Noncustodial Parents

As part of Bowdoin's partnership with families to pay for college, we expect both parents to participate in the financial aid process regardless of marital status.

When a student's parents are divorced, separated, or never married, we require both parents to participate in the financial aid process. You should first determine which parent is your custodial parent:

  • Your custodial parent is the parent with whom you lived most often in the past year.
  • If you lived with each parent exactly the same amount of time in the past year, your custodial parent becomes the parent who provided you the most financial support in the past year.
For continuing Bowdoin students: We generally do not require noncustodial information as part of the aid application after your first year. Please check the "Documents" section of your MyAid portal to determine your particular requirements.

For domestic students, only the custodial parent's household information should be reported on the FAFSA. Regardless of citizenship, each parent's household must complete a CSS Profile and submit required tax or other documents through IDOC. Each parent may access IDOC by providing two of three personal identifiers for the student. Documents are not available to be viewed once uploaded, so neither parent will be able to access the other's information.

We collect complete information about each household, but we typically consider the resources of two parents to determine eligibility for Bowdoin's need-based financial aid. The College Board offers further information about how noncustodial parents should complete their financial aid application requirements, including instructions for the noncustodial parent to create a College Board account.

As is the case for all families, we determine the noncustodial parent's ability to pay, not willingness or unwillingness to pay.

Noncustodial Parent Waiver Petition Process

Bowdoin occasionally waives a noncustodial parent from participating in the financial aid process due to extreme circumstances. Students who would like to petition that we waive their noncustodial parent should complete a waiver petition. Please note that Bowdoin requires a third party statement and relevant court documents (if applicable). Submitting a waiver request does not automatically mean that the noncustodial parent's involvement will be waived. A student aid counselor will be in touch if we need additional information regarding the noncustodial parent. Please note that unwillingness to pay for college is not a sufficient reason to waive a noncustodial parent's participation.

We welcome you to contact the Office of Student Aid at sao@bowdoin.edu or (207) 725-3144 if you have questions or concerns about the application requirements for your noncustodial parent.