When Supporting Others

<p>I don't have the best grades in high school because I moved so much so finding money to pay for college is a really difficult task. I'm from a middle-class family so my parents don't have the money to pay for all of college; however, I do have an uncle and aunt in Colorado and many relatives in Bangladesh, whom we send money to regularly.</p>

<p>Those in Colorado seem to waste their college-expense money quite a bit, so they have difficulty finding money to pay for their apartment and graduate education; therefore, they ask for a lot of money from my family often but randomly (not in a regular manner). My parents also send a lot of money to Bangladesh. Altogether, my parents spend many thousands on dollars supporting family in need anywhere from an educational need to support for housing.</p>

<p>I do not know if there are any official forms that my parents could use as proof but I've heard that when you spend money to support family or close friends in need, they are filed as dependants when collecting taxes and using tax returns...If my parents can find proof, how could this help me with lowering the cost for attending college (I am considering Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania as my number one)?</p>

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I do not know if there are any official forms that my parents could use as proof but I've heard that when you spend money to support family or close friends in need, they are filed as dependants when collecting taxes

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<p>I don't believe you can declare these folks as dependents...as they do not reside with you. Their permanent address would need to be the same as yours. You can't declare folks from other countries and states as dependents on YOUR tax returns. </p>

<p>There are many families who make the CHOICE to help extended family members financially. This is a family CHOICE. During the college years, your family could just as easily choose to use this money to support part of your college expenses.</p>

<p>Unless these folks live with you AND your family is providing more than half of their financial support AND they are declared as dependents on your parent's tax returns, I think this will not be a determining factor in your financial aid equation for need based aid.</p>

<p>Muhlenberg is a nice private LAC. The do offer some decent merit scholarships to students who are high achievers. Muhlenberg does NOT guarantee to meet full financial need so you may find a gap between the cost of attendance your family contribution...in terms of the financial aid they offer you.</p>

<p>I would suggest that if you are looking for a way to reduce your college costs, that you consider some schools that are affordable for your family.</p>

<p>You need to find out from them how much the are going to contribute to your college costs annually...then work from there.</p>

<p>I think that supporting family members outside of the immediate family is considered a "choice," therefore you won't get special financial consideration because of that. </p>

<p>Someone else had a similar issue last year (sending money to relatives in Mexico), but IIRC, schools believe that you support your immediate family first before supporting others.</p>

<p>You mention that your parents are sending money to others for housing and education. Again, schools will think they should be supporting YOUR education first, and then support others if they can afford to do so.</p>

<p>All you could do is list them as household members if they lived with you.</p>

<p>I don't think they lived with this family. And, I think there's more to it then just having lived with the family, I think you have to demonstrate that you provide more than 50% of their support (which is why families often can't include granny on social security who lives with them).</p>

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All you could do is list them as household members if they lived with you.

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<p>For FAFSA purposes, household "members" are folks that are being provided with more than 1/2 of their financial support by the parents of the college student...who also live in the household or have that as the permanent address (e.g. graduate college students who receive more than 1/2 of their support from the parents AND who have the parents' address as theirs can be listed as household members). You just can't put folks down as household members who don't live with your family AND are not supported by your family.</p>

<p>iamxero....</p>

<p>I know this sounds harsh, but your parents might need to tell your relatives that while you're in college, they won't be able to send them much/any money. </p>

<p>Your other choices are....</p>

<p>Commuting to a low cost community college...</p>

<p>Commuting to a low cost state university....or....</p>

<p>If your stats are high enough, getting a big merit scholarship from a school that gives them.</p>

<p>How much will your parents pay each year for your education? Anything? Nothing?</p>

<p>I don't know how much financial aid we're providing to our relatives in Colorado but I do not believe this is just a choice. Extended or immediate, they still need the money. What they do with it is up to them but we still have to give them money so they can afford housing and education as well as supporting their child.</p>

<p>Yes we are choosing to help them because they are family, but isn't it a moral obligation to support your family if you can? I mean, we shouldn't help them if they waste their money like that but if they are working hard to make ends meet and support themselves, then I am more than happy to give them the money until then. </p>

<p>I don't mean to sound selfish or self-centered, but if we are paying thousands of dollars so they can complete grad school and keep them under a roof rather than on the streets, colleges won't be willing to help support me and list them as dependents and what not?</p>

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I don't mean to sound selfish or self-centered, but if we are paying thousands of dollars so they can complete grad school and keep them under a roof rather than on the streets, colleges won't be willing to help support me and list them as dependents and what not?

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<p>No the colleges will not be willing to support you while your family pays for the grad school and living costs of extended family. That is a CHOICE...and it's nice that your family has been able to do this..but really if they have the resources to do this for extended family...the colleges will expect them to use those resources for YOU first. </p>

<p>These folks are NOT your parents' dependents. They simply are not...not unless they LIVE with you AND your parents are supporting them more than 1/2 of their support. And if they are over 26, they either must be disabled to continue as dependents on the taxes, I believe.</p>

<p>Sorry...but even though it's nice of your parents to do this...and obviously they feel compelled to continue, the colleges will view this as their CHOICE...not as a financial obligation.</p>

<p>Colleges will see your parents' first responsibility and moral obligation as paying for the education of their children. They will tell you that you can't afford to help others until you fully support your offspring.</p>

<p>Why isn't the college that your relative is attending giving your relative money? According to your logic, the grad school should be helping your cousin, since you think colleges should help. </p>

<p>But, no, College A is not going to give you money just so your family can give another family money to go to College B. That would be crazy. </p>

<p>Your family is wrong to be helping extended relatives with THEIR education if that means that they can't pay YOUR education. </p>

<p>Think of it this way....If I pay your food bill, should someone else pay my food bill because now I don't have the money to feed my own family? That is silly. A family's first PRIORITY is the IMMEDIATE family - not the extended family.</p>

<p>Your family can give the extended family 3-12 months notice that they will have to discontinue helping them financially. That will give those relatives time to figure out a plan for themselves.</p>

<p>You have to understand that colleges don't have the money to help you anyway - even if they wanted to. They don't have treasure chests of money. You've stated that your grades aren't that high. That means that you'll likely be going to a school that is not top ranked. Only the top, top schools have money to give away. The other schools don't. So, even if a college wanted to be sympathetic, they don't have the money to give!</p>

<p>Your family needs to face this situation now. They can stubbornly claim that they will continue to give money to relatives, but when it's time for you to go to college and they're handed a college bill with little or no aid, I doubt they're going to say that YOU can't go to college, but they'll pay for someone else to go????</p>

<p>isn't it a moral obligation to support your family if you can?</p>

<p>Isn't it a moral obligation for your family to support you in college????????</p>

<p>*olleges won't be willing to help support me and list them as dependents and what not? *</p>

<p>No. And, you need to accept that. They are not your dependents. </p>

<p>And, again, the colleges that will likely accept you and your stats don't have money anyway. </p>

<p>What colleges will you be applying to?</p>

<p>I don't know how much financial aid we're providing to our relatives in Colorado but I do not believe this is just a choice. Extended or immediate, they still need the money. What they do with it is up to them but we still have to give them money so they can afford housing and education as well as supporting their child.</p>

<p>Of course it is a choice. Maybe it is a good, kind and charitable choice, but it is a choice. This family from Colorado could relocate and live in your home--that could potentially save lots of money. There are choices throughout this situation and all the adults (parents, relatives, etc) have made a series of choices.</p>

<p>Yes we are choosing to help them because they are family, but isn't it a moral obligation to support your family if you can? I mean, we shouldn't help them if they waste their money like that but if they are working hard to make ends meet and support themselves, then I am more than happy to give them the money until then.</p>

<p>Great! This may also mean you don't have enough cash to pay for your <em>own</em> college. I mean, you and your family could choose to support 1 other extended relative, 3 other extended relatives, 15 other extended relatives, or 100 extended relatives. At some point between 1 - 100 you will find that you can not pay your <em>own</em> tuition bills or much else for that matter.</p>

<p>*I don't mean to sound selfish or self-centered, but if we are paying thousands of dollars so they can complete grad school and keep them under a roof rather than on the streets, colleges won't be willing to help support me and list them as dependents and what not? *</p>

<p>You seem very confused about the amount of money colleges have to help the gaps in student financial aid. It is quite limited. Many if not most colleges are unable to even partially fill the COA gap after federal student loan programs and federal and state grant programs. </p>

<p>Your family is doing a nice AND optional thing for your extended relatives. The supporting of the other person through grad school is excessively nice--and optional. This nice behavior, however, is not recognized by the government in terms of taxes (ie: dependency status) nor a situation that colleges will in turn make attempts to spackle up that gap in your own college nest egg.</p>

<p>If your family thinks education is important, then they will pay for YOUR education and not just the education for OTHERS. It would be crazy to pay for OTHERS' education and not pay for YOURS. Would they educate others and leave you uneducated? If education is important, then YOUR education is important, too.</p>

<p>Again, your family has to get over "wishful thinking" and deal with reality. Colleges don't have treasure chests of money and they won't help you so that your family can continue to give money to others. </p>

<p>Tell your parents NOW that colleges will not make special accommodations because they send money to others. Period. You've said that your grades aren't that great. That means your choices for colleges will be limited to schools that don't give great aid anyway (even if you really were low income).</p>

<p>Tell your parents NOW that they will likely get a full bill for your college costs, so what are they going to do???</p>

<p>Think about what you are saying. Your family is providing money for relatives to go to school. So you need money for you to go to school. Why should you get money for college that your relatives are not getting? That you have relatives that are finding it difficult to find money to pay for education should have been notice to you and your parents as to how difficult it is to get that kind of money, and that you had better get your finances in gear for when you start college. </p>

<p>Latitude is given in situations where siblings or parent/child are in college at the same time, but even then, that is not a given. The fact of the matter is that even if you have genuine need where your family simply does not have the money for college, most schools are not going to give it to you. You have to find those schools willing to meet what THEY define as your need. You can also look for scholarships that will give you money regardless of need.</p>

<p>^^^</p>

<p>Good points. I may be wrong, but I'm guessing that the relatives aren't citizens/residents. But, your point is still valid. If colleges had money to give away, the relatives would have been given money from their grad school. </p>

<p>The student has the additional problem that he says his GPA isn't very good. That usually means merit scholarships won't be offered AND his choices of schools will likely be limited. Only the top schools have money to give to those who qualify, and he won't get accepted to those. So, even if schools with big endowments did give consideration for the relatives, he won't get accepted to those schools.</p>

<p>Wishful thinking needs to end. Relatives need to be put on notice that the gravy train will be stopping soon so that the family can pay for Iamxero's college costs. They really can't expect the family to pay for THEIR college costs, but tell their own child NO.</p>

<p>I have an idea for the OP. The OPs parents are paying for someone else in the extended family to get a grad degree. Presumably this person will then get a job. I would suggest that the OP delay entry into college until the OTHER person finishes the grad degree. Then the OPs parents can ask THAT person to pay for the OPs college education. After all, the OP's parents paid fo that person...this would be a good way to pay back.</p>

<p>*Then the OPs parents can ask THAT person to pay for the OPs college education. After all, the OP's parents paid fo that person...this would be a good way to pay back. *</p>

<p>LOL....good idea! But, I doubt it works that way! </p>

<p>I realize that this is an ethnic issue. Some families have a sense that they have to send money to help their relatives. That's admirable. But, it has to stop or be reduced WHEN it means that the family can't pay for its OWN family.</p>