FAFSA Rules Change for Parent Finance Disclosure

7:29 AM, Jan 2, 2014   |    comments
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UNITED STATES -- The start of the new year has launched a new financial aid year for families seeking to obtain need-based assistance for the 2014 to 2015 school year. The Department of Education has issued new rules regarding which parents need to disclose their financial information on the application.

For cases in which unmarried parents are living together, both parents now have to share their financial information. Previously, only one parent had to do so. For cases in which a single-sex couple is married and living together, both spouses now must share their financial information. But, an unmarried, single-sex couple does not have to share both partners' financial information. Only the custodial parent has to do so, unless his or her partner has legally adopted the student.

Rules remain unchanged for cases of traditionally married couples and in cases of married, divorced or separated parents of students.

Both parents of a student must share their financial information on the FAFSA. In cases of divorced or separated parents, only the custodial parent must share financial information on the form. If a student is living with a guardian, like a grandparent or sibling, he or she is considered an independent student. Therefore, only the student's income and assets will be taken into account during financial aid consideration.

The federal deadline for FAFSA applications for the 2014 to 2015 school year is June 30, 2015. But, in North Carolina, awards are made until funds are depleted, so early submission is recommended. In Virginia, additional forms might be required, so the Department of Education encourages parents of students who live in Virginia to check in with their financial aid administrators.

For more information on the FAFSA or to apply online, visit the FAFSA home page.

WFMY News 2