I’m sure most of you have heard about the honor student who is suing her parents for school fees. And, it seems, the general consensus is that she’s a spoiled brat and her parent’s shouldn’t have to pay for her education expenses.
While I generally agree with the spoiled brat theory, a Facebook acquaintance with a keen eye for perspective mentioned the dependency status when filling out FAFSA forms to receive federal aid.
I believe Miss Bratty Pants would still be considered a dependent unless she legally got herself emancipated.
“Not living with parents or not being claimed by them on tax forms does not make you an independent student for purposes of applying for federal student aid.”
The FAFSA program assumes your family will help pay for your education. I know many college students under the age of 24 who got zero help from their parents. Why not just add one simple question to the FAFSA form? Do you expect your parents to contribute to your educational expenses? Yes or No.
I think it’s silly to assume.
Maybe this case will be the precedent to changing one small thing about a messy higher education system?
But to answer my own title question; Generally, no. But, as long as FAFSA says college students under age 24 are dependent students and the amount of federal aid they receive is based on their parents’ income, then I believe they should at least contribute a little.
Of course, I’d also be pissed if my parents started a college fund and then redirected it. Unless they had the minor sign some kind of contract with stipulations about her actions, I honestly believe she should be entitled to receive those funds. Then again, I don’t know the whole story, and I only read one article. That’s just how I’d feel if my parents had saved money for my college education and then decided to use it for something else.
What say you? What do you think about the honor student’s situation? Any views on the dependent/independent FAFSA status?