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Unusual FAFSA question

VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3484 replies34 threads Senior Member
D17 is very likely moving to 5 year MChem program at St. Andrews after she gets her year 2 marks this summer. She needs to average a 15 in her second year Chem courses, should be fine.
D20 is applying to some UK schools but could very well end up in US. This means that her freshman and sophomore year will be D17's year 4 and 5 in the MChem program.
So when I fill out the FAFSA for D20 do I have 2 undergrad students or one for each of those years?
Note this makes a 30K difference per year in FA at some colleges for D20. We get nothing with one kid in undergrad college, 30K with 2.
UK considers MChem to be an undergrad program.
16 replies
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Replies to: Unusual FAFSA question

  • thumper1thumper1 78069 replies3504 threads Senior Member
    I think what matters is what your younger kid’s colleges think....not what St. Andrews thinks, or any other UK school thinks.

    Contact a couple of colleges of interest to your younger daughter...and ask them.

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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3484 replies34 threads Senior Member
    I will to explain it and ask the question when the time comes. Her list is way to big to do so now.

    I believe it is undergrad because D17 will not be post grad at any point in years 4 and 5. She will never receive a bachelor's degree.
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  • thumper1thumper1 78069 replies3504 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2019
    @VickiSoCal at some schools, pharmacy students also never “get” a bachelors degree. Still...their last couple of years are viewed as graduate study because really, at that point, they are working on their graduate degrees.
    edited April 2019
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3484 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Not sure there is an equivalent in the US. We will pay tuition 5 years. She takes classes in years 1, 2, 3 and 5. In year 4 she will be on a supervised industrial placement. Degree is MChem, not MS.
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  • thumper1thumper1 78069 replies3504 threads Senior Member
    What does the M stand for?

    Also, this all might not make a dime of difference in need based aid awarding UNLESS your younger student is attending a college that meets full need for all accepted students. Your FAFSA EFC might be half...but that doesn’t mean your aid will be double because most colleges don’t meet full need for all.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3484 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Masters of Chemistry. Which is considered an undergrad degree.

    She could get a BSc in 4 years, also an undergrad degree, then a 1 year MSc which is considered post grad.
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  • thumper1thumper1 78069 replies3504 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2019
    I still think your best bet is to check with the colleges in question.

    A Masters of Chemistry would be viewed as a...masters degree by most places.

    Also, if sibling number 2 will be attending a Profile school (most schools meeting full need require the Profile...except Princeton and Chicago)...that student’s family contribution will be 60% of the family contribution calculation, not 50%.
    edited April 2019
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30285 replies59 threads Senior Member
    I think you need to ask the schools on your younger daughter’s list, the financial aid director, specifically, on how overseas programs are treated as siblings college for financial aid. St Andrews is a well known university so there would not be any issue in that regard but colleges do have their own methodologies in coming up with how they assess these things. It can vary.

    Do fill out some NPCs of schools on your daughters list to see how her having a sibling works, in general, for financial aid at those schools. Then discuss how international schools and programs are counted in their formulas.
    thumper1
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3484 replies34 threads Senior Member
    I filled out the NPC for Smith and Caltech.

    If I put in two kids in college we get 25K (Smith)-35K(Caltech) of aid a year. If one kid, zero at both. Of course, the last two years we get zero regardless, but it is something to consider.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24586 replies19 threads Senior Member
    I think she is an undergrad is she has no degree. My nephew did a 4 year engineering degree but is now in his 5th year. Next week he'll receive both his BS and MS and one of the reasons the school does that is to allow the 5th year at undergrad rates and so that the students qualify for the state subsidy for undergrads ($75/cr). At any time during the year if he had dropped out, he would have received his BS as all requirements were met last year (and he participated in graduation).

    That 4th year might be a problem is she is not registered for classes but on a co-op type program.
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  • thumper1thumper1 78069 replies3504 threads Senior Member
    In year 4 she will be on a supervised industrial placement

    I didn’t even think of this...yes...you want to be sure this counts as “a student in college”. It sounds like this is a year of externship or coop type arrangement. You want to be sure your younger sibling’s colleges see this as a student enrolled in an undergrad program.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3484 replies34 threads Senior Member
    She gets credit. Her adviser visits 2 or 3 times, we pay full tuition and she has to turn in reports of what she is doing.
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  • bgbg4usbgbg4us 1584 replies46 threads Senior Member
    That's a good question. I do remember when my daughter looked at architecture at kansas state - it's a 5 year masters program with no bachelors. If i'm right; they told me the fifth year was grad level prices; and grad level type student loans. I wonder how this would look if my younger kid was filing FAFSA when she would be in her 5th year; without the actual degree. no answers; good questions.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24586 replies19 threads Senior Member
    The rules for including someone in number in college are as follows:

    The student is always included.
    Other members of the household, except the parents, may be included if they are or will be enrolled at least half time in a program that leads to a college degree, certificate, or recognized education credential at a Title IV institution and for whom the family may reasonably be expected to contribute to their postsecondary education. (West Point and other service academies do not count as Title IV institutions, so siblings who are attending a service academy are not included in the number in college.)
    ... ....
    These definitions are based on Sections 474(b)(3), 475(f), 480(k) and 480(l) of the Higher Education Act.

    Graduate and professional students are automatically independent. The question then arises whether they can be included in household size and the number in college for a sibling's FAFSA. The answer is that they can, if they will receive more than half their support from the sibling's parents during the award year. They do not need to be living at home. It is inappropriate to exclude graduate students simply because they are independent. This situation is quite common among law students, where the parents are paying for law school.


    This would indicate the older child CAN be included if she remains a dependent household member and is at a Title IV institution.

    It is from http://www.finaid.org/educators/pj/householdsize.phtml
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35365 replies399 threads Senior Member
    You dont have to call all the possible colleges to clarify. You could just call a few and see what you learn. Then take it from there. Eg, Smith and Caltech, subce you have those NPCs in hand.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3484 replies34 threads Senior Member
    @twoinanddone Thank you. St. Andress is an approved Title IV institution.
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