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  • +7

    Is a Student with Children But No Income Considered to be Independent?

    I am under 24 years of age. I did not have any income the year before last. I have 2 children and live with a partner of 6 years. He is the father of my children. We are not married. He supported us on his income; my mother did not. I was a stay at home mom. My school is telling ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +14

    President Obama Proposes Student Aid Increases in State of the Union Address

    President Obama Proposes Student Aid Increases in State of the Union Address
    In the state of the union address on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, President Obama proposed several increases in student aid spending. The first two proposals call for Congress to extend existing student aid programs that are scheduled to expire this year. Stop the pending increase in student loan interest rates. The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 enacted a ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +14
  • +16

    Making Sense of Your EFC

    Making Sense of Your EFC
    Everyone has an idea of what their EFC (Expected Family Contribution) should be, but it typically never matches with what the FAFSA declares, leaving a lot of students and families clambering for more options to pay for school. Understanding how the EFC is determined and what happens after might lead to greater transparency into the process, helping you and your family ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +16
  • +6

    What Do You Do When Income or an Asset Isn't Really Your Money?

    I am a disabled parent who hasn't worked since 2007. I am currently on long term disability and have been ruled disabled by the Social Security Administration. My child is heading off to college in the fall and we are working on his FAFSA. My Social Security came through in late November in a large lump sum due to back dating. ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +4

    Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for One-Time Events

    In our base year, my spouse will have a one-time job that will significantly raise our income for one year only. We have significant credit card debt and no savings for our child's college education. We plan to use the extra income to pay down our debt and to have money available to help with college costs. But will this one ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +3

    Why Do We Owe the College Money After the Student Dropped Out?

    My son was awarded an amount from FAFSA and also money from the LIFE and Pell grants. We paid the remainder of his tuition out of pocket. He started his freshman year and started having some medical issues. He withdrew from school during the second drop period. The university sent us a letter explaining how this money was sent back to ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +8

    Year in Review: Ups and Downs for Student Financial Aid in 2011

    2011 was an eventful year for student financial aid, student loans and scholarships. This article summarizes the major events, positive and negative, for student aid in 2011. It also provides a few highlights of developments that are anticipated for 2012. The Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (P.L. 112-10, April 15, 2011) ended the year-round Pell Grant program ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +3

    Can a Dependent Student File the FAFSA as Independent if the Student's Parents Don't File Federal Income Tax Returns?

    The next several Ask Kantro columns will answer questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA may be filed starting on January 1. The FAFSA is used to apply for student financial aid from the federal and state governments and from most colleges and universities for the award year that runs from July 1 to June 30. ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +3

    Does a "Safety Net" Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

    We are parents of a high school junior looking to learn about the best places to put our money for when we fill out that first FAFSA in two years. My husband insists that we have a "safety net" of at least $10,000 in an account for emergencies (like large car maintenance costs, accident deductibles, etc.). Currently that money is in ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +19

    Changes to the 2012 - 2013 FAFSA

    Changes to the 2012 - 2013 FAFSA
    For many students, January 1 is doomsday. It’s the day the FAFSA application becomes available, triggering an overwhelming sense of dread as students either fill out the FAFSA alone or with their parents. Fortunately, the FAFSA gets easier each year as the Department of Education continues to make improvements to the application system and the designation of federal aid. Before we ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +3

    Will Differences in Parent Assets Due to the Omission Sibling-Owned Custodial 529 Plan Accounts Cause Problems on the FAFSA?

    Since siblings' UTMA 529s don't get reported on the FAFSA, but the student's UTMA 529 is counted as a parent asset, each of my kids would have a different amount listed on the FAFSA as parent assets. The amounts would be vastly different because most of my son's money will have been used by the time my youngest starts college. We'll ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +2

    Aboriginal Art and College Cost Bubbles

    Aboriginal Art and College Cost Bubbles
    What does Australian aboriginal art have to do with college costs? Read on. When I was a research scientist at a software laboratory over a decade ago, I purchased a few paintings by aboriginal artists during a trip to Australia to present a paper at an international computer science conference. Australian aboriginal art is intriguing because it is both primitive and ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +4

    When A "Free" College Education Isn't Really Free

    When A "Free" College Education Isn't Really Free
    Some of the protesters at Occupy Wall Street are demanding that a college education be provided for free. But even if their request is granted, which is unlikely, it might not actually be free. The definition of "free" is straightforward enough. A product or service is free when it is available without any cost or charge. But marketers often distort the ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +4

    Does Moving a 529 College Savings Plan into a Roth IRA Make Sense?

    Does it make sense to move our $40,000 529 college savings plan into a Roth IRA for our children who are both in college to shield the money from our asset consideration? We have a gross income of about $100,000 and no debt. They have some merit scholarships, but we have not qualified for need on the FAFSA. — Carolyn W. ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +5

    Should Borrowers Pay Off Old Student Loans to Qualify for the New 10% Version of Income-Based Repayment?

    I want to qualify for the "pay as you earn plan" 10% income-based repayment plan. I have $80,000 in Direct Loans from 2010-2012. I have a balance of $2,800 on an old student loan from the 1990's. Should I pay off the old balance before a certain date to make sure and qualify for the "pay as you earn plan"? Or ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +2

    If a Student's Parents Are Not Married, How Does the Student Complete the FAFSA?

    I live with my mother and my step-father but they are not married. They keep their finances separate and, other than helping my mom to pay for the house I live in, he does not help me out financially. Do I still have to include him on my FAFSA? — Emily L. The first step in addressing non-traditional family structures is ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +4

    Impact of the Super Committee Stalemate on Federal Student Financial Aid

    On November 21, 2011 the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the super committee, announced that it had failed to reach an agreement to reduce the deficit. The super committee was charged with cutting the budget deficit at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. One side was unwilling to increase revenues while the other side was ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +8

    People Retiring with Student Loans May Save Money with Income-Based Repayment

    I'm 68 years old, have worked for the last thirteen years in a state psychiatric hospital and after consolidating all my loans, have never missed a payment to Direct Student Loan in the last ten years. My original paper work says that I will need to make payments until 2031, when I'll be 88. I would like to think about retiring ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    That Free Financial Aid Seminar May be Just a Worthless Sales Pitch

    From time to time I receive solicitations for free financial aid seminars that are really sales pitches for a product or service. I attend these seminars to monitor the information (and misinformation) that these seminars disseminate. The latest one was a bit different, in that it was affiliated with a national asset management and financial planning firm. It's not a very ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +8

    Conflicting Information about Trends in Net College Costs

    A report released today by The Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), discusses trends in net tuition and net price at US colleges and universities. Net Tuition and Net Price Trends in the United States: 2000-2009 reports that "At four year colleges, net tuition has increased by around one thousand dollars over a time period when per capita income has ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8