If I switch parents to live with my poor one will I get more from FAFSA?

<p>I'm a junior in high school and my mom makes around $75k a year and (according to my dad-- who hates her and wants me to live with him) has lots of assets and the house paid off. I have 3 siblings, two are in college and the other lives with my dad and is a freshman. My dad essentially lives off of disability and has a lot of debt. When my oldest sister (who lived with my mom) applied for FAFSA about 4 or 5 years ago she only got around $2500. My mom does not help very much at all with our college, she pays for the books and thats about it. My dad, even though he's extremely poor, has taken our loans with my siblings to help them college. My dad called Case Western (the college I want to go to) and they said I would get at LEAST 25K a year if I lived with my dad along with potential scholarship money and that I would AT MOST get 5-7k with my mom + potential scholarship money. Thats with the info HE supplied them, which I'm not sure is 100% accurate relating to my mom.</p>

<p>My dad says that as long as I have been living with him for 9 months I can use his tax reports. So, if I moved with him over the summer would I be able to apply for FAFSA with him? I'm scared that it would be too late since I'm pretty sure you apply for FAFSA in January of senior year!</p>

<p>I obviously would want to live with my dad if I would get all of this support but I'm not sure if I would/can get it. I like the private school I go to now but I mostly likely couldn't afford my college of choice w/out it.</p>

<p>Thank you so much for the help.</p>

<p>A note - you don't apply <em>for</em> FAFSA. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is the actual application that you fill out to be eligible for federal aid and, at many schools, institutional aid.</p>

<p>FAFSA doesn't give you any money. What it does is make you eligible for certain grants. I'm not sure what the custodial/non-custodial parent rules are on the FAFSA - another more seasoned poster can probably clarify. Depending on your father's income, you may be eligible for grants (like Pell) and lower-interest loans (like the Perkins loan). Schools that don't use non-custodial parent information may also give you more institutional aid, but that's not a guarantee.</p>

<p>juillet is right that FAFSA is just a form that you fill out that colleges (and the fed gov't) use to determine how much aid you qualify for. When you complete the FAFSA you get a number - your EFC - which is how much that formula says you can afford per year for college.</p>

<p>Whether colleges actually choose to meet your full need is up to them.</p>

<p>And yes, if you live with your dad 51% of the time, you can list him as your custodial parent and your mom's income won't count, only his will. But some colleges will want additional info for their own grants and that may include your mom's info.</p>

<p>Some schools like Case Western only require the FAFSA application to be considered for financial aid ... at FAFSA only schools which parent you live with can have a substantial affect on your financial aid. Many other top private schools require the CSS profile in addition to the FAFSA application to be considered for financial aid ... and the CSS profile considers both parents (and step parents) income when determining financial aid. So you may want to consider if schools are FAFSA only schools.</p>

<p>*My dad called Case Western (the college I want to go to) and they said I would get at LEAST 25K a year if I lived with my dad *</p>

<p>Is that in total financial aid (grants, loans, work-study)? </p>

<p>How will you pay the other $25k per year to go there?</p>

<p>You need solid information from both of your parents about how much money each of them will be contributing toward your education. Do not expect your father to co-sign loans for you. By the time you are in college, the banks might not be willing to loan him any more money, especially as you describe him as living off of disability and already having a lot of debt.</p>

<p>Once you know what each of your parents will be contributing in cash each year, you can start thinking about whether it is worth your time to try to optimize your future financial aid by moving to live with your father. To get a more accurate picture of what your FAFSA EFC would be like, ask each of them to run the FAFSA estimator at EFC</a> Calculator: How Much Money for College Will You Be Expected to Contribute? Ideally, you would be able to sit with each of them while they do this so that you see what their numbers are, but they might not want to share everything with you because they think you might tell the other one.</p>

<p>So that you have a notion of what your actual costs might be at each of the colleges and universities on your list, check the Net Price Calculator at each website. If you have some of the financial information from each parent, you will be able to run these calculators. Again, it might be best in your situation to ask each of them to run them for you, and then give you the results.</p>

<p>Please don't forget to identify a Safety School for yourself. This is a place that you can pay for without any aid other than federally determined aid, where you know you can get in, that offers your major, and where you can be happy if you don't get in anywhere else that you can afford. For many students this will be a commuting-distance public university or community college. </p>

<p>Good luck with everything!</p>

<p>Would this plan mean that you have to switch schools for your senior year? Have you discussed this with your mother so you have actual facts? I think this really needs to be a family discussion and decision. I'm sure that both of your parents want the best for you but there may be other factors that need to be considered.</p>

<p>When there are multiple kids in college, the parent's contribution to the FAFSA EFC is divided among them. FAFSA does not ask for or regard the parent's residence or retirement plans as assets. Parents have an asset protection allowance, based on their age, and then the remaining assets are assessed at 5.6%. You can ask your mom or siblings to see their SAR, or Student Aid Report, which is what they can view online after filing FAFSA.</p>

<p>Case Western requires the CSS profile in addition to the FAFSA. I think they started requiring it this year. I don't know if they require a non-custodial profile. You should check that out. If they do require it then it won't matter who you live with.</p>

<p>Sent from my DROID2 using CC</p>

<p>^ not sure about this ... I went to the Case Western web-site before writing post #4 and the financial aid info does not mention the profile ... Financial</a> Aid: Merit-based, need-based assistance via loans, scholarships, grants and work-study at Case Western Reserve University - One of the nation's top universities and the best college in Ohio</p>

<p>^ It does.
Applying</a> for Financial Aid :: Case Western Reserve University</p>

<p>OP, you have to analyze broad statements like "you would receive $25K of aid". Loans count as FA. When speaking with FA offices ask specifically about grants and scholarships.</p>

<p>Case definitely requires the profile. I just spent the weekend doing it. When you look at the main financial aid page it says the "process starts with the FAFSA", and when you drill down to the "applying for undergraduate" financial aid page it indicates that the CSS profile and the FAFSA are required. I believe it is new, and it does indicate that the process for upperclasses is different, so it is probably not required for anyone currently attending.</p>

<p>So, if I'm reading this right, if Case requires the "profile" then it wouldn't make any difference whether I lived with my Dad or not? How would this take in account situations where kids move away from parents because of a bad relationship and aid from more than one parent is not possible?</p>

<p>I'm also still confused about my question about whether its too late to move with my Dad and receive the (possible) aid benefits. </p>

<p>Also, can you quote on this forum?</p>

<p>Again, thanks for all the help. Its much appreciated!</p>

<p>quoting is easy .... [ quote]The text I want to quote[/ quote] ... but leave out the two blanks I stuck in there.</p>

<p>It looks like you'll need to provide info about both parents to Case Western since they require the profile ... if you're only looking into a few schools I'd suggest calling them directly to ask rather than asking and trusting strangers on this site (including me)</p>

<p>
[quote]
How would this take in account situations where kids move away from parents because of a bad relationship and aid from more than one parent is not possible?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Those kids must either chase down the other parent for information to file the Profile, usually having to pay extra based on that parent's income/assets even if the other parent won't contribute. Or they apply for waivers of the NCP info from the school in question, but those are not easy to get and require third party verification that there is no contact with that parent over a long period of time and/or the parent can't be located. That doesn't apply to you though, and you're lucky that it doesn't!</p>

<p>It is not too late to move in with Dad. The custodial parent for FAFSA is the one who the student lives with most during the preceding year. You could wait til late June to switch residences.</p>

<p>I applied and was accepted EA to Case this year. They required CSS profile and even though I got 17.5k/yr in merit aid they calculated my families contribution at $37k (5.5K loans, 2.8k work study), and the rest up to us. My parents don't earn alot of $, but they have substantial assets. The CSS profile really digs out every last penny your family has. Some students got much more in merit aid, 22k, even 30K, but your stats better be impressive.</p>

<p>It looks like Case only requires the custodial profile
<a href="https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/prf/PXRemotePartInstitutionServlet/PXRemotePartInstitutionServlet.srv%5B/url%5D"&gt;https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/prf/PXRemotePartInstitutionServlet/PXRemotePartInstitutionServlet.srv&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>In that case it would be better to live with your Dad. A number of schools that require the CSS Profile do not require the noncustodial profile.</p>