Parents4Parents: Parent of Two, Highly Knowledgeable in Financial Aid Matters - ASK ME ANYTHING!

@Culbreath , did you enter that untaxed income when you did the NPC? If not, and if the amounts were significant, that could be the difference.

You may want to look at whether you can roll the 529 assets for your daughter into an ABLE Account. It may be possible to split the 529 by doing a rollover of everything in the 529 account, except the amount of your costs, into an ABLE Account for your D. If the 529 then holds only the amount you intend to use for yourself, the beneficiary on the 529 would only need to change once.

@MaineLonghorn is an expert with respect to the ABLE Accounts.

@twoinanddone and @kelsmom you are both right, of course - the reason I thought this was silly was that when I ran through it the first time it struck me as a question about full-time employment. I don’t know why I read it that way, but I had just stepped through the “Verification Statement - Dependent Student” form which established that DS is my dependent, and then I went on to a form that seemed to be treating him as an independent adult. And it asks for source of income and currency even though I entered “0” so I guess I just wish it were more of a smart form that, if it sees you enter zero, it grays out the associated fields.

@thumper1 No, no rollovers at all. I ran the NPCs a few months ago. However, I’ll need to go back and double check everything. I don’t recall how, or if, 401k and HSA contributions were entered on the NPCs.

@kelsmom Yes, that could very well be my mistake (untaxed income). I’ll run another NPC and double check that. Thank you.

The net price calculators are updated annually, usually at the end of the summer. Is it possible that you did them before the update for this admissions round?

Try one or two NPCs again now and see if they are any closer

Some NPCs do not ask about 401K contributions, including the ‘MyIntuition’ calculators that some schools use.

Make sure to use the more detailed net price calculator, if given a choice.

@kelsmom , am I missing something or has the 2020 Asset % for parents gone up to 12% for 2020, the latest FAFSA?

Yup. It’s 12% for parents of dependent students.

I have 110k cash in my family account, does it get disadvantage to get the merit scholarships? my son is national merit semi-finalist (eventually he becomes finalist)

If a school offers merit that has no need component, your savings won’t come into play. Be aware that some schools do require students to file for financial aid to be considered for merit; they will still make awards without consideration of need if they state that they do so.

@kelsmom, thank you for offering your expertise in this thread!

I have a question regarding parental assets. I run a small service-based LLC (sole proprietor type) for which I keep about $10,000 in my business’s bank account. For the past two years of completing the FAFSA, my assumption has been to include that money under our assets. Is my assumption correct? I’m second guessing because of the family business question. I appreciate your help since I am completing the FAFSA this week.

I would consider that an asset of the business, and I would not expect you to report it. My response assumes your business fits the description of a business that is not required to report its worth and that the money is in a separate bank account in the business name.

@kelsmom, my business meets the criteria of family-owned business with no additional employees and a bank account in my LLC’s name.

I appreciate your response! I counted this money as a parental asset, but it sounds like it was a mistake. Thank you!

No one has asked about this, but I think it’s a very important read: I believe in access, but families need to do everything in their power to keep borrowing to a minimum. The flip side to the access afforded by a PLUS loan is being saddled with crushing debt. Be very careful.

DD realized yesterday that she was a sophomore when she had to leave college and will be a senior when she goes back, that is crazy.

The problem we are having is with the federals student loans. Due to state grant and tuition scholarship, she has only used the federal loans for housing and fees. Has not had that for the past year and a half.

Due to massive changes at her college, she will not be able to stay in on campus housing, less than $7K a year, for her senior year. With very very limited off campus housing, and no car, she signed for a nearby apartment that is double the cost, $14000 for 12 months.

Most of her federal student loan for her jr year is still showing in her financial aid; she took the subsidized portion to cover fees. Will those unsub loans still be available for July when she needs to start paying rent? The $7500 fed loans for her senior year will not be enough.

If not available, are there any issues with accepting the full amount now even though, technically, doesn’t need them right now?

She won’t be able to borrow this year’s loans after the last day of the last semester of the current financial aid year (and she has to be enrolled at least half time at the time the loan is paid to her account). But she absolutely can borrow the rest of her current year eligibility even if she doesn’t owe the school anything right now -she will just get a refund.

Thanks for the info kelsmom. Communications aren’t the best right now, so having this verified has been very helpful.