Princeton NPC clearly states divorced parent implications

The way Princeton’s NPC explains how to handle divorced parents is pretty clear and makes it less likely that applicants will make the mistake of assuming that only the custodial parent matters in a divorced parent situation.

Seems like other colleges that use both divorced parents’ information ought to look at this example.

(Note: Princeton may differ from other colleges in its policy if the custodial parent is remarried.)

That is AMAZING. I just filled it out a couple of different ways and it was really helpful. I love how they break out which parent is to pay what, and the student part, also.

Great find, @ucbalumnus . Hopefully more schools will come up with one like this. Long overdue.

Completely agreed. This is a welcome change from the normal schools who make little mention of how to handle divorced situations. Especially given that Princeton doesn’t consider a non-custodial stepparent if both biological parents are considered, Princeton seems a great financial choice for divorced families.

Princeton’s NPC has been by far the easiest and most helpful. Others are waay too complicated.

@OHMomof2 - I know this is supposed to be easy but what am I missing? My ex and I have each been remarried for a while. On the very first page of this worksheet, it says to check the Married or Remarried box if “your parents live in the same household regardless of their marital status”. (that is not the case for us)
For the Separated or Divorced section it says “This describes a situation where your natural parents have separated or divorced and your custodial parent has not remarried.” (this is also not the case)
So, if I check the Married or Remarried box, are they calculating aid based on my income and the income of my current husband rather than my son’s dad?

@elena13 - I’d reach out to Princeton and ask which way you need to fill it out. I am not sure whether or how they calculate need with step parents in the picture.

“Married or Remarried” is described as “You live with 2 legal parents, including a parent and stepparent. Choose this option if your parents live in the same household regardless of their marital status. Provide information for both parents.”

Based on this wording, a custodial parent who has remarried and the new spouse (stepparent) would be this situation, and the calculation would be based on the finances of these two. Or are you saying that the custodial parent and new spouse (stepparent) live separately? You can ask Princeton to be sure if you want.

If I’m reading this correctly they would never calculate need based on more than two parents’ incomes. It’s either your original, still married parents, your custodial parent and the non-custodial parent (whether divorced or never married) or the custodial parent and their spouse. Is this probably common for most private schools?

Each college may have its own policy that should be described or inferred on its financial aid web site (but it may take some digging around). Princeton is an example in this thread mainly because its policy is clearly stated on its net price calculator, so that students and parents are less likely to make incorrect assumptions in a divorced parent situation; it is not necessarily the case that Princeton’s policy is the same as that of any given other college.

In a divorced parent situation, many colleges that do require both parents’ finances do so regardless of whether either or both has remarried.

For a more general FAQ on divorced parent situations and financial aid, see the following:

I have a situation where my ex moved to another country after we divorced and we have been incommunicado for 5 years. This includes her not talking to our kid either. I hope the college doesn’t expect me to provide her financial info, theres no way she will ever do that…

Thank you so much for the helpful information!