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HELP!! What should I do?

WerewolfKittiesWerewolfKitties 0 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1 New Member
Hopefully someone can help me.

I’m currently a student at a small college. I filled out the FAFSA form recently. However, My college wants me to verify my fafsa application. I filled out my college forms but they found an issue.

my parents had been filing separated. I had never questioned it before because I didn’t know what it meant and the last time they asked me to verify they didn’t have a problem with the answers I put.

This year was different though. I made a mistake on the form saying that they were divorced. They sent it back for correction and I put that they were separated. Then they asked me if both parents lived together. My parents told me to say no because then it wouldn’t be considered separation. So I just told them that my dad has another property (which he actually does).

Now they want proof of residency for my dad but we don’t have any since he’s been renting out that property.

I want to call my school and tell them the truth but I also don’t want to lose my aid or face jail time.

What should I do?
7 replies
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Replies to: HELP!! What should I do?

  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4297 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,313 Senior Member
    It seems from your post that your parents are living in the same place, but it's not clear what the actual status of their marriage is. Do they really consider themselves to be separated, and live their lives that way, even if they reside in the same residence?

    What should you do? Always tell the truth.
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  • thumper1thumper1 73033 replies3180 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,213 Senior Member
    Then they asked me if both parents lived together. My parents told me to say no because then it wouldn’t be considered separation. So I just told them that my dad has another property (which he actually does).

    So your parents wanted you to outright lie on the FAFSA and verification forms for financial aid gain? And your parent lives with you...not someplace else?

    Even if your parents are divorced, you would be required to put both on your FAFSA form if they are residing together.

    Do you understand that getting aid by falsifying info is considered fraud? Look that up...it’s a crime. You have been caught in a lie, and you need to be honest.

    Understand also, that your school knows this now...and it’s very possible that aid for this school year might be considered fraudulently received, and will need to be repaid.

    Moral of the story....always tell the truth.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11239 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 11,268 Senior Member
    Your parents might be missing out on education and other tax credits as well, if they are indeed still married but filing married separate instead of joint on their income tax forms.

    But you need to be honest on your financial aid forms, and if you hope to get aid for this next school year you need to get this all straightened out asap, it's late in the year for completing the FAFSA.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 8848 replies473 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9,321 Senior Member
    It’s very unfair for your parents to put you in this position. They need to be involved. I suggest your parents contact the FA office at your school to try and clarify the situation. I doubt anyone is going to put you in prison, but I think your parents are likely going to have to pay back the money. You need to get this sorted out right away.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 8430 replies305 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,735 Senior Member
    From FAFSA at ed.gov:
    Divorced or Separated Parents Who Live Together
    If your divorced parents live together, you’ll indicate their marital status as “Unmarried and both legal parents living together," and you will answer questions about both of them on the FAFSA form.

    If your separated parents live together, you’ll indicate their marital status as “Married or remarried" (NOT “Divorced or separated"), and you will answer questions about both of them on the FAFSA form.

    Since your parents live in the same house you should have been including both of their incomes and assets on the FAFSA. That includes the rental property and the income generated from it if the forms ask about it.

    You can't tell the school your dad lives someplace else because he doesn't. You have to correct the FAFSA and include both parents' income and assets. The school will calculate your aid based on the new information. How much aid you lose depends on how much more the combined income is than what was reported and how much the rental property is worth.

    I agree that your parents need to get involved and correct this. If they do nothing, your financial forms are incomplete and you'll get no aid at all. That may trigger verification of previous years and if you can't provide the information they want you'll have to repay the grants you received. You wouldn't be allowed to enroll until that's done.

    How many years have you been in school? If your parents can't afford this college if both incomes and assets are used to calculate aid you really need to look for something you can afford. Transferring is much easier as a sophomore or junior than as a senior.
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  • thumper1thumper1 73033 replies3180 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,213 Senior Member
    edited June 12
    And don’t forget to include that rental property on your FAFSA as well. Since you said your dad has another property, the school will likely inquire about that too...if you don’t include it.

    ETA...include both the equity in the property which will be an asset, and the rents collected which will be income.
    edited June 12
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  • kelsmomkelsmom 15411 replies98 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15,509 Senior Member
    Did you provide income info for only one parent? Have your parents been filing as Married Filing Separately, or did one/both file as Head of Household?
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