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Must student see FAFSA?


Replies to: Must student see FAFSA?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84227 replies1041 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    thumper1 wrote: »
    I would hope that most kids do [not] have a “you have all this money, pay for college” attitude...as that sounds very entitled.

    Plus regardless of how much money a family has, it is a family decision how much money will be allocated for college costs.

    Set a budget with your student. That is very important info for them to have.

    But back to the question. @carlsen which colleges require the financial aid forms for merit aid? Having that info will help other students and families here.

    yes, it may be a bit entitled, but also mostly being a naive kid. They don’t understand retirement needs or really any of the “big picture” of what parents have to prepare for.

    I can understand why some parents wouldn’t want their kids seeing how much they have saved or invested.
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84227 replies1041 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    OHMomof2 wrote: »
    Like some other posters here, I did the FAFSA/CSS paperwork so my kids didn't see my part. I got their info from them (their w2s from jobs, mainly). So they didn't see it, though that wasn't the reason I did it.

    D's final year she appealed her FA and as she was AT the school, she had to do it herself, in person. I had to send her all the info she needed for the appeal and so she did ultimately see everything.

    In this case, as there won't be any FA, only merit, I doubt your kid will ever see it. Just do it yourself, ask your kid for his/her info for their section and submit.

    I think this happens in many homes, particularly ones where the parents are not First Gen or have ESL concerns.

    It’s kind of like the old days when people got paper paychecks. My mom would sign the backs of my dad’s checks and deposit them. I doubt the bank even knew my dad’s real signature. lol
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8305 replies70 threads Senior Member
    OP - just as an aside, be aware that your child is going to need to give you permission to access their tuition bill. As noted upstream, colleges expect students to own the entire experience, regardless of who is footing the full, and they need to provide parental access to their account.

    FWIW, we included our D in our family financial discussions and budgeting, starting from about middle school. We felt that fiscal responsibility was one of our teaching jobs as parents. Did D know every investment we had when she as younger? No, but we did talk to her about the importance of retirement saving and investing. She sat with us every year when we worked out our household budget, reviewed the previous years, etc.... I vividly remember her shock when she was how much of the take home paycheck was taken up by taxes. :)

    IMO, there is a teachable opportunity in discussing family finances.

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  • NJEngineerDadNJEngineerDad 185 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited October 2019
    This seems to be the right place to mention an apparently little-known provision of FERPA. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then either parent may have access to child's records, even without student's consent.

    "If I am a parent of a college student, do I have the right to see my child’s education records, especially if I pay the bill?
    As noted above, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student, once the student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age. However, although the rights under FERPA have now transferred to the student, a school may disclose information from an “eligible student’s” education records to the parents of the student, without the student’s consent, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes. Neither the age of the student nor the parent’s status as a custodial parent is relevant. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then either parent may have access under this provision. (34 CFR §99.31(a)(8).) "


    For example ASU's policy:

    "If you are their tax dependent, your parents may provide a copy of their most recent U.S. tax return to document your tax dependent status, along with a notarized Affidavit of Dependency (form available from the University Registrar's Office), in order to view or obtain a copy of your records without your consent. Please note: We do not recommend this option - it is preferable that you maintain open lines of communication with your family about all aspects of your education, including your records and your grades."


    Note that I don't advocate taking this path either. I expect a dependent child to give permission to his or her parents to access all his or her records, especially if the parents pay the bill. But I think it is good to know that from a legal point of view a dependent child does not need to give permission to the parents for them to access information.
    edited October 2019
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  • cshell2cshell2 831 replies10 threads Member
    edited October 2019
    Actually I look at it as a great opportunity to educate your kid about finances and retirement. Ones education does not just take place in the classroom.

    If they don’t understand “the retirement picture” explain it to them. These kids are taking AP Calc and AP economics, I think they can understand relatively simple concepts like compounded interest, dollar cost averaging, mortgage interest, pensions/social security payouts and the like.


    I don't know how many friends I've heard over the years tell me their parents taught them nothing about finances or saving for retirement. I don't understand the logic behind letting them figure it out on their own.

    Like the pp, I also started including DS in financial talks about middle school and has always had a pretty good idea where he stood with regards to how much money he'd have for college and why. He can handle calc, so he can handle knowing you need a LOT of money to live off of for 30+ years with inflation. He knows the importance of having a lot of money socked away too after a couple family emergencies where we were living off the reserves. He has his own job and his own budget and knows the account balance is not the "to spend" balance. He has to buy gas, he has to put aside 50% for school...

    When it comes right down to it, he'll probably be more practical than me about the college choice. I'll be focused on how we can afford any of the choices and be happy with that, but I think he'll more likely see a 10K difference between school A and school B as 10K that doesn't need to be spent.
    edited October 2019
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  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4695 replies17 threads Senior Member
    This seems to be the right place to mention an apparently little-known provision of FERPA. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then either parent may have access to child's records, even without student's consent.

    The important word here is may. The FERPA regulation cited states that:

    An educational agency or institution may disclose personally identifiable information from an education record of a student without the consent required by §99.30 if the disclosure meets one or more of the following conditions:


    The disclosure is to parents, as defined in §99.3, of a dependent student, as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

    There is no requirement for a school to disclose to a requesting parent information of a student who is claimed by the parent as a tax dependent. The decision is one for each school to make either by school policy or on a case-by-case basis.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29876 replies59 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    There are parents who do not want to share their financial information with their kids. It can be a major stumbling block for some kids trying to get financial aid. Their parents simply refuse to give the info needed to fill out FAFSA. It could be for privacy reasons, trust reasons, not filing taxes reasons, divorce process information , questionable information reasons, disorganization reasons, don’t want to bother reasons. I’ve personally known kids and parents who have been in that situation.

    Though the law and college rules Are such that all of the financial aid info is supposed to go through the student with consent needed for parents to get access, Ive never in 20 years had any trouble accessing any of the information for my kids. However, it is prudent to understand how it is supposed to work because as a parent , you can get shut out—should get shut out without student permission.
    edited October 2019
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  • DigitalDadDigitalDad 66 replies1 threads Junior Member
    A parent and the student both sign the FAFSA individually, and the student is liable for the accuracy as affirmed by her! If a parent outright "impersonates" the student (worse, by keeping the logon and process hidden away from them) then the parents are forging a signature, and on a federal "document"! Wonder how those parents feel, if the student had ever forged the parents' signature on something comparably minor, such as report cards, etc... - or where the student may have learned such a cavelier attitude.

    So I agree wholeheartedly with a previous reply - if you don't agree with the process, then don't participate at all.

    Last year, my daughter actually wanted to be in control of her FAFSA, and her CSS profile - so she worked through everything on her own as far as possible, then walked in with her laptop for me to fill in the parent part. For one, it gave her the sense of having taken charge of her own affairs (including her own 1040 later). But it also meant she was stepping out of the "sheltered life" of a minor, and us having meaningful conversations about our family's finances - where she IS the third adult!

    THIS (sophomore) year, the novelty of being independent had leveled off. When she realized that it would actually save ME time to be able to just quickly run through it myself, she more than happily dropped it completely back in my lap (except I still forwarded to her at the end, so she could log in with her own FAFSA account, and sign.)

    PS: I got her back, though, used HER credit card to pay the CollegeBoard fee :wink:
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