Can a dependent student get federal aid if the parents won't fill out their portion of the FAFSA?
Topic: Check child support case status
June 19, 2019 / By Delice Question:
In this case its my niece thats dependent and she filled out her part but her parents are either not cooperative or irresponsible in the matter of helping her complete the partents portion. And the family had all their taxes done by one tax expert and my niece doesn't have access to her own taxes (or her parents) without their cooperation either. Is it possible to just check "No I don't want Grants" because she wouldn't get them anyway, and just proceed without her parents info, and let them process loans? Is there policy for children with irresponsible parents? I'm sure there are others, and the student shouldn't be put at a disadvantage.
Best Answers: Can a dependent student get federal aid if the parents won't fill out their portion of the FAFSA?
Bryana | 3 days ago
The FAFSA allows students to indicate that they believe they have special circumstances that prevent them from providing parent information. If your niece checks that box, her FAFSA will be rejected and a special circumstances flag will be added to the report that the school receives. They will then have to review her situation and decide what level of aid (if any) she qualifies for. At their discretion, they could decide to 1) refuse federal aid entirely, 2) award her unsubsidized loans at the dependent level or 3) override her dependency status and base her eligibility only on her own information.
Federal student aid is based on the premise that parents are responsible for paying for their child's education to the best of their ability, as determined by a common formula that is applied to all students--the FAFSA. If parents are unwilling to supply their information for the FAFSA, as a rule, the student will not be eligible for aid. However,the system also recognizes that there are situations where that is not appropriate, so there is some flexibility built into it as well, but the decision rests with the school that is awarding the aid. For example, if the student can document that her parents have refused to support her and to provide their information on the FAFSA, the school may decide to award unsubsidized loans at the dependent level. For example, a first year dependent student would receive $5,500 in unsubsidized loans. She would not be eligible for any need based aid, such as grants or subsidized loans.
In some cases, a financial aid administrator can override dependency and consider the student an independent who does not need to supply parent information. This is usually reserved for serious situations in which it would be impossible or unsafe for the student to obtain the information. For example, a history of abuse or abandonment, parents who are incarcerated, parents who cannot be located by normal means, or parents who are mentally or physically incapable of providing information. Federal regulations specifically prohibit financial aid administrators from using a dependency override for situations such as parents who refuse to contribute to a student's education, or are unwilling to provide information for the FAFSA. It also cannot be used simply because a parent does not claim a student as a dependent on a tax return or a student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.
It does not sound like your niece would qualify for a dependency override, but if she can obtain a letter from her parents stating that they are not supporting her and they refuse to provide information for the FAFSA, she has a good chance of at least being awarded unsubsidized loans.
As for her tax information, she does not need to work with her parents' tax expert. If she filed her own tax return, she can use the Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA to have the information imported onto the FAFSA directly from the IRS. If she isn't able to use the DRT, she can obtain a copy of her tax transcript directly from the IRS. She can go to a local IRS office and get one on the spot, or she can order one online at www.irs.gov. It can be mailed or even faxed to the school if she is present to receive it. Of course, all this applies only to her own tax return, not that of her parents
This is not an uncommon situation, and most financial aid departments are very familiar with it. Your niece should contact a counselor there--they will be very happy to walk her though the process.
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Originally Answered: Will a IRS Federal Tax Lien affect me from being approved for a Federal student loan?
Lets see now . . you haven't filed returns in several years and the government has put liens on the two of you for your irresponsible behavior . . . I am guessing they won't be keen on loaning you any more money. . . then again . . this government is a little different . . they nay be happy to hand over more money to you as long as they can take it from me . . .me and every other hard working individual who pays for irresponsible people.
Even after you turn 24 and are considered independent, you're significantly above the federal poverty line (around $11,000 for one person household) and will likely be eligible for only loans. At most, you would receive a small portion of the Pell Grant. Once you are a mother, you can be considered independent as long as you are supporting a dependent. You would have to look up more on the requirements for this, or discuss with it your financial aid office. Even for a household of two though, you're a little above the FPL and would not likely not receive the full Pell Grant. I'm going to inform you now though, new mothers do not last in school, especially when they have a child to care for and support. You will have a very, very difficult time attempting such. Should you not be able to balance caring for the child, work, and school you will potentially lose financial aid benefits and have to pay out of your own pocket until you make necessary improvements.
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A policy for children with irresponsible parents? No, there isn't. The parents are adults that know how they want to manage their lives, and the child sad to say as to deal with that. The fact though that your niece doesn't have have access to her own financial and legal documents is disheartening though, her parents have no reason or way to keep those from her. She does have other ways of getting that information though, from either the tax expert or the IRS itself. The parents cannot keep that information from her, and cannot restrict her from obtaining it.
Realistically, the student *is* put at a disadvantage. She needs to be able to at least provide her own information; no school's financial aid department is going to accept "my parents don't allow me to have access to my own tax information." Without her parents' information, she could be eligible for federal student loans, but that is the extent of it.
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She can take a different road.
If she is willing to take a Gap Year between HS and Freshman year, she can join Americorps.gov.
•She'll give them 1700 hrs of Volunteer Work
•She'll get a stipend, uniform, transportation card, medical insurance, and Possibly a food card.
•She'll get $5,550 voucher ( not cash) to pay for College.
•She can pay for two years of Community College then transfer to a 4-year School.
•She can apply for 100 scholarships for College.(see: Fastweb.com)
•She can find a Co-operative Education Program where she works and attends school.
•She can get Tax Benefits for Education (www.irs.gov) publication 970 form# 8863.
•She can get a Job as a Resident Advisor to cover Room & Board and get a stipend with a meal card.
•She can get low cost books on-line (see: amazon.com, half.com & book rentals at Chegg.com.
Many Students have problem Parents. Send for Funding Education Beyond High School 2013-14) 800. 433.3243.
•Set up an account: "MyFSA"
Stay away from going into Debt. Read: Debt-Free U by Zac Bissonnette & College Survival & Success Skills 101 by Marianne Ragins.
Finally, Get a Livescribe Computer Pen And Evernote APP to take notes and organize.
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If you are a dependent student, the family information is required.
FAFSA (perhaps unfairly) assumes your parents can and will give you money for college, and the amount you can be loaned hinges on this. So, if your parents are rich and won't give you a dime, your loans are the same amount as the rich kid whose parents are paying for everything.
I don't believe the loans will be processed at all without the required information.
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Originally Answered: My parent refuses to fill out FAFSA?
Setting aside the parental issues, which sound rather larger than just a spat, you need to find out what your options really are. For a start, talk to your advisor, and definitely drop in to the Financial Aid office and talk with someone there. They can tell you what they can do, and what is possible for you to do. Most colleges will work with you as much as they can to keep you enrolled. Exhaust all your options where you are before you give in and look at your fallback of Community College. Jobs aren't easy to get at the moment, so don't assume that you'll be any better off if you leave. Don't feel ashamed or shy about this - it's too important to let yourself worry about stuff like that.
Now, the family issues clearly need to be addressed, but there's a limit as to what you can do and when you can do it. It would be a very good idea to find the time to go talk with someone in the college's counseling office, because this is undoubtedly interfering with your studies, not to mention your future plans. Sounds like family counseling is highly necessary, but you have to start somewhere and you can only manage yourself. You need at the very least to blow off some steam so you can think clearly, and problems like this may be more manageable than you think at first.
OK? Advisor, financial aid office and counseling center for a start. If you have a teacher you like, that's also a good option; instructors often know their way around the labyrinthine bureaucracy a bit and can sometimes offer helpful advice. Good luck!