Wealthy families giving up custody of their children to receive financial aid

After Operation Varsity Blues reports surfaced in Hollywood a couple months ago, another college admissions scandal just hit Chicago.

ProPublica Illinois reported over a dozen cases of parents giving up custody of their children due to financial reasons. However, these parents reside in Deerfield and Buffalo Grove, two of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the United States. By legally granting friends and family members full custody, these high school seniors could be declared financially independent and qualify for financial aid.

In the past year, 40 petitions to give up custody were filed by lawyers of doctors, real estate agents and insurance agents. Three of these students already got their scholarship taken away.

In order for this not to re-occur in the future, the Department of Education wants add that even though legally independent, students are considered “dependent” if they continue to receive financial and medical support from their parents. Hopefully, this will allow low-income students who are actually in need to go to college.

-Julie