NASFAA Mention: Amid Reports of Parents Transferring Custody of Their Children to Get Financial Aid, Education Department Recommends Steps to Prevent Fraud

"The Education Department said Tuesday it is recommending steps to prevent attempted fraud in college financial aid amid reports of parents transferring custody of their children so they can qualify for more help," The Washington Post writes

"The Wall Street Journal and ProPublica Illinois reported that some wealthy parents in Illinois have asked friends or relatives to take legal guardianship of their children to allow the teenagers to claim financial aid. The revelations, in the wake of the 'Varsity Blues' national college-admissions scandal, provoked outrage.

'It was so brazen,' said Andy Borst, undergraduate admissions director at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who worries that need-based aid is being taken away from students who cannot afford college otherwise.


'It seems to be isolated to this area outside of Chicago,' said Jill Desjean, a policy analyst for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, but it is a new issue and the association does not know the scope of the problem.

Without changes, Desjean said she thought it would be difficult to detect and stop the practice. There is a detailed process for verifying income, she said, but financial-aid administrators do not have discretion to question whether the legal guardianship was transferred for legitimate reasons; a judge has made a determination.

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: 7/31/2019

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