What will college expect me to pay as a parent's partner?
December 7, 2013 1:43 PM Subscribe
What is a college financial aid office likely to ask me to contribute, if I am living with one of the student’s parents and have income and assets greater than either parent?
posted by anonymous to Education (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Earlier this year, I moved in with my partner, who has two children: one in college and one finishing high school. The child in college (private, costs roughly $50K/year) receives significant financial aid. Neither my partner nor the or the other parent has much in the way of savings, so the parental contribution has been based on my partner’s income (the other parent can be assumed to be contributing nothing). I have a much higher income than my partner, and savings in a brokerage account. Basically, I could pay for the child’s college expenses in full for a couple of years, and then I’d be flat broke (just when the second child was ready to enter college). Both my partner and I would like to avoid this outcome.
We are not married. Mine is the only name on the mortgage, and my partner is currently unemployed, so I have been providing the sole support for the household. All the information we have been able to find is directed toward parents who have remarried, but surely this situation comes up with some frequency. I’m hoping someone has been in this situation and can give us some idea of what the financial aid office is likely to expect from me.
I’m trying to provide all the relevant information without creating a wall of text, so I’m going to stop there. The questions we have are:
1) Are we required to list my income and assets on the FAFSA/school’s financial aid form?
2) If we do include my information, what is a private college likely to ask for from my income and assets?
3) Is there any way to present the change in my partner’s circumstances (unemployment, living with me) that would be to our advantage?
I’m not interested in hiding my assets or avoiding having to pay anything - the kids are great and they deserve a great education. I’d just like to have some of my savings left for retirement when it’s all over. Questions/clarifications to firstname.lastname@example.org.