Lying On FAFSA?

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Lying On FAFSA?
By Mom101 (Mom101) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 02:13 pm: Edit

I've come across a case of a parent grossly lying on the FAFSA. Something in the neighborhood of a half million dollars in stock holdings went totally unmentioned. Income that was reported to the IRS was severely undereported because they thought they could "average." Do folks like this get caught and will the child be penalized?

By Achat (Achat) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 02:54 pm: Edit

Many colleges request 1040 copies that you submitted for the tax year. I don't see how that cannot be caught. When the fin. aid department sees the discrepancy, they will ask questions.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 02:58 pm: Edit

As with all crimes, some go undetected. But often as Achat says, the 1040s are requested for cross checking. You can get into big trouble if you take federal money by lying on the FAFSA, and all financial aid can be rescinded. What happens, is generally decided on a case to case basis.

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 03:12 pm: Edit

If they've got that much money, I don't see how FAFSA will help them anyway. Even the assets they were "forced" to report because not doing so would be so obvious (income, operating cash, etc.) would likely keep them from getting federal aid. The government has census stats by city and zip code that give them average income, etc. if they were to check it. Underreporting could in that case send up red flags. The private schools WILL do their homework before departing with their need based aid. The CSS is much more detailed and often schools will ask for supplemental information. By the end, I felt that the College Board knew more about us than the people that investigate my husband for his clearance. I think it's very likely they will get caught - more likely on the CSS form. Especially when the finaid office sees their EFC is way lower than others from that school or zip code. I don't know if it would affect admissions, but they certainly could adjust the aid package way down based on what they believe it should be.

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