Applying for Financial Aid?

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
cmk
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:44 pm

Applying for Financial Aid?

Postby cmk » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:57 pm

I am very confused about this process and don't really know where to turn for answers. I have read everything about applying for aid on the LSAC website and I am still lost. I understand that just like undergrad the first step is to file the FAFSA. According to the government when you apply to any graduate program you are considered an independent. The problem I'm having is that 2 of the 14 schools I need to send the FAFSA to require parental information on the form where the others do not. This is a problem because 1) My parents are not contributing at all to my law school education and 2) I don't want to screw myself out of potential aid from schools not requiring their info.

The other issue is that because I am 23 years old, it seems that every school assumes that my parents are paying. In fact, the majority of those schools not requiring parental info on the FAFSA are requiring the Need Access form in which it is mandatory to fill out parental info. Considering that I am young and paying for this completely on my own it is imperative that I get as much aid as I possibly can (yes, I understand many schools only form of need-based aid is in subsidized loans, of which I'm hoping to get the max).

Also, my parents have not claimed me as a dependent for the past three years. Why isn't this enough to justify my independent status?

I'm hoping someone around here can point me in a direction to have some of these questions answered. I am so frustrated that I am ready to call each school and try to find out what I'm supposed to do. Thanks in advance!

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bk1
Posts: 18410
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Applying for Financial Aid?

Postby bk1 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:06 pm

Most of us have no parental help, we still need to fill out their info. I believe that most people get the full amount for those loans and then the remaining is covered by gradplus.

Just fill it out, they require it and even if you didn't, it's not like your aid packet would change.

cmk
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: Applying for Financial Aid?

Postby cmk » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:59 pm

I understand having to fill it out for those schools that require it, but my question is will it negatively impact my aid package from those schools that do not require it? Also, I am 99% sure if I put my parents info down I won't qualify for subsidized loans, only unsubsidized (which makes a huge difference in the long run).

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bk1
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Re: Applying for Financial Aid?

Postby bk1 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:03 pm

You don't have a choice in the matter?

They require your parental info, I don't see how it matters what would happen if you had the option to not put parental info because you don't have that option.

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IAFG
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Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Applying for Financial Aid?

Postby IAFG » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:05 pm

Parental income isn't going to stop you from getting loans. They will still lend you tuition+COL+books & fees.

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bk1
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Applying for Financial Aid?

Postby bk1 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:09 pm

IAFG wrote:Parental income isn't going to stop you from getting loans. They will still lend you tuition+COL+books & fees.


What OP is referring to is trying to maximize the something like the subsidized part of the Stafford Loan rather than it being fully unsubsidized.

OP, here is a quote that may help you from their website:

Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college. It is also not the amount of financial aid you will receive. It is simply a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you will receive.


It's called expected family contribution for a reason, even though for many of thus they will not be contributing.

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MrSparkle
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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:06 pm

Re: Applying for Financial Aid?

Postby MrSparkle » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:36 pm

Feds assume that your family will contribute in their calculations, whether they actually are or not. I think that even if they tried to differentiate the truly independent from dependents, some people would claim they're independent when they're really not, reducing the amount of subsidized aid for people who really need it, thus reducing the impact of differentiation anyway. So I think for simplicity they just treat everyone the same.

cmk
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: Applying for Financial Aid?

Postby cmk » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:13 pm

Well I just got rejected from one of the two schools asking for parental info on the FAFSA. Assuming I hear from the other one before I submit I may have my question answered. Thanks everyone for your advice.

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Gemini
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:23 pm

Re: Applying for Financial Aid?

Postby Gemini » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:34 am

bk1 wrote:
IAFG wrote:Parental income isn't going to stop you from getting loans. They will still lend you tuition+COL+books & fees.


What OP is referring to is trying to maximize the something like the subsidized part of the Stafford Loan rather than it being fully unsubsidized.

OP, here is a quote that may help you from their website:

Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college. It is also not the amount of financial aid you will receive. It is simply a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you will receive.


It's called expected family contribution for a reason, even though for many of thus they will not be contributing.


This is what is confusing. Subsidized vs. unsubsidized. Gov't vs. private. I wish Financial Aid had a sticky thread on this stuff. :(




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