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Independent on FAFSA but Dependent on parents....question about money paid on my behalf?

marblewhymarblewhy Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
So, I am applying for the fafsa. I actually already submitted my application but now I think I made a mistake?
So I'm waiting until it's done processing so it lets me go back and make a correction.

Anyway I'm 23 years old, turning 24 this year, so on the fafsa it listed me as independent. I've never used financial aid before. My parents paid my college tuition 100% out of pocket so far as they advised me not to apply for financial aid and that they'd cover everything.

They are struggling however, things have gotten rough recently this year, and I don't want them to cover my tuition any longer if it's hard on them. And they agreed that if I can possibly get any aid then to try.

Anyway, on the forum it listed something about money being paid on my behalf. I put zero, but I guess I didn't totally understand the question. I don't really have any bills in my name. I'm under my parents family plan for basically everything. (cell phone, insurance, i have no car in my name, etc.)

I think the only thing under my name is probably tuition bills. But they always paid those for me. Do I list that?

I also don't work or anything, so I put zero for income. I'm worried this will look really odd, or if I'm doing something wrong.
But it's the truth.

Replies to: Independent on FAFSA but Dependent on parents....question about money paid on my behalf?

  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,763 Senior Member
    A couple of things, you should definitely get a job this summer to help your parents pay for school. Also see if your parents would qualify for the American Opportunity tax credit for paying your tuition up until now. Do you know if they claimed that on their tax return?

    I'm not sure what all you have to include as "money paid on your behalf", I'm hoping someone else knows more about that.

    How much does your school cost and how much longer do you have until you graduate?
  • marblewhymarblewhy Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I have no idea if they claimed that on their tax return, but I'll ask them.

    My school costs around $3,500 a year it's the reason they've been able to pay out of pocket this far. I've been there for a while since I had trouble figuring out what I wanted to do. But I recently decided to enroll in the bachelor's program they offer since they just started offering a couple new ones that I heard good things about from friends who enrolled in them. I only have one year left and I'll have my bachelors degree.

    And yes, I really want to get a job this summer. I've been looking for so long. (since 2013 actually) I hate feeling like a burden on my parents. I have crippling social anxiety, so I think that's the reason why I keep failing my interviews, it always comes across. But I'm going to keep trying.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 3,591 Senior Member
    Well, for dependent students, "money paid on your behalf" is money from sources other than the parent (grandma, rich uncle, or a non-custodial parent - someone whose income is not already on the FAFSA). It doesn't include money paid by the parent since the parent's income and assets are already listed in other places.

    But, I have no idea how it works for independent students. My guess is that since the FAFSA asks about the prior year, and you were dependent in the prior year, you would not have to list it. But, I would definitely ask your college financial aid office for advice.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,590 Senior Member
    It looks like you are a commuting student. Are there any jobs on your college campus? Check the job boards and the career center there. You just need an entry level position. There should be work there in the college library shelving books that wouldn't require much social contact at all. It's also a great workout if you do it a couple hours a day, and easy to fit around your class schedule during the school year. For a job with more human interaction, there should be something in the college gym checking equipment in and out, in food service, or at the library circulation desk. Some of those might be work-study positions at your college, but some also will be open to any student.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 35,962 Super Moderator
    If the cost is only $3500/year you should be able to pay out of pocket or using a direct loan. There should be no problem.
This discussion has been closed.