Who's a Parent on the FAFSA?

We’re well on our way into FAFSA season. I’ve noticed a common question that keeps coming up, particularly with students whose parents who are divorced or separated, is “whose information do we need to use, Mom or Dad’s?”

Let’s take a deeper look at what the FAFSA says. You can find a helpful FAFSA on the web worksheet here through this link: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/2019-20-fafsa-worksheet.pdf

At the top of page 3, Section 3 – Parent Information, it states:

Who is considered a parent?

“Parent” refers to a biological or adoptive parent or a person determined by the state to be a parent (for example, if the parent is listed on the birth certificate). Grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older siblings, and uncles or aunts are not considered parents on this form unless they have legally adopted you. If your legal parents are living and married to each other, answer questions about both of them. If your legal parents are not married and live together, answer the questions about both of them. In case of divorce or separation, give information about the parent you lived with most in the last 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give information about the parent who provided you the most financial support during the last 12 months or during the most recent year you received support. If your divorced or widowed parent has remarried, also provide information about your stepparent.

Hopefully, that helps clear up any questions you might have if you are in a unique family situation. If you still have questions, please give us a call at 877-272-4692, and we would be happy to address your questions and assist you in completing the FAFSA. You can also schedule an appointment online through our website by visiting www.icansucceed.org/apt.

Shea - ICAN Hiawatha Center