how do i approach this situation now?

<p>my parents legally divorced last year. i submitted the fafsa last april.</p>

<p>fafsa guidelines for divorced parents is whoever you live with the most in the last 12 months from the time you file it is the tax returns you use. if it is equal, use the parent who supported you the most financially.</p>

<p>i spend time with both my parents about equally. i have lived with friends too, which is time that i'm not living with either of my parents. my dad and mom both pay for my groceries, and i support myself in every other way. my dad is my custodial parent on the tax returns too.</p>

<p>i first filed it using my dad's tax returns. i had to verify it, and it went through. i checked my fafsa online one day and it said it was incomplete, so i panicked and thought i did something wrong. i went to the financial aid office to explain that i lived with my mom more, not my dad. for some reason i thought that was what was wrong, i don't know why. the only problem is that i found out that i won't get a pel grant with my moms tax information and i need it to afford college. but honestly, i'm really not sure. its about even and i don't remember very well. i even stayed at a youth hostle once, i was partying a lot, etc. but i was really paranoid for some reason but i should of just not of said anything. should i go back and try to change it again? i just got the pel grant in the mail for my dads tax returns but they want me to return it.</p>

<p>Put your case together with all the current data, so that you don’t panic again. Go back. Get it fixed.</p>

<p>According to your OTHER thread about the same topic…both parents sometimes earn $50,000 each…and sometimes don’t. Since you don’t have a crystal ball, it will be very hard to predict for NEXT year which one to “live with the most”. A $50,000 income will not qualify you for a Pell.</p>

<p>In the meantime…you also say you have received a Pell check which your college wants you to return. You need to RETURN IT. At the end of all this back and forth, if you ARE entitled to the Pell, you will receive the Pell funds you are entitled to receive…if any.</p>

<p>Before you do ANYTHING else, please get your situation straightened out for yourself. You have already changed your FAFSA once from dad being the custodial parent to mom. Your school is already easy asking for clarification on WHY you did this. NOW you want to switch back to DAD to get the PELL? </p>

<p>The financial aid office will absolutely want you to be able to show that you indeed did spend more time with your dad than mom (especially since you have already done a song and dance that you were spending more time with dad than mom). It is the financial aid offices RESPONSIBILITY to verify the information you provide.</p>

<p>It sounds to ME like you are going back and forth with the hope of getting the most aid…and if it sounds like that to me (a stranger reading all this on the Internet), I would imagine that it seems the same to your financial aid office.</p>

<p>So…be prepared to DOCUMENT your residency status, as well as your parents’ marital status. </p>

<p>And for others reading this…it is very important to put accurate information on the FAFSA the first time. Changes like switching custodial parents (and more than once) can put a significant stall on the awarding of your need based aid package.</p>

<p>how will they ask for documentation?</p>

<p>i’ve been living with my dad this whole summer. should i cancel my financial aid for this year and resubmit it, will that work? because as of this september 2013 back to september 2012, i’ve spent more time with my dad i know easily.</p>

<p>i want the pell grant, yeah, but i’m honestly not 100% sure. my mom lives closer to my school, but she has tried to kick me out a number of times for personal reasons i don’t want to get into. so, a lot of the time, i drove to my dads house or slept slept at a friends house or in my car. and when i wasn’t in school, i was with my dad.</p>

<p>For this year’s FAFSA…2013-2014…you use the parent you resided with most from January 1, 2012-December 31, 2012…the 2012 tax year, which is the tax year you also use for the 2013-2014 FAFSA.</p>

<p>If I’m wrong, someone will correct me…but I don’t believe it is September to September. Plus anything in 2013 will count towards your FAFSA for NEXT academic year…2014-2015…I believe.</p>

<p>Documentation would include…parents divorce decree, both parents’ leases, your mailing address (what does the college have on file as your permanent mailing address). While tax filing status is NOT necessarily the same as financial aid status, the school will likely want tax returns from BOTH parents.</p>

<p>In the event that a student lives equally with both parents, the parent who contributes most to support…usually the one who earns the MOST, is used on the FAFSA. The school might just want to verify who earned the most…since it seems like you lived with them very close to or equally.</p>

<p>The custodial parent is the parent with whom the student resided the most in the 12 months preceding the filing of the original fafsa, not the previous tax year. This is probably the most mis-stated item here on CC.</p>



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<p>But no, the OP can’t cancel the already submitted fafsa and start over. Given the swtiching back and forth, if there is a lack of doc showing the OP resided with the dad more or that the dad provided the most support, the school may have to conclude the custodial parent is the one with the higher income.</p>

<p>i only switched once, you are saying that if i switched twice it would look suspicious? my dad claimed me as a dependent on his tax returns, and he is my custodial parent. he could back me up too. i’ve also taken out 2 pel grants in the past, and i really don’t have any financial support from my parents.</p>

<p>my personal mail, which is only a few things, went to my mom’s house only because really my dad lives in an apartment and there is a lock on his mail box so i couldn’t open it if he wasn’t home. my bank statements though now go to my dad’s house.</p>

<p>The Pell grant will only give you about $5000 at most if your EFC is 0. You can make that working part time at a job. Are you being offered work study at your college? If not, you can look on campus for a job or for one in the community.</p>

<p>If your dad claimed you as a dependent on taxes because he provided more than 1/2 your support and he went through the calculations to determine that, that may help your case. If he claims you only because the divorce decree says he can or that your parents can alternate years claiming you then it is irrelevant for fafsa. And that would only apply if the school concludes you spent time equally between your parents…</p>

<p>Are you on either of your parent’s health insurance? This is a big ticket item that many don’t think about when thinking about support provided by parents.</p>

<p>In the end the schools have the final say in ‘enforcing’ fafsa rules. No one here can tell you for certain how your school will treat this. You need to talk to someone in authority at the school’s finaid office and it will help to bring whatever doc you can to show you lived with your dad more and if the school determines it was equal, that he supported you more. I do think it will be the 12 months prior to when you first filed fafsa but schools do have the authority to make a professional judgement. Don’t keep trying to convince us, talk to finaid at the school.</p>

<p>The fact that you are now being verified means that you may no longer make any updates to your FAFSA. From this point on, your school will make the necessary updates based on the information they review. Your aid officer had to react to what you said about living with your mother more … that is his/her duty. Once you made that comment, you opened a can of worms that only you and the financial aid office can sort out. You will need to make an appointment to talk with an aid officer, explain your situation, and make sure that whatever final decision is made takes everything into account. My gut feeling is that they will probably have you go with your mother’s info, since you are unsure with whom you lived more.</p>

<p>I am a bit curious, though … did you refile with your mom’s info? If not, your Pell grant may be removed because your file is incomplete. Your aid office doesn’t know mom’s financial situation, so they didn’t just plug in her info themselves. In this case, you may be asked to refile using mom’s info, and who knows? Maybe you will get the Pell back (depends on her financial situation).</p>

<p>i won’t get any pel grants with my mom’s financial information, i used the financial aid estimator.</p>

<p>i am already working a part time job to support myself in college, but it’s not enough. </p>

<p>what happens if i just assert from now on that i lived with my dad more? i basically said that first when i filed the fafsa with my dad’s tax info. how much do they really care? and they can’t prove otherwise. i just got stressed out and idk i regret that a lot.</p>

<p>You can file next years fafsa with your dad’s info if it is true that you lived with him more in the 12 months preceeding the date you file.</p>

<p>But if you want to receive aid for this fall and spring, you’ve received the final word from kelsmom on the subject. If you don’t know, she is a finaid officer at a college. You can take her post as gospel that the only way to resolve this for this school year is to discuss everything with the finaid office.</p>

<p>Schools do care that taxpayer money is spent according to the established rules and the burden of proof is on you if they ask for documentation. Committing finaid fraud is something you don’t even want to consider doing.</p>

<p>I’m guessing the OP filed her original FAFSA sometime between January and March. So where she lived from September to September would not be correct!</p>

<p>Thank you Kelsmom for your answer. It seems that at this point, the OP MUST clarify this with her financial aid office.</p>

<p>Agreee, it’s water under the bridge. The OP needs to go to that appointment and be forthright, bring the requested documents and let the financial aid officer do what the financial officer can do for this year. The OP really isn’t going to get much different information from the first thread to this one.</p>