Like us, many of you have children preparing for college. The excitement can be tempered by the cost of tuition and other related costs. As much as it seems easy and harmless to bend the rules with student financial aid applications, do not do it. Fraud on a FAFSA application can lead to penalties of $20,000, up to five years jail time, repaying of student aid as well as your child being expelled from school. A third of FAFSA applications are selected for verification. Schools are properly trained to sniff out fraud on financial aid forms.
Let’s review a couple real life scenarios where falsifying student loan applications ended very poorly.
Scenario 1: Creating a false address to receive in state tuition.
A Virginia man did as much to help save his daughter save over $30,000 by renting an apartment in Atlanta, GA. On the financial aid forms, he claimed that address as his primary address. For a different child, financial aid forms were completed with his real address in Virginia. The father faced fines and criminal prosecution.
Scenario 2: Lying about your income.
A husband and wife falsified their income figures to defraud a college to help gain more financial aid for their children. Not only did they do it once, they tried it two times. After not getting caught the first time, they were the second time. Overall, they received over $200,000 in financial aid they were not entitled to.
There are also clear requirements for divorced parents who want to help their student fill out the FAFSA forms. The below graphic should help. It’s also located at studentaid.gov.
If you are worried about not getting enough tuition reimbursement through FAFSA, consider looking into other borrowing options listed on the Sallie Mae website or Nelnet websites. If you are concerned about loan contracts, reach out to Tracy Jong Law Firm so we can assist in breaking down the contract so that you are confident about your student’s financial well being before and after college.
Author bio:Tracy Jong is a patent and trademark attorney at Tracy Jong Law Firm. Tracy focuses her practice on client counseling related to patent and trademark prosecution for a range of clients including small startup companies, restaurants and bars, craft beverage companies and product manufacturers. She may be contacted at TJong@TracyJongLawFirm.com. Connect with her at: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram. Visit her website at www.TracyJongLawFirm.com.