NASFAA Mention: A New Scandal Shows Some US Parents Taking Extreme Measures to Avoid College Costs

"Two separate investigations published yesterday by ProPublica and the Wall Street Journal are highlighting the lengths some parents will go to in order to avoid paying the high cost of college tuition in the US. The publications found incidences of parents in wealthy Chicago suburbs prepared to give up custody of their teenage children in order to make them eligible for need-based financial aid," Quartz reports.

"It’s the latest in a wave of scandals that have engulfed the US college admission process. In March, a Justice Department investigation revealed an elaborate scheme, nicknamed 'Varsity Blues,' in which rich parents cheated and bribed their kids’ way into elite universities using outlandish and sometimes illegal tricks.

According to the latest two investigations, dozens of Illinois parents exploited a loophole in the law that allows them to transfer guardianship of their teenagers to somebody else in order to detach the kids from their families’ finances. This allows them to qualify for thousands of dollars in federal, state, and university aid that they otherwise wouldn’t have been eligible for.


The Journal reports that the Department of Education is investigating the practice. 'They are gaming the system,' Justin Draeger, CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, told the paper. 'Whether it is legal or not doesn’t make it any less unsavory.'"

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 7/30/2019

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