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This question is for a very good friend of mine. I will soon have 3 in college and have been filling out FAFSA and CSS Profile forms for years and will share my expertise with navigating the college application/financial aid forms with her. Her boys are will be doing college apps in a couple of years. They are bright kids, perhaps able to score good ACT scores and get decent financial aid packages from private schools.(our in-state publics don't give much financial aid) The facts are these:
1. 4 boys, all hopefully heading to college in a few years.
2. mom is custodial parent (sole custudy of 3 of the 4 boys). She will make $60,000 a year on average (could fluctuate from $40,000-$80,000). Basically no assets. She is single.
3. dad loves to stir up trouble whenever he can and if there's a form mom would like him to fill out he would refuse.. He makes about $20,000-$40,000 a year (estimated from what she knows). No assets.
4. dad does not file tax returns. They divorced 3 years ago. Before they married 20 years ago the dad did not file. My friend had to help him clean up his tax mess early in their marriage. Taxes were filed during the marriage. Now it looks as though he is up to his old tricks since letters are arriving from the IRS (to friend's home since dad didn't change his IRS address) saying "where are the tax forms?" He has remarried and his spouse does not work outside the home (she has one child). Dad does not pay child support. At the time of the divorce he was unemployable (addiction) and my friend just wanted out and wanted sole custody and did not push for support. Now she is taking steps to have him legally responsible for paying child support.
I've always had my children apply to a wide assortment of schools and made sure to include schools where they would probably get good financial aid offers.
If my friend's boys end up with good GPAs and test scores (which they are certainly capable of) what happens if deadbeat dad refuses to supply any financial information (even if there is a court order requiring it...........legalities don't faze him) for the Profile? I know private schools don't use all the information the Profile requires.
If, all things considered, these boys could get a better deal at a private school than the in-state publics (who don't give out much financial aid at all), I would hate for dad to mess up yet another thing in their lives.