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Financial Aid and Morals?

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Replies to: Financial Aid and Morals?

  • dkinseydkinsey Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Where does your parent stand on this issue?

    I believe my father is for this, although I don't know how my mother would stand; but I don't think she has much say in this issue.
  • dkinseydkinsey Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    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.

    All of my tuition would be covered, and I would receive nearly all of the refund (besides payments for health fees and possibly book store credit that needs to be paid off).

    My dad doesn't have any of our bills in his name, and after last checking there's nowhere to report any sort of her income on the FAFSA; that and the college and career adviser explicitly told me that I don't have to report anything about her since she's just his girlfriend.

    And I understand that I will need much more money in the future, as my CC has advised me to set up a way with the financial aid office on campus to limit how much of my PELL grant I am able to receive before transferring.
  • dkinseydkinsey Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    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.

    She doesn't 100% "know" that I'm getting a refund, but I believe her daughter received one, and she also expected some of hers. Should I ask her daughter how much her mom would take?

    He doesn't work nor contribute, but we have 5 people in the apartment:
    - My dad and his girlfriend
    - Her two daughters (Ages 24 and 12)
    - Myself

    Also, to maybe give more information, the 24 year old daughter doesn't work or attend school. She used to attend the CC I'll be going to, but she was placed on permanent probation due to low grades and repetitive dropping of classes.
  • dkinseydkinsey Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    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.

    I wouldn't be expecting her to pay for college-related fees whatsoever. That's why I'm receiving the refunds so that I am able to pay for things like books, minor fees (health services), transportation, etc.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 2,613 Senior Member
    edited March 10
    This story is missing some facts. If you want to know how much to pay, look at how much it would cost you to live in the real world. You are all living off one wage? Is there some kind of magic money you are not sure of the source of?
  • dkinseydkinsey Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    You are all living off one wage? Is there some kind of magic money you are not sure of the source of?

    Nope, just the one.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,899 Senior Member
    edited March 11
    See what others are saying? The grant is for college expenses but you've got a freebie on the homefront, not even a parent taking responsibility, just his gf. She's supporting 5, the male grown up isn't contributing. At this point, neither are you. That's where ethics comes in (not morals.) Why not offer $50/mo toward your food (or a lump sum?) Yes, get a job starting now (maybe work study later) and make this small contribution. Talk to FA to try to understand how they expect the refund to be used, but then be respectful of what this woman is doing for you and your Dad.
  • alooknacalooknac Registered User Posts: 1,273 Senior Member
    On the one hand, it's reasonable that you would pay something for room & board.

    On the other hand GF has told Dad it's OK for him to not work & so he is not helping with his own room & board, nor is he helping support you, his child.

    @dkinsey you're not suddenly going to change your family dynamics. See if you & GF can come to an agreement on a monthly amount. Most parents make this a token amount. I would suggest $50 to $75 per month, but you might set it up to pay in installments when you get your refunds.

    You should definitely get a summer job and hopefully a work study job during the school year. Keep as quiet as possible about how much you earn, but it's possible GF will want a cut of your earnings too, and you might have to increase the monthly amount. It will probably still be cheaper than moving out, but you might start watching postings for rooms to rent in case it comes to that.
  • CValleCValle Registered User Posts: 857 Member
    It seems to me that you and your dad have been getting a pretty good deal - GF is the primary breadwinner of the household and she has been willing to support both of you in addiiton to herself and her two daughters.

    Her relationship with your dad is what it is. If she is happy supporting him, that is fine. That is between them.

    However, you are now a grown adult. If she is no longer happy supporting you, that is also fine. If you want to keep living in the household, I think it is fair for her to expect some contribution from you towards room and board.

    If you want to move out, you would have those expenses as well.

    They have chosen not to get married and that has some impact on your financial aid and on how much support you can reasonably expect from her.

    Good luck.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,849 Senior Member
    Your Dad and the girlfriend are not married, so her income, which in my world is substantial (close to $100k/year) does not go on the FAFSA but she is supporting you. So the FAFSA doesn't really reflect your financial situation, but is of course perfectly legal so to speak.

    Though your Dad's girlfriend's support is not considered relevant to your life by the FAFSA, she is considering it relevant in terms of your refund, and wants a part of it.

    This leads me to ask, how much exactly does she pay to support you? Does your Dad have savings that he uses to support you or pay for some things, or is it all on the girlfriend? (The more the GF supports YOU the more misleading the FAFSA and I would double check some line items.)

    Okay so the main point I want to make is that I think it is your Dad's responsibility to pay back or contribute to his girlfriend, not yours. Once your Dad pays the girlfriend, you would have a more typical situation where a parent and child negotiate this kind of thing. This is between you and your Dad, not you and his GF, and as a result it is also between your Dad and GF. It should NOT be between you and the GF. Is that clear?

    Other main point, to repeat what others have said, is that this refund is for you in order to be able to pay for college. Us that as a criterion.

    Perhaps there is a person in the financial aid office you could talk to.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,167 Senior Member
    So...when you did your FAFSA, you put $0 income for your dad? Just be prepared to be selected for verification. You will need to show documentation of how your dad is paying your day to day living expenses with $0 income...and a family of how many??

    Sure, what you are doing is not against any guideline, but be prepared for the college to ask, because they probably will.

    Calculate your commuting expenses (parking permit or public transportation or whatever), book costs, and personal expenses.

    If you are receiving a full Pell, then each semester, how much will you get back? If all...then $2900 or so a semester. Seems like you should be able to give $100 to $150a month for your living expenses and still have some money left. Also, you should have a part time job to help yourself.

    Of course your dad’s GF knows you will be getting a Pell refund. Anyone with a $0 income would get the full Pell. She could google and find that out.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 7,528 Senior Member
    edited March 11
    @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.

    How is OP's FAFSA misleading? His dad has $0 income, and $0 income generates a $0 EFC.

    Which line items do you suggest OP check? There are only a few that ask about student untaxed income. Question 45g asks about food and housing allowances, but that refers to the military and clergy. Question 45i asks about untaxed income such as pensions and workers' comp. And 45j asks about money paid on the student's behalf for rent and utilities. None of these are relevant to OP. He isn't in the military or a member of the clergy, he doesn't appear to have any pensions or workers' comp benefits, and he doesn't have any rent or utility bills.

    According to kelsmom, money paid on a student's behalf isn't reported unless the bills are in the student's name. Unless this has changed, it doesn't sound like there's anything for OP to report.
    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.
  • gallentjillgallentjill Registered User Posts: 1,835 Senior Member
    edited March 11
    I agree with the many others here who have suggested working out a reasonable deal with your dad's GF. Its not crazy for her to ask for some contribution and hopefully, you can come to a workable agreement. Good luck.
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