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Rich Parents Are Giving Up Guardianship of Their Kids to Get Financial Aid, Stunning Report Reveals

A stunning new report reveals that there are parents actually giving up legal guardianship of their children so that the kids can apply for need-based financial aid.

ProPublica broke the news yesterday about how “dozens” of families in Chicago are actually engaging in this practice:

Parents are giving up legal guardianship of their children during their junior or senior year in high school to someone else — a friend, aunt, cousin or grandparent. The guardianship status then allows the students to declare themselves financially independent of their families so they can qualify for federal, state and university aid, a ProPublica Illinois investigation found…

ProPublica Illinois found more than 40 guardianship cases fitting this profile filed between January 2018 and June 2019 in the Chicago suburbs of Lake County alone.

Following the release of ProPublica’s report –– which you can read in full here –– the Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Education is looking into the matter.

And before you ask: yes, this is apparently legal. If that baffles you, you’re not alone.

On Fox News this afternoon, Shepard Smith expressed a little bewilderment at the legality –– separate from the ethical concerns, of course.

You can watch above, via Fox News.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac