Student Loans/FAFSA

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Question
Hi Betsy! I need help on the FAFSA application.

My fiance is a full time student. I claimed her on my taxes as a dependent. She is 28. We were confused as to how to complete her FAFSA application. When she talked to the 1-800 number for FAFSA, they told her that I shouldn't have claimed her and now she may not get financial aid.

FYI ; she qualified for every aspect to be claimed as a dependent.

Thanks for any help on this!

Answer
HI there

I am not a tax expert but I'll take your word for it that she qualified as your dependent for tax purposes.  This should not affect her FAFSA in any way as the word dependent has a completely different meaning under federal aid rules than it does under IRS rules.  As she is 28, she is automatically considered an independent for aid purposes.  She should go ahead and fill out the FAFSA accordingly - the questions it will ask will automatically categorize her as independent.  This will not be in conflict with what you filed to the IRS.

I apologize for the delay in responding - we have had a few snow storms here and I have been out of the office.

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Betsy

Expertise

I can answer any questions about federal student loans and many about private student loans. I can also answer questions about other types of financial aid. I am not a financial planner or attorney so cannot give investment or legal opinions.

Experience

I have worked in the student loan industry for over 15 years - primarily in the compliance area. I also work with borrowers with particularly complicated issues. I had a column answering financial aid questions in several newspapers for seven years and have appeared in several radio and television segments on student loans and financial aid. I have given presentations all over the world on the US financial aid programs.

Organizations
National Council of Student Loan Programs Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Publications
Boston Metro Washington Post Express various industry blogs and newsletters

Education/Credentials
BS in Business Communications.

Past/Present Clients
N/A

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