Quote from Galore
Not to sound discouraging..I would pursue the issue with your school's financial aid office but don't expect much. I was able to finally file as independent last year and my whopping $30k gross income didn't get me any financial aid...in fact my EFC was $7000. I'm in the same boat and will be quitting my fulltime job and not working at all while I'm pursuing an accelerated BSN degree. I'm guessing that since the FAFSA goes by prior year's tax returns they're not really going to care if you have zero income the current year.
I went round and round in circles with my university's fin. aid dept the first time I was in college. I grew up really poor, but because my mom remarried a year before I graduated HS and he made a decent salary, I couldn't get any financial aid and my mom couldn't afford to help me out either. Every time I'd bring in paperwork they required to support my special circumstances claim, then they'd think up more stuff I had to bring in.
Has anyone in the same situation actually had that work...having them go by your anticipated lower income rather than tax returns?
Yup, they are supposed to make an adjustment.
I made $56,000 in 2005 and qualified for maxed out subsidized Stafford loans for 2006/2007 for $10,500. Had I not had a degree already, I would have also qualified for Pell Grants. It was at a public college and the tuition for a full year was HALF that figure. I wasn't interested in private money.
My only change: I wasn't going to be working during school so they made the adjustment of my income to $0.00
I cannot emphasize enough that you have to speak with the lending officer...there is usually only one or two per college that is authorized to make adjustments. Anyone else and you are just talking to a secretary/employee that isn't authorized to do ANYTHING nor has the training to do so.
Don't try to determine your own aid after you complete the FAFSA...that is never the end of the story.
Also, you can file for independent status after the first full year that your parents DO NOT claim you as a dependent on their tax returns. I have run into some students who didn't have a good relationship with their parents, and their parents claimed them as a dependent and they weren't giving them any money on top of it. In those cases...that requires a special form. You have to prove that you have been living on your own, paying all your bills, working, etc in order to be treated as an independent. It used to be that you couldn't until you were 23 years old, but that changed b/c there were two many parents that were scamming their own kids.