Do Stepdad's Assets Count?

My son's biological father will no longer have any financial responsibility for him once he turns 18. His father will not be assisting with college expenses. My son's stepfather and I file joint tax returns claiming my son. My question: When applying for financial aid, can we use just my salary (I work part time), or do we need to include my husband's, even though he is not financially responsible for my son?

--A Parent Soup member

Bruce Hammond

Bruce Hammond is an expert on college prep, applications and cost, and author of Discounts and Deals at the Nation's 360 Best Colleges and... Read more

If your son lives with you and your current husband, then both his income and yours will be included in calculating your son's aid eligibility. The federal aid formula works on the basis of households--the household that supports your son is the one that is assessed. Your son's biological father will not enter into the equation except at a handful of private colleges.

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