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Is SS# Really Necessary on College App When No Financial Aid is Requested?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:57 am
by Megamill
It's college application time for DS and I was just scanning through the application process instructions and there is a statement saying that although the applicant is not legally required to provide SS#, they are strongly encouraged to do so and that it's required when applying for financial aid or educational tax benefits. We plan to finance the costs ourselves (cash flow + savings) and have no intention whatsoever of applying for financial aid. I have always been very protective of my SS# and have brainwashed my kids to be the same way with theirs. Anyone know if it is really necessary to provide the student's SS# on the college application form now so that later at tax filing time we can claim the AOTC tax credit or the Tuition and Fees Deduction (is this deduction still available??)

Re: Is SS# Really Necessary on College App When No Financial Aid is Requested?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:03 am
by HueyLD
Here is what the IRS says on form 1098-T:

“Student's taxpayer identification number (TIN).

For your protection, this form may show only the last four digits of your TIN (SSN, ITIN, ATIN, or EIN). However, the issuer has reported your complete TIN to the IRS. Caution: If your TIN is not shown in this box, your school was not able to provide it. Contact your school if you have questions.”

If you don’t provide his SSN, the tuition paid info will not be sent to the IRS.

Which one do you prefer?

Re: Is SS# Really Necessary on College App When No Financial Aid is Requested?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:10 am
by HereToLearn
You do not need to include SSN when submitting apps, but you will have to once your child enrolls in college. The school needs the SSN in order to issue the 1098-T, independent of the AOTC.

I never submitted it for my first child, and he ended up having to bring a copy of his SS card to the bursar in person late in his first semester.

Schools will award merit aid w/o FAFSA or CSS Profile. Well, some schools will insist upon submission of one or the other, but in my personal experience, both of my children were awarded merit w/o even submitting SSN.

Re: Is SS# Really Necessary on College App When No Financial Aid is Requested?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:15 am
by Jack FFR1846
DS#2 was awarded tuition waivers for the entire year. (note that tuition is nearly nothing as fees and such are 90% of the cost). In any case, we received the letters which were copies sent to the bursar. When the bill was posted, no waiver was shown so I called to ask why. Since we had not filed FAFSA, they won't even look at these. We spent maybe 6 hours between my wife and me filling out FAFSA and within a couple days, the waiver showed up on the college bill. This was not need based nor merit. It was actually a surprise out of the blue for us.

Re: Is SS# Really Necessary on College App When No Financial Aid is Requested?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:33 am
by oldfatguy
HereToLearn wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:10 am
You do not need to include SSN when submitting apps, but you will have to once your child enrolls in college. The school needs the SSN in order to issue the 1098-T, independent of the AOTC.
And, the student will need to provide it to the university if they get a job on campus.

Re: Is SS# Really Necessary on College App When No Financial Aid is Requested?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:37 am
by HereToLearn
oldfatguy wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:33 am
HereToLearn wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:10 am
You do not need to include SSN when submitting apps, but you will have to once your child enrolls in college. The school needs the SSN in order to issue the 1098-T, independent of the AOTC.
And, the student will need to provide it to the university if they get a job on campus.
Oh, good point. I had not considered that. Either way, best to just report it once enrollment has been confirmed. Will save future hassles, and it is truly unavoidable.

Re: Is SS# Really Necessary on College App When No Financial Aid is Requested?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:41 am
by Megamill
Ok, so if he skips it on the application, then there will be an opportunity to include it during the actual enrollment process?

Re: Is SS# Really Necessary on College App When No Financial Aid is Requested?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:45 am
by aristotelian
The hackers already have all of our SSN's anyway. I would just provide it.