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What to do if your parents don’t want to take out loans to pay for your education

What to do if your parents don’t want to take out loans to pay for your education

If your parents are concerned about privacy, remind them that the confidentiality of student records, including financial aid applications, is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In particular, schools will not disclose information submitted by the parent to the student (or to the parent’s ex-spouse).

Talk to the financial aid administrator at your college. Sometimes they are able to intercede with the parents and convince them to complete the FAFSA. Sometimes it helps to have a third party talk with your parents if the atmosphere between you and your parents is too charged with emotion.

Some students have filed the forms by forging their parents’ signature. This is not advisable, as the penalties for doing this are quite severe, and if you don’t have a copy of your parents’ tax return, you’ll probably get caught when the numbers don’t match.

What to do if your parents are involved in a messy divorce. Talk to each parent separately. If they are concerned about the privacy of the financial information on the financial aid applications, have them speak to the financial aid administrator at the school. Financial aid administrators are very careful to safeguard the privacy of the student and parents, and will not allow one parent to see the information submitted by the other. If the school is served with a court order requiring them to divulge the information, they will first inform the affected parent and not do anything until the parent has had time to fight the order in court. Education records, including financial aid applications and supporting documentation, are protected by very strong federal privacy laws, such as FERPA.

What to do if your parents refuse to pay.Some students may meet the criteria for independent status. If not, you are considered to be dependent on your parents and their income and resources will determine your eligibility for assistance. If your parents refuse to pay, you will have to make up the difference. The school and the government will not help. Learn more: Federal Financial Aid and the FAFSA Independent Student

Talk to your parents and lay out all of your finances in front of them. Show them how much money you have and can earn, demonstrating that you’re doing what you can to cover the costs. Show them how much it will cost and the size of the gap. Make it clear to them that if they don’t help fill that gap, you won’t be able to complete your education, no matter how hard you t

What to do if your stepparent refuses to file forms or provide support

Remind them that the federal government counts their income and assets, regardless of their refusal. If they point to a prenuptial agreement, tell them that this agreement is between them and their spouse. You are not party to this agreement, nor is the government, so it is not binding upon you. Encourage them to complete the FAFSA, since it makes you eligible for need-based aid even if they do not help with the college costs. Make a deal with your parents, where you agree to assume responsibility for the payments on the PLUS loan after you graduate and get a job. You’ll graduate heavily in debt, and will have to struggle, but at least you’ll be able to graduate.

But if you can convince your parents to file the FAFSA, you might qualify for need-based aid, such as the subsidized Stafford loan and the Pell Grant, as well as institutional aid

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans without Parental Information Section 479A(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by section 472(a)(4) of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, allows dependent students to obtain an unsubsidized Stafford loan without parental information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if the college financial aid administrator “verifies that the parent or parents of such student have ended financial support of such student and refuse to file such form.” However, most students would get more financial aid if their parents complete the FAFSA or if the student is granted a dependency override.

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