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HUGE mistake could cost us 10K

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firstbase32

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
366
As I have mentioned previously my fiancee and I are college students. We both believed we were told to submit our fafsa''s early and then after our wedding to go back and update them. We just found out that you are not able to update your marital status for your fafsa for that year. I think this is freaking stupid because now we will be "dependent" on our parents when we''re married and we will get absolutely no help from the state or fed. government for college. We were looking at each getting atleast $5,000 per year in terms of fed. and state grant money. If we do not get this money or are able to correct our fafsa I will more than likely not be doing my master''s work for awhile just because of the extra expense. Please just pray for us and the situation, we''d greatly appreciate it.

A great thing to happen 4 weeks before our wedding huh?
 

robbie3982

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 28, 2006
Messages
3,960
Oh no! That''s awful! I''m sending good vibes your way!
 

firstbase32

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
366
Yea, they''re the ones who told us to submit it early and then update it...but now they are playing the game where they say "no one in our office would tell you that." My fiancee and I both were under the impression of that is what we were to do after speaking to the HEAD financial aid person for our university. I''m pretty close with this guy so he may be able to pull some strings for us, but he is very sick and in the hospital so I hope he gets better soon so that he can come back and get this straightened out.

My fiancee talked to the fafsa people on the phone and they said that you CAN update it...but our school is saying no...everywhere I read online says no as well.
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
So can''t the FAFSA people update it for you and forget the whole univ. issue?
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
3,867
When you have a change of status, and a marriage definitely qualifies, you usually are able to update forms like that. If the FAFSA people are telling you that you can, then your school needs to talk to them. I know in the working world, I can change my MSA (Medical Savings Plan) with a change of status... and ONLY with a change of status... after the start of the year. I would think the FAFSA would be much the same. Normally you can''t, but when you have a change of status, you can.

good luck!!!
 

firstbase32

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
366
My fiancee talked to them and they said that you could update it...but when i have been reading online it states that it will not reflect the year inwhich an application is already submitted. I just don''t understand why it''s a huge issue...if I haven''t used my fafsa until next school year...why can''t I update it? Why does the govt. have to be so crappy like that?!?!
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
Date: 4/11/2007 4:12:22 PM
Author: firstbase32
I just don''t understand why it''s a huge issue...if I haven''t used my fafsa until next school year...why can''t I update it? Why does the govt. have to be so crappy like that?!?!
Because they can. And it''s irritating.
Just like taxes - when they owe you money you don''t ever get interest...but if you ever end up owing them money...look out!
 

cellososweet

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
876
hey sweetheart. i''m so sorry you were misinformed :( Unfortunately you can''t change it and that is straight from the FAFSA''s horse''s mouth

You cannot change:
Your Social Security Number via the Corrections on the Web. If your Social Security Number is incorrect, you must complete a new application with the correct Social Security Number.
Your financial information, unless it was incorrect as of the day the FAFSA was submitted.
Your marital status, unless it was incorrect as of the day the FAFSA was submitted.

http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/faq005.htm

The way marital status works is: "are you married as of the day you are filling out your fafsa?"

Stupid? Yes. . .and big fat pain in the ass? certainly!

I just went through this last year with my husband. One thing that you can do is go to your financial aid office and ask if you can file a petition to be labeled as an independent student.

OR! . . . .
you say that you won''t be working on your master''s work for awhile? Honey. . if you are postbaccalaureate (already done with a bachelors) it doesn''t matter if you are married or not, you''re independent!

Independent Status Eligibilty:

You are enrolled in a Masters program, Doctorate Degree, or graduate Certification program
age does not matter, if you are enrolled in any of these types of programs you are considered and independent student
You have a child or children that are your legal dependent(s)
you may have a family member etc. that is considered your dependent…he/she does not necessarily have to be a child
You are married
You are under the age of 24 and both of your parents are deceased
You were a ward of your state until you were 18 years of age
You are 24 years of age or older
You are a Veteran of the United States Armed Force

I would advise that you go to your financial aid office and hash it out. don''t be bitchy. but certainly be pushy. i''ve had so many issues with financial aid i''ve become an expert at being pushy with them. best of luck! it is such a headache!
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
I know this isn't what you want to hear, but according to the "studentaid.ed.gov" website:

Q: I'm going to get married this summer. How do I answer the question that asks if I am married?

Answer "Yes" to Question 50 if you are married on the day you complete and sign the FAFSA. Otherwise, answer "No." The FAFSA is a snapshot of your status the day it is completed and signed; it does not forecast changes such as marriage. If you indicate on Question 50 of the FAFSA that you are single by answering "No" and then marry after you originally file, you cannot change your answer to Question 50. When you apply in a subsequent year and remain married, you will file as a married student.


Unless your university can offer you more aid through state grants or something like that, it looks like you might be out of luck. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news...


ETA: I am also just finishing my Master's and have had support through my university for both years. I don't know what field you're in, but many part time work positions at universities offer tuition remission and health insurance for graduate students. Worth an ask...
 

firstbase32

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
366
So do you think if I enrolled in the master''s program that would autotically make me an independent and then I would get the grants? I am an undergrad but are going to be able to begin working on my master''s work before I graduate.
 

cellososweet

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
876
Hey hon. . .yeah you would have to be actually enrolled in the Master''s program, not just taking classes? does that make sense? basically. . if you look at the top of your transcript and it says "B.A" or "undergrad" or something to that tune, then you are considered an undergraduate. I know though that my friend was in a five year B.A/M.A. program and they let her declare financial independence at her school. So. . .basically you can''t change the FAFSA unless you are enrolled in the masters program (not just the classes) or if you are over 24. I would still say to go down to the financial aid office at your school and tell them that you would like to file a petition for independent status. it is a school by school thing with this when it is outside of the FAFSA perimeter. (because you have young people whose parents cannot afford to support them).

This happened to me in college (my undergrad). My parents both had cancer at the same time and weren''t working. I was working 45 hours a week to make ends meet. I declared independent with my school through a petition though i had claimed dependent on my FAFSA. Good luck!
 

firstbase32

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
366
So if through the school I file a petition to be "dependent" I will be able to get the state and federal grants?
 

therighttime

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
224
Just butting in here..... but I didn''t know you could get grants for graduate work? I know that in my Student Aid Report I received it clearly said I was not eligible for a pell grant because I already had a BS. Are you talking about something other than a pell grant?

Just curious if maybe you all know something I didn''t. I paid for my master''s and it was very hard to do! Would''ve loved to have a grant since I was a single mom with a low income at the time I did my master''s work.

Good luck to you. Hope it works out.
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
Date: 4/11/2007 5:53:42 PM
Author: therighttime
Just butting in here..... but I didn't know you could get grants for graduate work? I know that in my Student Aid Report I received it clearly said I was not eligible for a pell grant because I already had a BS. Are you talking about something other than a pell grant?


Just curious if maybe you all know something I didn't. I paid for my master's and it was very hard to do! Would've loved to have a grant since I was a single mom with a low income at the time I did my master's work.


Good luck to you. Hope it works out.

Yes, you are not eligible for state aid as a graduate student (like pell grants). BUT many universities have grants,research assistant appointments, fellowships, etc. for graduate study.

The only thing you could get directly from the gov't as a graduate student is loans. That's it I believe.

That's an excellent point if you think that you'll be getting the same grants as you did as an undergraduate. You won't. All you will be eligible for even if you could correct your FAFSA is loans.

ETA: I would be happy to clarify anything further if you want. I'm currently in a program, so I can try my best to answer any other questions you have.
 

cellososweet

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
876
Date: 4/11/2007 4:52:46 PM
Author: firstbase32
So if through the school I file a petition to be ''dependent'' I will be able to get the state and federal grants?
Make sure you file a petition to be "independent." Probably a typo but just wanted to be sure :)
 

Kit

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2005
Messages
501
yeah, I wasn''t sure what she meant by state and federal grants either. FAFSA is a federal form, so the states wouldn''t use it anyways unless a particular state had some kind of a grant program and they used part of FAFSA eligibility to calculate their eligibility--aka borrowing the FAFSA calculations. For grad work you qualify for up to $18,500 per year in a mix of subsidzed and unsubsidized student loans backed by Uncle Sam. If you need more dough, you can apply for private loans. No grants, sorry. Perhaps your university uses the FAFSA EFC to figure out your eligibility for their programs?

Either way, sounds like you''re in the same boat as the rest of us!
 

btrflygrl23

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 30, 2007
Messages
803
Oh I just saw your thread so sorry this happened to you right before your big day
I totally understand I''m a full-time studnet too so money is and can be tight hang in there and I will totally hope that things work out. Good vibes, good vibes ~~~~~~~~
 
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