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The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Windstream

2 edits

Financial Aid and Taxes...

This may be unrelated to technology, but I just need to get this off of my chest.

So I have one final semester after this one. I'll be graduating with a degree in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science. I'm excited. However, filling out the FASFA this year was...yea.

I turn 24 this year. Also, I'm unemployed and have been for awhile. Jobs are very hard to come by, and I'm not picky by any means. So when I filled out the FASFA for the next school year, my EFC (last year was zero) went up to a little over 1000. Baffled, I call the university financial aid website. I realized that I am now considered independent, which is awesome because apparently I don't need my mom's tax information anymore. However, that 18k that I "made" last year consisted of 13k in unemployment and the other 5k was from scholarships and grants which didn't qualify as "educational" expenses, which I used for offcampus housing, food, gas, and books. None of that counts as educational expenses though! How is beyond me. I understand food, and gas, but rent and books? Because I didn't want to pay for outrageous on campus living and outrageous book prices at the university book store, I get taxed to kingdom come for it. Makes absolutely no sense. How in the world is a student, who in my case makes no money, supposed to pay for the tax on these "unqualified" educational expenses? On top of that it affects my EFC, which lowers my chances of receiving a certain amount of financial aid. Sigh.

And before anyone wants to make the claim that I'm "milking" the system, please understand that I would much rather have a job then have to resort to unemployment. I know how much it hurts job prospects, and for the record I'm not receiving unemployment anymore, so I'm living solely on savings and financial aid at this point. I have been diligently searching for work for a while now, and I could care less even if I received minimum wage for said job. Every callback I get ends up leading to a dead end, because of my class schedule. What's funny is I could be making 36k a year without a degree with what I was recently offered. But I know that I don't want to pigeonhole myself, so...tough luck for me I guess. Luckily I have a roof over my head and food on the table, otherwise the situation would be much more grim. Also, before anyone suggests that I go to the career center or to the unemployment office, I've already done that a ton of times. They are not very helpful, almost to the point of looking down their nose at me. How dare I try to find a job...heh. You could say I'm a little discouraged.
--
"We will evaluate these integrals rigorously if we can, and non-rigorously if we must".
---Victor Moll, invited talk, Tom Osler Fest (April 17, 2010)



drslash
Goya Asma
Premium
join:2002-02-18
Marion, IA

Confirm with your school if your scholarship can be used for living expenses or not. If it can, then apply your scholarship to living expenses first and use your money or loans to pay for the tuition and books and the remaining to living expense, if any. The amount you pay out for tuition not paid by scholarship should make you eligible for one of the two tax credits for educational expenses. I don't know your details but I don't think you should be paying any federal tax on that amount of income with your high educational expenses. Consult a tax accountant or attorney or call the IRS with your questions.
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Save water...drink beer!
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#occupytheworkplace
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Obama...it's junior high school all over again!
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Democrats don't mind raising taxes because democrats don't pay taxes.



AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
reply to The Limit

What does EFC have to do with taxes?



The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Windstream
reply to drslash

These were need based scholarships, pell grant, and federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The refund check is what I am supposed to use for living expenses, but that check can be taxed under our current tax code. I looked up the section myself just to be certain, and anything not considered "qualified" educational expense WILL be taxed and counted as AGI.

AGI and number of people in household largely determines EFC score. Higher AGI means higher score but also largely depends on how many are living in said AGI.
--
"We will evaluate these integrals rigorously if we can, and non-rigorously if we must".
---Victor Moll, invited talk, Tom Osler Fest (April 17, 2010)



Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:2
reply to The Limit

That sucks. Fortunately you are just one semester from graduating. Hopefully the tuition burden for this final semester isn't that bad.



The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Windstream

More than likely tuition will increase, and some bs reason will be given by our beloved Chancellor. I wish companies in general would just say HEY, WE INCRWASED PRICES BECAYSE WE WANT MORE MONEY, NUFF SAID instead of lying about it.
--
"We will evaluate these integrals rigorously if we can, and non-rigorously if we must".
---Victor Moll, invited talk, Tom Osler Fest (April 17, 2010)