I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

What should I do:

Fess up and lose aid, possible be rejected
24
50%
Press on, its already been five years, who cares?
24
50%
 
Total votes: 48

holly213
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I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby holly213 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:02 am

So i never told my school that I got a drug possesion charge (misdemeanor) and subsequently kept my finaid and was already eligible again the next year. I plan on admitting my charge in my law school apps but I'm not sure if they will want to investigate whether I ever told it to my finaid office at undergrad. This was five years ago, I've technically regained eligibility but I think that would be negated if they find out I lied. Any advice, suggestions, do I just hope they don't have the resources to review?

gens1tb
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby gens1tb » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:12 am

Were you convicted?

I think this will turn out slightly worse than just being ineligible for aid.


As far as "hoping they won't find out", it's usually not a good idea to assume the bar association won't notice something like this, I would think.

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cinephile
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby cinephile » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:41 am

Definitely disclose this on your law school apps.

But you could take the chance and just not say anything to the financial aid office. What are the odds law schools'll investigate whether you said anything to this financial aid office? I don't really think there's much of an investigation. The only problem may be with C&F somewhere down the line.

holly213
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby holly213 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:39 pm

C & F ?

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Stonewall
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby Stonewall » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:47 pm

holly213 wrote:C & F ?


character and fitness. Disclose it on your app in an addendum for sure

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vamedic03
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:13 pm

.
Last edited by vamedic03 on Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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txadv11
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby txadv11 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:17 pm

edit- reading comp fail. nevermind

rose711
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby rose711 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:58 pm

I would do some serious research into the character and fitness requirements of where you plan to be admitted. You need to see what effect your criminal background will have on your ability to even be admitted. From the lack of facts here it is difficult to decide what will happen to you, and I wouldn't want to advise you, but you need to find out what the rules are. Your state should have a committee that you can call for ethics advice if you need it. You need to be extremely knowledgeable about the offense you committed: a simple misdemeanor possession charge may not be the end of the world for your career. Lying to the government about it on a form is a different problem. I don't know how to advise you - I only know that a lot of the time people are not honest about what really happened and what they were arrested for and convicted of... it is hard to tell how serious this is without knowing exactly what happened.


So you have two issues here: the consequences of the misdemeanor and the consequences of failing to inform the school and getting financial aid you weren't entitled to.

I just have a bad feeling that this may not work out well for you or at least not as well as you think it might.

Did you actively lie on the FAFSA or did you fail to disclose? The subject says you lied but the comment says you didn't tell the school about it.
Last edited by rose711 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Drake014
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby Drake014 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:01 pm

holly213 wrote:So i never told my school that I got a drug possesion charge (misdemeanor) and subsequently kept my finaid and was already eligible again the next year. I plan on admitting my charge in my law school apps but I'm not sure if they will want to investigate whether I ever told it to my finaid office at undergrad. This was five years ago, I've technically regained eligibility but I think that would be negated if they find out I lied. Any advice, suggestions, do I just hope they don't have the resources to review?


You're worried about a misdemeanor? Just disclose it wherever you're supposed to disclose it on your law school app now.

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txadv11
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby txadv11 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:10 pm

rose711 wrote:Did you actively lie on the FAFSA or did you fail to disclose?



I'm confused...I didn't take out UG loans, but just completed my FAFSA for LS a few weeks ago. They didn't ask questions about behavior/record...?

rose711
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby rose711 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:24 pm

txadv11 wrote:
rose711 wrote:Did you actively lie on the FAFSA or did you fail to disclose?



I'm confused...I didn't take out UG loans, but just completed my FAFSA for LS a few weeks ago. They didn't ask questions about behavior/record...?


I'm confused too! The subject of the post says "I lied on my Fafsa years ago." I'm not sure if that is literal or not.

As for the law school aps, the OP should get all the documents and official documents relating to the disposition of the matter before explaining it on LS applications. You would be surprised at how confused people get about the disposition of their cases and also, official records can be wrong, incomplete or not clear about what happened. What you write on your application should mirror the official record. Also, I know the OP didn't mention this, but don't assume your record has been "expunged" if that is the deal you had...just check everything carefully. The actual disposition so often varies from how people think it went.

But a minor misdemeanor for possession shouldn't keep you out of school or the bar, if that is what happened to you.

sidhesadie
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby sidhesadie » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:29 pm

They do ask somewhere about drug charges.

It's not ANY criminal record that precludes you from receiving federal aid but specifically DRUG charges, in my understanding.

Edit: apparently it's like question 31, asks if you have been convicted of a drug charge while receiving federal aid.
So if you were getting aid when you got the charge, did not inform your school and lied on subsequent FAFSA's...yeah..you have a problem.

"Any person who knowingly makes a false statement
or misrepresentation in connection with an application for federal financial aid may be subject to
penalties that may include fines, imprisonment, or both, under the U.S. Criminal Code and 20
U.S.C. § 1097."

I doubt they are going to jail you, but I think that's a pretty big C&F problem and you might have to pay back the money you shouldn't have received...
Last edited by sidhesadie on Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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albusdumbledore
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby albusdumbledore » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:31 pm

sidhesadie wrote:They do ask somewhere about drug charges.

It's not ANY criminal record that precludes you from receiving federal aid but specifically DRUG charges, in my understanding.

Edit: apparently it's like question 31, asks if you have ever been convicted of any drug related charges.


Wow that's completely asinine. I never realized that. They purposely single out drug charges. Ridiculous.

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txadv11
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby txadv11 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:32 pm

sidhesadie wrote:They do ask somewhere about drug charges.

It's not ANY criminal record that precludes you from receiving federal aid but specifically DRUG charges, in my understanding.

Edit: apparently it's like question 31, asks if you have ever been convicted of any drug related charges.

How in the helll

Where did I miss that....I guess it doesn't matter because I don't have anything drug related..but weird.

sidhesadie
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby sidhesadie » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:37 pm

I found more detail and added above (it's off the fafsa.gov site).

I didn't really remember what it said either. I guess since we don't have drug charges it's probably not something that would stick! lol

rose711
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby rose711 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:23 am

To the OP - if it comes up, I would advise to never admit knowingly lying on an application. You are just screwing yourself that way. If you can have a plausible reason for why you thought it didn't pertain to you or if you can say your family accountant filed it out for you, whatever, you need to think this through.

I know that people may think this is bad advice, but admitting to knowingly lying about something that could possibly be explained as a gross error is never a smart move. It comes down to a matter of your intent at the time and I think it is difficult to prove that you intended to lie, if you can think of another plausible reason.

You have to realize there are grey areas in all aspects of legal practice. The basic idea is to never volunteer more information than you have to on any official document, but never tell a lie that can be proven against you. When your future is at stake you have to look at this as an extremely adversarial process. Admitting things because you have a guilty conscience is foolish and not the point of the question anyway.

That said, I have no idea if this would ever in a million years be asked - though I think a smart person would notice the timing of the drug charge and getting aid, at least at C& F--but if the question of lying to get aid is asked, never admit it - say you now see you made an error, anything...but don't admit you INTENTIONALLY lied.

holly213
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby holly213 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:56 am

I never disclosed this to my school. I was never aware I had too. I wasn't aware until last year that when you fill out a renewal fafsa you just skip through the question, until last year they stopped that and I had to go through my eligibility worksheet. According to the worksheet my offense was old enough to make me eligible but what do I do about not disclosing it? I'm months from graduating and it feels like I'm risking everything no matter which direction I pursue disclose or not.

PS Simple misdemeanor possesion, first offense, convicted. The main concern is the finaid office reporting to the feds or cross checking anything, because I am intent on disclosing my charges but not my failure to disclose.

HowdyYall
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby HowdyYall » Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:14 am

as long as you disclose in your LS applications youll be fine. There is no way a law school will have the time to check whether you declared that misdemeanor on a previous year's FAFSA for undergrad. I mean, come on, they spend less than 5 minutes per application, no way they have the time or resources to check on something like that

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cinephile
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby cinephile » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:51 am

holly213 wrote: I am intent on disclosing my charges but not my failure to disclose.


I think this is the right course of action.

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ggocat
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby ggocat » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:09 am

Before you do anything, if you actually lied on your FAFSA, you should probably talk to a lawyer.

I do note, however, that the statute of limitations might be five years.

(a) In General.— Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any offense, not capital, unless the indictment is found or the information is instituted within five years next after such offense shall have been committed.

18 USC 3282 My wholly ignorant guess is that this doesn't just apply to the initial paperwork, but also to every year you renewed.

Unless the school asks you if you've committed a crime for which you haven't been prosecuted (lol they don't), I don't think you need to "fess up" that you lied on your previous FAFSA. You definitely need to disclose the drug charge if they ask about whether you've been arrested/charged/etc.

(this is not legal advice).

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Drake014
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby Drake014 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:16 pm

cinephile wrote:
holly213 wrote: I am intent on disclosing my charges but not my failure to disclose.


I think this is the right course of action.


+1

UW2UVA
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby UW2UVA » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:24 pm

if it's gonna catch up to you, better it be now than 3 yrs from now when you've done all the work but get none of the rewards...

CanadianWolf
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:27 pm

Other than the suggestion that you consult an attorney, you have received well intentioned but terrible advice on this thread. You may be facing serious difficulties. Ignore the statute of limitations advice as that can be a tricky area with respect to the computation of time for S/L purposes. The only correct answer is to seek advice of an attorney--preferably one who specializes in bar disciplinary matters.

P.S. There is no statute of limitations for C&F or for security clearances to the best of my knowledge & belief.

gens1tb
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby gens1tb » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:54 pm

I don't think he technically needs to disclose that he failed to disclose his conviction on his fafsa, simply because it's not yet subject to disciplinary action. In that sense, he's not lying or omitting anything on his applications. Provided nothing happens between when he submits the application and a rendering of a decision on his file.

I do not think he'll have a problem getting into law school, but he should be thinking beyond that. Will those falsified fafsa submissions come up, and make it very hard to become eligible to practice law after three years and who knows how much more debt?

lshamlet
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Re: I lied on my Fafsa years ago....

Postby lshamlet » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:05 pm

You guys are all talking about being admitted to law school and the bar, but what about getting any aid from the gov or a law school? If the OP hopes to get any aid from a law school s/he will have to continue lying on the FAFSA then, no? Obviously OP should not do that. So whether or not the OP confesses to lying on the FAFSA, they will never get any need-based aid from a law school. Isn't the FAFSA required for federal loans too? OP is quite screwed, it seems.




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