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Please help me!

ririalex19ririalex19 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
I am enrolled in college already. It is my first year and we are almost near exams. I noticed that I made a mistake on my 2018-2019 fafsa. Actually a huge mistake, I did not put my mom income on the fafsa. I did not know I had to because my parents do their taxes separately and my dad is the one that claims me, so in my head I thought I only had to put him. I was reading online that the fines can be 20,000 to 5 years in jail, I know I made a mistake but I didn’t purposely try to lie. I just had no help filling out the fafsa. I was the first in my family to do it. So please help I can’t pay 20,000 i do not have that type of money.

Replies to: Please help me!

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,244 Senior Member
    You need to go to your school financial aid office and discuss this with them.
  • Madison85Madison85 Registered User Posts: 10,595 Senior Member
    Are your parents married?
    How much did your mom earn?
    What was your FAFSA EFC?

    Try to calm down and concentrate on studying for your final exams.

    Make an appointment with the financial aid office (perhaps wait until finals are over).
  • ririalex19ririalex19 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Sorry I just read about this, about the fines and jail time and it freaked me out a bit... my dad claims me on his taxes and my mom doesn’t, they are not married but we are living together... my mom only made 20,000 that year and my EFC was 0... when I was filling it out it made me really confuse.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,194 Forum Champion
    How much did your dad earn? Their combined income may give you an EFC that is greater than 0, so you may need to pay some of your Pell Grant back to the school.
  • ririalex19ririalex19 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    My dad made 34,000
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,244 Senior Member
    edited December 5
    please go talk to your financial aid office. Perhaps you can get an appointment righ after your finals end.
  • KKmamaKKmama Registered User Posts: 2,949 Senior Member
    You won’t go to jail for an honest mistake. You will have to refund money that you weren’t entitled to but the odds of being punished are slim to none.

    But it’s good you caught it before someone else did so you can honestly say it was in error.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,538 Senior Member
    You may also have claimed a family of 2 and you are a family of 3 (or more). If these are your bio parents, yes, you have to claim the income from both.

    The FA can help you fix it.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,194 Forum Champion
    My dad made 34,000

    And mom made $20k.

    Do you have any siblings?

    How many people did you put down as being in the household on fafsa?

    With an income of $54k, you won’t have a 0 EFC, so you will have to return some of your aid. Are you prepared to do that?

  • ririalex19ririalex19 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I did get some refund money so I can just use that to pay it off, And I have 2 other brothers so we are a family of 5. It really was an honest mistake and i am going to set up an appointment. I rather tell the truth then get punished after... thank you guys so much!
  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 5,393 Senior Member
    edited December 6
    If the parents aren't married, does the student have to report the mother's income at all? (Assuming they do not live in a common law state.)

    ETA: I've looked for the answer but am finding conflicting information.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,244 Senior Member
    IIRC, if the parents are living in the same home with the student, it doesn’t matter if they are married...or not....both parents incomes need to be on the FAFSA.

    @kelsmom

    Regardless...the best place for this student to get the answers is at her financial aid office.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,194 Forum Champion
    If the parents aren't married, does the student have to report the mother's income at all? (Assuming they do not live in a common law state.)


    Doesn’t matter if not married. If the parents live in the same household, they both must be on FAFSA.

    The change was made a few years ago to capture situations where parents were in committed but not married relationships, or where parents were faking to be separated.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,538 Senior Member
    Being in a common law marriage state has nothing to do with it. In order to have a common law marriage, the couple has to declare themselves married and if they meet the requirements, they are married. Not just living together but married.

    OP said the parents are not married. They are not married even if in a common law state. FAFSA requires that if they are bio parents living together, both incomes must be included.
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