Berkeley 2011 applicants

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NZA
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby NZA » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:25 am

Excellence = a Habit wrote:
NZA wrote:
Excellence = a Habit wrote:Berkeley's email got me thinking... are FAFSA applications a big deal in terms of time and effort involved? Is it comparable to the law school application process itself? I haven't done it since I was applying for undergrad, and then it was more of my parents' thing, bless their hearts. I am not excited about the prospect of more paperwork (though of course I AM excited about the project of financial aid, so I will suck it up).


It's simple as long as you have your parents' appropriate tax forms, as well as yours.

You pretty much just enter the info from the W-2s (or 1099s), plus any other taxes your parents may have filed.


Thank you! Knowing them, it'll take them two months to get their shit together, so I'll start bugging them now.


No worries! :)

Probs need your 1040s, too. Actually, for your parents, you might only need the 1040s...and I think only if they claimed you as a dependent? Any docs detailing investments, too.

r6_philly
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby r6_philly » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:35 am

Excellence = a Habit wrote:
Thank you! Knowing them, it'll take them two months to get their shit together, so I'll start bugging them now.


Remember you have to file FAFSA before 3/1 generally at the latest, but you have until 4/15 to file taxes. So make sure your parents file their taxes early so you can get a copy of their 1040. You don't need the individual W-2's, just the 1040. It is simple, maybe 10 minutes if you have the form.

You can also fill it out based on last year's info if they/you have not filed tax by the time you fill it out by using estimating. But you will have to go update it after you file.

You will also need to sign up/pay for a needaccess account and fill in more detailed info there. It is required by most top schools.

cmk
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby cmk » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:44 am

NZA wrote:
cmk wrote:This may not be the forum for this topic but something in that email today got me thinking: Can someone explain the deal with filling out parent's info for financial aid? My parents are not going to be financially contributing at all and just because I am under 30 I am required to provide their info? If I put their info I will obviously be less eligible for need-based aid, which is what I need since I will be paying for this all myself. It doesn't make any sense to me that it is assumed that just because you are a certain age your parents are going to being paying the bills.


You're required to if they claimed you as a dependent, I think.


They don't claim me as a dependent, but I am only two years out of undergrad. I guess I'll have to call each individual school and figure out what the general consensus is. During the financial aid workshop at the NY LSAC Forum the speaker made a big deal about filing the FAFSA as an independent. Yet Berkley's email today said you have to put your parent's info on the FAFSA if you are under 30---hence my confusion. That would be awful to fill out the form wrong and be disqualified for any aid at all.

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NZA
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby NZA » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:51 am

cmk wrote:
NZA wrote:
cmk wrote:This may not be the forum for this topic but something in that email today got me thinking: Can someone explain the deal with filling out parent's info for financial aid? My parents are not going to be financially contributing at all and just because I am under 30 I am required to provide their info? If I put their info I will obviously be less eligible for need-based aid, which is what I need since I will be paying for this all myself. It doesn't make any sense to me that it is assumed that just because you are a certain age your parents are going to being paying the bills.


You're required to if they claimed you as a dependent, I think.


They don't claim me as a dependent, but I am only two years out of undergrad. I guess I'll have to call each individual school and figure out what the general consensus is. During the financial aid workshop at the NY LSAC Forum the speaker made a big deal about filing the FAFSA as an independent. Yet Berkley's email today said you have to put your parent's info on the FAFSA if you are under 30---hence my confusion. That would be awful to fill out the form wrong and be disqualified for any aid at all.


Yeah...after I posted, I reread the email and saw that. :\

I would do it per Boalt's request. Look at Boalt's site, though:

All students who will not be 30 years of age by December 31 of the academic year for which they are applying will be considered financially dependent for the purpose of determining need-based grant eligibility. An imputed parent contribution from parents' income and assets is used in determining grant eligibility.


So...need-based grants are evaluated based on you and your parents' incomes. And:

A student is considered to be financially independent based either upon the student's age or demonstrated financial independence from his or her parents. If the student will be at least 30 years old by December 31 of the fall semester of the academic year for which grant eligibility is being determined, he or she will be considered to be financially independent.


:? Dunno what to say. Not sure what the bolded stuff means...how are they defining "financial independence?"

My parents have claimed me as a dependent every year. Just follow Boalt's instructions, I guess.
Last edited by NZA on Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

r6_philly
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby r6_philly » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:52 am

cmk wrote:
They don't claim me as a dependent, but I am only two years out of undergrad. I guess I'll have to call each individual school and figure out what the general consensus is. During the financial aid workshop at the NY LSAC Forum the speaker made a big deal about filing the FAFSA as an independent. Yet Berkley's email today said you have to put your parent's info on the FAFSA if you are under 30---hence my confusion. That would be awful to fill out the form wrong and be disqualified for any aid at all.


Different schools have different criteria. They also have different formulas on calculating assets (yours and your parents for contribution purposes). That's why need-base financial aid offers can turn out to differ so much they may offset merit aid. I think some schools also allow you to claim as independent if you have kids and/or married. Check with the schools. As always the case with UG, if you feel like it isn't done right, you can probably appeal and file exemptions.

RTFM
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby RTFM » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:39 am

r6_philly wrote:Different schools have different criteria. They also have different formulas on calculating assets (yours and your parents for contribution purposes). That's why need-base financial aid offers can turn out to differ so much they may offset merit aid. I think some schools also allow you to claim as independent if you have kids and/or married. Check with the schools. As always the case with UG, if you feel like it isn't done right, you can probably appeal and file exemptions.


This whole discussion got me thinking as well... so it really does make sense to send FAFSAs in for every school you are seriously considering, in case there ends up being a huge $$ difference?

r6_philly
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby r6_philly » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:51 am

RTFM wrote:
r6_philly wrote:Different schools have different criteria. They also have different formulas on calculating assets (yours and your parents for contribution purposes). That's why need-base financial aid offers can turn out to differ so much they may offset merit aid. I think some schools also allow you to claim as independent if you have kids and/or married. Check with the schools. As always the case with UG, if you feel like it isn't done right, you can probably appeal and file exemptions.


This whole discussion got me thinking as well... so it really does make sense to send FAFSAs in for every school you are seriously considering, in case there ends up being a huge $$ difference?


Yup, you can submit up to 10 schools when you fill it out, but you can update and add as many as you want. NeedAccess you pay $28 (last year I think) and send to as many as you want. See what happens. You will need the materials to send to just 1 school, why not send to all the schools. If you get admitted you will get an offer sooner. If you don't then nothing lost.

ejeric
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby ejeric » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:53 am

r6_philly wrote:
cmk wrote:
They don't claim me as a dependent, but I am only two years out of undergrad. I guess I'll have to call each individual school and figure out what the general consensus is. During the financial aid workshop at the NY LSAC Forum the speaker made a big deal about filing the FAFSA as an independent. Yet Berkley's email today said you have to put your parent's info on the FAFSA if you are under 30---hence my confusion. That would be awful to fill out the form wrong and be disqualified for any aid at all.


Different schools have different criteria. They also have different formulas on calculating assets (yours and your parents for contribution purposes). That's why need-base financial aid offers can turn out to differ so much they may offset merit aid. I think some schools also allow you to claim as independent if you have kids and/or married. Check with the schools. As always the case with UG, if you feel like it isn't done right, you can probably appeal and file exemptions.


Does Boalt specify what they mean by "demonstrated financial independence from his or her parents"? I'm not over 30, but have been out of undergrad for 4 years and filing taxes independently. I'm also married. I can ask the financial aid office of course, but wanted to check in case this info is available somewhere -- I haven't been able to find it on their website but TLSers are much more thorough than I am =)

r6_philly
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby r6_philly » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:03 am

ejeric wrote:
Does Boalt specify what they mean by "demonstrated financial independence from his or her parents"? I'm not over 30, but have been out of undergrad for 4 years and filing taxes independently. I'm also married. I can ask the financial aid office of course, but wanted to check in case this info is available somewhere -- I haven't been able to find it on their website but TLSers are much more thorough than I am =)


I don't know for sure, but if you maintain your own household, have your own income (you and/or your wife) and usual obligations, you can probably get an exemption. I think the point is if you still receive parental support, you are not independent. If you can show self-support and independence from your parents you may be able to. People with poor parents probably wouldn't really matter anyway since they only count a small part of asset/income. If your parents are rich you have to prove they don't support you. I am over 30 so I didn't need to look that up, so your best buy is to contact them and try to classify as an independent.

ejeric
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby ejeric » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:18 am

r6_philly wrote:
ejeric wrote:
Does Boalt specify what they mean by "demonstrated financial independence from his or her parents"? I'm not over 30, but have been out of undergrad for 4 years and filing taxes independently. I'm also married. I can ask the financial aid office of course, but wanted to check in case this info is available somewhere -- I haven't been able to find it on their website but TLSers are much more thorough than I am =)


I don't know for sure, but if you maintain your own household, have your own income (you and/or your wife) and usual obligations, you can probably get an exemption. I think the point is if you still receive parental support, you are not independent. If you can show self-support and independence from your parents you may be able to. People with poor parents probably wouldn't really matter anyway since they only count a small part of asset/income. If your parents are rich you have to prove they don't support you. I am over 30 so I didn't need to look that up, so your best buy is to contact them and try to classify as an independent.


Thanks! I'll contact them and post here again in case others are wondering the same thing.

And congrats on the Boalt acceptance! Thanks for hanging out in this thread and answering Qs so that newbies like me can benefit.

r6_philly
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby r6_philly » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:20 am

ejeric wrote:
And congrats on the Boalt acceptance! Thanks for hanging out in this thread and answering Qs so that newbies like me can benefit.


Thanks! And you are welcome, I feel good about being useful. Especially for potential classmates/friends. :D

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Excellence = a Habit
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:17 am

r6_philly wrote:
Excellence = a Habit wrote:
Thank you! Knowing them, it'll take them two months to get their shit together, so I'll start bugging them now.


Remember you have to file FAFSA before 3/1 generally at the latest, but you have until 4/15 to file taxes. So make sure your parents file their taxes early so you can get a copy of their 1040. You don't need the individual W-2's, just the 1040. It is simple, maybe 10 minutes if you have the form.

You can also fill it out based on last year's info if they/you have not filed tax by the time you fill it out by using estimating. But you will have to go update it after you file.

You will also need to sign up/pay for a needaccess account and fill in more detailed info there. It is required by most top schools.


Thanks philly. My dad is notorious (uh, at least within our family) for filing extension after extension on his taxes every year. I already gave him a heads up on it though (as soon as I read this thread last night) so he has no excuse this year :)

sarahh
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby sarahh » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:51 pm

Got my acceptance packet in the mail! They really seem to emphasize the we-are-friendly-and-non-competitive-unlike-other-law-schools aspect. I have never seen the campus even though I live nearby. I feel like I should visit. Maybe tomorrow if it is not raining too hard.

Also boo to being 28 and married and still having to put my parents' info on FAFSA. I know I am not getting need-based aid, but it seems we have to do it for the Matching Scholarship as well? (I sent an e-mail asking for clarification.) In addition to doing my own return, my mother wants me to do hers, so I will have to get cracking as soon as we get the W-2s. Why did she have to buy a house this year?!

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whathojeeves
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby whathojeeves » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:54 pm

Excellence = a Habit wrote:
Thanks philly. My dad is notorious (uh, at least within our family) for filing extension after extension on his taxes every year. I already gave him a heads up on it though (as soon as I read this thread last night) so he has no excuse this year :)


Ugh, my parents are too. However, when I gave them a "heads up" their reaction was along the lines of "Oh that sucks for you!"

Awesome. Thanks mom.

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Excellence = a Habit
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:00 pm

whathojeeves wrote:
Excellence = a Habit wrote:
Thanks philly. My dad is notorious (uh, at least within our family) for filing extension after extension on his taxes every year. I already gave him a heads up on it though (as soon as I read this thread last night) so he has no excuse this year :)


Ugh, my parents are too. However, when I gave them a "heads up" their reaction was along the lines of "Oh that sucks for you!"

Awesome. Thanks mom.


Hahahahaha oh man.

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whathojeeves
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby whathojeeves » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:03 pm

Excellence = a Habit wrote:
whathojeeves wrote:
Excellence = a Habit wrote:
Thanks philly. My dad is notorious (uh, at least within our family) for filing extension after extension on his taxes every year. I already gave him a heads up on it though (as soon as I read this thread last night) so he has no excuse this year :)


Ugh, my parents are too. However, when I gave them a "heads up" their reaction was along the lines of "Oh that sucks for you!"

Awesome. Thanks mom.


Hahahahaha oh man.


No words for it. I would literally rather go through the entire LSAT study process + apps process again than fill out my FAFSA next month. Its going to be unbearably painful.

r6_philly
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby r6_philly » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:05 pm

whathojeeves wrote:
No words for it. I would literally rather go through the entire LSAT study process + apps process again than fill out my FAFSA next month. Its going to be unbearably painful.


I do our personal tax returns, my corp. tax returns, fill out 2 FAFSAs all in one day every year. It's pretty simple, there is ample instruction for everything.

sarahh
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby sarahh » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:15 pm

In case anyone is wondering, I got a reply from the financial aid office. Putting parental information just for the matching scholarship is not required, but they prefer it.

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whathojeeves
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby whathojeeves » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:22 pm

r6_philly wrote:
whathojeeves wrote:
No words for it. I would literally rather go through the entire LSAT study process + apps process again than fill out my FAFSA next month. Its going to be unbearably painful.


I do our personal tax returns, my corp. tax returns, fill out 2 FAFSAs all in one day every year. It's pretty simple, there is ample instruction for everything.


I'm not that worried about my personal stuff, but my parents have some really complicated ways of calculating combined income/property/etc (from what I remember from the one and only time I slogged through the FAFSA as an undergrad). And of course, because they get extensions always, everything is going to be estimated. This would all be bearable if they were actually contributing towards law school, but of course they're not!

r6_philly
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby r6_philly » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:25 pm

whathojeeves wrote:
I'm not that worried about my personal stuff, but my parents have some really complicated ways of calculating combined income/property/etc (from what I remember from the one and only time I slogged through the FAFSA as an undergrad). And of course, because they get extensions always, everything is going to be estimated. This would all be bearable if they were actually contributing towards law school, but of course they're not!


I file 20+ schedules combined. As long as you follow instructions line by line, item by item, you will be fine. It is designed so if you don't get creative with anything, you are good to go.

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whathojeeves
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby whathojeeves » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:42 pm

r6_philly wrote:
I file 20+ schedules combined. As long as you follow instructions line by line, item by item, you will be fine. It is designed so if you don't get creative with anything, you are good to go.


You're making me feel a lot better about this process. Well, you and the xanax.

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hipstermafia
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby hipstermafia » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:20 pm

bump because if would be super great if berkeley would send some decisions today!

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NZA
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby NZA » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:40 pm

r6_philly wrote:
whathojeeves wrote:
I'm not that worried about my personal stuff, but my parents have some really complicated ways of calculating combined income/property/etc (from what I remember from the one and only time I slogged through the FAFSA as an undergrad). And of course, because they get extensions always, everything is going to be estimated. This would all be bearable if they were actually contributing towards law school, but of course they're not!


I file 20+ schedules combined. As long as you follow instructions line by line, item by item, you will be fine. It is designed so if you don't get creative with anything, you are good to go.


+1

It's easy as long as you have all the info you need. I think the FAFSA requires bank/investments info, too.

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timmna
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby timmna » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:41 pm

hipstermafia wrote:bump because if would be super great if berkeley would send some decisions today!


I believe they will because they must.

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src42
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Re: Berkeley 2011 applicants

Postby src42 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:44 pm

timmna wrote:I believe they will because they must.


I like your logic. :D




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