Rich Parents Are Giving Away Guardianship of Their Kids for Financial Aid

college campus 2019

As annual costs for college continues to rise, by 150% in the past two decades, wealthy parents are actively trying to game the system to keep education costs down. According to ProPublica, a non-profit media outlet, dozens of families from a suburban area in Chicago are giving up legal guardianship of their teens around junior and senior to relatives or family friends. In turn, the students become legally independent and qualify for need-based financial aid and scholarships.

“Wealthy families are manipulating the financial aid process to be eligible for financial aid they would not be otherwise eligible for. They are taking away opportunities from families that really need it,” Andy Borst, director of undergraduate admissions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told ProPublica. More than 40 of these cases have been identified from 2018 to 2019.

One side of the argument is that well-off families are taking financial aid opportunities away from the kids who actually need it while another side would argue that parents aren’t doing anything legally wrong. What do you think about the situation?