Divorced parents in Indiana who have kids preparing to go off to college in the next few years should understand how higher education financial aid is applied for and which parent's financial details must be provided. As explained by Fast Web, students will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to be eligible for many scholarships, grants, student loans or work study programs.
In most cases, the student will be providing financial data about a parent as part of filling out the FAFSA. In the case of a divorced family, it is common that only one parent's financial details are required. The Federal Student Aid office does indicate, however, that even if a couple is divorced or separated but have chosen to remain living together, both parent's financial information must be included on the student's FAFSA.
When a divorced couple lives separately, the student must report details for the one parent identified as the custodial parent. The other parent's income, assets and debts will not be needed. If the custodial parent has remarried, that person's data must also be included. The point here is that the government wants to get a sense of the financial status of the household that provides the most support for the student.
If a student lives 50 percentof the time with each parent, then whichever parent provided the most financial support in the prior calendar year is considered the custodial parent for the FAFSA. This includes payment of health care costs, vacations, gifts, car insurance and more.