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I had to include my parent's tax returns anyway, even after being "on my own" for over 2 years.

Yeah, that was true in my case, too -- I had to include my parents' tax returns for the 3.5 years it took me to finish my degree after I moved away from my folks' house.

Because my parents were securely upper middle class, I qualified for exactly squat in the way of need based financial aid.

I did get some need-based financial aid, but I'm not sure if it was because I attended a private school that truly did ignore my parents' tax return or if it was because my parents were middle to lower-middle class. Either way, I still had to take out student loans to cover part of the huge private-school tuition, and I'm still paying down those loans today.

- Karen
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