Let's discuss financial aid for you if your family situation doesn't fit into the "norm."
What we mean by the norm is married parents, average student, average grades, employed by a company that you don’t own, etc.
Most families in one way or another, don’t fit into the statistical norm, and must be aware of how this will affect their chances of qualifying for financial aid. There are vital things you must know if you fit into one of these categories.
If you’re currently divorced or separated (or soon will be), and your child will be applying to colleges, there are a few things of which you should be aware of:
- The financial aid forms should be completed by the parent with whom the student lives for the greater part of the year. For example, if your child lives with his mother for eight months out of the year and with his father for only four months of the year, the income and asset information will be based on the mother only.
- If the parent with whom the child resides is re-married, you must include the income and assets of the step-parent as if he or she was a biological parent. This may not sound fair, but this is the way the financial aid system works.
- Private colleges and Universities can ask to see other income and asset information of the other divorced parent when awarding their own funds. However, this information will not affect federally-based funds.
Please raise the third issue with us should you fall into this predicament.