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FAFSA parent income changes: Who counts?

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The most recent news is changes on which parent's income should be used on the FAFSA form. Why the changes? Because of several possible scenarios:

  1. Father and mother married and living at home.
  2. Parents divorced and living together.
  3. Parents divorced and not living together.
  4. Same-sex parents living together.

So, how do you know what to use on the FAFSA form? You can go to CollegeUp.org. We went there, took the quiz with different scenarios to see what they would say.

Here are the questions they asked us:

  1. Born before January 1, 1991?
  2. Have children?
  3. Have dependents (siblings, parents)?
  4. Pursing graduate degree?
  5. Active duty?
  6. Foster care?
  7. Orphaned?

After a few more questions, we got to the stage of determining "Who's My FAFSA Parent?" Here is a summary of what we received. You will want to complete the quiz yourself to determine your status.

  1. If parents are married to each other, report combined income and assets.
  2. If parents are separated, report income for the parent you lived with the most.
  3. If parents are divorced, report income for the parent you lived with the most.
  4. If parents aren't married but lived together, report combined income and assets.

Start working on that FAFSA form now so you meet the deadlines. But be sure and research what income you need to report. It could mean a difference in how much you are eligible to receive.

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