right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We have changed the way we log in on College Confidential. Read more here.

My Parents are want me to lie on who claims me for FAFSA.

maylean134maylean134 0 replies1 threads New Member
Hello- So my parents are divorced and I live with my dad and his wife. I've lived with them my whole life pretty much and they, of course, claim me on their taxes. I am in college right now and they filled out my 2019-2020 FAFSA, but they are wanting me to ask my other parent to claim me as her dependent for my 2020-2021 FAFSA. My mom makes way less than my father, so this extra money can help. However, I try and argue with them because I think that this is considered fraud and I don't want to get my mom in trouble but they don't see it like this. I don't know how to tell them that I cant do this. I read online but it's confusing. So my question is- Is this considered fraud to do? How can I argue against them??
15 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: My Parents are want me to lie on who claims me for FAFSA.

  • Tigerwife92Tigerwife92 87 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Since you physically live with your father and he supports you financially, you need to declare as his dependent for fafsa, per ed.gov:
    "If your parents are divorced or separated and don’t live together, answer the questions about the parent with whom you lived more during the past 12 months.

    If you lived the same amount of time with each divorced or separated parent, give answers about the parent who provided more financial support during the past 12 months or during the most recent 12 months that you actually received support from a parent."

    A change would be a red flag.

    FYI/FWIW: https://blog.credit.com/2019/08/what-happens-if-you-lie-on-your-fafsa-120659/
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29876 replies59 threads Senior Member
    When did you start college and live on campus? It’s the last 365 days from when you submit FAFSA that are critical as to which parent is your custodial parent. On the days that you were not away from both sets of parents, were you at your mother’s place one night more at your father’s? Can you verify where you spent the nights those 365 days that are moving forward each day, since the end point is the day you push the send button for FAFSA ?

    It does not matter who is the custodial parent in the divorce papers , agreements, or who claimed or is claiming you as a dependent. It’s purely where did you spend the most nights, with mom or dad in 365 nights before day you push send button for FAFSA.

    Because most colleges do not meet full need, it might not matter who is your custodial parent. Those schools that do meet full need do not use the FAFSA EFC as the determinant for aid packages, and almost all use both parents’ financial.

    The current a FAFSA used 2018 income , so if you use your mother as the custodial parent, all child support, and other things (tuition, medical bills., money given to you) by your father becomes income.

    Run the Net Price Calculator for your school first with your Dad as custodial parent, and then your mother and see if you get substantial number differences. It may be possible for you to get in enough nights between now and when you file that FAFSA to legitimately be able to claim your mother as custodial parent.
    · Reply · Share
  • mommdcmommdc 11654 replies31 threads Senior Member
    You would need to live with your mom more days than with your dad in the year before filing FAFSA.
    Would that be possible?
    And how much does your mom make?
    · Reply · Share
  • ja;sldkjfja;sldkjf 40 replies0 threads Junior Member
    The FAFSA uses tax data two years back so the FAFSA for 20-21 will use tax data (already filed) from 2018. If your mom claims you as her dependent for her 2019 taxes, then your FAFSA for 2021-2022 will be affected.

    Your mom is absolutely *allowed* to claim you as her dependent on her taxes but she needs to provide authorization from your dad to do so (basically an IRS form from your dad saying he is allowing it), every year.

    If your dad is saying you should just lie on the FAFSA and *say* your mom claims you, he's forgetting he lives in the 21st century and everything is electronic. You can't lie about this kind of thing anymore.

    Good luck.
    · Reply · Share
  • cshell2cshell2 823 replies10 threads Member
    @ja;sldkjf - FAFSA and IRS rules about dependents are different. You can be a dependent on one parent's taxes, but have the other parent be the custodial one for FAFSA, so her mom not claiming her on taxes would not be a red flag.

    However, FAFSA rules are it's the parent you live with more, so it would be fraud for the OP to state her mom was the custodial parent.
    · Reply · Share
  • TS0104TS0104 1040 replies28 threads Senior Member
    As far as convincing your parents, can anyone here answer how much the custodial parent's income, vs the noncustodial parent, matters when determining EFC? Does it make a huge difference? If not, that should help the OP convince his parents not to lie (aside from the whole fraud/falsifying issue).
    · Reply · Share
  • cshell2cshell2 823 replies10 threads Member
    @TS0104 - Nobody can answer that without the OP giving the incomes/assets of each parent. If mom is making 30K and Dad 130K it's going to make a huge difference. If mom is making 100K and Dad 200K probably not much for a FAFSA only school.
    · Reply · Share
  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4693 replies17 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    As far as convincing your parents, can anyone here answer how much the custodial parent's income, vs the noncustodial parent, matters when determining EFC? Does it make a huge difference?

    The difference in FAFSA EFC between using the custodial parent's financial numbers and the numbers of the non-custodial parent can matter, and the degree of difference depends on how far apart the numbers are. In other words, the difference could be insignificant, or it could be huge.
    edited December 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29876 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Even if the two parents’ incomes are very different, most schools do not meet need defined by EFC. Any child support to te mom has to be reported , and money, payment on behalf of student by parent is reportable.

    The only guarantee here is if The mom has income that makes the student PELL eligible, grant money up to about $6k might be firth coming along with some subsidized loans, and work study. Anything else is up to the school which is why I am suggesting OP run NPCs with each parents as custodial.

    If the school flags the change of custodial parent and/or drop of EFC, some this change is likely to requested. Federal fraud comes with possible heavy penalties. I only bring up checking the advantage of one parent over the other as custodial, in case there is still time to legitimately change the custodial parent. (The year ends on the date of the filed FAFSA as I discussed above). Also, this is something to legitimately consider for next year’s FAFSA if OP is still going to be in school. Make sure s/he spends more nights with the parent that gives the more favorable EFC.
    · Reply · Share
  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5793 replies84 threads Senior Member
    I applaud your ethics. Your parents should be proud.
    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 76104 replies3356 threads Senior Member
    @ja;sldkjf
    The FAFSA uses tax data two years back so the FAFSA for 20-21 will use tax data (already filed) from 2018. If your mom claims you as her dependent for her 2019 taxes, then your FAFSA for 2021-2022 will be affected.

    You are misinformed.

    The tax filing status of the parents has NO BEARING at all on who is the custodial parent for FAFSA purpose. The FAFSA requires that the custodial parent is the one with whom the student resided the majority of the previous year as if the date of the FAFSA filing. That’s it. Tax filing status doesn’t matter one bit. The non-custodial parent absolutely CAN declare the student as a tax dependent...and this has nothing to do with the FAFSA.

    Where did you get your information?
    · Reply · Share
  • cshell2cshell2 823 replies10 threads Member
    The only guarantee here is if The mom has income that makes the student PELL eligible, grant money up to about $6k might be firth coming along with some subsidized loans, and work study. Anything else is up to the school which is why I am suggesting OP run NPCs with each parents as custodial.

    A lot of states use the FAFSA for their grants as well. In my state, a 0 EFC likely means another 6K in grant money + there's the SEOG grant.

    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 76104 replies3356 threads Senior Member
    @cshell2 the SEOG is not guaranteed, and some colleges don’t award it at all.
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29876 replies59 threads Senior Member
    cshell2 wrote: »
    The only guarantee here is if The mom has income that makes the student PELL eligible, grant money up to about $6k might be firth coming along with some subsidized loans, and work study. Anything else is up to the school which is why I am suggesting OP run NPCs with each parents as custodial.

    A lot of states use the FAFSA for their grants as well. In my state, a 0 EFC likely means another 6K in grant money + there's the SEOG grant.
    Yes, there are possibilities. Some states may have money, some schools might up with money from their own coffers, and there is SEOG and work study , but none of that guaranteed. That’s why OP should run NPCs. Even that Is not going to be as accurate for an upperclassman. Some schools do not give out aid on the same basis for upperclassmen as they do freshmen. Also , OP has not given us any idea of the parents’ respective financial positions, if PROFILE is involved.

    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 76104 replies3356 threads Senior Member
    Bottom line is...the OP needs to be honest on these financial aid forms. Getting need based aid by knowingly putting inaccurate informations is dishonest, and actually is considered fraud. The student runs the risk of losing not only the financial aid, but also her admissions status at the college. There is also the possibility of a fine. Colleges frown on dishonesty.

    Is this really something the parents want to risk? Is it?

    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity