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Impact of a Government Shutdown on Student Financial Aid

Impact of a Government Shutdown on Student Financial Aid

If Congress fails to pass legislation funding the federal government, the federal government will shut down and more than 800,000 government employees will be furloughed. The impact on federal student aid, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 8, 2011
How Do I Fix an Non-Qualified Distribution from a College Savings Plan?

How Do I Fix an Non-Qualified Distribution from a College Savings Plan?

I had a CollegeSure CD for my son who started college last fall. After the CD matured in August, I cashed it out and put the money in a savings account ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 4, 2011
What Happens If You Deliberately Don't Report Assets on the FAFSA?

What Happens If You Deliberately Don't Report Assets on the FAFSA?

I'm doing everything possible to lower my EFC. I have assets, UTMA, mutual funds, stocks and I know they hurt my chances of receiving free money (Federal or state grants). I ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 28, 2011
How Do I Transfer Financial Aid from One College to Another?

How Do I Transfer Financial Aid from One College to Another?

If I change schools, how do I edit my FAFSA so the money goes to my new school? And about how long would it take for the money to transfer schools? ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 21, 2011
When Will the Financial Aid Award Letter Arrive?

When Will the Financial Aid Award Letter Arrive?

I am new to all of this and I am wondering how soon we find out how much financial aid we will be getting. My son has been accepted at 3 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 14, 2011
Timing of an Appeal for More Aid and Appealing the Asset Value of Unsold Real Estate

Timing of an Appeal for More Aid and Appealing the Asset Value of Unsold Real Estate

How soon after filing the FAFSA can I request a professional judgement review (without seeming overanxious)? We tried to sell our previous home last year without success. The home is vacant ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 7, 2011
Free Money for College Savings

Free Money for College Savings

There are a variety of national, state and local programs that encourage families to save for college by providing families with free money. There are two main types of such programs: ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 4, 2011
How Do You Calculate Individual Income From a Joint Return for the FAFSA When the Parents Are Separated?

How Do You Calculate Individual Income From a Joint Return for the FAFSA When the Parents Are Separated?

In your answer to How Does Income Tax Filing Status Affect Student Aid?, you address the question of which parent is responsible for completing the FAFSA. However, I'm very curious as ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 28, 2011
Can You Get a Pell Grant Even If You Don't Qualify for the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program?

Can You Get a Pell Grant Even If You Don't Qualify for the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program?

If a child does not qualify for the free or reduced-price school lunch program, can they still qualify for federal student aid? —Y.P. Yes. Students who don't qualify for the free ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 21, 2011
President Obama Proposes Cuts in Aid Programs to Preserve Pell Grant

President Obama Proposes Cuts in Aid Programs to Preserve Pell Grant

President Obama is proposing to cut some student aid programs to maintain the maximum Pell Grant at $5,550 in 2011-12 as part of the FY2012 federal budget request. This comes after ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 14, 2011
Is an Emancipated Child Considered an Independent Student?

Is an Emancipated Child Considered an Independent Student?

I am a single parent of three children. One is a junior in college, the middle child will be attending college next year. I have always completed the FAFSA for my ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 14, 2011
Congress Proposes Big Cuts in Pell Grants

Congress Proposes Big Cuts in Pell Grants

The Republican leadership of the US House of Representatives released a proposal to cut the maximum Pell Grant to $4,015 late on Friday, February 11, 2011. This proposal is part of ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 13, 2011
When is a Stepparent or Adoptive Parent's Income Reported on the FAFSA?

When is a Stepparent or Adoptive Parent's Income Reported on the FAFSA?

My daughter's father and I are divorced and I have remarried. Neither my previous nor my new husband are contributing toward my daughter's education, so I am paying all of the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 7, 2011
Does Applying for Financial Aid Affect Your Chances of Admission?

Does Applying for Financial Aid Affect Your Chances of Admission?

Does applying for financial aid ever limit one's chances of acceptance to a college? Do colleges give any subtle preference to students who state on their application that they do not ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 31, 2011
Which Assets and Debts are Reported on the FAFSA?

Which Assets and Debts are Reported on the FAFSA?

Last year my family had low income ($40,000) but high assets. The assets include $1 million in properties, other investments, the primary home, car, 401(k), IRA and pension plan. How are ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 24, 2011
Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for Job Loss or Other Changes in Income

Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for Job Loss or Other Changes in Income

I lost my teaching job last June and got a half year's salary instead of a full year. I did not get a job in the fall, so our household income ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 17, 2011
How Do I File the FAFSA in January When Tax Returns Can't Be Filed That Early?

How Do I File the FAFSA in January When Tax Returns Can't Be Filed That Early?

Several universities that we have visited have stressed the importance of getting you FAFSA completed in January. If we don't have all of our financial and tax information yet, how can ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 10, 2011
Are "Dual Enrollment" Students Considered College Students on the FAFSA?

Are "Dual Enrollment" Students Considered College Students on the FAFSA?

Families should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov as soon as possible after January 1. While the federal government accepts the FAFSA as late as June ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 3, 2011
Illinois State Agency Proposes Bond to Fund Increases in the State's College Grant Program

Illinois State Agency Proposes Bond to Fund Increases in the State's College Grant Program

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is proposing to issue 10-year taxable revenue notes or bonds to increase funding for the state's college grant program. The bonds would provide $100 million ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 29, 2010
Drowning in Six-Figure Debt for a Low-Paying Field of Study

Drowning in Six-Figure Debt for a Low-Paying Field of Study

I am going to be attending a New York university this spring as a music major. My ultimate goal is to get a doctorate of ethnomusicology and to teach at a ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 20, 2010