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why does fafsa need my parents information

Why is Parental Information Required on the FAFSA for a Self-Sufficient Student? Find out what makes an independent student an independent student. when my daughter supports herself? My daughter has not lived with me or my husband for a year and a
half while sheвs been attending college. We do not support her
financially, we do not pay for her education nor do we even send her
money. She is completely self-sufficient, a fact of which we are very proud to
claim! We will not be claiming her as a dependent on our taxes this
year because that is a true reflection of what occurred. Would we still need to file the
for her and if so, why? Jennifer M. Who has a greater responsibility for helping a student pay for college: the student s parents or the federal government? Federal law assumes that the parents have the primary responsibility for paying for their children s college education. The federal government provides grants and other forms of college support only when the parents are incapable of paying for college, not when the parents are unwilling to pay for college. ) distinguishes between students who are dependent and students who are independent. Parents of a dependent student are required to submit their financial and demographic information on the. Parents of an independent student are not required to complete the. The definition of a dependent student for federal student aid purposes is different than the definition used on federal income tax returns. The definition of a dependent on the federal income tax return is defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, while the definition for federal student aid purposes is defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965. Whether the parents claim the student as a dependent on their income tax returns is irrelevant to the student s status as a dependent for federal student aid purposes. Before 1992, a student who was self-sufficient for two years was considered an independent student for federal student aid purposes. But this definition was prone to abuse and manipulation, so Congress changed the definition starting with the 1992-93 academic year.

The new definition established a specific set of criteria for a student to be considered independent. The current criteria for independent student status include whether the student is age 24 or older as of December 31 of the academic year. A student can also be independent by being married, having a dependent other than a spouse, being a veteran of the US Armed Forces, serving on active duty in the Armed Forces for other than training purposes, having been an orphan or in foster care or a ward of the court at any time after reaching age 13 or older, being an emancipated minor or in a court-ordered legal guardianship prior to reaching the age of majority, or being a homeless unaccompanied youth. Graduate and professional students are also considered independent. All other students are considered to be dependent. Most unmarried freshmen who are under age 24 and who are not veterans are dependent under this definition. College financial aid administrators may perform a dependency override to grant independent student status to an otherwise dependent student, but only in unusual circumstances. Unusual circumstances can include an abusive family environment (e. g. , as evidenced by court protection from abuse orders against both parents) or when both parents are incarcerated, institutionalized or otherwise incapacitated. A student supporting herself is not considered an unusual circumstance. The US Department of Education has published guidance in the Application and Verification Guide that indicates that college financial aid administrators may not grant a dependency override just because the student is self-sufficient, just because the parents do not claim the student as a dependent on their income tax returns, just because the parents refuse to contribute to the student s education or just because the parents refuse to complete the or verification. None of these scenarios, alone or in combination, is sufficient justification for a dependency override. , the student will not qualify for federal student aid. (A dependent student whose parents have cut off all support may qualify for unsubsidized Stafford loans, but only at the dependent student limits.

The student will not qualify for other federal education loans, federal grants or federal work-study. ) The student may also be ineligible for grants from other sources, as most colleges follow the federal requirements. Need Money to Pay for College? Every semester, Fastweb helps thousands of students pay for school by matching them to scholarships, grants, and internships, for which they actually qualify. You'll find high value scholarships like, and easy to enter scholarships like, and internships with companies like Apple, Google, Dreamworks, and even NASA! If youБre filing your FAFSA as a dependent student, you will need to include some information about your parent or parents in order for the FSA to process your application. You will need to report your parentБs personal, marriage and financial information in order to complete your FAFSA. Personal Information Kalie graduated from UW-Whitewater on Saturday welcome to the real world, Little K! б You will need your parentБs basic personal information, including his or her name, date of birth, social security number and contact information. Marital Status You will need to indicate whether your parent or parents are married, remarried, separated/divorced, unmarried but living together, or widowed. The FAFSA will ask for the date of marriage, divorce, or spouseБs death. If your primary parent is remarried, you will need to include your stepparentБs information on your application. Who is your primary parent? In the case of divorce or separation, your primary parent is the parent with whom you live most of the time. In the event of joint custody, your primary parent is the parent who provides more financial support. about filing FAFSA with divorced parents. Household Size You will need to report your parentБs household size on the FAFSA. The household size includes:. Tax Information The FAFSA will ask for your parentБs tax information from two years prior to the academic year for which aid is requested. For example, your parent will be required to report their tax information from 2016 for the 2018-2019 FAFSA. The tax information required on the FAFSA can be found on the first two pages of the 1040 or 1040A document your parent used to file their FAFSA. To make the process easier, your parent will have the option of using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to link your FAFSA to their IRS tax filings.

If your parent is unable to find their tax return and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, they can request a tax transcript at the IRS website here. Bank Statements and Investments In addition to your parentБs tax information, the FAFSA will ask for a current balance of cash, checking, savings accounts, and investment values. Stocks, bonds and second homes are all considered investments for the purposes of the FAFSA, but your primary home and any small businesses or farms your parent operates do not need to be reported. FSA ID. This gives them access to FAFSA online to put in updated information, as well as electronically signing your FAFSA. Check out of what you need to know when you create an FSA ID. Once you have this parental information gathered, youБre well on your way to obtaining the aid you need. Make sure to get ahead to streamline the process. Why Do I Have To Report My ParentБs Information? The need to report parental information can be one of the most frustrating aspects for students, particularly those who are not financially supported by their parents. The FAFSA expects students and their families to contribute financially to a studentБs education. To determine when a family should no longer be considered financially responsible for a student, the FSA created Б. Б In simple terms, a dependent student is expected to be financially dependent on his or her parents, while an independent student is expected to be financially independent. Dependent students are required to report their parentБs information on their FAFSA. ItБs important to note that whether you are or are not financially dependent on your parents in reality is not part of the FSAБs dependency equation.

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