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Illinois to force families to file FAFSA

homerdoghomerdog 6011 replies108 threads Senior Member
I guess Texas already does this? Kids won't get their diploma if their parents don't file. This is the first I've heard of this and I can't believe it. We don't want to share our financial info if it's not needed and we will be full pay even with both kids in school. We were not planning on filing FAFSA. We didn't do it for S19's freshman year or this year.

https://will.illinois.edu/news/story/new-law-will-require-illinois-students-to-apply-for-financial-aid?&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social-media&utm_campaign=addtoany&fbclid=IwAR0aqBdiLEIR_jBwe9N5mo3Z6fIxvwHkCAleutyqjtaJGUtr8utyx09mHX8
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Replies to: Illinois to force families to file FAFSA

  • Darcy123Darcy123 422 replies6 threads Member
    Looks like Illinois' bill includes a provision that the student can sign a waiver stating that they understand and are choosing not to file:

    On a form created by the State Board of Education, file a waiver with the student's school district indicating that the parent or guardian or, if applicable, the student understands what the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and application for State financial aid are and has chosen not to file an application under paragraph (1).
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9349 replies352 threads Senior Member
    I guess you can thank the people in Chicago who fraudulently used guardianship rules to get federal aid. In NYS we have to file the FAFSA to be eligible for state aid, but not to get a high school diploma. A law like that makes better sense. If you don't file, you get no aid.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3307 replies62 threads Senior Member
    Not so sure about this......glad to see the waiver, thanks for sharing @darcy123.

    Let's hope that school counselors are able to help the families fill out FAFSA and understand what it is for......unfortunately, I don't see that happening in many school districts.
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  • kelsmomkelsmom 15793 replies99 threads Senior Member
    The reason for the law is well-intentioned. Many, many students who would benefit from filing the FAFSA do not do so, leaving money on the table and/or assuming they cannot afford college when maybe they can. In my state, the governor has issued a FAFSA challenge, and schools are competing to try to get the highest completion rate. A nonprofit that traditionally assists high schoolers with FAFSA completion is helping schools with this, as are local colleges.

    I like the push to get students to file, but I think requiring FAFSA for graduation goes too far; if it’s done, the option to opt-out should be well-publicized and simple to complete.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23831 replies17 threads Senior Member
    'The legislation does provide for exceptions to the new rule; Illinois seniors will still receive a high school diploma if they’re unable to fill out the FAFSA form due to extenuating circumstances.'

    There are a lot of students who cannot file (not citizens) or cannot get a parent to file. They will still get diplomas.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 6011 replies108 threads Senior Member
    Our GCs NEVER bring up money so I have a feeling that they are told not to do so. This also makes me think that they are not savvy with the financial part. Ours are also overworked and now they have to get a FAFSA or a waiver out of every senior family? Yikes.
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  • chaphillmomchaphillmom 103 replies11 threads Junior Member
    I'm not adding this to incite a zesty debate, just an added perspective. We ran the various calculators and knew that we wouldn't be eligible for aid. We felt very strongly that we didn't want that much personal information (identity, income, savings etc). in another system if we could avoid it. Basically, we do as much as we can to minimize the likelihood of identity or information theft. There are so many examples of systems (even well controlled ones) getting hacked. I'd personally be pretty angry if I had to opt out of providing information that I don't feel needs to be shared, and I don't think this should be a default arrangement.
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  • PublisherPublisher 9574 replies119 threads Senior Member
    Seems like a clever & much needed law in light of the abuse by wealthy families of the need based financial aid system.

    Of course, privacy rights of those not in need of financial aid should be protected.

    Hopefully, an affidavit attesting to the family's current ability to afford school COA without financial aid should be permitted in lieu of the intrusive FAFSA. (Necessary in order to assure that needy families file FAFSA.)
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  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4774 replies18 threads Senior Member
    edited February 12
    Hopefully, an affidavit attesting to the family's current ability to afford school COA without financial aid should be permitted in lieu of the intrusive FAFSA. (Necessary in order to assure that needy families file FAFSA.)

    No affidavit necessary, according to the information provided in post #1 by Darcy123.
    edited February 12
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  • PublisherPublisher 9574 replies119 threads Senior Member
    edited February 12
    Then the move by Illinois is a brilliant way to help fund public higher education in Illinois, just like in Texas & Louisiana.
    edited February 12
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 385 replies4 threads Member
    edited February 12
    More overreach. Forcing families to disclose financial info under threat of not being able to graduate. Really? Your papers please. The only way to opt out is extenuating circumstances. What are they?

    Not buying their altruistic spin. I'm sure this has nothing to do with it. Trying to drum-up business?

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-cb-fall-enrollment-2019-illinois-universities-20190905-ajhizgv6sfbltesmim732kiuma-story.html
    edited February 12
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  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4774 replies18 threads Senior Member
    More overreach. Forcing families to disclose financial info under threat of not being able to graduate. Really? Your papers please. The only way to opt out is extenuating circumstances. What are they?

    A basic waiver request form seems to be a way to opt out, with no meaningful extenuating circumstances required. Parent/guardian/student as appropriate signs a piece of paper and turns it in. Big deal.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23831 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Seems like a clever & much needed law in light of the abuse by wealthy families of the need based financial aid system.

    The students from the families who were abusing the system were filling out the FAFSA forms. Or at least the students were. They WANTED the FA from Pell grants and Illinois grants. The reason them had their kids' guardianship transferred to another adult was so that the parents' income wouldn't be on the FAFSA, just the student's income.

    This will not stop the abuse.
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  • TS0104TS0104 1115 replies29 threads Senior Member
    Some colleges, including my D's, required a FAFSA to be considered for merit aid, even from not-going-to-qualify-for-any-need-based-aid families, like we were. Something to think about. We also don't like to share financial info unless we absolutely have to (in this case we didn't HAVE to, but she got over 15K per year so it was worth it!)

    Our college counselor also explicitly states that she does not know/will not do financial aid stuff, she even mispronounces it as FASFA (much to my chagrin LOL). She brings in a fin aid guy for one parent meeting.

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  • kelsmomkelsmom 15793 replies99 threads Senior Member
    College counselors absolutely will not see the financial information, including EFC. Any reporting to the school will be aggregate info ... federal rules for sharing information on the FAFSA are incredibly strict. School financial aid offices can only share aggregate information with other offices on campus, including their board. I had to present lots of financial aid information when I was working, and it was always aggregated.
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84272 replies1046 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    What are they doing about students who are illegally here? Sounds like they’ll need waivers too? And why should they have to disclose to their school that they’re illegally here?
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3307 replies62 threads Senior Member
    What are they doing about students who are illegally here? Sounds like they’ll need waivers too? And why should they have to disclose to their school that they’re illegally here?

    These are good points...and they are one of the groups most at risk at not knowing that a waiver exists, and how to get it.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30017 replies181 threads Senior Member
    If students are completely undocumented, they have no SSN, and the school district is almost certain to be aware of that fact. If they were formerly documented, and were awarded an SSN, but have fallen out of that status, the school district might not be aware of the current situation. But in that latter case, the family surely knows.

    In addition, there are scads of students who are legally in the US (F1 and J1 students here independently, and F, G, H, J, etc. visa dependents) who can't file the FAFSA.
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