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Noncustodial Parent Waiver Petition

synapse&beatssynapse&beats Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
edited September 2007 in Financial Aid & Scholarships
Has anyone done this? If so what were the circumstances? My father hasn't help out my older two siblings in college and if I can show the college that he hasn't helped them out and won't help me out do you think they would still make me get the noncustodial parent sheet filled out?
Post edited by synapse&beats on

Replies to: Noncustodial Parent Waiver Petition

  • TrinSFTrinSF Registered User Posts: 1,482 Senior Member
    My son did. He and his father have been estranged since my son chose to change custody and live with me 4 years ago. His father was not paying child support for a long time, and when he did, we didnt' have information about where he lived, etc. We explained to schools that we had no way of getting him to provide non-custodial information because we had no contact information for him other than an old email address. I offered to provide financial documention from the custody modification, which showed that he didn't have any money anyway -- it's not that he's wealthy and just doesn't want to pay for college.

    So, we requested a waiver, and about half the schools agreed without further documentation. A couple wanted more documentation, and one of his top choices (UChicago) was *so* difficult and *so* rigid about it that they never did provide an aid award and my son chose another school instead of them because of it.

    My understanding is that if your father has a substantial income, it may not help that he didn't help out your older siblings. Schools like Chicago feel that parents have this obligation whether they want to accept it or not, and are very firm about not waiving it. On the other hand, there are some schools that are more relaxed. My suggestion is the one I was given here when we started -- apply to a wide range of schools, let them know you'll be asking for a waiver early in the process, and pay attention to their responses. It was clear in January that Chicago was going to be difficult, so we were prepared for the possibility that financial aid would be a deciding factor.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,828 Super Moderator
    Based on your other postings, you state that while your parents are divorced, they still jointly own the home in which you live and your father pays child support. THese 2 factors mean that it is highly unlikely that you will get a finanical waiver from schools that require either the CSS profile or financial information from your non-custodial parent.

    Remember that most schools first look to both of your parents as far as the financing of your education is concerned and financial aid will be determined by the income and the assets of both of your parents. It will also be based upon how much the school feels that they can afford to pay, not how much they want to pay or whether or not they feel that they will/won't help pay for college.

    I understand that you and many other students are placed in a bad situation, however, I think you should once again try talking to your father/ Assure him that if he fills out the non-custodial CSS profile, that his information will be kept separately and privately from you and your mom's information and neither of you will have access to it.

    If your father is still not willing to help, you may have to look at schools that take the FAFSA only and to look into schools where you stand a good chance of getting merit aid.
  • purplexedpurplexed Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    I think the words sybbie has supplied are good ones to use. Others' links and advice are good too; if you're interested in Davidson, that's good, because they're a small enough school to give you personal advice and help if you call them.

    My child's going to be in a similar boat, and I've explored previous posts here about similar issues. Lots of emotion boils over. Beyond that, I don't know lots of the rules yet.

    Be aware that this is a long process; even if you're facing fall deadlines for some of this stuff, know that you'll likely not be able to make any final decisions until the spring when you can compare finaid offers from various schools. Don't lock into any ED rules.

    This might sound heartless, but I'd keep records and document with paper as much as you can your attempts to get your dad to fill out paperwork.
    In other words, you might need to send some forms and requests to him certified mail. If you can document that you've tried to get him to fill stuff out, and he refuses, then I think you can still go ahead and try for those schools that require his information, and provide your backup paperwork to show you've tried. I don't know whether it'll make any difference in the amount of aid given, but I feel strongly that the children of divorce ought not to self-censor themselves on where they apply because of the non-cooperation of a parent or parents.

    You might also need to ask your mom about the child support details, which you've mentioned in other posts. Did that child support get reduced when your other siblings turned 18 and went off to college? If not, that money could be seen as continuing support to help pay for those siblings' college expenses. If your mom is counting on that for living expenses, that could be an issue. Is she working full time? Trying to find ways to ask those questions with stirring up lots of emotions is going to be hard. If she can't find documents related to the divorce or child support settlements, you might need to try to find them yourself at your local courthouse. Document your results.

    If the child support did change when your older siblings went off to college, then there might somewhere be a court document that says your dad's financial obligations end when the children turn 18. That could be useful for sharing with a college, even if the college takes the stance that both parents should help pay. You could show that your dad has a legal document that says his obligations end when you turn 18. That might not help, but apparently any paperwork does help with this process.

    Did you read the information linked by mmom on a posting elsewhere? http://www.finaid.org/questions/divorce.phtml
    The state-by-state details there might give you some clues.

    You can also read about at least one student who successfully navigated this process at MIT. http://web.mit.edu/sfs/students/student4.html
    The school gets lots of credit for profiling students who have managed to get through this process.

    Good luck; it seems many colleges have rules about this that seem to affect the students unfairly, both financially and emotionally. And some of the posters here in the past haven't weighed the cost of their words on people's emotions. Try to put emotions aside, and document, document, document.

    Please keep us posted.
  • BakTalkBakTalk Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    What if your parents never got married?
  • ChedvaChedva Super Moderator Posts: 28,534 Super Moderator
    Doesn't matter. Your parents are still your parents. And your father could still be ordered to pay child support.
This discussion has been closed.