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Parent does not want to pay for college even though he can afford to pay

probablywritingprobablywriting 22 replies10 threads Junior Member
I don't want to disclose too much personal information, but my parents are divorced. Parent 1 (whom I live with) filled out FAFSA, which gave us a reasonable EFC that we could afford. Parent 2 did not complete FAFSA because he was not legally required to do so as I do not live with him. However, I recently learned that the CSS Profile (which my schools require) require that parent 2 disclose his financial information. Parent 2 make A LOT of money. This means I will most likely get NO aid from my schools because they will assume that because parent 2 is rich we can afford the price. However, parent 2 has told me that he does not want to contribute any money to my education and believes I should pay for it myself. In short, he is selfish. I am afraid financial aid officers will not be accommodating and that I won't be able to afford the colleges I get into (Im applying to top schools). Is there anyway to describe to schools this situation? Has anyone else been in a similar position? I really want to afford the schools I am going to, but if I get no aid that is a problem. Parent 1 does not have the money to challenge parent 2 in court to pay up. Help.
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Replies to: Parent does not want to pay for college even though he can afford to pay

  • probablywritingprobablywriting 22 replies10 threads Junior Member
  • Dadclass2020Dadclass2020 16 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Your parents have no obligation to pay for your college. (period)
    I personally went to a local school on a full scholarship and worked to pay my rent, and my grades and SATs were in the 98%+. Many people goto community colleges. Even if you have a 4.0 GPA and 1600 SAT and think you're gonna be the smartest person in your community college or state school it is still worth it to go.
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  • probablywritingprobablywriting 22 replies10 threads Junior Member
    aunt bea wrote: »
    Unless it was specifically described in divorce documents, parent 2 is under no obligation to fund your college costs.

    That's unfortunate and sad, but the colleges won't think it is their responsibility to reimburse your parent. There's no law that says your parent has to fund you. So what do these kids do? They find affordable schools.

    Parent 2 is obligated to pay under divorce documents, but he wants to challenge it.
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  • probablywritingprobablywriting 22 replies10 threads Junior Member
    There are schools that don't require the non custodial parent's information. U of Chicago doesn't require it. Hopefully others will chime in with some other highly ranked schools.

    That said, if you are gunning for a top school, you probably have a high GPA and test scores that should get you merit aid at other schools. Be sure you have a very well balanced and affordable list!

    Thanks for the suggestion!
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  • probablywritingprobablywriting 22 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Your parents have no obligation to pay for your college. (period)
    I personally went to a local school on a full scholarship and worked to pay my rent, and my grades and SATs were in the 98%+. Many people goto community colleges. Even if you have a 4.0 GPA and 1600 SAT and think you're gonna be the smartest person in your community college or state school it is still worth it to go.

    Parent 2 has a legal obligation to pay "X" amount, but he wants to challenge it. And even if he wasn't obligated to, theres a difference between legality and morality. A good parent who has the money to afford expensive cars, bags, vacations would prioritize his own child's education.
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  • cshell2cshell2 1179 replies12 threads Senior Member
    edited October 28
    Apply to FAFSA only schools. My son had to do the same thing. Although his dad does not make a huge amount of money, it's enough that it would have been highly detrimental to any aid and he wasn't going to help pay for school (couldn't really, he has medical issues, two young children at home as is the sole earner).

    There are plenty of great schools that aren't the private elite and if you can get into one of those top schools you'd probably qualify for merit as well as need based aid at ones a tier down. Here's a complete list of all schools that require CSS and what they require, just filter out the ones that require CSS for the non-custodial parent (not all do).

    https://profile.collegeboard.org/profile/ppi/participatingInstitutions.aspx
    edited October 28
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  • EconPopEconPop 733 replies14 threads Member
    @probablywriting , you can receive a high-quality great education at a lot of schools that do not use the CSS Profile. I suggest you stop dreaming that your father will miraculously change his mind and decide to pay for your education. Even your mother isn't trying to fight this. Your decision now should be to research non-CSS schools and start applying to those that you feel meet what you want in a university. Apply to your pie-in-the-sky schools if you wish, but also apply to the ones you know your mother can afford on her own.

    Another thing to consider is that your FAFSA EFC does not guarantee that your college of choice will meet your need all the way to that amount. You should run the Net Price Calculator at the non-CSS schools to see what each school estimates your financial need to be. That can be very different from your FAFSA EFC, and it can vary from school to school.

    Your best bet will be your in-state public universities. What state do you live in?

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  • Tigerwife92Tigerwife92 250 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Does the agreement say parent #2 must pay the school directly, you (the student), or the custodial parent (parent #1).?
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  • probablywritingprobablywriting 22 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Does the agreement say parent #2 must pay the school directly, you (the student), or the custodial parent (parent #1).?

    I'm not entirely sure. I think it goes to the school directly.
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  • thumper1thumper1 79360 replies3583 threads Senior Member
    edited October 28
    No parent is required to fund college costs. I realize you are disappointed but that’s a reality.

    You need to look at schools that do not require the CSS Profile OR are affordable for your custodial parent.

    Start with the public universities in your state.

    Look at schools like U of Chicago and Vanderbilt which don’t require non-custodial parent info.

    Look at the list of Profile schools that don’t require the non-custodial parent form.

    Look for colleges where you would garner significant merit aid. Parent incomes aren’t used for this.
    SAT: 1450 (740 RW and 710 M)
    Transcript/GPA: 4.0 UW, 4.87 W

    You posted these stats. With these, you would get very decent merit aid at University of New Mexico, University of Alabama, Arizona.

    How much can your custodial parent pay? Add $5500 (Direct Loan) to that and that is your budget. Your net cost needs to come in at that price point.
    edited October 28
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  • thumper1thumper1 79360 replies3583 threads Senior Member
    Adding...is this still your college application list (posted in September)? If so...it’s very very very top heavy...and with the exception of Rutgers, will require non-custodial parent profile form.
    1) Rutgers
    2) Boston University
    3) New York University
    4) Northeastern University
    5) Brown University
    6) Columbia University
    7) Cornell University
    8) Harvard University
    9) Pomona College
    10) Princeton University
    11) Swarthmore College
    12) Tufts University
    13) Yale University
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 2252 replies25 threads Senior Member
    You need to really understand what is in the divorce settlement. But even if he is ultimately forced to pay, he can make your college search very difficult.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43463 replies473 threads Senior Member
    You need to secure affordable colleges soon.
    If you're from NJ, apply to Rutgers, TCNJ or Rowan depending on the major you're planning to apply for; apply to 2 from Miami-Ohio, ASU Barrett, UAlabama, UNew Mexico, UUtah, Truman State, Temple, UMN-Morris, USouthern Maine, UMaine Orono. College of Wooster and many CTCL's would also likely offer nice scholarships. Apply EA - the best scholarships tend to be for students who apply by Nov 1 or 15.
    Finally, VanderbilT and UChicago should be on your list since they're the only ones with the same selectivity as those on your list that also don't require the Non Custodial Parent's financial forms.

    Talk to your dad personally: where does he envision you attending college? How much does he think Rutgers costs? Princeton? Pomona? (Many parents have no idea and honestly think you can "work your way through college" the way they did in the 90s, thinking it an experience that'll teach you life, etc.]
    Will he co-sign loans for you?
    Try to figure out how he's seeing things: is he trying to get back at your mother by punishing you? Thinking you should "work your way through college", not knowing it's no longer possible?
    (Not that you should take on loans but just to see what he's willing to do).

    (I don't know whether you know Sarah Dessen, a YA author. _The moon and more_ is about a girl who dreams escaping to NYC and leaving the family business, and her deadbeat dad who a year before the novel starts promised her that he is starting to reconnect with, that he'll pay her tuition at Columbia if she gets in. When the book starts, it's the beginning of the summer and the girl, Emaline, is working for the family business, beach rentals in NC, so you kind of think she didn't get into Columbia and wonder what happened with her dad. Boyfriends and escaping to NYC also feature prominently. Not a masterpiece but a good escape book that's still relatable for a kid with a difficult dad and college problems.)

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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 10232 replies394 threads Senior Member
    Unfortunately, your situation isn't uncommon. You should submit applications to a couple of FAFSA only financial safeties as soon as possible so you have some options in the spring.
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  • cshell2cshell2 1179 replies12 threads Senior Member
    I would take the advice to sit down and talk to him personally, but if you've already done that, it's not a fight I would get into. It's really not worth it. Even if Parent 1 drags Parent 2 to court and gets him to pay it's likely he'll be angry and resentful at having to do so. Is going to one of these schools worth alienating Parent 2? But, chances are what will happen is it will be a lot of fighting and you won't get the funds anyhow! Then you're stuck paying for a school you can't afford. So much easier to just cross those schools off the list. Still plenty of great places to go.

    Also, know that your EFC is not what you're going to be expected to pay. Use the school's net price calculators instead. My son's EFC is zero. He is NOT paying zero. :wink:
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