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FAFSA troubles with parental information and documentation

marvun22marvun22 Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
I've been trying to complete the FAFSA for months. But there has always been one problem with completing it: parental information. Every time I so much as mention the FAFSA, my dad instantly gets angry. He starts shouting that he should just quit his job so he can catch up on taxes (he doesn't have 2015 taxes completed yet) and other, more vulgar statements. College starts in about 1 month and 1 week for me. They're going to be asking for payment soon. I decided I couldn't stall any longer. For parental information, I just marked that I cannot provide it and that I do not have a special circumstance. I know that it makes me only eligible for unsubsidized loans, but that's all I can possibly do. I could ask my dad every night, get yelled at indirectly every night, and it still would not get done by the time tuition is due. But in the end, I finally got my FAFSA complete.

But here is the problem. I was told from an email from the FAFSA web site that I need to provide documentation to verify my situation (that I cannot provide parental information for a non-special circumstance). What kind of documentation could I even find/produce to verify this? I don't think I could write up a sheet that says, "My dad hates the FAFSA. He just refuses to complete it. Every time I mention it he just gets furious. There is no possible way I could get it completed otherwise if I didn't mark 'unable to provide parental information.'" Is there even a way for documentation to verify my "situation"?

I'm not just trying to complain about my dad. He's a hard worker. But I need a loan. And time is running out. I need to find a way to pay for college.

Replies to: FAFSA troubles with parental information and documentation

  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 6,049 Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    If I understand correctly, you want to take out the $5500 Stafford loan so you can pay for college. You are also hoping to be eligible for other money (?).


    1. Completing the FAFSA will qualify you for a Stafford loan. It will also determine whether you are low income and therefore eligible for a Pell grant. Are you low income? I think that the FAFSA needs to be 100% complete... With all parent info or required documentation.... The FAFSA needs to be complete in order to be processed..... Even for the Stafford loan.

    2. Some schools require the FAFSA for merit aid or institutional grants. Is this the case for you? Are you expecting this?

    3. What is the college? Did you get a merit scholarship and you need a $5500 Stafford loan to pay the balance?

    4. And..... Are your parents contributing anything at all? Even if your FAFSA is completed, YOU can only borrow $5500. Where is the rest of the money coming from? For example.... if you are attending an in-state school that costs $20,000 a year..... Where is the remaining $14,500 coming from? Your parents? Are you Pell grant eligible? If so, you will still have a balance left to pay.

    5. You need to call FAFSA and ask what they need.

    6. Have you discussed college costs and paying for college with your parents?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 65,022 Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    How much Loan money do you need?

    Other threads indicate you are hoping to someday go to medical school.

    1. Many, if not most, medical schools will also require the parent financial information on the fafsa...up to a certain age. So...if your dad won't do the fafsa NOW, will he do it when you are in medical school?

    2. If you plan to attend medical school, you need to keep your loan debt to a bare minimum.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,224 Senior Member
    Is there a neutral intermediary (family friend, uncle, etc.) who can have a non-judgemental conversation with your dad to explain that unless he cooperates with the paperwork you are likely not going to college? Unless your plan is to live at home, work full time and go to classes part time, it is not realistic to think that you can get a college education without your parents help (even if that help is just a roof over your head and filling out the forms so you can qualify for a loan).

    Is there someone your dad trusts who can sit him down to explain your situation? And perhaps also explain that not filing 2015 does not make his tax obligation go away.... it just means penalties, the hassle of late filing (unless he filled out an extension back in April) etc. And if he's getting a refund- a delay on his refund!
  • RoaringMiceRoaringMice Registered User Posts: 325 Member
    It is possible to check "did not file" re: taxes on the FAFSA. Can you do that? And if you do, would your dad give you his parental info (such as his W-2) so you could at least complete the parent part of the FAFSA for him?
  • kelsmomkelsmom Super Moderator Posts: 14,612 Super Moderator
    If the father was required to file 2015 taxes but has not, the financial aid office cannot award aid.

    OP, you will only be able to get an unsubsidized loan of $5,500 freshman year without parental information ... but to get that, your parents will have to certify that they are not providing you any assistance (including health insurance, living at home, etc). This is generally not the case, and many students are not able to document that this is really the case. Unfortunately, in order to get aid, your dad is going to have to file his 2015 taxes (and he should also file 2016, since you'll need those next year). Blossom as some good suggestions for how to approach your father.
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 9,351 Senior Member
    Is your dad self employed? Or does he get a W2 as an employee? Unless he is self employed or not having enough taxes withheld from his paycheck, why does he think he will owe taxes?

    Can he get some advice from a tax preparer to see what filing 2015 and 2016 now would entail?

    If your family is truly low income, he might even get some money back from a tax credit.

    Do you know how much he made? Can you run an EFC calculator on the Collegeboard website and see what your EFC would be?

    I agree that you need to talk to dad calmly about how your tuition and other costs will be covered.

    If dad is worried about back taxes, then he might not have any money to contribute, in which case you might have to work and save money to go to community college.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,722 Senior Member
    Call your school's financial aid office and describe your situation. There is also an assistance line at the department of education.

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 65,022 Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    It is possible to check "did not file" re: taxes on the FAFSA. Can you do that? And if you do, would your dad give you his parental info (such as his W-2) so you could at least complete the parent part of the FAFSA for him?

    @RoaringMice not good advice...it sounds like the parent was required to file...if he puts that the parent didn't file, he will need to complete a non-filers statement...and the jig will be up. So sure...at this point the dad did not file...but for financial aid consideration...this isn't optional if required by the IRS.

    And...Putting false information knowingly on a financial aid document, and getting aid therefore, is considered FRAUD (look that up...it's a crime).

    I feel badly that this student is caught in this situation.

    And if he didn't file...he would have to show that he wasn't required to file.

    Where is the mother in all of this? Did the parents file a joint return? Are the parents divorced...and is the student living primarily with his father?

    Additionally...at this point in time, it's likely the only aid this student would receive is the $5500 Direct Loan, and any portion of the Pell to which he is entitled. The deadline for applying for institutional aid has likely LONG since passed.

    And as noted above...if 2015 taxes were required for the dad...they MUST be filed or financial aid cannot be disbursed.

    And once more...where is your MOM during these discussions?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,683 Senior Member
    This is not going to work out well.

    He needs to start at a community college and pay his way through. The reason the dad is getting angry is because every time the subject gets brought up it reminds him that he has been delinquent in filing his taxes. And that makes him angry. He's not going to file for whatever reason he has. Maybe he owes taxes and he doesn't have the money to pay

    Student, you're not going to get a loan.

    Do you have high stats? If so, take a gap year and reapply where you'd get huge merit...and don't take any classes anywhere.

    If your stats aren't high enough for huge merit, then get a job and pay for a CC yourself.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,224 Senior Member
    There is an analysis (maybe one of the CPA's can link us to it) which shows that most people who neither filed nor filed an extension are actually getting a refund. So the reasons for not filing (which are many and varied) are usually not that the person doesn't have the cash to pay the tax liability... it's often some other "thing" they just don't want to confront or deal with, and that by kicking the can down the road they don't have to deal with it.

    OP- we are all very sympathetic. But you are either going to have to find a third party who can discuss this rationally with your dad- or find a community college where you can work part-time and pay the tuition out of your earnings. Big hug to you- this is for sure challenging.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 65,022 Senior Member
    Where is the OPs MOM? Did I miss that piece of information?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,683 Senior Member

    I am an upcoming freshman at college who aspires to earn an MD. I am planning to work summers (starting next summer), and I figured that it would be a win-win situation if that job could be in the medicine industry. But it doesn't seem that easy. Most, if not all of the jobs, require either experience or training/certification. I have neither. I am debating completing an EMT-basic course during my first semester. But even then, where I live, there seem to be virtually no openings for an EMT.

    My parents will probably pay fully for 2-3 of my college years.

    Is an ACT 29 your highest score or did you retest?

    Recently you said that your parents will pay for 2-3 years of college. Did you just assume that or have they actually said this?

    And you're still premed?
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,008 Senior Member
    Thumper, the op hasn't been on this thread since you asked.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,722 Senior Member
    Starting at CC only puts the problem off for a couple years. What about after OP finishes the two years of gen eds?
    Where does the money for junior and senior year come from?
    If loans are never possible, OP needs to start and finish at a CC and get a two year career certificate or something.
  • raclutraclut Registered User Posts: 3,321 Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    Previous thread provides some background information. In that OP states that parents will be paying 2 to 3 years of tuition.
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