FAFSA Help please

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by j's m, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. j's m

    j's m DIS Veteran

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    I can't seem to find this answer and my heading is spinning. Altough actually the FAFSA is so much easier and makes more sense than the profile and the 3 other college specific fin aid forms.

    DS made under the filing limit for interest income, which is $ 950.
    Turbo tax says he doesn't need to file it under our income tax since he's not required to file.

    Question: where is this reported as income on the FAFSA, when I put will not file, it doesn't ask about interest income. Do I include it under the miscellaneous not taxable or what?

    Or do I file a return for him separately anyway?

    Thank you.
     
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  3. sharbear

    sharbear DIS Veteran

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    I would call one of the schools he's applied to and ask them. I don't think it will matter but I would put it under miscellaneous not taxable. The schools he's applied to will ask for all of your (and his) taxes and if I remember right, you will have to file a form that verifies his income if he did not have to file.

    Since you will have to send in your tax forms and verify any income that he has, I don't think it matters as far as the FAFSA goes. The financial aid department will correct any mistakes or will correct how they think you should report things. As long as you are honest and disclose everything, the schools will determine what your aid package will be.

    We have received a corrected FAFSA based on information that the school they have applied to. It's very common.

    I know it's very confusing. I have a senior in college and (hopefully!) have filed my last FAFSA and Profile. So happy!
     
  4. sharbear

    sharbear DIS Veteran

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    I would call one of the schools he's applied to and ask them. I don't think it will matter but I would put it under miscellaneous not taxable. The schools he's applied to will ask for all of your (and his) taxes and if I remember right, you will have to file a form that verifies his income if he did not have to file.

    Since you will have to send in your tax forms and verify any income that he has, I don't think it matters as far as the FAFSA goes. The financial aid department will correct any mistakes or will correct how they think you should report things. As long as you are honest and disclose everything, the schools will determine what your aid package will be.

    We have received a corrected FAFSA based on information that the school they have applied to. It's very common.

    I know it's very confusing. I have a senior in college and (hopefully!) have filed my last FAFSA and Profile. So happy!
     
  5. DisneyRunner2009

    DisneyRunner2009 DIS Veteran

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    I've given up on filing the FAFSA. It was a lot of work looking up tax and financial information. The family contribution was high, so my daughter wasn't eligible for much.
     
  6. Sadie22

    Sadie22 DIS Veteran

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    It is work but it can be very worthwhile. The FAFSA is not just for federal aid. Some schools use the data for their calculations of financial aid based on the school's formula, which may be very different. Some schools and scholarship programs require this form be completed for merit-based scholarships as well.

    One DS received some state aid that we were not expecting. The FAFSA was required for a program through DH's work which netted another DS some funding. Some programs are for funding that can only be used for tuition, some for tuition, room and board, and some are nonspecific so that the funds can be used for books or other expenses, so it pays to complete all the paperwork to be eligible for anything you can get.
     
  7. Judyat

    Judyat Mouseketeer

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    FAFSA is easy and well worth filing.
     
  8. laurafergie

    laurafergie DIS Veteran

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    Has your DS filed taxes before? If so, I would go ahead and file for him - with him still as your dependent. If he has not filed before, I would put it under the Misc Income, not taxable on the Fafas, with the understanding you may have to fill out an income form for the school.

    I wouldn't stress over it, as a PP said, as long as everything is disclosed, the school financial aid dept will work it and let you know if they need anything.

    (2 in Grad school and 1 DONE!)
     
  9. a1tinkfans

    a1tinkfans Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!

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    we thought the fafsa was awful to fill out, but our situation had many many variables due to changes in several area....meanwhile the # came back so high....we have been shaking our heads .....now wanna hear complaints...the css is worse by far :rotfl:
    I cant wait for it all to be done....we're almost there thankfully....
     
  10. a1tinkfans

    a1tinkfans Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!

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    spoke too soo..:rotfl2:
    Any FAFSA whizzes out there...or a CPA :worship:
    Can anyone help...2 Q's

    1.we recv'd a 1098T today ...:confused3
    my son has been taking many AP's/college classes ...this year I think its either 4 or 5, anyhow, the college ( a SUNY if that matters) where he gets credit(hes a HS senior) lists him as "atleast half time" and then shows $XXXX. billed and then the exact same amount as scholarships and grants.???
    We have NO idea how/why we got this, this year (as compared to previous) and what impact does it even have ..
    would like to understand it a bit....

    2. The css asks how much parent can pay towards college. Will being truthful, which is about 1/3 of the college expense (several top tiers) make his chance of getting Accepted Less because they'll know that without aid, he likely wont be able to attend?
    I think he'll get some merit, one already offered 100K, but he says it is the backup school...my heart understands the reason, my head and pocketbook, not so much....
    Talk about Overwhelmed, Underinformed..:sick:..any guidance appreciated...:confused:
     
  11. Robinrs

    Robinrs DIS Veteran

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    When I file on TaxAct it fills out a form for me. It's not that much of a hassle.

    Fill it out, I know millionaires who file! The criteria is way more than the efc. Don't lose out.
     
  12. j's m

    j's m DIS Veteran

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    I think we filed a separate return once or twice, because our accountant told us not to bother and wouldn't put it on our return (Yeah, we fired him) Then I filed on ours, and now he doesn't get enough interest to file (Thank you Fed).

    I think I'll just put it under miscellaneous income and if they want to know what it is, then they can ask.

    Thanks everyone for your help.

    I am determined to have it done by tomorrow, or Wednesday at the latest since the due date for all the forms for a couple of colleges is Feb 1.

    As far as how much you can pay, I don't know what to put either. If you put too little, they'll think you're not serious, if you put how much you can really pay, they'll make you more.

    It will be so much easier next year if it's only for 1 school.
     
  13. allison443

    allison443 DIS Veteran

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    I agree with you filling out the form isn't that bad.

    I'm curious if the millionaires get any need-based aid :confused3 (are they filling it out for some other reason, like merit scholarships?)
     
  14. Robinrs

    Robinrs DIS Veteran

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    The Fafsa determines more than need and merit. Each institution uses it accordingly. If you don't file, you won't find out.

    Fafsa also bases information based on NET worth. Here is an example of how to reduce your financial assets for the numbers:

    http://www.fafsaonline.com/financial-aid-secrets.php
     
  15. laurafergie

    laurafergie DIS Veteran

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    A 1098T is a tuition statement that colleges are required to send out detailing enrollment status, tuition billed and scholarships and grants received. Since your statement is zeroed out, that suggests that possibly your school district pays the cost of the AP class, also says he is not full time, so not eligible to deduct anyway. In later years you will need this form to file your taxes and to take deductions for tuition paid.

    Regarding the CSS and the fafsa - in my experience, the parent's assets and most importantly - CASH on hand - along with the parent's income are the biggest factor's in the Fin Aid decisions. This is the one time that worse off you are, the better financially the child will benefit in college.

    However, the CSS is also used extensively in the merit based scholarships also. Both forms need to be filled out completely and accurate. You do not want the money tied up, because a problem. (been there done that, din't get straitened out until APRIL of the semester.)

    Remember, those financial aid departments have a job because you, the parent are paying tuition - don't be afraid to call them - don't be afraid to appeal a decision and don't be afraid to request an audit of the student's account. (Though get ready for the BIG shock - depending on how the school is - them may not talk to YOU, because your child is the adult on the account. So all of the above advice may have to go through your child. They'll be glad to take your money though. :thumbsup2)
     
  16. ColoradoMom!!

    ColoradoMom!! Mickey and Me Disneyland 1971

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    I am in the middle of the Fafsa form, and haven't hit the hardest part yet. Not too excited to finish. Although I don't work currently (or in the last 5 years) and we have next to no savings, I just don't think we will qualify.

    We are, however, going to refi the house and pull money out since we have lots of equity and the rate will be 3%. I guess I had better finish the Fafsa before we close so we don't show the cash on hand, correct?

    Also, he has applied, been accepted and we have confirmed with deposit his intenet to attend his school of choice. There is no way that will change - he didn't even apply anywhere else. It is a state school (Univ. of Colorado - Boulder) that doesn't offer much else if we don't qualify for need base - which I am guessing we won't. It is hard to get motivated to finish this thing since I really don't think it will make a bit of difference.
     
  17. a1tinkfans

    a1tinkfans Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!

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    Thanks for the insight...I called about the 1098 and they said give it to the tax guy....which I will in a few weeks. The school actually does not pay, we did, Like 350 a course, and they listed him as half status so I was hoping wed get some write off...who knows...
    we are going to the penny with the forms, they get fafsa, css Idoc and some even an additional Own fin form, it is NUTS...
    as far as talking to the "adult" Oh Boy...if they want my cash, theyll be some interesting discussions going on :rotfl:
    thanks again......:flower3:
     
  18. laurafergie

    laurafergie DIS Veteran

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    Please wait until you fill out the Fafsa and get an offer from the school's Fin aid dept before you take money out of your house to pay for your child,s college. This is one time that the worse off in the finance area the parents are, the better the child will benefit. My DH was laid off in 2008, and frankly it was the best thing that could have happened to us. (as far paying for college - not anything else, lol)

    I think there is a misconception about the Fafsa. It isn't reeeaally.....an application. It's more of a gathering of information that is required by law for your child to receive Federal Or State funds. But a lot of schools also use it for them to decide how the funds will be allotted, As well as scholarships merit and need based. You never know, and your child may miss out.

    There is also a Feb 1 deadline for a reason - all the money gets allotted fast. There have also been hefty budget cuts on both the federal and state level for financial aid. As well loan programs disapearing as we speak because of the economy problems. Be your child's advocate and get all paperwork quickly.

    Ok, off the soapbox now. Sorry, got carried away. :) Everything will work out, I have gone through 3 kids in college and the two girls are now in grad school.....
     
  19. sammielynn

    sammielynn DIS Veteran

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    A FASFA is a necessary evil of college. Many states require you file one to get any sort of scholarship. I will be filling one for the 6 year in a row soon. The payout has been nice.
     
  20. ColoradoMom!!

    ColoradoMom!! Mickey and Me Disneyland 1971

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    I totally agree on the necessary evil, but I am absolutely convinced that we will get nothing. I wish there was a place that said if your college cost is ___% of your adjusted gross income, then you will receive aid.

    What kind of payout did you get? State, Fed? (I am not asking amount - I am not that nosey) :rotfl:

    I guess I really don't understand how it works too.
     
  21. msmayor

    msmayor Finding my beach...

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    As another poster pointed out though, some schools require FAFSA to receive institutional aid not tied to any federal or state money.

    We don't qualify for any free federal or state grants or scholarships...but my daughter receives a very nice renewable merit scholarship from her school. We are required to fill out FAFSA each year to continue to receive it.
     

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