Major Financial Aid Issue ---please help

<p>The way I understand this, it doesn't matter whether your parents are married or have ever been married. You have a father. Finacial aid WILL ask for his income. They do not care whether your parents are living together, married, legally separated, divorced or living in different countries. According to financial aid rules, your parents are responsible for paying for your college. Period. If their combined income level is too high you won't get financial aid no matter how much they can actually pay.</p>


<p>You state: I filled my Fafsa as if I lived with my mom and she was single, just like her tax return claims. </p>

<p>Answer: Only one parent has to fill out the FAFSA. It is ususally the parent either which whom you reside or has the lower income </p>

<p>You State: Financial Aid will never ask for my dads income, because my mom claims she is head of household and single. And the fact that they never joined incomes or filled tax returns together, makes me consider my mom as being single. </p>

<p>Answer: Whoever you have been talking too has given you some extremely bad advice. Unless you were immaculately conceived (none has happend with in the last 2000 years) They will want you to either produce financials for a father, or have a parent waiver filled out with an accompanying letter from your schools guidance counselor. </p>

<p>How do I know this, because I am a single parent (never married, TRUE single head of household) and every single school my daughter applied to asked for my ex's financial information or parent waiver before she could obtain a financial aid award letter. </p>

<p>It is my hope that if both of them are filing head of household (which you can only do if you you are single have dependents for whom live with you over half the year and your provide more than half of their support) that you are not the dependent that they are both filing, or they are both in for a world of hurt.</p>

<p>You state: But somehow Financial Aid found out that my mom is married, and now Im being thought of as a liar. </p>

<p>Answer: The federal government requires that the University confirm the accuracy of information that a student completes on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA). Unless “verification” issues are satisfactorily completed for a selected student, he/she is unable to receive federal Title IV financial aid. This includes Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG Grants, Federal Perkins Student Loans, Federal Work Study/America Reads, Health Professions Student Loans, and Federal Direct Loans. </p>

<p>So there are apparent flags in your application, for which if are not resolved to the satisfaction of the school and the government, you will get no aid</p>

<p>If they find out later - say next year or the year after - you will be in even worse trouble, having to give back all the money, pay interest, and undoubtedly being kicked out of school. I volunteered in the federal prison system for years, and yes, believe it or not, we DID have people inside for defrauding the student aid system (I know it is hard to believe, butit's true!). So in addition to the school's penalties, there can be federal ones as well, since I assume you and your parents signed the statement that everything was true to the best of your knowledge ---- when it wasn't!</p>

<p>Yes, as Emeraldkity4 says, marriages and divorces are a matter of public record. Did you think they were a secret?</p>

<p>The real problem is that your parents cannot BOTH file as "head of household" unless they live apart and EACH have a dependent living with them for whom they provide more than 1/2 the support. </p>

<p>You said you filed the forms as if your mom were single "just as she claims." If she is legally married, she cannot be claiming she is single!</p>

<p>BTW you very clearly stated in your first post that your parents live together. Now you say they don't!</p>

<p>if what you are saying is true, BOTH your parents should consult a tax lawyer or THEY could be in serious legal trouble as well. I hope they are filing accurately, because the IRS can be a real S.O.B. if (for example) they were filing under the wrong heading. They would not only owe the back taxes, but substantial interest and penalties.</p>

<p>Also, as Garland said, if your parents combined income doesn't give you an EFC of zero, you are not as poor as a lot of people!</p>

<p>It's amazing to me that you never once commented on the MORAL issue of you and your parents trying to cheat the school and the government. Just because you feel "entitled" to other people's money, and feel "entitled" to lie because otherwise you wouldn't get aid, doesn't mean it is right!</p>

<p>EDIT: I posted before I saw Sybbie's reply, which is excellent.</p>

<p>It's okay, I saw that we cross posted. BTW, I hope your daughter is feeling better and is on the mend</p>

<p>Thank you for remembering, Sybbie! it's a real trial every six months when she goes back for tests, but so far so good!</p>

<p>Yeah :) :) :) :)</p>

<p>This thread really is a testament to the need to be HONEST when filling out all paperwork related to your finances (taxes, finaid forms, whatever). Filling these out with misinformation is dishonest. It is also illegal. While it may save you money in the short term (because "no one will find out"), it can certainly come back to haunt you in later years as this poster is finding out. IF (and I mean if) this person's parent's have been fraudulently filling out tax forms for many years, there are bigger issues than just what the college financial aid package may or may not be. It is very clearly illegal with significant penalties for not being honest on one's tax returns. To be honest, if this is the case at this point, I think this student needs to be working WITH HER FAMILY to somehow rectify this situation....and this may involve seeing legal counsel.</p>