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Financial Aid and Morals?

dkinseydkinsey Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
Hi, I’m a senior and high school who will be an undergrad this upcoming Fall at a nearby community college.

Regarding my FAFSA, my EFC is $0 and my PELL Grant estimate is ~6K a year. Split up over the course of 2 semesters, I’ll be getting ~1.5K a disbursement due to the community college offering free tuition through a program.

My dad’s girlfrend of ~10+ years is the only one working and mentioned that she wants some of my refund. For insight, she is a Director of Nursing as an LVN and makes ~4K twice a month. We’re not really struggling to make ends meet, but maybe 3 times a year we’re unable to pay something like the AT&T or gas bill.

My question is: Should I comply and give her money? Should I refuse? I see it as it’s mine and this could be the only chance in my life where I’m receiving generally free money that I can use towards school supplies, future investments, and being able to enjoy some things that I won’t be able to for awhile.

What would you do?
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Replies to: Financial Aid and Morals?

  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 2,637 Senior Member
    Your dad's girlfriend is the sole supporter of your family? No other contributors? Your dad doesn't work, have any income? You live in her house? For nothing? Where is your mother in this picture?
    If you don't live care of her grace and favor, what is your option?
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 4,553 Senior Member
    I think that you are going to need the money for college. Books can be very expensive. Laptops are pretty much defacto needed and some schools specifically say that laptops are **required** for all students (and you do need a case for the laptop and/or a backpack for books). There are going to be college related expenses that you haven't anticipated.

    The folks who give out Pell grants are not idiots -- they know what it costs to go to school and don't give out extra. I would not expect you to have much left over at all.

    I am not sure whether you could get into legal trouble or have your Pell grant recinded if you mis-use the funds, but it is a possibility to consider, and could be catastrophic.

    I would tell her you can't do it. Tell your dad the same thing privately when she is not around.
  • oboemom65oboemom65 Registered User Posts: 176 Junior Member
    edited March 10
    The first place the money should go is to pay for your books and supplies. But if you are living with them you could offer to pay a small amount of rent each month. If you are not living with them, and they are not providing any support to you while you are in school, then I don't think you owe her any money.

    Many low income students have family members ask for part of their FA, and many students give the money because they feel the owe it to their families, but many do not.

    As far as post #2, when I was in college I had a full scholarship that covered tuition, fees, and dorm room. I got a Pell Grant refund every semester. I used it to pay books, supplies, and food. But I also used it to pay sorority dues, clothes, and spring break. So no, if the OP gives some of the money to the girlfriend, she won't lose the Pell grant, especially if she is living with them, because even CCs have an amount that is calculated for room & board, so it would be a justifiable expense.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,316 Senior Member
    The money is for your college education first and foremost. You will have commuting costs of some sort, books...what happens if your computer breaks?

    This refunded Pell can also be put into a savings and can be used when you transfer to a four year college to complete your degree.

    Plus...this isn’t your parent...it’s a girlfriend. Where does your parent stand on this issue?

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,563 Senior Member
    The Pell grant is intended to help you attend college and pay for the things you need, including room and board. If you live at home, then using the money to pay rent isn't unusual.

    Come to an agreement on how much you'll contribute in advance. Do not get into the situation where they expect you to pay $1000 every month for 'something.'
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,625 Senior Member
    First of all. Pell is an entitlement, so you receive it if you qualify.

    It can be used for educational expenses like tuition and fees, books and living expenses.

    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.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,216 Forum Champion
    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.
  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint Registered User Posts: 3,892 Senior Member
    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.

    That money (if there is any) does not have to be reported on FAFSA. Unlike with the student, there is no FAFSA requirement that a parent report money received, or paid on their behalf (e.g., bills), that was not reported elsewhere on the form.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,316 Senior Member
    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.

    @mommdc

    No. It’s money paid on the STUDENT behalf that would need to be reported on the FAFSA. So...it would be bills IN the student name...not in the parent name.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 2,637 Senior Member
    I think the GF should write to Prudie and work out why she is supporting two unrelated to her, adults who don't contribute to the running of household LOL.
  • dkinseydkinsey Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Your dad's girlfriend is the sole supporter of your family? No other contributors? Your dad doesn't work, have any income? You live in her house? For nothing? Where is your mother in this picture?
    If you don't live care of her grace and favor, what is your option?

    My dad used to work, which is why I had to put that he made a little bit of money on my FAFSA. But, he quit after his girlfriend told him he could. This was maybe a couple years ago? She frequently has been getting new jobs that pay her more and more. Eventually it got to the point where she told him he could quit if he didn't like his job (he was working at Home Depot at the time). My mother doesn't financially support me, as she doesn't work and her boyfriend's income goes towards their bills and his children.
  • dkinseydkinsey Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    I would tell her you can't do it. Tell your dad the same thing privately when she is not around.

    That's a little intimidating.
  • dkinseydkinsey Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    especially if she is living with them

    I'm a guy! :')

    But thank you for the insight. I understand the concept of paying a form of "rent," but should I?
    One part that I was wondering is if I do give her money, how much should that be?
    How much is too much?
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