Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
wonderfilled
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Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Postby wonderfilled » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:07 am

Long story, but basically my parents' financial information is unavailable (with absolutely nothing that I can do about it) so I can't fill out the FAFSA or any other need-based application. Realistically, my parents' assets are probably enough to keep me from getting any need-based aid anyway, despite the fact that they aren't planning on supporting me at all past undergrad. So, how much will this affect me? Thanks!!

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RickyRoe
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Re: Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Postby RickyRoe » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:49 am

I might be wrong, but I was under the impression that need based aid like the Pell Grant generally isn't available to law school students.

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Flips88
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Re: Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Postby Flips88 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:54 am

wonderfilled wrote:Long story, but basically my parents' financial information is unavailable (with absolutely nothing that I can do about it) so I can't fill out the FAFSA or any other need-based application. Realistically, my parents' assets are probably enough to keep me from getting any need-based aid anyway, despite the fact that they aren't planning on supporting me at all past undergrad. So, how much will this affect me? Thanks!!

Since you're pursuing a professional degree, your parents' info is not required by FAFSA for federal loans. However, some schools may require you to add parental info (like GW). I would email Financial Aid offices at the schools that have accepted you and explain your situation and work something out

sarahh
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Re: Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Postby sarahh » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:35 pm

You should fill out the FAFSA with just your information. You don't need your parent's information for federal loans.

wonderfilled
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Re: Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Postby wonderfilled » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:58 am

Thanks guys! I had no idea that you didn't need your parents' information for graduate school... I guess I just kind of assumed that I did. Good idea about contacting the schools as well. I just sent the scholarship form back to Duke, so I will call them tomorrow and see if they can give me any kind of need-based aid. Thank you again!

adonai
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Re: Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Postby adonai » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:02 am

If the school(s) you are applying to require Need Access to be filled out alongside the FAFSA (which doesn't require parent income info), then you will need your parent's income/tax info.

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MTal
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Re: Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Postby MTal » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:05 am

Not at all, you may have just saved yourself from going to law school.

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DeeCee
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Re: Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Postby DeeCee » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:08 am

sarahh wrote:You should fill out the FAFSA with just your information. You don't need your parent's information for federal loans.


This, unless you're trying for need-based. If you aren't concerned about that or know you won't be eligible for need-based aid, then just fill it out with your info.

wonderfilled
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Re: Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Postby wonderfilled » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:05 pm

Realistically, if my parents' information is included, I probably won't get any need-based aid anyway. Not that their assets do me any good when they aren't paying for law school... So frustrating.

DeeCee- when you say need-based aid do you mean all loans, etc. or just scholarships? And if I don't have my parents' information and have absolutely no way of getting it, would I just not fill out the Need Access form and not be eligible for aid?

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aspire2more
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Re: Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Postby aspire2more » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:25 pm

wonderfilled wrote:Realistically, if my parents' information is included, I probably won't get any need-based aid anyway. Not that their assets do me any good when they aren't paying for law school... So frustrating.

DeeCee- when you say need-based aid do you mean all loans, etc. or just scholarships? And if I don't have my parents' information and have absolutely no way of getting it, would I just not fill out the Need Access form and not be eligible for aid?


I know you didn't ask me, but that is my understanding. I'd contact the individual financial aid offices to find out what they can do, because they may be able to work with you to get loans regardless of what their "official" position is on their websites. They may also consider you for merit scholarships. I am in the same situation with my parents, so I am not able to fill out Need Access. I am supposed to still be eligible for loans.

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DeeCee
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Re: Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Postby DeeCee » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:47 pm

wonderfilled wrote:Realistically, if my parents' information is included, I probably won't get any need-based aid anyway. Not that their assets do me any good when they aren't paying for law school... So frustrating.

DeeCee- when you say need-based aid do you mean all loans, etc. or just scholarships? And if I don't have my parents' information and have absolutely no way of getting it, would I just not fill out the Need Access form and not be eligible for aid?


Being in grad school (though NOT law school until next fall), I can tell you my personal experience, and combine it with what I've found on different law school websites (GW, Penn, etc) if that helps.

Once you enter a graduate program, you are usually considered independent of your parents for federal aid. This was my case when I entered my grad program at 22 (I'm finishing at 24 now). You do not have to use your parents' info for consideration of any federal loans for grad school, whether you demonstrate need for the loans or not. The government will always let you take out loans, but if you don't have EFC need, you can not get subsidized loans, but you can still get unsubsidized and grad plus loans (pending no defaults on your credit for grad plus only, as these are slightly credit-based). This just means the government won't pay your interest while you're in school if you don't get an unsubsidized loan, but you'll still get loan money.

However, at almost every law school I have applied, you must include your parents' info to be considered for anything other than merit-based scholarships at their school. You should check the websites at the schools you applied for more specific info, as I could be wrong about your school. This means that while you'll still get the money offers (usually upon acceptance-- say, you applied to UVA and they offer you 90k in the acceptance call you'll still get that), but you won't be considered for their need based stuff. This could mean when they process your FAFSA, they'll just give you straight loans, rather than offer you other money through the school, like maybe a tuition offset grant based on need.

Also, about Need Access-- you should see if you can still fill it out without your parents info. Call the school and tell them you can only fill it out with your info, due to exceptional circumstances, and see if they'll work with you. Need Access is much more thorough than the FAFSA, and hopefully by filling both out they will still consider you for money at the school.

OK I know that was really long and anyone you knows the info better (say a 1L/2L/3L) should correct me if I'm wrong. HTH and don't fret if you can't get your parents' info, you'll still be able to finance school.

TheStrand
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Re: Can't do the FAFSA... Am I screwed?

Postby TheStrand » Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:25 pm

You should call your school and ask. Doing Need Access for Michigan I was able to omit parents' info and I'm still being considered for need-based aid (loans and grants). At the very least, you can take out private loans without submitting parental information. The interest rates for those are not bad now, around 2.5% (variable) but you will need excellent credit, or a cosigner.




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