I have a question about other's experience with question 43D on the FAFSA. My daughter had a significant amount of taxable scholarship income that was filed with the IRS for 2019 - over $28,000. One reason for the high number is that she transferred schools between the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 academic years and the school she transferred from reported her spring aid in her 2019 1098-t, but the school she transferred to reported all of her aid for the full 2019-2020 year in her 2019 1098-T. It would have been high already, but this was a substantial increase.
This brings me to my issue/question/concern. Next year I will have 4 children attending college and we completed the FAFSA for the youngest as part of her college application process. Her calculated EFC was about $3600 and based on the 4 kids in college, this looked correct to me. Next, because the FAFSA allows you to just transfer parent financial data to the next dependent student, we decided to complete my eldest's FAFSA. We used the IRS transfer tool to transfer both the parent and the student income from the IRS, and then filled out the Student specific information for my oldest daughter, including putting the $28,000 amount in question 43D. However, based on the EFC that was calculated, almost 13,000, it looks like 43D had no effect of removing her taxable scholarship income from the calculation. If you use the income allowance, 6970 and then divide her income by 2 (the 50% liability for regular student income) and then add that to the "parent" portion of the EFC, it ends up very close to the calculated EFC. If I just don't enter her income in the AGI, the EFC on the calculator comes out close to my youngest daughter's.
I have reached out to the FAFSA help line, submitted a "complaint" through the complaint system (they informed me today that the DOE only reviews those once a year) and have reached out to my daughters school. When using the calculator on the college board's web site, it does something similar. If you enter an amount in their "Student financial aid received" field that is more than 1/2 of the amount entered in the students AGI field, it doesn't include the number in the calculation at all. If you enter exactly 1/2, it looks like it does reduce the EFC and only considers 1/2 of the students income. I have a feeling college board used the same programmers or is using the same calculator that the FAFSA is using, but i don't want to just reduce the number by 50%, because it still leaves the EFC much higher than it should be.
Has anyone else experienced this issue? Does anyone know of a way to inform the DOE of this issue that isn't through their "help line" or the complaint system (Once a year review is not very helpful)?