Divorced parents, different states

<p>I had physical custody of my soon to be senior daughter up until 20 months ago. At that time I moved to California but she stayed in Nebraska with her father to finish high school. Now that she's entering the college application season, I was wondering, "Will she qualify for in-state tuition since I am (officially according to my law school) a CA resident?"</p>

<p>How do we fill out financial aid papers?</p>

<p>She probably won't qualify for in-state tuition in California since she didn't graduate from a CA high school, even though you live here. You can look at the UC and CSU websites for their specific criteria.</p>

<p>As for financial aid, what matters is not physical/legal custody, but which parent your daughter lived with more than 50% of the time during the year prior to the filing. Since your daughter will be a senior, she'll file FAFSA in January 2011. If she's still in Nebraska and has spent the 2nd half of her junior year + the first half of her senior year at her father's house, then her father would be considered the custodial parent for FAFSA and he would file. The same would be true for any Profile schools; the father would be considered the custodial parent.</p>

<p>And, I don't think she'd qualify for Cal Grant either, even if she gains residency. I think you have to have gone to a CA high school to get a Cal Grant.</p>

<p>Very true that she'll be submitting FAFSA while living with her dad.</p>

<p>If your daughter is interested in attending a CA university or college, please call up any schools where she may be interested now and check their web pages. She absolutely doesn't need to graduate high school in California. I think it may be possible for you to get her instate tuition (I don't think you'll necessarily qualify for instate grants, that would be a separate question) depending on her birthday and who puts her on her taxes. I will link some pages that you may find interesting. </p>

<p>When does she turn 18yo? According to this link (and you may want to call to verify) UCSD says that if she moves to live with you before her 18th birthday, she could apply as a CA resident. So it sounds to me like if she is 17yo at her graduation, you could have her move out immediately following and she could apply for instate tuition. </p>

<p>Residence</a> Rules for Minors/ Guardians</p>

<p>"Specific rules applying to minors:
Divorced/ separated parents: You may be able to derive California residence status from a California resident parent if you move to California to live with that parent on or before your 18th birthday. If you begin residing with your California parent after your 18th birthday, you will be treated like any other adult student coming to California to establish residence." </p>

<p>Here, they refer to something called the Condit Bill:
Condit</a> Bill, Office of the Registrar</p>

<p>If she will have turned 18yo by graduation, she may have to live with you for a year before declaring CA residency.
Establishing</a> California Residence for Tuition Purposes, Office of the Registrar</p>

<p>But please check with the individual school. I have been given the impression that community colleges are sometimes a bit more flexible. </p>

<p><a href="http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/undergrad_adm/ca_residency.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/undergrad_adm/ca_residency.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>These really don't affect the financial aid issue. That is separate. In general, most state schools only require FAFSA and FAFSA is filled out only by the parent with whom the student lives. It includes income (including child support they receive) and assets (excluding primary residence) of the student (any spouse) and parent.</p>

<p>Thanks for the replies! Unfortunately, she turns 18 in November of her senior year :(.</p>

<p>Bummer....then she won't get instate and she won't get any financial aid except for basic fed loans and maybe Pell if she qualifies (which she may not if her dad earns a decent income). </p>

<p>But, the OOS costs are big at UCs. COAs running about $45k - 50k per year.</p>

<p>What are her stats? Maybe she could get a good scholarship to a Calif private school or to some other school in another state.</p>

<p>What about coming to live with Mom in Ca for a year off before applying, then she would be a 12 month resident. You would have to read the exact forms, but could that work?</p>

<p>OP, check out my links. I do think that living with you for a year would work. Of course, I don't know if you and she would be interested but it would be a huge savings.</p>

That might work. Although she still won't qualify for Cal Grants. You have to graduate from a Calif school for those.</p>

<p>However, she shouldn't give up her opportunity to apply to schools as a senior just to see what might happen. </p>

<p>after all, she might qualify for instate in Calif, but not get into any schools that she likes. She won't have the benefit of guaranteed access.</p>

<p>USC is her dream school so in-state vs. out-of-state might not matter at all. But she also liked UCSD (we toured last week). We went to a application consultant on Friday (her dad is a pessimist, I'm an optimist, and as a law student, I sadly don't have the time needed to help her on this journey so I thought we needed a neutral opinion to develop her application strategy). She's got good stats, good ECs and is a "double hook" according to the consultant, ethnic and geographic diversity. Her dad is not well off, though I think his circumstances have improved somewhat.</p>

<p>I really appreciate all the input. I will definitely try to get to those links. I start a summer internship tomorrow though, and have NO idea how much time I will have over the next 10 weeks :).</p>

<p>If your daughter's dream school is USC then there is the possibility for merit aid if her stats are top-notch. For need-based aid, USC requires both Profile and FAFSA. According to its website, USC does not require the CSS Non-Custodial Parent form or the CSS Business Supplemental Form. So again, if your daughter is living with her father through most of 2010, he would be the one filing these forms.</p>

<p>UCSD doesn't have a lot of merit aid to give, and your daughter will be faced with the probability of paying out of state tuition there. It could end up being more expensive than USC.</p>

<p>Another route to USC is through the Ca Community college system. USC tends to take many CC transfers. Our local CC has a specific transfer plan for USC.</p>

<p>Yes, if her plan is USC then moving in with you would hurt her financial aid application.</p>

<p>If mom is a law school student and dad "is not well off" then there's no way to know if moving in with mom would help or hurt the daughter's financial aid application. Regardless, the guidelines are clear regarding who the custodial parent is for financial aid purposes; it's the parent with whom the student lived with most in the 12 months prior to filing the forms. If physical custody were shared exactly 50% then there are other ways to determine who the custodial parent is, but unless the D were to live with mom from July to Dec 2010, those additional criteria won't come into play.</p>