Dear Dr. Don,
If my mom buys a house, could that affect my financial aid?
-- Jorge Jeopardize
First of all, I commend you for doing your homework on college financial aid!
I think you should be encouraged by my answer. You shouldn't face a more difficult time if we're talking about use of the standard application known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. If your mother taps her savings to produce the down payment on the home, it might actually improve your prospects for school aid.
Private colleges and universities may consider the equity your mom has in the home while determining your financial need. These schools use the CSS/Financial Aid Profile.
I'm presuming that you're considered a dependent, at least from a financial aid perspective. That's a much different question than whether the IRS would consider you to be a dependent. Here's hoping you can qualify. Good luck hitting the books!
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