Getting Married

<p>My friend and i both are attempting to pay for college on our own. He's 21 and makes approx 26,000/year and i'll be 18 making 5k/year. </p>

<p>If we were to get married, would our income determine our EFC? Would it be better than if i stayed single and figured out my EFC with my parents income of like 88k/year?</p>

<p>How long do we have to be married for this to work?</p>

<p>Once you get married, you are independent and only your (yours and his) income would be counted. Since you are independent, it would counts towards your EFC alot more than your parents' income would. There are calculators on collegeboard that would tell you roughly the figures you would each be expected to pay. </p>

<p>Do NOT get married just for financial purposes though. 18 is way too young to get married and it will just lead to harder times ahead, especially if this is just a marriage of convenience. It would be a lot better to be in debt than to go through a divorce.</p>

<p>We're just friends though. He's actually gay, so it wouldn't be a big deal</p>

<p>It doesn't matter. When you get a divorce, which you will, things will get ugly. Divorce is no easy matter, even in the most civil of relationships. Trust me, my dad tried the same thing with his first wife. They didn't love each other, but neither of them had family support. When they got divorced, things got very, very messy and very, very expensive. Just trust me, marriage is a big deal even if you're not romantically involved.</p>

<p>There was a thread on this not to long ago. Someone pointed out that many schools specify that if you started unmarried/as a dependent, you will remain one until you graduate. Check with your schools.</p>

<p>Not to mention it's fraud and if you're not at the same school and living together, they may catch on.</p>

<p>I haven't started school, so it could benefit me.</p>

<p>Why is it fraud?..we would be married...we don't have to live together, do we?</p>

<p>Unethical. </p>

<p>Plain and simple. Don't try and game the system.</p>

<p>
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How long do we have to be married for this to work?

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At least four years. You do a new FAFSA for every year of school. I don't recommend it.</p>

<p>Well, thanks for all of your responses...</p>

<p>I still think i'm going to look into the logisitics of it</p>

<p>The definition of fraud...</p>

<p>: deceit, trickery ; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right </p>

<p>You are stepping way over the line here.</p>

<p>
[quote]
They didn't love each other, but neither of them had family support. When they got divorced, things got very, very messy and very, very expensive. Just trust me, marriage is a big deal even if you're not romantically involved.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Uhm, it was messy because it wasn't a clean cut divorce. When the respective parties are out for only themselves, divorce isn't easy. If everything is settled beforehand, it's quite simple.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The definition of fraud...</p>

<p>: deceit, trickery ; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right</p>

<p>You are stepping way over the line here.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>There is NOTHING illegal about this. If they said they were married but were not, that would be fraud. They would legally be married and any audit of their lives would check out. It's not their fault that the financial aid system is broken and allows something like this to happen.</p>

<p>Well, not quite. People get married in order to gain permenant residency in the US all the time. They are legally married, but they are not married. In the eyes of immigration department, it does not satisfy their definition of marriage unless you are truly living together and do what married couples do. To detect fraud and deceit, during the interview they would ask questions like, "Which side of the bed does your H sleep in?" "When does he usually go to bed?" "What does he like for breakfast?"...Those questiones are designed to detect if the married couple actually do live together.</p>

<p>What about future financial issues? Later when it comes time for the divorce and one spouse had credit card debt or IRS payments to make, is the other spouse exposed to risk? Can a prenup prevent that? I think this has the potential for being very messy.</p>

<p>Are you prepared to be taken off your parents health insurance? Ethical issues aside, there are OTHER aspects of being an independent besides just your financial aid.</p>

<p>My boyfriend and I planned to marry anyway and considered doing it sooner than planned at age 20 so that I wouldn't incur very much debt at all and he'd have less (my dad makes 80k a year but isn't contributing to my schooling at all), but we decided to wait as planned until summer 2011. It just makes things VERY complicated. Now we have the complication of being $90,000 in debt together, but that is still more manageable than getting married while still in school would have been.</p>

<p>Being married and independent For FAFSA and federal aid purposes is not a magic bullet to a ton of aid. Independent students have less income protection than a parent does. In the OPs scenario where her income is $5000 and her friends is $26,000, her EFC would probably end up being a little over 5000. Admittedly lower than with the parent income but still too high for federal grant aid. So unless she is going to a school that gives their own institutional grants and/or meets need without loans, any aid would be in the form of loans and perhaps work study.</p>

<p>Wow. Lost your moral compass, did you? Please find it.</p>

<p>If he is still classified as a dependent student after marriage, what does he get out of the deal?</p>

<p>Agree with twomules that you're playing with financial fire here. On a pragmatic basis, this alone should rule out the entire idea. </p>

<p>Your dating life in college will be interesting, that's for sure. Were you planning on having no romantic connections for four years? Or, were you thinking of either just not mentioning that you're married, or explaining that it's a marriage of convenience so that you can get more financial aid? </p>

<p>I'm also wondering what the adcoms are going to think when they see from your app that you're married. Might be one thing if you were in your 20's and returning to school, but a 17 or 18 year old who is still in high school and has just gotten married AND who needs a ton of aid is going to raise some red flags. Especially if you don't mention anything about this in your essays. Which you won't, because this is just a marriage of convenience with a gay friend. Who happens to be going to school....possibly somewhere else, hundreds of miles away. OP, you're a smart student who has a real shot at some merit aid. The type of merit aid that maybe requires an INTERVIEW. Where they are going to be sure to ask you about your husband. </p>

<p>If you're not concerned about the ethics, you should be very concerned about how many possible ways this could make things far worse for you and your college plans.</p>

<p>
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Wow. Lost your moral compass, did you? Please find it.

[/quote]

It is neither immoral nor unethical to work within a system of rules in order to maximize your benefit. It is no different than doing things to legally minimize the taxes you pay, or maximize your insurance benefits, or whatever.</p>

<p>
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In the eyes of immigration department,...

[/quote]

Not relevant - this isn't an immigration situation. The rules and procedures of one bureaucracy do not apply to a different bureaucracy.</p>

<p>There is nothing illegal about marriages of convenience, they are common in the military for example.</p>

<p>That said, there are numerous potential pitfalls that make it a questionable proposition, as others have already pointed out. At the very least, you need an iron-clad pre-nup.</p>

<p>oldfort, living together isn't a requirement for financial aid and domestic marriages. While there are laws in place to prevent international marriages of conveniences, no such laws exist domestically.</p>

<p>twomules, it could quite easily become messy if you don't cover your tracks well. The other spouse is exposed to a lot of risk! That's the risk that you must be willing to take for financial aid. A lawyer-written pre-nup does cover a lot of these issues, including in community property states, so if you get one you'll have that peace of mind.</p>

<p>TwistedxKiss, other than getting off of your parents health insurance and them not being able to claim you on their taxes, there's nothing else that makes an independent truly "independent." Besides, the right pre-nup could eliminate joint debts, so that $90k wouldn't necessarily be joint.</p>

<p>swimcatsmom, it's not a magic bullet to a lot of aid, but you shouldn't rule it out. To have an EFC decrease by tens of thousands of dollars would definitely result in institutional aid. It's one of the easier solutions to fill the tuition gap.</p>

<p>cap, he would get absolutely nothing. but what you just stated was illogical - once you're married, you're independent. if you were to get a divorce, that's a whole other story.</p>

<p>SlitheyTove, just because it's a risk doesn't mean you can automatically rule it out. for some people this may be their only option. As it's a marriage purely for financial reasons, and one of the partners is gay, I'm sure any reasonable college-educated person would understand. Also, would it really matter to the adcoms? My personal life holds no bearing on my academic life, so why should that determine whether I should be admitted/what type of aid I get? Just because YOU may not like the idea that someone that young could be married doesn't mean that they wont contribute just as much to the collegiate environment as anyone.</p>