to your mom's late filing. You can actually see the information she put on your FAFSA this year - just go to Home - FAFSA on the Web-Federal Student Aid & look at your current FAFSA. Use that info to file a FAFSA this year in a timely manner, and indicate "Will File" for taxes. Later, after your mom files, ask your dad to use the IRS retrieval tool to transfer the tax info. That will at least allow you to get your FAFSA in by the deadline.
  • blueyes11692blueyes11692 Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    Omg thank you so much kelsmom! I didn't know that there was a tool my Dad or I could use to retrieve the information. I will definitely try it! Once again, Thank you!!!
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,580Super Moderator Senior Member
    I am glad that I could help. I hope everything works out well for you.
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