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Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
kimkardashian
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:47 am

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Postby kimkardashian » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:48 pm

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Last edited by kimkardashian on Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dingo Starr
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:50 am

Re: FAFSA Household Size

Postby Dingo Starr » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:38 pm

This is all my opinion and should not be construed otherwise. You were warned.
kimkardashian wrote:If l live by myself during the school year (I'm an undergraduate student) but with my mom over summer break, is my household size two? I put down two, but the FAFSA form asked me if I made a mistake b/c I had listed myself as single, so I just wanted to double check that my mother counts as part of my household since her house is my permanent address.

I would put down 2, given the limited information here, but the answer depends on how you fill out the rest of the form. During the school year did you live on campus or off campus? Did your mother or anyone else provide your tuition and/or living expenses during that time?
kimkardashian wrote:Also, my mom still gets a ~$1000 tax break from listing me on her taxes (I'm 21). If she stopped listing me as a dependent, would I be able to put my household size down as one and possibly get more financial aid? And is doing that legal? My roommate's friend from home emancipated herself from her parents at age 17 and got a ridiculous amount of financial aid for undergrad because she listed herself as single with no job.

Is she going to be footing the bill for your law school? If so, you are still a dependent and she is entitled to that tax break.
Listing your household size as 1 is not what gets you more financial aid. Being an independent student is what changes the equation. That is what changed things for your emancipated friend. You could still be a dependent student with a household of 1 and your financial aid would be contingent on the financial information from your mother (or whoever pays the bills).
Independent students with dependents (larger household) usually get more financial aid than those with no dependents of their own. Please discuss this with your mother before completing your FAFSA. If you two disagree about who is fiscally responsible there could be tax issues to resolve in the future.

kimkardashian
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:47 am

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Postby kimkardashian » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:56 pm

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Last edited by kimkardashian on Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: FAFSA Household Size

Postby 09042014 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:00 pm

If this is for law school, then you are automatically independent. And your mom doesn't count as part of your household (and neither does her income).

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: FAFSA Household Size

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:13 pm

Again, check this with experts, but my impression is that emancipation makes a much bigger difference for undergrad financial aid than for graduate aid, because of the different kinds of aid available.

Laws generally only offer scholarships (you don't have to pay the money back) to attract top students; they're merit-based. (A few schools do offer need-based aid, but there's a fair amount of debate here about which schools do this; everyone agrees that HYS offer need-based aid, most people say other law schools generally don't, but there are anecdotes disputing this; however, it's probably safest not to bet on getting need-based aid). Needless to say, a merit-based scholarship doesn't consider family financial situation at all.

If you don't get aid from your law school, you're looking at loans. Federal financial aid for grad schools is all loans, no scholarships/grants available. However, the amount of loans available to you (assuming you have decent credit) is the cost of attendance/living; your expected family contribution is moot. You can be a millionaire or a pauper and you will be eligible for the same amount of money for loans for graduate school, it doesn't matter whether your parents are helping you or how much.

My understanding is that this isn't the case for undergrad; there are grants available and your access to those grants (and possibly other loans?) depends much more on your expected family contribution. So emancipation eliminates any expected family contribution and therefore has a big impact. But only because the aid available to undergrads is different from that available to grad students.

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Dingo Starr
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Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:50 am

Re: FAFSA Household Size

Postby Dingo Starr » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:24 pm

kimkardashian wrote:The person I know that emancipated herself did it for the sole purpose of getting more financial aid. She still lived with her parents and they paid for everything the same way they did when she wasn't emancipated (dorm costs, tuition, spending money, etc.). As a result, she got a huge amount of financial aid and her parents covered what tuition was left. The amount of financial aid she received vastly outweighed the tax break that her parents lost and the cost of hiring an attorney to help her emancipate herself.

Your friend committed fraud and her parents helped.
With that said, there are few people looking over your shoulder to check on things. It's only illegal if you get caught.




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