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Who to tell when FAFSAs are filed assuming 2 kids in college, but 1 only completes 1 of 6 semesters

WaretownNJWaretownNJ 0 replies1 threads New Member

I have two children; Claire, the younger and healthy child and Arthur, the older and not very healthy child. Claire is currently a sophomore and Arthur should be a junior, but has experienced some significant setbacks due to his health.

Please read the circumstances surrounding their college experience below.

I have not discussed the circumstances below with FSA, Claire's college, or the administrators of the Perkins, subsidized or unsubsidized loans.

What should I do? Do I need a lawyer?


2017-2018
(o) FAFSA filed for Arthur expecting him to be a full-time college student for both Fall and Spring semesters. (EFC = 6488)

(o) Arthur received a university scholarship, Pell grant, and Perkins, subsidized and unsubsidized loans for both semesters.

(o) Arthur completes his Fall semester (his first semester), but withdraws from his Spring semester (his second semester) for medical reasons after the Add/Drop deadline and takes W's in all of his classes.


2018-2019
(o) FAFSA's filed for Claire and Arthur expecting both to be full-time college students for both Fall and Spring semesters. (EFC = 2740)

(o) Claire received a university scholarship, Pell grant, and Perkins, subsidized and unsubsidized loans for both semesters, and completes both semesters (her first and second semesters) as a full-time student.

(o) Arthur received a university scholarship, Pell grant, and Perkins, subsidized and unsubsidized loans for Fall semester (third semester).

(o) In October, 2018, Arthur takes a retroactive leave-of-absence in lieu of withdrawing from his Fall semester (third semester) and does not return to college for the Spring semester (fourth semester).


2019-2020
(o) FAFSA's filed for Claire and Arthur expecting both to be full-time college students for both Fall and Spring semesters. (EFC = 1826)

(o) Claire received a university scholarship, Pell grant, and Perkins, subsidized and unsubsidized loans for Fall semester (her third semester) and presumably will receive same for Spring semester (her fourth semester); I expect Claire to complete both semesters (her third and fourth semesters) as a full-time student.

(o) Arthur did not return to college for Fall semester (his fifth semester) and is not expected to return for Spring semester (his sixth semester).


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Replies to: Who to tell when FAFSAs are filed assuming 2 kids in college, but 1 only completes 1 of 6 semesters

  • thumper1thumper1 75201 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    edited October 12
    Something is wrong with your story. The Perkins Loan Program was discontinued, and would not have been in at least the last two years awards.
    The authority for schools to make new Federal Perkins Loans ended on Sept. 30, 2017.

    and the last awards were made for the 2017-2018 academic year. So...neither of your kids would have received this in 2018-2019 or 2012-2020, I believe.

    Regardless, I think you need to be honest with Claire’s college...now. You only have one kid in college and you know it. Getting federally funded need based aid with knowingly inaccurate information is fraud. At the very least, she could be asked to repay the money to which she was NOT entitled.

    In addition, we really don’t know enough about your situation to tell you about Claire’s need based aid. If your income is sufficiently low...is it possible she would have qualified for the aid she received without a sibling in college? From what you wrote, Arthur got a full federally funded need package based on only one kid enrolled in college.

    Approximately what is your annual income?

    edited October 12
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9011 replies335 threads Senior Member
    Let me make sure I understand your question. Your daughter has received aid for Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Fall 2019 based on FAFSAs that said 2 students would be in college but she was the only child in college for half of Fall 2018 and all of Spring 2018 and Fall 2019. You're worried that she received too much aid and need to know what to do to correct it.

    This sounds like a question for @kelsmom. I think the 2018-2019 FAFSA should have been corrected when your son withdrew from college. The 2019-2020 FAFSA could be corrected now. If the FAFSA is corrected the information should automatically be sent to the schools listed on it. It doesn't sound like a case for a lawyer, but you may need some help figuring out how to access the FAFSA for 2018-2019. Kelsmom is a CC member who used to work in financial aid. She'll know what you should do to correct your paperwork.
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  • sdl0625sdl0625 673 replies11 threads Member
    Shouldn't Claire's college requested enrollment verification from Arthur's school? (at least that is the case with my two).
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  • thumper1thumper1 75201 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    My kids’ colleges both asked for enrollment verification. for this academic year, Arthur wouldn’t have that. But for the previous years, he dropped his courses after that might have been completed.

    Some schools, apparently, don’t ask for this enrollment verification for siblings.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9011 replies335 threads Senior Member
    My children's schools have never asked for verification of enrollment for a sibling.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38767 replies2127 threads Super Moderator
    ^Mine, either.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23249 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Once the semester starts and the student is enrolled (son), the sibling's FA is set. I don't think you have an obligation to inform the school since in the information was correct when she started the semester (and you probably had some costs because he attended for 5 weeks or so).

    If he never attends school, I think you should inform daughter's school for this year, 2019 fall. If he returns for the spring, you can ask them to reinstate the FA with 2 in school. I think the biggest adjustment to her FA is going to be to the Pell grant as with one in school her EFC will go up.

    My daughters' schools never asked for verification of the sibling in school either. It was part of the FAFSA reporting and I guess they just accepted that. Both were FAFSA only schools, one public/ one private.

    When your son left school early or didn't attend at all, his loans and Pell grants should have been adjusted by his FA office and he may have had to pay back anything disbursed for that term. For this term, when he didn't go, nothing would have been disbursed.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75201 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    edited October 12
    Once more...it looks like the son got the Pell when he was the only one in college. Since the daughter will be the only one in college...will she still qualify? This depends on the family income.

    She would still get the Direct Loan amount.

    And really..no one got a Perkins Loan this year or last. The program was discontinued before that.

    I would be very honest with the financial aid department about the 2019-2020 school year. You don’t have two kids in college...and never did this year. Your daughter needs to correct this misinformation.

    edited October 12
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23249 replies17 threads Senior Member
    I think schools could still award Perkins loans if the student had one before the program stopped, so son could get them but daughter probably could not because she started school after the program ended in 2017. OP may just be confusing the Perkins loan with the Stafford or direct loan program.

    If the EFC for each was $1826 in 2019, the daughter should still get a good amount if her EFC goes to $3652. The school may also be able to give more in school granted aid if they have to revoke some of the Pell grant.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75201 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    edited October 12
    Maybe about the Perkins...but I thought I read that the last disbursement of the Perkins Loan was made in June 2018.

    @kelsmom probably knows. Or maybe @mommdc

    @twoinanddone look at the OP again. She says Arthur’s EFC in 2017-2018 was $6488...and says he got a Pell Grant. Not with that EFC. It’s too high.

    Still...I think this parent needs to understand that honesty is the best policy here. The fact is...there is only one kid in college this year, and that’s it. Not two. Her daughter is not entitled to federally funded need based aid based on two in college...and this parent knows that there aren’t two in college. I will repeat. Getting federally funded need based aid by knowingly providing inaccurate information is considered fraud. This family knows that only one kid is in college. They need to be honest about this.

    And I’m betting If the situation were reversed, and the student stood to gain aid because a sibling was attending college and this wasn’t indicated in the FAFSA, they would be all over letting the college know so they could get additional money (but at least in this scenario, they would be entitled to additional money).

    edited October 12
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23249 replies17 threads Senior Member
    But the EFC for THIS year is $1826 for two in school, so if it is adjusted to one in school ($3652) she should still get about half the max Pell grant.

    Agree that son probably didn't get a Pell grant his first year with a $6400 EFC.

    I don't remember if the FAFSA requires you to inform the school if the number in school changes before the school year begins or if there is a change after, especially for schools that don't verify the sibling in college. Better to be safe and notify the daughter's school that son is not in school this year.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9011 replies335 threads Senior Member
    I checked the FAFSA website and it says:
    Updates: If Your Situation Has Changed
    Most information cannot be updated because it must be accurate as of the day you originally signed your FAFSA form.
    If (and only if) you are selected for verification, you must update your FAFSA form if there is a change in the number of people in your parents’ household who are in college or the number of people in your household who are in college.

    It sounds to me like OP doesn't have to do anything unless they're picked for verification. The chances of that are pretty slim. The next FAFSA they file should have 1 attending college if the son isn't attending, but this one and the previous one appear to be closed.

    OP will have to check the school's website to see what their financial aid policies are. Maybe the daughter's grant is based on merit and the number in college doesn't matter. Or maybe they don't reassess packages midyear. At the last 2 colleges I worked at if there was a change in family circumstances it was considered for the following year, not the current one.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75201 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    @austinmshauri

    Just remember...this student can be selected for verification any time during this academic year. So anytime between now and June 30, 2020 when this FAFSA closes.

    IIRC, there was a poster here who was asked to repay federally funded or maybe it was school funded monies for a previous academic year when they were verified for the current year, and the school did a look back.

    I’m sorry...but at the very least, this parent should contact the school and ask...they could do it anonymously to get the information on whether this school requires updating...or not.

    What would prevent any family from listing “possible” college students when they file their FAFSA...when in fact the student never enrolled for the school year...as is the case with this son this year.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75201 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    Adding...for the 2019-2020 academic year, the son didn’t enroll in college...at all. The daughter is receiving federally funded need based aid (Pell Grant) based on having two in college. That never was the case for this academic year. At. All.

    This family should be honest, and report the change.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34500 replies383 threads Senior Member
    I think the quotes just above refer only to physically updating the Fafsa forms. Look at this longer version, click on "Updates: if your situation has changed." See how, in some cases, they refer you to FA folks.

    Frankly, my experience- only mine- was that if FA didn't want to be bothered with some sorts of changes, they let me know.
    https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/next-steps/correct-update#updates

    Btw, if you contact FA, go in humbly noting your confusion about son's plans.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29596 replies58 threads Senior Member
    Some do, some don’t verify. They don’t generally. I believe about. 1/3 of all FaFSas get verified

    Here is the problem:

    If you are picked for verification, you may have to substantiate the info that you have that second child in college. If you can’t, because you don’t, your DD’s aid might be recalculated as one college student in the family, and she may owe the difference in aid. If she, you cannot repay the money, it can be a problem. The PELL grant would be owed to the federal government along with any other grant money the college gave. The loans would lose their subsidy.

    So, it’s true that there is nothing that says you have to refile FAFSA for change of circumstanceS such as expected number of students students in colleges since day you originally filed, but it’s also the case that if selected for verification your student could owe aid given to her due to a sibling being in college, and sibling did not actually matriculate
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