Will I get aid (pell grant, subsidized loan, BOG waiver) with my mom that doesn't work/files taxes?

I filled out the FAFSA today and it says after I submitted it -

Pell Grant Estimate - $5,775.00
Direct Stafford Loan Estimate - $5,500.00

You may also be eligible to receive other federal, state, or institutional grants, scholarships, and/or work-study.

I also have an EFC of 000000.

My mom, little brother, and I have lived solely on Social Security Survivor Benefits since my father died at the end of 2005. I live chatted with a representative and he told me that you don’t put Social Security benefits on the FAFSA, that I put “will not file” and put our wages at $0 (which is true because no one in our family has income - besides the benefits). I also have a household size of 3.

Even though I got an email saying that I am likely to get aid, I am still worried. I remember my aunt saying that I won’t get aid because my mother doesn’t work or file taxes. Is this true?

I’ve also read that we need to prove what we have been supporting ourselves with- which we do have proof of. We have SSA-1099 forms from 2014, that is what shows our income from Social Security Survivors Benefits (our only income). That is proof right?

I am going the cheapest way possible in school. I am planning to fill out the BOG waiver to go to a community college for 2 years then go to a state school (CSUN). I too am worried that even the BOG waiver won’t go through.

Will I get financial aid even though my mom doesn’t work or file taxes? I am kinda worried.

You should be fine, though as you’re aware you will very likely need to document the Social Security benefits to show how your family lives on “0” (per FAFSA) income.

There was a thread on this topic quite recently. OP do some research and start developing your strategy! Many schools "gap"even when a student has a $0 EFC. Furthermore, even schools that cover “100% demonstrated need” get to define that need.

Even low-income families have to show figures for financial aid. It is good OP that you are getting famiiarized witht he names of the forms (social security). But you do need to do more research about the taxes and what documentation – if any – would substitute. Again I commend you for being proactive. Spend some time this summer on developing your stategy (sounds like need-based aid schools would be best in your case?) and identifying safeties which you can afford with loans, maybe an in-state school, community college for the first two years, etc.

Yeah, my family’s only income is my mother’s social security. We had to put that on FAFSA and ended up with a 0 efc too.

This is generally a very good plan to keep costs low to 0 after Financial Aid. Do well in your CCC and you may want to consider a UC where you will get better aid than at a CSU (though if CSUN is local to you that would probably work, too).

Are you a rising Senior or did you graduate already? Are you eligible for Calgrant? IIf you are eligible for cal grant it will pay your tuition for UC or for CSU. If you can get into a UC, you will get your additional costs of room and board and books covered as a low income student (but you will have about a 5,000 student loan and a 2-3 work contribution.)

Your aunt is just plain wrong. You just may have to provide additional paperwork.

Going to CC is fine. Just remember

  1. Don't waste Pell Grant by not taking full semesters. You can only get a Pell Grant for 12 years total.
  2. Your loan will be used up pretty much after 4 years. So if you take longer than 8 semesters to graduate you may not have funds available.
  3. If you get university aid from a CSU or a UC it will often only be for 2 years after transfer or 4 years total if you go directly

Can you get a summer job and save your money for future expenses?

Will the total amount of SS drop once you turn 18?

My mom, little brother, and I have lived solely on Social Security Survivor Benefits since my father died at the end of 2005. I



Do very well at your CC and try to transfer to a UC instead of a CSU. the UCs will give you a LOT more aid than a CSU will.

I am so sorry to hear that you lost your dad in 2005. You and your younger sibling were quite young when that happened.

Your SS benefits end when you turn 18, and your brother’s will end when he turns 18. the family “income” will soon be taking some big hits. Maybe nows the time to gently bring up the subject to your mom about how she’ll financially manage when the household income will significantly reduce. I don’t know if she’ll also lose some/all of her own SS benefits once she no longer has a minor child in the house. Since you say that you all have lived “solely” on SS benefits, that suggests that there is not large savings or investments to help subsidize your mom when the income drops.

I know that this isn’t the subject of your concern, but please make sure that your mom knows that her SS benefits end when the youngest child is 16 years old. Many don’t realize that.

I think she’ll get them again when she’s 60 years old.

If she knows this already, then super. If she doesn’t, then I wouldn’t want her to get the shocking news after your sibling turns 16.

16? Or is it 18?


Yeah I know, our benefits before this month were my own + my little brother’s. Now beginning this month it’s my mom’s + my little brothers. Which equals to the exact same amount, so I’m good for 5 years. In five years when my mom’s ends (for being a caretaker of a child under 16), I am going to graduate by then so I can replace the income. I am going for Computer Science so I hope the job market is still as good as it is now.


My mother’s caretaker benefits will replace mine exactly the amount I’m getting currently. I’m good for about 5 years, but by then I can replace the income. It’s 16 when caretaker’s benefits end and 18 when the child’s benefits end. If I don’t get work-study I will get a part-time during my years at a CC. When I go to university I will likely do the same thing. I really want to do internships during the summers at a university, so it’ll be easier for me to get a job after college. I am going for Computer Science by the way.


I am going to graduate by November if not December. My guidance counselor says I am eligible for a CalGrant but I want to raise my GPA up before I submit the application. I have a 3.3 currently.

Also if you are low income and have a $0 EFC, make sure to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible in January of every year. You might qualify for extra grants and federal work study if you apply early. Those are limited at the college and first come first served.

What are your stats?

Are you an underrepresented minority?

@Madison85 The sibling’s SS will end when he turns 18, but the MOM’S SS will end when that sibling turns 16. Sounds like the sibling must be about 11 years old now.

Since the student is interested in CS, he should do his best at a CC and TAG into a UC so he gets the BEST aid. CSU’s will gap him, but a UC likely will not.

Cal Grant A or B is AUTOMATIC if you meet the HS gpa of 3.0 for Cal Grant A or gpa 2.0 for lower income Cal Grant B which you should get. It doesn’t help to get a higher gpa–Cal Grant is an entitlement so if you meet income and asset guidelines and gpa minimum you get it. (As long as you file the FAFSA by the deadline and as long as you submit your gpa by the deadline.) So do not wait for anything and make sure you apply by deadlines or you will lose it. Please read this:

You should get a Cal grant A or B which will cover your tuition at a UC or a CSU. You hold it in reserve if you go to a CC first. The Cal Grant B is a little better because you get 1,648 extra in living expenses. If you get in a CSU that you can commute to then you live at home. Otherwise you have to come up with the rest of the.

Why are you graduating at such a strange time? Cal Grant deadline is March 2 (for FAFSA and gpa verification.) Usually Seniors are applying spring of their Sr year.


I’m of full Mexican descent. Both my mother and my deceased father were born in Mexico, but they are legal US citizens. I was born in California.


I go to a charter school called Options For Youth.

When you mean I can reserve Cal Grants while I’m at a CC, do you mean I can use them while I’m at a university? If I reserve two Cal Grants while I’m at my 2 years of CC, does that mean I can use both of those Cal Grants toward the tuition at a university? Could I also use the BOG waiver?

I’m planning to live with parents during my time at the university.


I just really want to finish college in 4 years. I would really want to go to UCLA, but their Computer Science is highly competitive. I wouldn’t want to waste time doing extra transferable courses that ONLY transfer to UCLA and not CSUN. I feel it’d be much safer to just tunnel into CSUN then battle for a place at UCLA.

I’m planning to live with parents

Why are you using the word parents (plural)?

just do your best and see what happens in two years. If you do very well, then getting into UCLA may not be as hard has you think. And, at that point, you may want to live away at school…either at UCLA or another UC.

Can you tell us your GPA and ACT, PSAT, SAT test scores?

Have you heard of Questbridge and Gates Millenium scholarship programs?


KInda derped there. Recently I’m reading all these college financial aid/grants stuff and the term “living with parents” comes up a lot. I’ll do my best.

I don’t think living at school will be an option. Isn’t it way more expensive to live in dorms at a college? Especially at a UC that is around 15-20k more expensive?


I know my GPA is 3.3, but I don’t know the rest. I’ll get that information when I go back to school in July. I can probably raise my GPA a lot higher.

I’ll look those up.

Is that GPA your weighted, unweighted, or UC GPA?