non-custodial formula for financial aid

<p>Here is our situation:
Custodial parent remarried. Non-custodial parent never remarried. Step-son has applied to institutions which require CSS. What is the formula that they are likely to use? Do they count custodial parent and non-custodial parent income only, or will the income of the spouse of custodial parent be included also? Our problem is that the non-custodial parent has refused to pay half of the tuition of Michigan. If they include all three incomes, it obviously would push us out of consideration for aid. If they only include the biological parents, we may stand a chance. Thanks in advance for help with this situation.</p>

<p>^^ I believe they count all three. I am sorry to say this. My mom is about to get married, but has not yet, and it is partially because our financial aid would go down to almost nothing.</p>

<p>Also, I have a similar question on this topic. For schools that use the non-custodial parent, does the non-custodial have a separate calculated contribution, or is it included in EFC? My caltech aid estimate had a really high EFC (BUT my mom accidentally overestimated her income by 20K so that might have been the problem), PLUS a non-custodial contribution. So, are non-custodial contributions included in EFC, or are they separate?</p>

<p>ndcoop, unfortunately, the spouse's income is included. The logic is that because the spouse's income helps support the parent (custodial or non-custodial - if custodial parent had remarried, that income would be included too), there is more discretionary income available for college. A parent's refusal to pay is irrelevant. Schools consider what parents can pay, not what they are willing to pay. (Otherwise, everyone would say, "Nope, I'm not paying.")</p>

<p>lalaloo6, your FAFSA EFC is based only on custodial parent's income. The Profile doesn't really come up with an "EFC" that you ever see, because schools use different calculations. But generally, there is a single EFC, and it is up to your parents to figure out who pays what. Schools don't really care.</p>

<p>I spent a lot of time last year on this question. My S applied to 10 schools. No one in any of the f/a departments ever gave me a straight answer! It was a very frustrating experience. These were mostly 100% need met schools.</p>

<p>I do believe they count the income both of the biological parents and of those parents' spouses. Then why don't they account for the fact that those incomes are supporting TWO households? I do think applicants with two sets of parents are disadvantaged in the f/a process. I would definitely like to see the process become more transparent.</p>