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FAFSA and Grad School 45J

CUParent2CUParent2 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
I am helping my son on his FAFSA for graduate school for Fall of 2019. We are stuck on question 45J. He can apply as an independent and so the parent information does not need to be included. But on 45J they are asking if anyone provided support in 2017. In 2017 my son was a sophomore/junior, and my husband and I provided money for both tuition and his apartment. But we will not be providing any financial support when he is in graduate school. What has 2017 got to do with upcoming graduate school in 2019? It doesn't seem to make sense why they would need to know about support back when my son was an undergraduate when he is registering as an independent in the future. I am afraid if I list all of the support we included two years ago that they will assume we are helping in 2019. But I am also afraid to leave it out. Help?

Replies to: FAFSA and Grad School 45J

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,097 Senior Member
    I’m not sure it matters.

    Really...graduate school financial aid is not like undergraduate financial aid. It is largely merit aid based on the strength of the student application and the school’s desire to have the student as a member of the cohort. Aid is comprised of grants, assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, sometimes work study...and loans.

    There is really precious little need based aid for grad school some schools do give small need based grants. But not all do. There aren’t any subsidized federally funded loans for grad school either.

    What are you hoping your grad school student will get for need based financial aid? Really...there isn’t a lot of that.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,860 Senior Member
    Is support received from parents excluded by definition on 45j?
  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint Registered User Posts: 4,308 Senior Member
    Is support received from parents excluded by definition on 45j?

    Only if the parent providing the support is also reporting their financial information on the same FAFSA or if the support being provided is part of a legal child support agreement.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,905 Forum Champion
    Strange that we haven’t seen others post this question before (for new grad students who are now independent).


    How is this handled?

    Seems like there might also be an issue for newly married students who are independent now, but during prior years were dependent....and now won’t be getting $$ from parents.

    It would seem strange that a grad student might end up with a higher EFC simply because parents paid for undergrad school.

    That said, as Thumper has implied, grad schools aren’t going to “give more” or “give less” based on whatever a grad student’s EFC is. Nearly all grad students have 0 or very low EFCs. Their aid is mostly merit based. The rest is usually loans.

    @CUParent2 is your child applying for PhD or masters programs? Which schools?
  • kelsmomkelsmom Registered User Posts: 15,489 Senior Member
    I interpret it this way: For a yes in which the student was dependent, the parents were expected to provide support. For this reason, I do not expect the student to report that support on the subsequent FAFSA. In future years, the support provided to the student who was at that time independent for aid purposes would be reported.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,905 Forum Champion
    That’s what I was thinking. It’s very unlikely that the millions of students applying for grad school as “independents” are putting down tens of thousands of dollars of “support” for a year when they were an undergrad.

    Grad students typically have an EFC of 0 (or quite low).
  • kelsmomkelsmom Registered User Posts: 15,489 Senior Member
    Almost all of my grad students who are just leaving school have very low EFCs.
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