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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm writing on behalf of my daughter. We have a question. I'm hoping some of you have been through this situation and can offer advice. I'll try to keep it short.

My 19yo daughter, Aly, has just given birth to our beautiful granddaughter, Gigi. Aly, her fiance (Teague, 19yo) and lil Gigi live with Teague's parents because their home is near college campus. Both Aly & Teague are full-time students. Neither has a job.

Since I'm unable to work (due to health issues) and my wife is a teacher, we are unable to provide financial support towards our daughter's college tuition. Therefore, Aly currently qualifies for some subsidized and some unsub loans. She does not get any grants.
Teague's parents make too much money for him to qualify for grants and subsidized loans. Therefore, he only has unsubsidized loans and out of pocket payments.

So, now to my question...
Teague wants to get married now -- for all the right reasons, but we'll focus on the one additional reason that raises my question. Aly does not want to get married UNTIL at least one of them graduates college.

Teague believes that by getting married now, the change will give him a dependent and change his financial aid status -- which will allow him to get grants or subsidized loans and greatly affect his financial aid.

Question: How would both of their financial aid packages be affected by getting married now?

None of us are sure what the changes will be nor where to find a concrete answers on how getting married will affect both of them in regards to financial aid. So, we are posing the question in hopes someone has been through this situation and can give us advice.

Remember, neither of them has any income. Aly has no real assets. I don't think Teague does either, at this point. And, all 3 lives in Teague's parents home.

Any advice or wisdom would be much appreciated. Thank you from PapaToGigi.
 

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According to the federal guidelines (FAFSA), an independent student is someone who:

Independent Student
An independent student is one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Get additional information to determine your dependency status.


So getting married would mean she would be evaluated as an independent student and not a dependent on her parents. She would then be reviewed for her own income (and her partner's).
 

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According to the federal guidelines (FAFSA), an independent student is someone who:

Independent Student
An independent student is one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Get additional information to determine your dependency status.


So getting married would mean she would be evaluated as an independent student and not a dependent on her parents. She would then be reviewed for her own income (and her partner's).
If you're in the US.

Also, using the above definition, wouldn't she already qualify as an independent student because she has a "legal dependent other than a spouse" i.e. the child Gigi.
 

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According to the U.S. guidance, having a child does not qualify you as an independent. There are many minors that have children of their own, but are still claimed on their parent's tax returns.
 
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