Am I applicable for any financial aid? (Divorce)

<p>My parents are recently divorced. I am seeking any type of financial aid (in this case, need-based) because although my dad CAN help pay for college, my family believes in a more self-sufficient, pay-your-own-way, get-a-loan sort of payment option for me. Thus, I'll have to pay for most of it myself. Here are some stats on my parents:</p>

<p>Father:
-Income: makes over 250k a year
-Will be "supporting" 4 people in college at once (my two brothers, me, and my mom)
-Pays for several households (his own with his partner, my brother's apartment, my other brother's apartment, and I would assume the house that I live in with my mom [which we are trying to sell])
-Note: for a few years, my dad was paying $60,000 a year for a special boarding school that my brother had to go to for a mental problem.</p>

<p>Mother:
-Income: none, except for minute stock investments
-A student a community college going back to school for a degree in teaching</p>

<p>[Note: The way my parents' finances overlap is strange, with my mom having no income an what not. My dad still pays for some of our conveniences, if that matters at all.]</p>

<p>I live with my mother. So, am I applicable for any need-based because I live with my unemployed mother, or is my dad's income too high for me to receive any? If it matters, I'm looking at competitive LACs, such as Pomona, Swarthmore, Middlebury, Oberlin, Vassar, and Whitman. University of Washington and University of Colorado, Boulder, are my safeties. </p>

<p>Any chance?</p>

<p>As for merit, some of my LACs don't give merit aid, but just for ****s and giggles:</p>

<p>-4.0 GPA uw, 4.85 w
-33 ACT, hoping to get up to a 34 next time (my SAT wasn't as good... 2060, but will retake)
-National Merit Recognition (not sure what kind yet)
-5s on all AP tests so far (if that matters at all.)</p>

<p>Since you live with your mother, you would put her information on the FAFSA. So, I think you should probably be able to get a fair amount of need-based aid. My mother makes almost nothing, and my dad is financially comfortable, though not rich. I live with my mother, I put her information down, and I got everything paid for through grants, all need-based.</p>

<p>However, I don't think getting everything paid for is common at all.</p>

<p>Thanks for the info! I'm not looking to get everything paid for; I would just like to minimize debt :)</p>

<p>Uh...</p>

<p>It's going to depend on the school. The schools that give the best aid usually ask for both parents' financial info. </p>

<p>FAFSA only schools do NOT usually give good aid.</p>

<p>Which siblings are in undergrad? </p>

<p>I don't think schools will care that your dad is paying for your brothers' apts.</p>

<p>What was your PSAT?</p>

<p>What colleges are you considering?</p>

<p>With your stats, there are schools that would give you good merit for your stats. You should apply to some for financial safety schools. Some of these are FAFSA only schools so you could end up with a lot of money (merit + Pell (if her income and assets are low enough).</p>

<p>Your mom has some income since it sounds like your dad has to pay spousal support. And, with the splitting of assets and the selling of the family home, she may end up with decent assets/savings.</p>

<p>Taking out big loans is not a good idea...too hard to repay. Also, you would need a co-signer.</p>

<p>Some of the schools on your list use the CSS Profile which will take into account your father's income. It is unusual for someone who makes the kind of money that he makes to be eligible for need-based assistance but your family has a lot of extenuating circumstances so in your case it is hard to say.</p>

<p>So your question is are you eligible for need-based assistance from a place like Middlebury? Maybe some. Will it be close to the $50,000 sticker price? Not a chance. Whitman offers merit aid.</p>

<p>I wish I could be more positive. If you really have to put yourself through school then I think you should stick with the FAFSA only schools, then only your custodial parent's income will be considered.</p>

<p>*University of Washington and University of Colorado, Boulder, are my safeties. *</p>

<p>Out of state publics are not safeties unless you know that they would be affordable. These schools are not generous with aid to out of state students. </p>

<p>For an OOS public to be a safety and affordable (since OOS publics charge non-residents a lot of money), you would have to KNOW for SURE that they would give you big merit for your stats. </p>

<p>Which state do you live in?</p>

<p>Any money your dad "gives" your mom would be considered untaxed income & needs to be reported as such on the FAFSA.</p>

<p>Your list is probably not a good one for someone in your situation. All of the private colleges will look at your father's income. Having 3 in school will help (parent can not count as a college student), but it may not help much depending on whether or not your brothers attend schools that meet need and what your parent's assets are.</p>

<p>You will probably need some in state publics and big merit aid schools as your financial safeties.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Since you live with your mother, you would put her information on the FAFSA. So, I think you should probably be able to get a fair amount of need-based aid.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Not really. The schools that are FAFSA only typically do NOT meet full need. </p>

<p>Most of the schools on the OPs list are schools that require filing of the CSS Profile. The OP will need to check which of these requires the non-custodial parent Profile. Any school that does will require her dad's information be included.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Will be "supporting" 4 people in college at once (my two brothers, me, and my mom)

[/quote]
</p>

<p>When completing the Profile, your dad will be able to list your siblings as college students. They will be "counted" on your Profile. Your mom will not be. BUT YOU would be on hers (I believe that's how it works). </p>

<p>On the FAFSA, your mom will also list you and the siblings on YOUR FAFSA...but she doesn't count in the head count on YOUR FAFSA (I think I have this right). You, however, count on hers.</p>

<p>Re: households...the financial aid application forms don't really account for supporting multiple households. If your dad is paying for your mom's mortgage/rent/utilities/food, etc...this WILL have to be listed where it's asked "is any money being paid by anyone else on the student's behalf". So really...this will ADD to your mom's income. It will not diminish your dad's.</p>

<p>Re: U of Washington and U of Colorado, which one is the instate public for your? That will likely be your best bet financially...if your parents are willing to pay some of the costs of attendance for you. You need to find out what they ARE going to contribute for your college education each year...and then work from there.</p>

<p>Most important for your family to understand...the colleges will compute a family contribution based on the Profile (if they use it). This amount will be expected from your parent(s) or from some other source besides need based financial aid.</p>

<p>The FAFSA EFC really is for the awarding of federally funded need based aid...the total of which is a drop in the bucket compared to the costs of attending most of the schools listed on the OPs list.</p>

<p>Are your brothers all undergrads, too? If they are in grad school, that may not count. </p>

<p>I agree that your list isn't good for someone in your situation. You could pick a couple of favorites from your list, apply, and see what happens. </p>

<p>But, to protect yourself from having a handful of acceptances at a bunch of unaffordable schools, you need to apply to some schools that you know will work - schools that you KNOW will be affordable because either the cost of attendance is low or you know that you'll get a big scholarship that will make it affordable.</p>