Step-Parent and other parent deceased.

<p>I know step-parents are counted as if they were biological parents for Financial Aid purposes.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, my mom was recently diagnosed with cancer and has been placed on Hospice. Statistically, she probably won't be here to see me graduate.</p>

<p>I hate to ask, but if she dies do I still have to count her husband's income? I can't find anything that says one way or the other. Would it be treated the same as divorce?</p>

<p>Worse, would I have to count my non-custodial parent (mom's ex-husband)? I haven't received any support from him in years (parent's had an agreement where he got his child support back in exchange for not dragging me out of the house on visitation nights).</p>

<p>I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. </p>

<p>I do not have a specific answer for that - maybe contact a financial aid office at a school you're looking at and see what they say. If you are still in high school and under 18, I wonder if it depends on whether your step-dad legally adopted you? Step-parents who legally adopt a step-child are held financially responsible, such as if they divorced they would be responsible for child support, etc. But I'm not sure whether they would want your biological father's income instead.</p>

<p>That's terrible! : (</p>

<p>Anyway...I think it depends based on the FAFSA and CSS Profile...the CSS is, in general, more of a pain about it, since it makes you include the non custodial parent, also. Who will you be living with afterwards? I think that's who you'd count. Also, you might have to prove that your father hasn't been providing support and that you're going to be independent. Anyway, I don't really know much, but you should probably contact financial aid services to make sure of what you have to do. I'm sorry, and good luck!</p>

<p>I'm not in high school if that matters. I'm 23. I'll be 24 in Feb. I'm hoping to enroll for the upcoming Spring semester. After which I don't think it'll matter anymore. I think that I'll be old enough to be counted as independent regardless. I think. </p>

<p>My step-dad did not legally adopt me. Although, I'd have no problem including his income if need be. (He's been out of work for over a year anyway...recession and then taking care of mom.)</p>

<p>I don't know how I can prove that my dad doesn't provide support. There's no way I can get access to his financial records. I love him, but my relationship with his wife is not so good. I barely see her anymore, and I'm still scared poop-less of her. And, of course she'd be the one with the records. If it comes to that, I'll have to wait 'till I'm however old you need to be.</p>

<p>I am so sorry about your mom.</p>

<p>Are you going to college for the first time or are you a continuing student?<br>
Are you filing the FAFSA now or are you filing in January?</p>

<p>If you have to file the FAFSA between now and December 31, you will have to file your status as of today. This means you will have to file based on the information and assets of your mom (if she is still alive) and your stepdad because you will be considered a dependent student.</p>

<p>If you are filing the FAFSA on Jan 1 or later, then you will be considered an independent student because you will turn 24 in 2012.</p>

<p>If you are a continuing student at a CSS profile school that give institutional aid, then you will have to look up the school's policy regarding independent students. Some schools have a policy that if you start as a dependent student, you finish as a dependent student, regardless of age or marital status (for example, the Ivies and USC). If you are a continuing student and you had to file a non custodial profile, then you will still have to file a non-custodial profile.</p>

<p>Again, if you are filing for the first time after Jan. 1, 2012 you willbe an independent student. In this case, I would still recommend that you contact the school to see if you will be considered an independent student.</p>

<p>I am so sorry to hear this :( My children's father is also deceased, and I can't imagine their going through it again with me at such young ages.</p>

<p>To answer your question, unless you are independent age-wise, as long as your mother is alive you have to list your stepfather as well. But if she passes, you no longer have to list him.</p>

<p>You would, however, have to list your bio-dad as your parent. There are many kids in their early 20s who don't live with or receive any support from their bio parents, but financial aid requires their information.</p>

<p>But it sounds like this won't be an issue next year anyway as you will be old enough to be considered independent.</p>

<p>I am so sorry to hear about your situation. </p>

<p>Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea for you to start school in the Spring. I think that you will be going thru too much emotionally during that time to deal with "going back to college" and all of the adjustments, time demands, and deadlines associated with that. </p>

<p>I'm going to try to put this as delicately as I can (imagine that I have an arm around you), but if your mom's prognosis is what you've said, as she worsens, you're going to want to be with her...not sitting in class, taking tests, or doing homework.</p>

<p>{{{ hugs }}}</p>

<p>For the 2011-12 school year, you must have been born before January 1, 1988 to be considered independent (you will be independent for the 2012-13 school year if you were born before January 1, 1989). If you will be 24 in February 2012, that means you will be dependent for this spring term.</p>

<p>First of all, I want to say how sorry I am about your situation. It is extremely difficult to lose a parent, and it is very difficult to put a parent in hospice. With that said, I will give you the technical answer to your question. If you want to complete your FAFSA now, you would have to use your mother's and stepfather's information. If you wait until your mother passes away, you would need to use your biological father. It sounds like he is out of the picture, but that doesn't mean you get to file any other way. So ... either way, you are going to have to get a dependency override to be considered independent for the spring.</p>

<p>My suggestion is to apply now and use your stepfather's income. It doesn't sound like it will hurt you from a financial aid standpoint, and it is easier than trying to do a dependency override. If it would make a difference, I would suggest that ... but since it won't from the sounds of things, I would go ahead & file now. </p>

<p>Here is the thing, though. If you are selected for verification, you will have to send in your info for that point in time. If it is after your mom passes away, you would then have to either update the FAFSA to provide the bio dad info or get a dependency override (because you can't use stepdad after mom is gone). So file now & find out right away if the school has selected you for verification - and provide the documentation right away, if necessary.</p>

<p>Fortunately, you will be automatically independent due to age for the 2012-13 school year.</p>

<p>Again, I am sorry for your situation.</p>

<p>I would be a transfer student.</p>

<p>Fortunately, I've already filed my FAFSA for the 2011-2012 school year. I was just hoping that if something happened between now and the end of the Spring semester, the government wouldn't decide to come chasing after me too. </p>

<p>Anyway, thanks for all of your help. I think I've got my answer.</p>

<p>@mom2collegekids
Believe me I know. Unfortunately, I'm at the point where it's either go back to college now or move away and get a job. It's either sitting in classrooms while mom's sick or sitting at work. I'm screwed either way. </p>

<p>At least colleges let you have holidays and weekends off.</p>

<p>* Unfortunately, I'm at the point where it's either go back to college now or move away and get a job*</p>

<p>Are those really your only choices? Where are you living now? Where would you be living if you went to school? Why can't you live at your mom's home during this time?</p>

<p>I don't think you'd get enough aid to pay for school AND room and board so how will you cover all those costs?</p>

<p>Are you working now?</p>