Marriage: Good or bad for financial aid?

<p>My fiancee and I are thinking about getting married. We are 21, already engaged, and are deciding between a June wedding, or one in February for the fin aid. (As state FAFSA dates are March 1) We already are ready to marry, and I get enough money from financial aid to pay for us to live in our own place, beginning in January. We both attend a 4yr in IL. I have been crunching numbers and would like some input. </p>

<p>1) I make 2k, and she makes 8k. We have no assets beyond a $200 savings account, school housing, and our cars. This would put us at 10k per year, WELL below the 30k for an automatic 0 EFC, according to the FAFSA4Caster</p>

<p>2) Our COA is 24124 each for our univ, including food AND housing year-round. </p>

<p>3) We, with our 0 EFC, would then be eligible for 5500 Subsidized Stafford, 7000 Unsubidized, 5500 Perkins, 5500 PELL, and 4720 MAP (An IL grant pro-rated similarly to PELL). This adds up to 28220.</p>

<p>4) We would, then, each have a 4096 surplus, adding to 8192 total.</p>

<p>My questions are: </p>

<p>Is the FAFSA4Caster correct in predicting a 0 for us? </p>

<p>If it is correct, would my getting a new job (it puts us at 18k) jeopardize the 0, or not? </p>

<p>We, as stated before, are already set living in the non-married "bridge" from Jan until school in Aug. We are in love and getting married anyway, so the question is not about morals, but rather about the timing. Does this make financial sense? Everything in our life is set; the money is the only question. Our family keeps telling us that just BEING married is expensive, but as far as we can tell, the only expense incurred outside the norm is the ceremony, which we have money saved for. </p>

<p>To add further confusion, my family will make 60k with 6 people in the house, and hers will make 50k with 3; no assets for either. So, we will both be near 5k short if we DON'T get married. </p>

<p>Please help,

<p>Independent students are not eligible for the automatic 0 EFC unless they have a dependent other than a spouse.</p>

<p>Oh, crap, that's right. Isn't it near 8k otherwise? So, a FTJ WOULD raise it then.</p>

<p>Are you SURE you will still receive the Perkins loans? Just because you are eligible doesn't mean you are guaranteed to receive them..even if you already have them.</p>

<p>Your job could make a difference in your need based package as independent students do not have the same asset and income protection as dependent ones. </p>

<p>Honestly, I would suggest you run the numbers through a financial aid calculator...but really I would ONLY count sure thing financial aid awards...and I'm not sure you would be able to count that Perkins as a sure thing.</p>

<p>How much more school do you each have? It seems like you are getting a lot of loan debt.</p>