Financial Aid and Divorced Parents

If you’re getting divorced, it can make the college financial aid process more difficult. Children of divorced parents will have to provide financial information for both households. They may have wildly different financial aid offers, too, when schools use different methods to determine how much divorced parents can afford to pay. Here’s how to navigate this tricky situation.

Who pays for college?

Remember that you can reach an agreement in divorce mediation as to whether one or both parents will foot the college bill. Depending on whether you and your ex can afford to pay for college without financial aid, this may be the most convenient solution.

You should also be realistic about which schools your child can afford: many parents want to send their child to the best college possible, to make up for the divorce, but it’s not always feasible.

CSS and FAFSA profiles

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid and College Scholarship Service profiles ask students for different financial information. The CSS profile usually considers the income and assets from both divorced parents, whereas the FAFSA considers the income and assets from the parent who provides most of the child’s support. Parents may wish to come up with a solution that allows the parent with the lower income and asset levels to pay for the majority of the child’s school. This isn’t always possible, but it can help you maximize your child’s eligibility for aid.

Consider hiring a financial planning professional to help you create a reasonable plan. Ideally, both parents would want and be able to contribute to their child’s tuition. However, you may need to find a different solution based on your individual circumstances.

If you’re considering divorce, call the experienced Long Island divorce mediators at Solutions Divorce Mediation today.

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