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FAFSA Independent?

perilousperilous 140 replies27 threads Junior Member
If child is citizen and parent is not, and parent is "undocumented", literally broke and not working, any recommendations on how to complete FA (FAFSA) forms? (For example, assume a "Dreamer" parent.) Is that a "red flag" in any way and may impact eligibility, especially at a private school with money? In other words, should parent be shown as SSN 000-00-0000 (as per apparent FAFSA instructions), or would it better for child to be taken over by a "legal guardian" uncle (US citizen) and submit that way?

Any/all thoughts welcome....not sure what to advise....
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Replies to: FAFSA Independent?

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24975 replies20 threads Senior Member
    It is the parents (with the SNN 000-00-0000) and the parent's income and assets that are used. If the parent is broke with no income or assets, that's what the parent puts down, and will probably mean the most in financial assistance. Expect to be asked how the parent affords to live and pay bills, but if the answer is that relatives provide food and a roof, that's the answer. Just because something is a 'red flag' doesn't mean it is not the truth. It means it will be questioned so have your documents and receipts ready.

    The Uncle only becomes the guardian for FAFSA if he is, in fact, the legal guardian for the child, appointed through a court order (not just an agreement made by the parents and uncle).
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  • thumper1thumper1 78488 replies3537 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019

    Are you asking about yourself or your own child?

    If the student is under age 24, there is no likelihood they will be independent for financial aid purposes. It doesn’t matter how poor or unable to pay the parents are. It doesn’t matter where they live. It doesn’t matter if they are documented...or not. It doesn’t matter if they are U.S. citizens or not. The parent income and assets must be included on the FAFSA (and if required by a college...the Profile) forms.

    You can’t just be “taken over” by an uncle to leverage financial aid. Guardianship is a legal thing, and must be done within guidelines. You can’t just say your uncle is your guardian. That’s not how it’s done.

    If you are an under 24 year old college student and you declare yourself as independent on the financial aid forms....be prepared to be selected for verification. It’s going to happen.

    Please...please be honest in how you complete your financial aid application forms. If you have parents...list them.

    Understand also that getting need based aid by knowingly providing inaccurate information is considered fraud. Look that up. It’s a crime. You could lose your aid, offer of admission, be fined. It’s a crime to provide fraudulent information for financial aid gain.
    edited July 2019
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  • skieuropeskieurope 41076 replies7721 threads Super Moderator
    Closing thread. For many reasons, not the least of which is privacy concerns, "Asking For A Friend" posts are not allowed. Users are allowed to ask questions for themselves or their dependents. Everyone else needs to ask their own questions.
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