Author Topic: FAFSA questions  (Read 6482 times)

secondcor521

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FAFSA questions
« on: January 05, 2013, 02:50:40 PM »
FAFSA questions if anyone knows for sure.  I think I know the answers, but...

1.  I have stock in a privately held company.  I can't really sell it (at least I don't think so) because it's not a publicly traded stock.  Should I include it in my assets?  (I think yes)
2.  My father has a 529 established for my son - my father's the owner and my son is the beneficiary.  Include in my assets?  (I think no)
3.  I and my ex-wife had three kids together, we got divorced, I pay her child support every month.  Include in the question 91b about child support paid?  (I think no)
4.  My son loans out money on Kiva.  Include amount of his outstanding loans as his investments?  (I think yes)

Thanks for any help,

2Cor521

Karl

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Re: FAFSA questions
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 03:31:47 PM »
2Cor521,

I strongly recommend contacting the financial aid department of the relevant college(s) to answer these questions.  Based on my, now decade old, experience with FAFSAs in graduate school, I agree with your answers to 1, and 4. 

Initially, I agree with your respond eto item 2.  However, you may need to report it elsewhere as additional resources for your son.

For item 3, why wouldn't you report this as child support paid?  This seems like an incorrect reading of the item.

I wish you good luck with the form and I hope the educational experience goes well for your son,

Karl


TomTX

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Re: FAFSA questions
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 07:54:38 PM »
Can you actually get that money out of Kiva? I thought there were issues with actually getting money back - it really operatee more like a self-directed charity.

secondcor521

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Re: FAFSA questions
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 10:58:29 AM »
2Cor521,

I strongly recommend contacting the financial aid department of the relevant college(s) to answer these questions.  Based on my, now decade old, experience with FAFSAs in graduate school, I agree with your answers to 1, and 4. 

Initially, I agree with your respond eto item 2.  However, you may need to report it elsewhere as additional resources for your son.

For item 3, why wouldn't you report this as child support paid?  This seems like an incorrect reading of the item.

I wish you good luck with the form and I hope the educational experience goes well for your son,

Karl

Thanks for the feedback.

On item 3, the question on the FAFSA reads:

"
Child support paid
Child support your father paid because of divorce or separation or as a result of a legal requirement. Do not include support for children in your father's household"

Since the kids are in my household, I'm following the second part of the question.

Thanks again!

2Cor521

secondcor521

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Re: FAFSA questions
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 10:59:42 AM »
Can you actually get that money out of Kiva? I thought there were issues with actually getting money back - it really operatee more like a self-directed charity.

I really don't know much about how it works.  Basically I think he's got money in there that he has lended out to various people, and they're paying it back to him; after they pay it back he can relend it.  I thought he could get the money out, but maybe not...I'll have to check.

Thanks!

2Cor521

Nords

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Re: FAFSA questions
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 12:42:24 PM »
On item 3, the question on the FAFSA reads:
"Child support paid
Child support your father paid because of divorce or separation or as a result of a legal requirement. Do not include support for children in your father's household"
Since the kids are in my household, I'm following the second part of the question.
I think you should list all court-mandated child support that you pay.  It's a non-discretionary expense, and the more of those you list then the better you'll do at the financial services office.

You're probably already looking at the PROFILE (http://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile) and ideally your oldest is talking with the college financial aid & alumni offices about their little-known scholarships.  Lots of alumni scholarships never seem to make it to the Web, let alone get applications & essays.

giggles

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Re: FAFSA questions
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 02:42:02 PM »
With Kiva, repaid funds can be withdrawn to a paypal account and then used as cash.

fruplicity

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Re: FAFSA questions
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 08:38:13 AM »
Hi, I'm a financial aid administrator.

1.  Yes, include your stock in your assets.
2.  Don't include the 529 in yours or your son's assets, because it's in your father's name. If it was in your name, you'd have to include it.
3.  I'm confused about who your three children with your ex-wife live with. If they live with you, you don't have to include child-support paid, but it seems odd that you would be paying child support to their mom if they live with you. If they live with your ex-wife, you do need to include it.
4.  Yes, include the Kiva loans in your son's investments.

secondcor521

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Re: FAFSA questions
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2013, 06:06:54 PM »
Hi, I'm a financial aid administrator.

1.  Yes, include your stock in your assets.
2.  Don't include the 529 in yours or your son's assets, because it's in your father's name. If it was in your name, you'd have to include it.
3.  I'm confused about who your three children with your ex-wife live with. If they live with you, you don't have to include child-support paid, but it seems odd that you would be paying child support to their mom if they live with you. If they live with your ex-wife, you do need to include it.
4.  Yes, include the Kiva loans in your son's investments.

Thanks for the reply.

As for item 3, my ex and I share legal custody and physical custody 50/50 - 1 week with me, 1 week with her.  In 2012, my oldest spent 187 nights out of the year with me, the middle child spent 180 nights out of the year with me, and the youngest child spent 182 nights out of the year with me.  In 2013 the numbers are projected to be 186/184/184.

I pay her child support because I make more than she does, and our state (Idaho) considers the relative ratio of incomes and custody times to determine child support.

I marked my household as consisting of 4 people and no child support paid.  Maybe it would be more accurate to mark my household as being just two of us (me and my oldest child) and list the child support.  But in that case, the child support I paid last year was for all three of them in aggregate.  I suppose I could just use the numbers for what it would have been if I had only two children.  (I can't just multiply by 2/3 because that is not how child support works in this state.)

Thanks again for the reply!

2Cor521

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Re: FAFSA questions
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2013, 11:44:56 PM »
I know very little about FAFSA (I came in here to figure out what it was referring to)...

Anyway, that seems really unfair that you have to pay child support when you both have 50% custody of your kiddos.  Seems like an unfair law to me, perhaps.

secondcor521

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Re: FAFSA questions
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 11:08:51 PM »
Anyway, that seems really unfair that you have to pay child support when you both have 50% custody of your kiddos.  Seems like an unfair law to me, perhaps.

I can understand your point of view.

The idea behind the law I agree with, and I think it's actually pretty fair in general and in our situation in particular.

The law (in my state anyway; each state has their own rules) says that the birth parents of any child are expected to contribute a percentage of their combined income to the rearing of the children.  Then each parent individually contributes to that child-rearing budget in proportion to their income.  Then each parent withdraws from that child-rearing budget in proportion to their actual custody.

To use made up numbers, suppose Dad makes $80K and Mom makes $40K and they both have 50/50 custody.  So together they make $120K, so my state says that they should spend $30K of that $120K on the kids.  Dad contributes ($80K / $120K) * $30K = $20K to the child-rearing budget, and Mom contributes ($40K / $120K) * $30K = $10K to the child-rearing budget.  Dad withdraws 50% of the child-rearing budget, or 50% * $30K = $15K, and Mom similarly withdraws her $15K.  The net of it is then that Dad pays $5K child support ($15K withdrawal - $20K contribution) and Mom receives the $5K child support ($15K withdrawal - $10K contribution).

Hope that helps explain it a little better...

2Cor521

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Re: FAFSA questions
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2013, 11:45:35 PM »
Anyway, that seems really unfair that you have to pay child support when you both have 50% custody of your kiddos.  Seems like an unfair law to me, perhaps.

I can understand your point of view.

The idea behind the law I agree with, and I think it's actually pretty fair in general and in our situation in particular.

The law (in my state anyway; each state has their own rules) says that the birth parents of any child are expected to contribute a percentage of their combined income to the rearing of the children.  Then each parent individually contributes to that child-rearing budget in proportion to their income.  Then each parent withdraws from that child-rearing budget in proportion to their actual custody.

To use made up numbers, suppose Dad makes $80K and Mom makes $40K and they both have 50/50 custody.  So together they make $120K, so my state says that they should spend $30K of that $120K on the kids.  Dad contributes ($80K / $120K) * $30K = $20K to the child-rearing budget, and Mom contributes ($40K / $120K) * $30K = $10K to the child-rearing budget.  Dad withdraws 50% of the child-rearing budget, or 50% * $30K = $15K, and Mom similarly withdraws her $15K.  The net of it is then that Dad pays $5K child support ($15K withdrawal - $20K contribution) and Mom receives the $5K child support ($15K withdrawal - $10K contribution).

Hope that helps explain it a little better...

2Cor521

I suppose that makes sense :)

fruplicity

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Re: FAFSA questions
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2013, 06:48:44 PM »
Quote
"As for item 3, my ex and I share legal custody and physical custody 50/50 - 1 week with me, 1 week with her.  In 2012, my oldest spent 187 nights out of the year with me, the middle child spent 180 nights out of the year with me, and the youngest child spent 182 nights out of the year with me.  In 2013 the numbers are projected to be 186/184/184.

I pay her child support because I make more than she does, and our state (Idaho) considers the relative ratio of incomes and custody times to determine child support.

I marked my household as consisting of 4 people and no child support paid.  Maybe it would be more accurate to mark my household as being just two of us (me and my oldest child) and list the child support.  But in that case, the child support I paid last year was for all three of them in aggregate.  I suppose I could just use the numbers for what it would have been if I had only two children.  (I can't just multiply by 2/3 because that is not how child support works in this state.)"

I think you're fine doing this. The FAFSA assumes that separated parents never split child rearing 50/50 and that one parent always supports the child/ren more than the other. But if part of your divorce agreement is 50/50 legal and physical custody I think you can legitimately report however you would like, and a higher household number generally works more in your favor.

If your child's school ever asks for proof of this (which is unlikely if they don't have any other indication that you also pay child support), hopefully a written statement from you and your ex and/or custody documentation from the court would suffice. There's no black and white law about this type of unique circumstance, so all schools may accept different forms of "proof" for this. Sorry, probably TMI for what you're looking for, but I like sharing in case others can benefit from learning more about how the FAFSA works.