Another reason to get outta here ASAP: I just got a bill for being neglected by this dump, and is magically equal to my survivor benefits for my wife. How did they find that info? I didn’t tell them, and I need it to pay my mortgage.
After my daughter graduated from high school, she looked into attending a small private college. She asked us to go with her, to see if she qualified for financial aid. We did. We filled out some forms, then the Financial Aid "Counselor " sat down with us.
She said, “Well, you made XXX dollars last year, so you should be able to contribute XXX dollars for your daughter’s education.”
I damn near fell to the floor!
Barely controlling my temper, I said, “We sold our rental property last year, and the proceeds from that sale was used to pay taxes, pay bills, and to fix things that needed repairs in our present home.”
“Oh, so that is not representative of your annual income?”
I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
If someone has your SSN, you are essentially naked.
That’s the point of the counselors. They help you prepare federal applications for financial aid (FAFSA), which, not surprisingly, is based on income. The full forms take into account multiple years. It’s a first approximation, which then gets tweaked with additional info, like what you provided.
From the brief description of the scenario, they did nothing wrong.
Wait… how does that work, exactly? Nefarious parties can use your SSN to get a lot of information, but a legit party would need your authorization to pull stuff like tax info or run a credit check. As far as I know.
The counselor looked ONLY at the previous year, which just so happened to be the year we sold rental property that we had owned for over twenty years. And based on that “hyper-inflated” amount, figured we’d have no problem paying tuition for this private college.
But that nice number did not reflect the fact of a lot of crap that had been going on in our lives. If she had pulled up the previous five years, or better yet, ten years, she would have seen a much different story.
I figure these counselors get some kind of commission, and she could see the dollar signs.
That was what I said- it was a preliminary look and once all the paperwork is complete a full package is developed and then discussion to contextualize the results happen. Sounds like you were at a for profit college, if you’re claiming a “commission” and they do push people to enroll with shady techniques, but the basic approach to doing an initial evaluation for financial aid isn’t much different.
It doesn’t sound like the counselor was helping VOW fill out the FAFSA. Having filled out that sucker 7 times for two kids, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have factored in anything VOW had to say about where the property sales proceeds went. I have high medical expenses, as in thousands and thousands of dollars. Even so, the way the system is set up, the IRS deduction ends up smaller than the standard deduction. FAFSA didn’t care if I was spending 9 percent of my income on medical crud. The app I completed for my kid looked exactly like the app of someone who had no medical expenses and blew that money on frivolity.
Another lovely thing about FAFSA is that the parents’ income counts even if the kid never got a red cent from the parents, as is the case with my son-in-law. In fact, they took money from HIM. Too bad. Counted against him anyway.
Sorry for the hijack. FAFSA is a swear word around my house.
Dropzone, are you there on Medicaid? Medicaid requires the cash value of life insurance be counted as an asset, stupid as that is. There’s a way around this, but it’s complicated. You might want to consult an eldercare attorney, as they’re pros at this stuff.
That was kinda my point. That counselors are there to help you fill out forms such as the FAFSA, but what they did at the described meeting was likely preliminary, which is why it wasn’t in depth. I just wanted to counter the impression he was giving that somehow the counselor was doing something nefarious, when based on the example, seemed pretty typical for an initial meeting.
It’s not how good a job they were doing with the info they had, it’s how the fuck did they get that info to begin with??
In the government agency where I work, some people have access to IRS data. But if any of it gets loose, it’s a Big Fucking Deal, the people responsible lose their jobs, and not at the end of some long government-style process, either. Just clean out your desk, and get escorted out the door.
When AARP sent me a note telling me I was officially old it pissed me off that they knew so much about me. Since that first letter they’ve continued sending regular envelopes, which have all been tossed without being opened. Fuckers.
Medicaid. No life insurance. I can tell they didn’t run a credit check or they’d figure out the likelihood I’d pay it is zero. My 2018 income was $3800. My 2019 income is just those benefits that they want all of. Let that sink in: they want ALL of my income. Ain’t happening.
They were filling out forms with a financial counselor at a college. That all begins with the FAFSA, and parents’ income from the previous year is right on page 2. I’m guessing it was just someone not particularly good at their job, because two questions below AGI is a question more specific about income from working (which would ignore any windfalls from a one-time sale of a house).
On FAFSA you actually have to include a copy of your previous years tax form. You can’t fake it. They check it.
The lil’wrekker is on a full-ride scholarship at her University and we’ve still had to fill out that oh-so-confusing form. I think the Uni gets tax breaks or funding based on these forms. (I think).
Any one up for going in and busting dropzone outta his confinement?(:))