Paying for College

How Will Child in Med School Affect Younger Child's FAFSA?

Question: How does having one child in college and one child in medical school affect financial aid for the college student, if at all? Does a FAFSA and/or other financial aid paperwork have a place for reporting this type of scenario?

According to Ann C. Playe (former associate director of admission and financial aid at Smith College ... and my own financial-aid guru), if your older child attends a medical school that requires a parental contribution, then your younger child's undergraduate college may take this into account, although officially the FAFSA will not.

You will need to write explanatory letters to all of the schools to which your younger child is applying (or to his or her current school, if already enrolled). If you are contributing 50% or more of your med student's living expenses, the undergrad college is likely to count this older student as a household member, which could boost your undergrad's financial aid award. You should be prepared to provide as much documentation as possible to show what you are spending on your older child. (So let that future doctor put the Starbucks and Subway expenses on your credit card). ;)