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College financial aid question - Material support. by Patrick's Dad
Started on: 04-27-2014 10:14 PM
Replies: 6 (150 views)
Last post by: Patrick's Dad on 04-29-2014 09:28 PM
Patrick's Dad
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Report this Post04-27-2014 10:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Patrick's DadClick Here to visit Patrick's Dad's HomePageClick Here to Email Patrick's DadSend a Private Message to Patrick's DadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Vague statements make my head spin.

I have been in communication with the Financial Aid dept. of one of the Colleges that my son was accepted to - specifically, the one that the President of the College called to recruit him. My concern is the affordability gap, and if they can help us to close that. The FA officer sent me a verification form, and mentioned that, since my mother in law lives with us, it affects how they calculate FA if we provide her at least 50% support.

On the face, no, we don't. She pays us a small rent, pays her own phone, gas and electricity. We pay taxes, trash fees and water. Here's the gray area: she pays well below market rent, likely less than she would pay in the senior housing that my mother currently lives in. Is that considered support? Because that is the only way that I could see this as being anywhere close to being 50% or greater support.

I will, of course, ask the school this, but I wanted to put it out there, in case someone else has been in a similar position, or maybe works in a similar post?
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heybjorn
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Report this Post04-28-2014 11:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for heybjornClick Here to Email heybjornSend a Private Message to heybjornEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My thought would be yes, PD, but I am guessing.

[This message has been edited by heybjorn (edited 04-28-2014).]

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jaskispyder
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Report this Post04-28-2014 11:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would sit down and calculate out what you pay for and then subtract the money she provides. You have to think of every little thing (home improvements, transportation, health care assistance, food, etc.) and you may be surprised how much you are paying. Also take into consideration how much she would be paying if she lived on her own. With this information, you would be able to make a better educated decision of how to complete the form. At least if you ever had to defend it, you could.

[This message has been edited by jaskispyder (edited 04-28-2014).]

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Formula88
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Report this Post04-28-2014 12:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yes, any discount you give her below market value is considered material support. That would be the market value of the space she currently rents - not what senior housing somewhere else may cost.
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spark1
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Report this Post04-29-2014 01:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for spark1Send a Private Message to spark1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Reply from a person who works in Financial Aid at Oregon State:

It would depend on whether or not they claim her on their taxes. If they provide more that 50% of support they should claim her, and what they list on their taxes should match what they put on the FAFSA. If not, it will trigger a verification process where they will be asked to verify the support and amend their taxes.
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carnut122
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Report this Post04-29-2014 09:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carnut122Send a Private Message to carnut122Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm sure what they want to know is, "Do you claim her as a dependent on your federal tax returns (which you'll have to provide in order to get any kind of assistance)?"
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Patrick's Dad
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Report this Post04-29-2014 09:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Patrick's DadClick Here to visit Patrick's Dad's HomePageClick Here to Email Patrick's DadSend a Private Message to Patrick's DadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
OK, so the answer is, "No."

That said, a different college just upped the ante, making this decision, which has to be made Thursday, much harder....
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