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College Refuses To Release My Fafsa Funds!

clapjackclapjack Posts: 1Registered User New Member
edited September 2008 in Financial Aid & Scholarships
Please, whoever is reading this, please Help me.
I have no idea what to do. Here's the problem:

I am not married, but me and my girlfriend had a child. Therefore, I claimed financial independence from my parents. (I don't have enough money) I received almost all my tuition covered since my EFC is 0.

The college I go to is Religious. I mention this because they don't believe ME that I have a child outside of wedlock. They made me bring proof like the child's birth certificate, Social Security card, and a paper from the hospital....

According to my State financial Aid report, I am eligible to receive a nice amount of money covering my tuition, but my college refuses to let the funds go and they want me to pay out of pocket for everything.

I SUBMITTED every single document they requested of me.

WHAT CAN I DO???!!! Please, please somebody help me.

Should or can I call up Fafsa and complain??

I do not think that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will handle my case since I am NOT being discriminated against by sex,age,color,disability. They DO NOT HANDLE CASES REGARDING RELIGION!

Who do I call??????
Post edited by clapjack on

Replies to: College Refuses To Release My Fafsa Funds!

  • TrinSFTrinSF Posts: 1,482Registered User Senior Member
    "FAFSA" is not an organization. There's no money from "FAFSA". The FAFSA is a *form* you fill out, a form created by the Federal government, to determine financial need. It's not a promise of money. I'm explaining this because it's like saying, "I got a speeding ticket, I'm going to complain to the DMV office because they gave me a license!"

    So, that said, you're an independent student if are any one of the following:

    Are you 24 year of age or older?
    Are you married?
    Are you enrolled in a master or doctorate program?
    Do you have children who receive more than half of their support form you?
    Do you have dependents other than your children or spouse who live with you?
    Are you an orphan or ward of the state?
    Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?

    So, it's not enough that you have a child. That child has to get more than half its support from you. If you and your girlfriend had a child, but that child lives with her, and you don't pay more than half the total expenses, then that child doesn't count. Additionally, you can have a girlfriend, but if you're not married, that doesn't count.

    Anyway, what it sounds like is that the school did a verification on you and found that your independent status could not be verified. Based on what you've said, that makes sense. Do you live with your girlfriend? Who pays the rent? Who pays for food? Are you living alone, or with your or her parents? Does this baby like with you both?
  • Iron MaidenIron Maiden Posts: 1,838Registered User Senior Member
    I totally agree with the poster above. You looked at the preliminary FAFSA number. The school did a verification on you and determined that you were not independent because you can't document that you provide >50% of the child's support. Thus you are not independent and they recalculated your aid.

    The rules are the rules. There is no governing body with which to appeal. Please read the stickys on the top of the forum. And repeat after me "FAFSA is not an organization, it is only a form".
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,942Registered User Senior Member
    clapjack - as the previous posters said - FAFSA does not award you any funds. It is a form you fill out and the information on it is used by the school to determine what federal, State and institutional awards you may be eligible for It is the school that awards you the funds not FAFSA. There are no FAFSA funds.

    The financial aid office of the school has the final say when it comes to determining whether you are eligible for aid. It sounds like, based on the information you provided, they don't consider you to be independent for financial aid purposes. Remember it is not just having a child that makes you independent - you have to be providing more than 50% of the child's support. If your EFC was 0 (when your parents are excluded) then your income must be very low and you have no assets - how are you providing >50% support for a child? My guess is that you do not qualify as an independent student because you do not meet the requirement of providing the support.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 35,752Registered User Senior Member
    Agreed with others. On your FAFSA, you would also have indicated your income. If that was not sufficient to provide support to yourself and a dependent child, that would have been a red flag to verify your independent status. You have to be providing more than 1/2 of the support for that child (and yourself) to be considered independent. Just fathering a child would not make you an independent student for financial aid purposes.
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