Monthly Archives: February 2015

Filing FAFSA Without Tax Information Available

Q:  The FAFSA indicates that I should use my 2014 tax information to complete the income section but I haven’t filed my tax return for 2014 yet.  Can I still file the FAFSA?

A:  Yes.  If you haven’t done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, it’s okay to estimate the amounts. You might want to base your estimates on last year’s tax return. If your income changed drastically since last year’s tax return, you may click on “Income Estimator” on the FAFSA page that asks for income information. The Income Estimator will help you estimate adjusted gross income (AGI). After you file your taxes, you’ll need to log back in to the FAFSA and must correct any estimated information that was wrong. It is important to submit the FAFSA prior to the March 2 CalGrant deadline and so you shouldn’t wait until you have your tax information if that means you will miss this deadline.

Extended Foster Care Eligibility for 17 Year-Old Who Leaves for Military

Q: I am the social worker for a 17 year-old female who has graduated from high school.  She is planning to emancipate and enter the military prior to turning 18 years-old. The question is: what if she fails boot camp and does not get into the military?  Can she still participate in extended foster care?

A: No, she would not be eligible to participate in extended foster care. One of the eligibility requirements for an individual to participate in extended foster care is to have an order for foster care placement on his/her 18th birthday. If the youth is discharged from foster care prior to turning age 18, she will not meet this eligibility requirement.

Source: Welf. & Inst. Code § 11400(v)

Completing FAFSA if Unsure About College Plans

Q: I am the foster parent for a 17 year-old who is thinking of going to college in the fall. I know that the deadline for the FAFSA is coming up, on March 2nd. I am unsure whether or not she should complete it, given that she is not certain if she will attend or what school she will attend. Are there any negative consequences for her if she completes the FAFSA and then does not attend college?

A: No, there are no negative consequences. If you are not sure whether the youth will attend college in the fall, or even if they will graduate from high school, it is better to complete a FAFSA now and keep the option for college attendance open.

If the youth is not able to graduate or changes his or her plans about attending college, the information can be updated. No ­financial aid funds will be automatically issued to the youth. By simply completing the FAFSA you will not putting the youth at risk of financial aid debt.