FASFA Question

I claimed my son on my taxes in 2017 and when I was filling out fasfa for the 2018 school year I would have said I was planning on claiming him as a dependent for 2018 as well. Plans changed and now I think his dad (my boyfriend) is going to claim him and I for 2018. How would this affect me? Would I have to pay back the aid I received for the 2018-2019 school year or is it okay since I claimed him on my taxes in 2017?

The FAFSA for 2018/19 used 2016 tax information. If you were not married when you filed that FAFSA, then you only provide your income. For household size, it should be two, your college student and you.

If you have younger children I think they only count in household size for FAFSA if you provide more than 50% of their support.

The FAFSA for 2019/20 uses 2017 income.

Doesn’t matter who is claiming on taxes.

On your son’s FAFSA, are you including both parents’ incomes? You mentioned that your BF is your son’s father.

Or are you the student?

Or are you the student? Did you file the FAFSA for you to attend school?

@kelsmom, would the FAFSA household size for the OP change from two to one, if the boyfriend supported the son more than she did (since boyfriend apparently qualifies to claim OP and son as dependents on taxes)?

Does OP have to correct her 2018/19 FAFSA in that case?


The 2018-2019 FAFSA used tax information from 2016.

The 2019-2020 FAFSA used 2017 tax year information.

The 2020-2021 FAFSA will use 2018 tax year information.

Are you a student with a baby…or is your son the college student?

If your son is the college student, it doesn’t matter who uses him as a dependent on taxes for financial aid purposes. What matters is who your son lived with for 51% of the time for the 365 days prior to the filing date of his FAFSA.

I will let @BelknapPoint explain the new tax law as it affects declaring dependents for TAX filing purposes.

I’m a student with a baby. I had him in 2017 and claimed him in 2017. I thought I would claim him for 2018 but now am not so I’m asking if I have to make corrections.

No corrections. Your fafsa is as of the date of filing…and you claimed him in 2017.

Your 2020-2021 Fafsa will use 2018 tabac year data.

I will say… you were probably an independent student for financial aid purposes because you supported a dependent child. You need to figure out if you will lose that status if you are no longer supporting that dependent child.

How old are you? If you are 24 or older you will be independent anyway for financial aid purposes.

I’m sorry but if the household size was 2 people for the FAFSA 2018/19 and the OP didn’t support the baby more than her boyfriend in the year 2018/19, then wouldn’t the household size for FAFSA be only one?

Then shouldn’t that FAFSA be corrected?

From the above link:
“the number of children (even if they do not live with you) who will receive more than half of their support from you (and if married, your spouse) between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. You may include any unborn children if they will be born during the school year;”

@thumper1 Yes I’m under 24 so I know this will make me have to be a dependent student for a year but I’m confused as to what year. Since I claimed him in 2017 would I do independent for 2018-2019 and dependent 2019-2020? Or independent for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 then dependent 2020-2021? What if I claim him on my taxes in 2019? It’s confusing because of when they use what tax year.

You could reach out to your school’s financial aid office for advice.

If you are 24, you might be a dependent student for FAFSA.

I don’t know if the support your boyfriend supplies can be counted as your support.

@kelsmom your thoughts?

Are you supporting yourself? Are you supporting your son? If yes to both, you can be independent even if you aren’t 24.

There is a special rule for ‘giving’ the tax deduction/child credit to the other parent of a child. It is not unusual for one parent to claim the child one year and the other the next year. You may still be supplying 50%+ of son’s support.

@twoinanddone Does this work even if my boyfriend claims both my child and I as dependent and I don’t file?

I believe the question on the FAFSA for independent status is…do you have a dependent child you support? Or something like that.

If you aren’t working…can you say yes to that question?

If your boyfriend claims you, then you are not dependent on your parents you are dependent on your boyfriend and I believe that makes you independent for FAFSA. Do you make less than $4150? If so, your boyfriend can claim you but there is very little benefit to it under the 2018 new tax code.

Is your boyfriend going to help you with college costs?

I think you need to crunch the numbers before you make any decisions that might jeopardize your financial aid.

What IS your current need based aid award?

I’m fairly certain that there are a lot of taxpayers who don’t think that a $500 tax credit is of very little benefit.

But it is not a refundable credit, and if boyfriend is also getting the $2000 credit for the child, he might not have any tax liability left.