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FAFSA/ Financial Aid Issue


Replies to: FAFSA/ Financial Aid Issue

  • Iron MaidenIron Maiden Registered User Posts: 2,062 Senior Member
    Dependency override is really your best option for need-based aid. No one can force your father to give his information for FAFSA.

    You can't be declared independent you don't qualify. Other kids in your shoes go to schools that will give them substantial merit aid, wait until they are 24, or work full-time and go part-time. Another option is enlisting in the military and using the GI Bill benefits.

    I'm sure from your end it does not seem fair but the majority of people do not go away to a school and graduate in 4 years.
  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 30,020 Super Moderator
    "Would I still qualify for an override?"

    Read the rules, and if you think you might have a chance to qualify, ask the schools; we out here can't know from your descriptions alone. Tell the schools your story, see what happens. Each school will decide independently, though the same answer should be expected.
  • DenisRSDenisRS Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    Those other options aren't options. It does seem unfair from my end. Especially since I plan to go to graduate school, so even if I go to college straight out of high school I'll still only finish by the time I'm 32-34, I cannot wait another 4 years, and I cannot spend 4-5 years in the military. I suppose I'll have to bet it all on a dependency override, which scares me. I'll also try and find a homeless shelter once I turn 18 and get kicked out and try and get declared an unaccompanied youth, which I am.
  • Iron MaidenIron Maiden Registered User Posts: 2,062 Senior Member
    Once you are 18 you are legally an adult, not a youth.

    Best if luck on the dependency overrides but you do need a plan B and C. Keep in mind that most students take one of the options I outlined. You may but like it but it is reality.

    What are your grades and test scores.
  • DenisRSDenisRS Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    I will be enrolled in high school, wouldn't that make me youth still?

    And like I mentioned in my description, I have the toughest schedule I can possibly have, at the largest high school in Oregon. It's a rather poor school, not high level at all, and I actually had to go through administration to have the schedule I have; 2 AP Classes, 2 College classes for which I will take the AP test, so they are equivalent to AP, and the rest are advanced core classes such as Adv Chem and Adv English III. I will take 5 more AP classes next year, and I took 1 last year on which I scored a 5. I expect a 5 on every AP test I have yet to take, with the possibility of a 4 on especially difficult AP's such as physics. I am #1 in my class and school both in terms of difficulty and GPA, with a 4.0 UW, and I'm not sure about weighted. Im 1/750+. My EC aren't spectacular, but I am on the Rocket Club, I volunteer at OMSI (Oregon Science Museum), I also work to support myself and play in my church orchestra. As for test scores, I am currently preparing for my first SAT's, and am expecting a 2100+ (an estimate from the practice tests I've taken and such). Essentially, for my area and my situation, my academics very good, my EC's average, and I am a Romanian minority (2001 immigrant).
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 22,206 Super Moderator
    Actually as long as he is still in HS after he turns 18, he can qualify as an unaccompanied minor. As long as he is in the shelter system on or after 7/1/2013 (right before his senior year)

    See page 9

    Answer “Yes” if you received a determination at any time on or after
    July 1, 2011, that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
    or, for question 57, at risk of being homeless.

    • “Homeless” means lacking fixed, regular and adequate housing. You
    may be homeless if you are living in shelters, parks, motels or cars, or
    are temporarily living with other people because you have nowhere
    else to go. Also, if you are living in any of these situations and fleeing
    an abusive parent you may be considered homeless even if your
    parent would provide support and a place to live.

    “Unaccompanied” means you are not living in the physical custody
    of your parent or guardian.

    • “Youth” means you are 21 years of age or younger or you are still
    enrolled in high school as of the day you sign this application.

    Answer “No” if you are not homeless or at risk of being homeless, or do
    not have a determination. You should contact your financial aid office
    for assistance if you do not have a determination but believe you are an
    unaccompanied youth who is homeless or are an unaccompanied youth
    providing for your own living expenses who is at risk of being homeless.
    The financial aid administrator at your college may require you to
    provide a copy of the determination if you answered “Yes” to any of
    these questions.


    Denis, keep in mind, if you are not a US citizen/Permanent resident, you will not be eligible to file the FAFSA (making everything else moot for federal aid). You would be dependent on receiving merit or institutional aid

    There are social workers in the shelter that are obligated to contact the school and ensures that he attends school. The school will record that he is a student in temporary housing making him automatically eligible for free/reduced lunch and the benefits that come with it (fee waivers for SAT/Applications).
  • DenisRSDenisRS Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    I am not a citizen, but I am a permanent resident, and have my alien ID card.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,422 Senior Member
    Is your father a legal resident or a citizen? If he is a legal resident, and his behavior is considered to be criminal, he can be deported after he is convicted. Would it be worth it to your siblings to investigate that possibility? If one of the adult siblings is considered to be sufficiently competent, that sibling could be named legal guardian of the ones who are still minors. Talk with a lawyer or social services and find out your options.
  • PoppyseedzPoppyseedz Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    Hi there,

    I work in a high school with many students in similar situations. The McKinney- Vento act is very strong legislation. It supports students in transition/homeless. Your school should review your circumstance to see if you qualify (sounds like you do). Don't be afraid of homeless title. Your school then provides information on how they classified you as independent and homeless. This will allow financial aid to work with you without parent info. The key is for your guidance counselor to really know your story. This will help with any follow up questions or calls. We do this a lot.
  • DenisRSDenisRS Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    Happymom; Well that's exactly what we don't want. None of my older siblings would be able to drop everything and care for my little siblings, and we don't want my father to lose custody or they will be placed on foster homes.

    Poppyseed; Yes that is sort of what I plan on doing now, seeking the homeless title. I will google that legislature you're talking about! Thank you!
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,339 Senior Member
    But Denis...at this point you are NOT homeless. You have a home. Perhaps someone will correct me, but I don't think these things apply if you CHOOSE to be homeless when in fact you have a parent who is supporting you.

    Has child protective services ever been involved in your situation? What evidence can you provide that will support your claims?

    I do hope you consider all options, including working and going to college. Are your grades/SAT scores such that you are a competitive admit to schools that meet full need? If so, look for schools with good guaranteed merit aid.
  • DenisRSDenisRS Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    Thumper, I am by no means choosing to be homeless. Haven't you read through previous posts? I have been kicked out before, and the only reason I have a home now is because my father got in trouble for it because I am a minor. I do not have a parent who supports me, I support myself, and I am living under my fathers roof until I am 18, after which he has already set his mind in kicking me out. My father is by no means supportive, as I mentioned in my initial post, my mother committed suicide because she couldn't handle him anymore, and being close to a fundamentalist Christian, she didn't see divorce as an option. And child services has been involved, a case was opened twice on my family, unfortunately every time me and my older siblings decided it would be best to cover everything up from them so that my younger siblings could remain together. I'm not sure if child services still has any files on our situation or anything. But my school counselor knows my situation relatively well, as do a couple of my teachers, so I have people who can absolutely confirm my story, it is only a matter of getting official documents to confirm the same.

    As for my grades/SAT's, I have not yet taken my SAT's, however my grades are superb, as I mentioned in a previous post, I am #1 in my class/school at the largest high shool in Oregon. Both in terms of GPA and schedule difficulty, and estimating from a few practice tests I have taken, I will get around 2100 on my first SAT, and hopefully higher on my second, after a summers worth of studying.

    And I am not really considering other options, I will apply ED to Amherst (or an equally competitive LA college, such as Williams), and ED2 to Reed. I don't believe it is fair to lower my standards because of my fathers actions, I have worked too hard to give up now due to some legal issues.
  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 30,020 Super Moderator
    Denis, please persue dependency override with the schools you like. It *sounds* like you would have a convincing case. I would call the financial aid offices as a starting point. Tell them what's going on; they'll tell you how to proceed.
  • DenisRSDenisRS Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    Thank you vonlost, if I cannot be declared homeless and apply independent, I will peruse dependency override. I just want to try and apply independent if I can, in case the dependency override option won't work. Because I won't be applying till fall of this year, that's quite a ways away, I want to be doing SOMETHING to prepare right now, and trying to gather official documents/try to be declared homeless will help with the dependency override even if I can't apply independent.
  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom Registered User Posts: 1,834 Senior Member
    Just understand that if you try to get yourself declared independent, it might open the door for Social Services to be involved again. If they investigate, it may be a matter of choosing between your desire to attend Amherst, and the desire to keep the younger siblings together. If Social Services is involved and decides it is not an abusive situation, Amherst (and Reed) may not be likely to give you an override. If they declare you independent, it will likely be because they decide he is abusive, and not competent to care for you or your siblings. Are you prepared to face that choice?

    Yes, it is a hard choice, but you will not be the first or last to face it. The system doesn't seem fair from your perspective, but you know how the system works. Many students face a situation where their parents are not willing to support them - and it is far worse for someone with wealthy parents. It's particularly lousy for the student whose custodial parent remarries into money, because the step parent often feels no obligation toward that student, but causes the student to have a high EFC. It is what it is.

    As others have suggested, keep an open mind regarding schools that will give you a full ride based on your stats. If you're planning on graduate school, a solid degree from one of those schools will serve you well. Quite frankly, even if Amherst or Reed were to give you a full ride, there are expenses that won't be covered - you are likely to be a fish out of water in that atmosphere. I know a few students of significant need who went to top LAC's and it was a struggle to fit in - not only can't you afford pizza every friday night, but you struggle just to afford appropriate clothing and school supplies (one started a program where other students donate unused notebooks and other supplies at the end of each semester, so other students wouldn't struggle the way she did). We all understand this is your dream, but you need to understand the downside to independence.
This discussion has been closed.