Financial aid directors say they have been seeing more blended families, and unraveling these complex relationships has become increasingly difficult. In deciding which parents should contribute and how much, directors try to get an overall picture of family relationships. Does the student have a room in both homes? Does a remarried parent have the expense of stepchildren? Has the custodial stepparent had a long connection with the student, or has he or she just married into the family?I can understand colleges trying to charge a market rate for their services, but they've got no business prying into private lives in order to extort extra fees.
Sarah Lawrence College collects information from all four parents and takes a particularly close look at the stepparent the student lives with, because he or she may have a strong financial effect on the household. "We look at them to be more supportive of household expenses where the student resides, thus freeing up the biological parents’ resources for paying for college," says Heather C. McDonnell, the college’s director of financial aid.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Colleges try to hunt down deadbeat dads
State family courts decide parental obligations up to age 18, and there is no obligation to pay for college in most states. Nevertheless, many colleges conduct their own bogus family court analyses in order to facilitate price discrimination! A NY Times article says: