Finanial Aid, Marital Status

  1. Does your marital status have anything to do with financial aid? I have heard that you should definitely not get married prior to attending graduate school, because they will only consider your TOTAL household income, not how many people earn it, or if your partner is in school as well.

    This doesn't make any sense to me, but I thought I'd ask.

    In other words, if one were planning on getting married, should that be done after grad school?
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    About mvanz9999

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 535; Likes: 50
    RN ICU
    Specialty: Accepted...Master's Entry Program, 2008!

    19 Comments

  3. by   BerkeleyMom
    It is my understanding that marriage only becomes an issue in regards to free money, ie cal grants, pell grants, other gov grants (free money), ect. For example, as an undergrad I chose to hold off on marriage because I was considered a single parent and I was unemployed. For this reason I was able to maximize my eligibilty for free money and subsidized loans. Free money is usually need based, except for scholarships which can be under many categories.

    As far as graduaute school, I do not think it is the same unless you are reaferring to a need-based grant/funding. It was my understanding that for graduate professional schools (nursing, med, law, ect) there was no free money--gov grants. If you are planning on financing your education on loans, then marriage should not make much of a difference.

    It may make a difference in regards to the ratio of subed/unsubed loans, and I think it is worth calling your fin aid counselor and asking. That interest can add up quick!

    Folks, please correct me if I am wrong! Mvanz999, Would you let us know if you find out otherwise?

    Thanks, Best of luck!

    --Berkeley
  4. by   RN4NICU
    You are correct, Berkeley - no free money for Graduate/Professional schools.
  5. by   ChCkBzk
    When I was in graduate school in Texas, I recieved grant money. Something like $1000 a semester.

    I was NOT in nursing school. It was Linguistics.
  6. by   mvanz9999
    Quote from ChCkBzk
    When I was in graduate school in Texas, I recieved grant money. Something like $1000 a semester.

    I was NOT in nursing school. It was Linguistics.
    But did they ask you your marital status?
  7. by   juan de la cruz
    Quote from BerkeleyMom
    It was my understanding that for graduate professional schools (nursing, med, law, ect) there was no free money--gov grants
    The only free federal money I know of that is available at the graduate school level are Advanced Education Nursing Traineeships through the Department of Health and Human Services. The grant is awarded to eligible institutions to provide financial support through traineeships for registered nurses enrolled in advanced education nursing programs to prepare nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse administrators, nurse educators, public health nurses and nurses in other specialties determined by the Secretary to require advanced education.

    In the school where I graduated from, there are usually 10-12 students who become recipients of this grant during each academic year. The grant covers tuition up to 8 credits per semester during the fall and winter terms. The only requirement for receiving such funds is that the student agrees to commit to full time study (8 credits per semester). The grant is not need-based (income and assets are not asked during the application process). Ask the institutions where you intend to enroll in if these funds are available to graduate nursing students.
  8. by   lovingpecola
    I have a different view on this topic...being married does affect your financial aid in that you have a much higher salary if both of you are working!

    ie: single girl working might be making $25,000...add a husband and his $25,000...you now make $50,000 which changes your financial aid because it changes your EFC. (Expected Family Contribution) Your EFC matters because (in some cases - depending on the school) the lower your EFC, the higher your school sponsored scholarship because your need is higher.

    EX: LP salary = $25,000...EFC =$3,000
    LP + Husband salary = $50,000...EFC = $6,000

    Eligible scholarship might = cost of attendance - EFC

    These numbers are relatively small, but imagine them higher and the impact it would have...

    Make sense?
  9. by   ChCkBzk
    on the FAFSA application it asked if you are married or single. That determines if you are considered to be an "independent" student.

    The FAFSA awards money based on your total income I think, and if you are married, then yes you are going to have a higher income if you are both working.

    So being single and broke has its perks, you get more money in federal aid! haha
  10. by   mvanz9999
    I never really understood the question "What is your total income"? Right now it's one thing, but the second I start school, it's $0.00.
  11. by   BerkeleyMom
    They are always going to look at your finances/tax forms for the year before.

    In regards to what the previous posters wrote about being married and having a higher total income and therefore not getting more federal aid. I do not think that this matters in graduate professional school, as I stated above.

    It should ONLY matter if you are referring to free money--gov grants and need based scholarships. If you are funding your entire education on loans, then it should not make a difference if you marry a rich person! Loan venders are still going to lend you money--of course they are--this is what they do. They lend people money, charge interest, and then collect. They generally don't care how much money you make, unless you have terrible credit and they do not trust that you can pay it back.

    It may make a difference as far as your ratio of subsidized to unsubsized loans--but only your financial aid counselor can tell you that.

    So please, get married if you want to--don't let anyone or anything stop what your heart desires.
  12. by   ChCkBzk
    Yes, you can still take out the same amount of financial aid, but your income changes whether it's subsidized or unsubsidized. If you are really broke, like myself, then you can get part of your loans subsidized. I just fille out my FAFSA form and wow........I'm almost hitting the poverty line!

    But if you marry a rich guy....then maybe he will just pay for nursing school?

    If you know a second rich guy.....can you send him my way? J/K haha
  13. by   mvanz9999
    Um....well, I'm a guy.

    The only guys I know are what I call "inversely" rich. Which means they have 6-figure debts.

    Maybe I shouldn't be talking about marriage. Maybe that's weird.
  14. by   ChCkBzk
    No, talking about marriage is not weird at all. And sorry I didn't notice you were a guy! :trout:

    What is weird is I added up the total cost for my tuition, and substracted it from the total amount of loans I can get.........then I googled "how long can a human survive on tap water alone"

    It's going to be a tight two years!

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