Sometimes, college applicants feel that they must clear several obstacles to secure financial aid. Applicants with divorced parents have additional hurdles to conquer.
Divorced parents should see what U.S. News & World Report says about navigating the financial aid process. Misinformation could result in lost opportunities.
Families must face the facts
College-bound teens must understand their parents’ financial capabilities and responsibilities about paying for higher education. The spouse who makes the most money does not automatically have to pay for college. A parent’s income could change, meaning that today’s higher-earning spouse could have to collect unemployment when the child wants to start college. Divorce settlements may address which parent pays for higher education.
Ex-spouses may not want to rely on each other’s incomes
Sometimes, ex-spouses do not want to communicate with each other, nor may they want their children applying for financial aid that involves the non-custodial parent, mainly because one parent may view the other as unreliable. In such situations, students can receive federal financial aid and combine it with the non-custodial parent’s monetary contribution to pay for college. Because one parent does not want to interact with the other does not mean that the non-custodial parent cannot contribute to a child’s education.
Applicants must provide the right information
Teens must make sure that they do not offer too much financial information on their extended families. Rather than list their biological parents’ financial information along with their stepmother and stepfather’s details, applicants should focus on the custodial parent. If the custodial parent remarried, applicants must include the stepparent’s financial info.
Divorced parents must educate themselves on making the most of financial aid for their children. Understanding the latest laws and regulations helps maximize each application and financial aid award amount.