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Where does your parent stand on this issue?
Since part of your tuition is already covered at the community college, you receive a refund of the extra Pell that is leftover, after all of the costs the school bills for are covered.
So some of that refund can be used to help with housing and food if you live with your dad and girlfriend.
If your dad's girlfriend pays for everything, did she pay bills that were in your dad's name? That money might have to be reported on the FAFSA.
Since she is not married to your dad, her income isn't reported, but she is supporting your dad and you.
Once you transfer from community college to a 4 yr university, the tuition expense will go up by a lot most likely, and you might have to get an apartment to live close by.
So try and save some of your extra Pell for later.
Why does your dad’s GF even know that you’re getting a refund. Don’t share that info with anyone..
That said, does your dad work and contribute to the household? If not, then likely the GF feels that with two adults living freely in her home, some of that money should go to her as room/board. However, first the money needs to go to books/supplies/transportation/necessities. If you do have a small bit leftover, then it is fair to give her *something* if she’s the one who’s feeding you and providing a roof over your head. It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t “need” the money. She’s not your parent so you should be providing for some/all of your room/board if your dad isn’t doing so.
I can see why she might be concerned. You're asking her to continue to pay for everything plus additional college related costs so you can go have fun, but she's already having trouble meeting the current expenses. Why do you think it's unreasonable for her to ask you to cover some of them? Learning that bills have to come first is a valuable lesson.
You are all living off one wage? Is there some kind of magic money you are not sure of the source of?
@compmom: how much exactly does she pay to support you? ....The more the GF supports YOU the more misleading the FAFSA and I would double check some line items.
Question (by Fish21): My son lives at home, but is considered an independent student on the FAFSA application and does not have to include parent financial information. Question 45J asks about for the amount of cash support received from a parent or other person whose financial information is not reported on this form. Talking with a financial aide counselor at his college he was told to figure up what his portion of room and board, utilities etc would be (again living at home with parents). What is the best way to determine a fair figure for the amount of cash support we provide him?
Answer (by @Kelsmom): You don't report the portion of room/board/utilities unless the bill is IN THE NAME of the student. The FAA should not be asking you to report the "value" for bills that are not in the student's name on the FAFSA.