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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Would this be a shady way of extracting more money from financial aid?

    So I am talking to some students to the school I'd really like to be. They said financial aid works like this:
    Unless financial aid knows otherwise, they assume that parents are going to be paying for 1/3-1/2 of your tuition.

    But I am also told that if you live on your own, or at least you cannot be claimed as a dependent by your parents, that you get a lot for aid. A LOT more.

    Hmm.....


    So would it be at all shady or morally questionable if I moved out of my parents place for a while, deferred my admission for one year, and then had my financial aid situation reevaluated?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    So would it be at all shady or morally questionable if I moved out of my parents place for a while, deferred my admission for one year, and then had my financial aid situation reevaluated?
    Not if you tell the truth about supporting yourself and not being supported by your parents. If you're really "on your own", it should make no ethical difference why you are. But it might not make any difference...the school might assume that your parents could and should be supporting you, anyway, and evaluate accordingly.

  3. #3
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Heck, even presidents maintain "residence" in other states to put themselves in a better financial position...why shouldn't you?
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  4. #4
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Well the school is about 140 miles away. My thought was to pony up the obscene sum of money they charge for the first year, and then live in a nearby apartment during the summer.

    How could they prove that my parents were supporting me somehow? Would they even need to prove?
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  5. #5
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I am inclined to say screw any ethical boundaries and go forward with this. My parents flat out said that they'll pay for perhaps 10% of my education costs. They want to retire and believe this is my responsibility. Financial aid offices don't have any way of knowing that.
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  6. #6
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Wait, are you considering still being supported by your parents, living alone in name only?

    If so, I think you know the answer to your question.
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  7. #7
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    No I'm not wanting to be supported by my parents. I would pay my for own rent, food, etc.

    If my car broke down and my parents offered me some cash to repair it and I accepted, would that be shameful?
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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    I dunno.

    I guess if you have to lie on any documentation, that could be a good gauge.
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    nope sorry, i've been there and you're just gonna have to wait till you're 24 no matter what. you'll be viewed as a dependent even if you live on your own.


    don't you just wish you were one of those poor underprivelaged children now? why, if you were below the poverty line they'd give you all the aid you could ever want. it still wouldnt' be enough for that money grubbing school you like so much.

    also, this will be harder than what you're doing now. what kinda job are you gonna get to pay your rent?

  10. #10
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    But I am also told that if you live on your own, or at least you cannot be claimed as a dependent by your parents, that you get a lot for aid. A LOT more.

    Hmm.....


    So would it be at all shady or morally questionable if I moved out of my parents place for a while, deferred my admission for one year, and then had my financial aid situation reevaluated?
    No IMO. That's exactly what I did. Lived with my friend's dad por gratis because of that, among other reasons. In fact, if you could find someplace where you could live for what you've saved up the previous year and not work, they may give you enough to go to school w/o having to work at all, which is great since you can really concentrate on it.

  11. #11
    In media luce erro dejinshathe's Avatar
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    Over here, they ask for your last couple years' tax records and means-test your earnings. If they consider the earnings a feasible amount for you to have lived on, and you have a different address and claim to live independantly, they count you as independant from your folks.

    If they're not going to even ask you to prove what you live on, over there, then it sounds like they're asking you to rort the system ...

    ... of course, I do not endorse shadiness just because the system seems engineered to allow it. I agree with Wordbiker: if you have to lie, you're well in the shade.
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  12. #12
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    I believe they refer to you tax return, not how much of your living expenses your parents pay. If your parents claimed you as a dependent, no dice. If you filed singly, you qualify. If it was how much of your expenses your parents pay, then I know some people who are graduated and working jobs who could still be considered dependent.

    No need to compromise on ethics when they give you a definite definition of what qualifies or not.

    But for future purposes you might consider whether it is really legitimate to compromise on ethics for the sake of money.

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    even if your parents try to claim you as not dependent you will still be listed as dependent.... until you turn 24 or get married. i tried that. i didn't live with my parents and they still counted me as dependent until 24.

  14. #14
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    If your parents still claim you on their income taxes, you won't get it.

    But good idea, I like the way you think.
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  15. #15
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Well the bottom line is that they make an assumption that mom and dad are going to pay for 1/2 of your schooling costs. My parents flat out said they wont pay for more than 10% -- regardless. So...I am on my own with an "expected family contribution" of 33,000 dollars. Just for fun, I think I will contact financial aid at a few other schools and ask them for a quote; see how much grant they'd be willing to give vs Hampshire.

    What if I paid the full money for the first year but then lived in an apartment -- with a legal residence change -- over the summer?

    Damn, this really stinks. I paid several thousand dollars of my own money (I have a moderately well paying job, at least for people my age) to finance UNH with zero financial aid. UNH was telling me how I would get an education tax relief or something of that nature....not quite! The correct answer is:

    My parents got to claim my tax credit because I am a dependent.
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  16. #16
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    On another note, I do wonder if this "expected family contribution" of 33,000 dollars is an unusual sum, given my family's income. If other private liberal art schools offer me the same or similar amounts in grant, then I may just need to deal. I don't think I can deal with another semester at a large, state school. I may well have seen intellectual stagnation this year.
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  17. #17
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfishin View Post
    even if your parents try to claim you as not dependent you will still be listed as dependent.... until you turn 24 or get married. i tried that. i didn't live with my parents and they still counted me as dependent until 24.
    I disagree. If you are not claimed as a dependent on taxes and don't live at home, you are not a dependent.

    I left at 17, that was the lasty year I was claimed. I was filing my own independent tax returns.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  18. #18
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Wow,
    http://www.fafsaonline.com/fafsa-que...nt-student.php

    So it seems like, in the eyes of FAFSA, you're considered a dependent until age 24 unless you: are in the military, married, have both parents deceased

    So even if I was 20 years old, living on my own, paying for my own life, I'd still be considered a dependent.
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  19. #19
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    well that blows.

    I never tried to get financial aid until I was 27.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  20. #20
    Senior Member ajay677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I am inclined to say screw any ethical boundaries and go forward with this. My parents flat out said that they'll pay for perhaps 10% of my education costs. They want to retire and believe this is my responsibility. Financial aid offices don't have any way of knowing that.
    If you're going to "screw any ethical boundaries" why stop there. Use your imagination. The opportunities to make money without regard to ethics are practically limitless.

  21. #21
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajay677 View Post
    If you're going to "screw any ethical boundaries" why stop there. Use your imagination. The opportunities to make money without regard to ethics are practically limitless.
    Hmm.....I could start a Cannabis farm out of the trunk of my car. Have a growth light powered off the battery.
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  22. #22
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    Hmm.....I could start a Cannabis farm out of the trunk of my car. Have a growth light powered off the battery.
    Now if you blow off legal boundaries, there are risks associated with that.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  23. #23
    Senior Member ajay677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    Hmm.....I could start a Cannabis farm out of the trunk of my car. Have a growth light powered off the battery.
    Or you could explore employment opportunities in the fabulous adult entertainment industry.

  24. #24
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    So would it be at all shady or morally questionable if I moved out of my parents place for a while, deferred my admission for one year, and then had my financial aid situation reevaluated?
    Not at all shady. Shady, or at least, not smart, would be maxing out the loans for stereos and stuff. Although you can consolidate to a lower rate...

  25. #25
    NYC Maggie Backstedt fan
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    You should inquire of the financial aid office what specifically constitutes "emancipated" status.

    It will likely include not being included as a dependent on your parents' taxes for at least 1, but possibly 2 years. You will also need to verify that you have been employed at a self-sustaining level, and had your own primary residence, usually for at least 1 year, and not received any substantial "gifts" from your parents during that time.

    Generally, these criteria would have to be met before applying for financial aid in the first place. You might not be able to change your status at the institution you are currently accepted at. They will certainly try to make it as difficult for you as possible, because they're not unaware of this option. But you could take the year off, gain correct "emancipated" status, and then apply to a different institution.

    This is not only not unethical -- if you truly go off and meet the requirements -- I often recommend this exact course of action to students and parents worried about paying for college. (They most often don't want to follow it, because they can't imagine their darling working as a barista in San Francisco for a year as a good alternative to starting college.)

    A last word -- if you bother to go through this process and are planning to go to a state school, do have the foresight to move your primary residence to that state, so you can be both emancipated, and an in-state student.
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