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Independent Student with no income

motrcoltmotrcolt Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
I'm filling out the fafsa for the first time as an independent student. In 2015 I did not have a job and have no income for the entire year. I know that if I fill out the fafsa with no income that I will be questioned on how I will be able to pay for school. How I see it I have 2 options

1. Put 0 income and fill out my parents tax information
2. Put the 30,000 my parents paid for college bills in 2015 as other income.

Which one am I supposed to do? If I put my parents income on my fafsa as an independent student will I get the same estimated family contribution as when I was a dependent student putting down their tax information? Or will my estimated family contribution go down?

Student bills paid for by the parents are something that can be put down as other income correct?

Replies to: Independent Student with no income

  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 8,958 Senior Member
    @kelsmom, can you help?
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,094 Senior Member
    You are now independent. You answer the questions asked. How much did you EARN? $0. FAFSA won't inquire how you paid for things, but the school may. At that time you say your parents supported you in 2015.

    It is not at all unusual for a 22 year old to be supported by parents, and not unusual for a 24 year old to be independent.

  • dogdemondogdemon Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I had to fill out this same form too, and had to put that I do get Social Security and SNAP/EBT as my only income. along with paying rent to live at home with mom and dad. I've always been curious how this worked out if say I lost my SSDI and SNAP/EBT ever in the future. I think you will still get aid since you will in fact have financial need then as well.

    Also @twoinanddone is correct. The form does ask what you earned, and it says to put 0 and not to leave blank whatsoever. I'm 25 years old and pay for my own food, clothes, etc. There is a spot on my colleges form where you explain that your parents supported you in 2015.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Super Moderator Posts: 14,530 Super Moderator
    edited March 21
    The first year as an independent students presents some issues in terms of what to report. Because the federal formula expects parents to pay for the dependent student's schooling, I do not expect a newly-independent student to claim as other income the money a parent paid for school for the last year he was dependent. If the parent pays money for the year in which a student is considered independent for financial aid purposes, then it definitely should be reported as other income for that year. Other aid officers could interpret that differently, because there is no actual regulation covering this - it becomes a matter of interpretation/policy & the school has to treat all students in a similar situation using the same interpretation/policy.
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