Askme - You cannot adjust the AGI yourself - the AGI you put on your FAFSA must reflect what is on your tax return. To have a special circumstances adjustment done ( special circumstances are things not common to everyone - high medical expenses, loss of income and benefits etc) you submit your FAFSA with all the required information - no adjustments - then you provide the supporting documentation for an adjustment to the financial aid officer at the school - if it is approved he/she goes into your FAFSA and adjusts the AGI. (not sure exactly how they do that but it is what they do). After the AGI is adjusted then the numbers are run through the EFC formula agin and a new EFC is produced.
I think only after tax insurance premiums can be used for an adjustment so if they are already reflected in your AGI then they probably cannot be used. (Not exactly sure on this but we were able to use ours and they are after tax so do not reduce our AGI). The financial aid officers must follow federal guidelines as if they make an improper adjustment the school is responsible for repaying any federal money.
If your out of pocket expenses are only $1000 you would not get an adjustment - it is excessive medical costs that are eligible for an adjustment. A portion of the income protection in the FAFSA formula (@11% I think but would not swear to it) is for medical expenses. Only medical expenses in excess of that would be allowed for a special circumstances adjustment. So say your income protection allowance was $20,000 (it is based on number of parents, number in household and number in college) - then 11% of that is considered to be for medical - 20000x 11% = $2200. So medical expenses would have to be over that to be considered for an adjustment.
I learned a lot in a year because so many of the twists in the system applied to us. My husband is retired early and in poor health. Our base year we had uncovered medical expenses of over $10,000 (mainly for him). Also as he was on his SS pension my daughter also received some SS money which ceased on her graduating HS so made our income higher in the base year so we had loss of income. After discovering CC and finding from people here that we could get an adjustment for these things I made a point of learning as much as I could about the process. Plus I am a person who does not like to plug numbers into a form and get results that I don't know how they are arrived at so I like to understand the EFC formula (which can be found on the internet). So I learned quick from a combination of the experience we had year one, helpful people on CC, and finaid.org which has so much information. Thank goodness for CC - The info learned here helped us a lot with our Ds financial aid last year.
Last edited by swimcatsmom; 01-30-2008 at 02:14 PM.