March 27, 2007

Financial aid – is it affected by child support or 2nd homes?

Posted in FAFSA, Stafford Loans, The Financial Aid Process at 2:24 PM by Joe From Boston

Here’s an informative article from the OC Register about financial aid:
Child support must be declared when seeking financial aid

By Tom Bottorf

Q. I’m a single mom and my son will be a college freshman this fall at a private California university. The income I claimed on our FAFSA included child support, but this ended last month when he turned 18. The financial aid award we received was weak in university grant money and heavy in loans. Did I make a mistake by including the child support?

A. You were absolutely correct in declaring your son’s child support. Your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is inflated because of the child support declaration.

I recommend initiating an appeal with the college. Call the financial aid office and arrange for a face-to-face meeting (if possible geographically). Ask in advance if there’s a special form required for an appeal. Prepare any relevant documentation to support your situation.

Your situation falls into the category of “special circumstances”, and while there’s never a guarantee in an appeal situation, many schools will rule favorably and adjust the financial award to your favor when circumstances such as yours are revealed to them.

Q. I read that real estate does not have to be included on the FAFSA form, but I attended a seminar where the speaker said otherwise. What are the rules for property?

A. Your primary residence should never be declared on the FAFSA form. However, the equity you have in additional properties – such as rental properties or vacation homes – must be declared.

By the way, the CSS/PROFILE form does require you to declare your home value and debt and the resulting equity is assessed in your EFC calculation.

Q. We’re trying to find the best education loans. Our daughter received a subsidized Stafford loan offer for her upcoming freshman year. Is this a good loan?

A. You should ALWAYS accept a subsidized Stafford loan.

Whenever a federal loan is “subsidized”, this means the government is paying the interest while the student is in school (at least half time) and for six months after graduation. Only then does the first payment become due, and there’s been not a penny of interest accrual up to that point. So consider this to be an interest-free loan for at least the next 4 1/2 years.

By the way, the Stafford loan provides up to $19,000 total for a four-year undergraduate college term and up to an additional $4,000 if another year (or more) is required.


  1. the best vacation homes are those that are located near the beaches, they are really cool ,`’

  2. Dixie said,

    Q:) My boyfriend pays child support for his 3 yr old son who lives with his mother in Missouri. He is wanting to go to a CDL truck driving school but cant afford it. In Missouri where he use to live they have a program called ‘parentsfairshare’ which is a financial aid program for people who pay child support. Is there anything like that in Oklahoma?

  3. ashley said,

    my husband has to pay child support and does not have a job! now the EX is saying she can take my school grants and loans? is this true?

  4. EmGee said,

    What happens when(in my family’s case) the “child support” is NOT regular even though a court order does exist?

    The amt. of arrears is so far behind to equate to over two yrs’ worth of “support.”

    Since it is NOT something we can currently budget for, do we include it when filing FAFSA, so not?

    Oh, by the way, this is a out of state case, that is how he is able to get away w/falling behind so far.

  5. HI Matt,

    I don’t know any scholarships to help you off the top of my head, but try looking at – it’s a completely free way to search millions of dollars in scholarship aid money. You might find exactly what you’re looking for.

    Also, you might be interested in, which is a program I run. In it you sign up for a free account and earn point towards each quarterly drawing of three scholarships worth $1000, $500, and $250. Each point is simply another chance to win in the random drawings. We just held our July drawings, so you’ve got plenty of time to earn points for the next drawing in October.

    I wish you the best of luck!

  6. Matt Gortner said,

    Q:) I’m a father, and I pay child support for my 2 yr old who lives with his mother. We both are attending college, though seperately since we split up. Since she had the child before she was 18, I am responsible for 100% of her income, not counting student loans. Are there any scholarships or grants out there that help people like me? I go to school in Ohio, and just can’t find any aid. Please help.

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