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Your Questions About Fafsa

Daniel asks…

How will getting a new car affect my FAFSA school aid?

My family is considering getting a new car, and was planning to buy one under my name to help raise my credit score. I was wondering if this would affect my chances of receiving government aid from FAFSA?

Wendy answers:

One has nothing to do with the other.

Nancy asks…

Can you still send in your FAFSA if you dont have a drivers license?

I was planning to send in my Fafsa today, but I cant find my drivers license anywhere! The Fafsa asks for a drivers license number. Can I still send it in if I dont have one? And will it be sent back if I send it in without one?

Wendy answers:

Yes you can. Leave the state the drivers license was issued and the number blank.

Paul asks…

Can a son receive the FAFSA if his father is currently receiving the FAFSA?

My boyfriend is applying for the FAFSA and he’s an independent under 24 with divorced parents. He’s unsure whether to report his father’s earnings or his mother’s. His father (who has four other dependents and lived off of food stamps in the last 5 years) was approved for the FAFSA and is currently using it. His mother made 90k last year but declared bankruptcy a week ago. My question is, would it hurt him to report his father who is on the FAFSA more than his mother?

Wendy answers:

If your boyfriend is still a dependent he will need to provide the information of the parent who provided the most support to him during the past year (provided that he doesn’t live with either of them). This could be a parent who bought him any clothes or food, etc. If neither parent contributed anything to him, then he is supposed to use the information of the parent who makes the most money (this is all on the fafsa website in the FAQs section).

Yes, a son and father can both receive fafsa at the same time. In addition, your boyfriend would probably get more money reporting his father’s income, as bankruptcy makes no difference… It’s purely income. He will also have to report his income. If he’s asked for verification, he’ll have to prove that he was correct in choosing the parent that he did — by proof of support. Good luck to you.

Donna asks…

Why does the Department of Education FAFSA laws dictate a family’s choice to raise independent children?

FAFSA app has 7 criterions one must meet in order to claim independent status. Most students parents raise them to be independent to handle their own college costs so the parent(s) can save for their retirement. It is so easy for the government to say its the parent’s responsibility to pay their child’s education; but the schools & the govt have a business relationship with each other in order to stick parents with even more debt for the sake of educating their children. As a parent, I taught my child to be financially responsible and independent because I have to also save for my retirement. At 18 years old, a child can apply for credit, rent apartments and apply for car loans. Why can’t the same child apply for school loans under FAFSA? Esp. under the circumstances the parent(s)saving for their retirement& not be dependent on their kids in their elder years. The DOE is such a joke because it appears to give grants to schools to help students only to issue $$$ loans and a $50 grant!

Wendy answers:

Actually, it’s not the Department of Education. Congress determines what calculations are used for an EFC and whether a student is Independent or Dependent. It’s part of the Higher Education Act of 1965. It is subject to “reauthorization” where Congress has to review the Act. This link provides some of the bills and legislation: http://www.nchelp.org/elibrary/index.cfm?parent=1791

Schools use the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) in conjunction with the school’s COA (Cost of Attendance) to determine what types of aid a student is eligible for. So it’s not the DOE per se that determines what financial aid a student will receive.

I know it’s very frustrating! All I can suggest is to contact your congressional representatives and express your concerns to them regarding the FAFSA. Good luck!

James asks…

How long after your fafsa application is processed do you actually get the money for school?

Im wondering if i fill out the fafsa it takes two weeks to process application. How long do i have to wait for the money for school? How does it work?

Wendy answers:

This was my experience.

Did FAFSA, processed 1 day later, my school got it a few days later, they asked for verification, I printed out the Dependent Verification form I was asked to fill out and attach my parents IRS tax form 2009, I gave it to my Financial Aid Office personally however you can mail this if you are too far away, THREE weeks later, it verified and has “satisfied requirements and processed”, so my status says in my schools website. Now, you will receive the money shortly before classes start. What happens is, they need to determine how much you need so in order to do that, they have to see how many classes you are signed up for, and estimate what you’d need for books etc. However, for the cost of tuition, you don’t get the money, the school does. For books however, you get a check in the mail.

If there’s any money left back, you keep it. :D

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