• Confessions of a Community College Dean

    In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.

Title

Liveblogging the FAFSA

A true story.

October 15, 2018
 
 

The Boy has his stuff together for his applications, and has even started the FAFSA.  He hands it over to me for the ‘parent information’ section.

--

Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to upload your 2017 tax return.

Easier said than done, since it involves creating new logins, but okay.  

(fifteen minutes of miscellaneous clicking, verifying, texting, etc.)

Click “import.”

Done.

Enter the portion of wages, salaries, and tips earned by parent 1.

Wait, what?  Didn’t I just import that? I have to disaggregate the totals by who earned them? 

Enter the portion of wages, salaries, and tips earned by parent 2.

That’s not on the tax form? Which part of “filing jointly” do you people not understand?

(frantically scans pages)

Rats.*  Even the 1040 doesn’t break it out. Maybe TurboTax saves the w-2 info?

(checks)

Dadgummit.* You’d think they would. Sigh.

(to the basement) (dons helmet with flashlight) (rifles through boxes) (mild cursing ensues)

an hour later...

Finally. (enters data, disaggregated by parent)

Total current balance of cash, savings, and checking accounts

Done.

Net worth of your investments

Okay, this requires clarification (clicks on question mark)

Example one: you own an investment property

(LOL)

Example two: you own two investment properties

You have to be kidding me. Who do they think fills these out?

Enter value of investment accounts

As opposed to…? (clicks on question mark)

Such as money market funds

Drat,* is the savings account technically a money market? Does it matter?

And 529’s

Grumble.

Now for tax status information

I just imported the flipping form…*

Was the student claimed as a dependent?

Okay, now you’re just trolling. I know for a fact that dependents are listed on the tax form.

--

I’m told that the current form is the *simplified* one.  I can’t even process the thought of how it must have been before.

It’s almost as if they don’t want people to apply...
 

*or words to that effect

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