The following information is for students who are applying for need-based institutional financial aid and have biological and/or adoptive parents who are divorced or separated. Please review the information carefully so that you will not experience delays in completing your financial aid application.

Federal Financial Aid

Currently the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) does not collect information from a student’s noncustodial parent. The student, custodial parent, (and stepparent if remarried) are required to report the annual amount of child support received for all children on the applicant’s FAFSA.  Please note: if your parents share the same household, whether they are legally married to each other or not, both parents must provide their information on both the FAFSA and CSS Profile applications if they wish to be considered for both federal and institutional need-based aid.

Wheaton Institutional Need-Based Aid

Wheaton requires the CSS Profile application from families who wish to be considered for need-based institutional grant aid. Like the FAFSA, the student, custodial parent (and stepparent if remarried) are required to provide their information on the form. The noncustodial parent, (and stepparent if remarried) is also required to complete a separate CSS Profile.

What is the criteria used to determine which parent is the custodial and noncustodial parent?

The custodial parent is defined as the biological/adoptive parent with whom the student lived with more during the 12 months prior to applying for aid. If the student lived equally with each parent, the custodial parent is the parent from whom the student received more financial support during the past 12 months or during the most recent year the student received support from a parent. In determining custodial parent status, it does not matter which parent claims the student as an exemption for tax purposes.

What if it is impossible to provide a completed CSS Profile for my Noncustodial Parent?

We understand that some families may have extenuating circumstances that make it impossible to obtain information. Students may complete a petition to waive the CSS Profile from the noncustodial parent.  A completed CSS Profile Noncustodial Waiver form along with third party verification and other documentation should be sent directly to the Office of Student Financial Services at Wheaton College for consideration. The Non-Custodial Waiver forms for the 2020 – 2021 academic year are found on the Forms page.

Please note that a noncustodial parent’s unwillingness to provide his/her financial information is not a sufficient reason for a waiver of the noncustodial parent’s information.

Who should I contact if I or my parents have any questions regarding this process?

Our office would be happy to answer any questions you and/or your parents may have regarding this process. Financial aid counselors can be reached by calling (508) 286-8232 or toll free at: (800) 541-3639.