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Author Topic: How to get the most Financial Aid? What should i declare?  (Read 474 times)

gordonma

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How to get the most Financial Aid? What should i declare?
« on: January 06, 2006, 02:54:34 AM »
Hey everybody, i have a few questions regarding financial aid and my Fafsa application.


I just moved out of my house in september to my own apartment. I am currently independant. i have no wife or children and am only 21 years old. i have a very small part time job i work once a week on the books. i get money under the table to pay rent. what should i put on my fafsa to get the most financial aid? do i list that i am independant? if so do i have to include anything about my parents. will this give me the most aid? or should i say im dependant which my parents will let me do and put their info it. common sense would say the former, but these reports are far from common. i just need to get the most possible, because my credit is poor and getting secondary loans will be rather difficult. any help and advice would be really appreciated. thanks so much in advance!

mike
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upNdown

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Re: How to get the most Financial Aid? What should i declare?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2006, 10:36:19 AM »
Have you read the forms?  I can't give you any specifics, but from what I understand, it is real difficult to declare yourself independent.  You probably won't get to make the choice.
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Steve.jd

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Re: How to get the most Financial Aid? What should i declare?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2006, 11:28:38 AM »
Hey everybody, i have a few questions regarding financial aid and my Fafsa application.


I just moved out of my house in september to my own apartment. I am currently independant. i have no wife or children and am only 21 years old. i have a very small part time job i work once a week on the books. i get money under the table to pay rent. what should i put on my fafsa to get the most financial aid? do i list that i am independant? if so do i have to include anything about my parents. will this give me the most aid? or should i say im dependant which my parents will let me do and put their info it. common sense would say the former, but these reports are far from common. i just need to get the most possible, because my credit is poor and getting secondary loans will be rather difficult. any help and advice would be really appreciated. thanks so much in advance!

mike

In order to be declared independant, most schools apply the 7 year rule (or a variant of it)

Basically what that means is this:  to be independant you must not have either been financially dependant on or lived with your parents for more than 5 months out of any year in the past 7 years.

Virtually, no one is independant based on this...and there is a reason they do this.  Since many people come straight from UGrad and have no assets, they can easily declare themselves independant, and demand financial aid...and that would not be good for the schools...

Good news is that the government doesn't apply this rule, so you can be considered independant when applying for Stafford Loans.
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thenextstep

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Re: How to get the most Financial Aid? What should i declare?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2006, 11:41:24 AM »
For the FAFSA all grad students (including law students) are considered independent, which qualifies you for things like Stafford and Perkins loans.  There are some exceptions, but your circumstances don't seem to meet those exceptions.  Most schools have you also fill out Need Access or Profile if you want need-based grants.  Those forms ask for your parents info unless you can prove your independence for 5 or so years like others said.  Interestingly, even noncustodial parents and stepparents have to fill out Need Access unless you are independent from ALL parents for 5+ years. 

boyhoosier

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Re: How to get the most Financial Aid? What should i declare?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2006, 12:12:41 PM »
I'd kind of like some advice on what else I need to do as well.  My parents won't be able to pay for any of my law school so I'll need plenty of loans.  So far I've only filled out the FAFSA, and I'm considering the following schools: IU-Bloomington, UNC, UF, Vandy, BOALT, WUSTL, IU-Indy, and Minnesota.  Is there anything else that I need to do right now?  How will I go about getting the rest of the money I'll need as I won't get enough from FAFSA?

01100110011

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Re: How to get the most Financial Aid? What should i declare?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2006, 12:47:08 PM »
For the purposes of the FAFSA, all grad students are "independent." 

But... most schools will have you fill out some other form listing the number of times in the last 5-7 years that you have been claimed as a dependent by your parents and will factor some residual dependency in.

ghaleon

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Re: How to get the most Financial Aid? What should i declare?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2006, 02:06:54 PM »
The simple answer for nearly all JD students is...

For loans, you're independent.

For grants, you're dependent.

You will easily get approved for federal loans since its just based on your income, but schools will be looking at your parents' info to decide how much you get in need-based grant money.
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