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  • +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
  • +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
  • +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
  • +7

    Impact of a Gift Trust Account on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

    My daughter turned 18 recently, and received a $25,000 mutual fund statement with her name on it. Her aunt had put $10,000 away in 1995 in a gift trust account for a minor. This was a mutual fund account in which the interest was reinvested each year and therefore no IRS interest statements were generated. We were unaware that her aunt ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +3

    Quick Answers to Common Questions about Financial Aid

    Financial aid is an inherently complicated topic. Sometimes students and parents have questions that may seem obvious to people who have more experience with financial aid. But they can't find the answers they need. This week's Ask Kantro column addresses several such questions. Hi. I was wondering how or where you can apply for the federal supplemental educational opportunity grant. I ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +5

    Should Parents Pay Off Credit Cards Before Applying for College Loans and Other Aid?

    Why is it better for parents to pay off credit cards (if one can) before obtaining loans for a child for college? — Diane H. Most forms of consumer debt, such as credit cards and auto loans, are ignored on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even education loans are ignored. The only exception to this rule occurs when ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +23

    10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders

    10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders
    Filling out financial aid forms is challenging and a task, to say the least. But don’t rush the process – any mistakes can cause serious delays in the process or, worse, disqualify you all together. Though these seem like common sense-covered areas, the following are errors that students frequently make when filling out financial aid forms. Before submitting any financial aid ...
    Published 5 months ago | Rated: +23
  • +8

    How Does Bankruptcy Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

    How does a chapter 13 bankruptcy affect financial aid? Would it be difficult to get financial aid for my child because my husband and I filed chapter 13 about 2 years ago? — C. F. A previous bankruptcy can affect eligibility for some education loans but it does not affect eligibility for other forms of financial aid. The Bankruptcy Reform Act ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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
  • +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
  • +8

    Financial Aid and Scholarships for Foster Care and Adopted Children

    I adopted a special needs foster child when he was 11 years old. I have been told he does not qualify for any aid. I recently learned that if I would have adopted him at age 13 he would of received a full scholarship. My son wants to attend a private college at approximately $43,000 per year. Do you have any ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Can Parent PLUS Loans Get Income-Based Repayment and Loan Forgiveness?

    You've mentioned previously that while Parent PLUS loans are nominally eligible for public service loan forgiveness, they are not eligible for IBR or ICR, which leaves nothing left to forgive. Is there no relief for Parent PLUS loans altogether? Or, is there any way for Parent PLUS loans to qualify for loan forgiveness? — Anonymous Federal Parent PLUS loans are not ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +8
  • -1

    Potential Impact of the Fiscal Cliff on Federal Student Financial Aid

    The Budget Control Act of 2011 enacted automatic across-the-board spending cuts in the federal budget if Congress in unable to achieve specified reductions in overall spending on its own. This process is called sequestration. The White House's Office of Management and Budget released a 394-page report on Friday, September 14, 2012, detailing the specific budget lines in the FY2013 budget that ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: -1
  • +6

    New Proposals for Hybrid Fixed/Variable Interest Rates on Federal Student Loans

    The President's budget for fiscal year 2014, which was released on April 10, 2013, includes a proposal for switching new federal student loans to a hybrid fixed/variable interest rate scheme starting July 1, 2013. A similar proposal was introduced the day before by several Republican Senators as the Comprehensive Student Loan Protection Act (S.682). Subsidized Stafford Loan Rate May Double Currently, ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +6
  • +7

    How to Qualify for a PLUS Loan Despite an Adverse Credit History

    I'm currently an MBA student who has a VERY adverse credit history. Part of which includes a defaulted Federal Loan. I'm halfway through my first year of business school and find myself needing more money. I've found someone who does not have an adverse credit history who is willing to cosign. I'm worried that I still won't receive the loan. What ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +51

    Maximizing Aid Eligibility: What You Need to Know

    Maximizing Aid Eligibility: What You Need to Know
    First things first – what does “maximizing aid eligibility” even mean? To maximize your aid eligibility means to make your finances appear as if you require more aid – or put very simply, to appear poorer than you actually are, therefore resulting in more aid from the government and your school. When maximizing aid eligibility, keep these technicalities in mind. The ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +51
  • +7

    Does Adoption Affect an Orphan's Eligibility for Financial Aid?

    I am trying to advise two students whose mother died four years ago and their father died last week, unfortunately. The girls' grandmother is now taking care of them (a 9th and 10th grader) and we are concerned about the possible college financial ramifications. They are in the process of determining the Social Security benefits from their father's contributions. Once that ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +6

    Are There Any Loan Forgiveness Programs for Social Workers, Teachers and Other Public Service Jobs?

    Are you familiar with any programs that could assist a low-income social worker who has used up his hardship deferments? Any assistance would be appreciated. I'm in a low-paying county, being paid a low income to assist disabled persons, and need help with my student loans. — Dave W. If your loans are federal student loans, such as Federal Stafford or ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +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
  • +7

    Does Joint Repayment Obligate Spouses for Each Other's Student Loans?

    I applied to have both my husband's and my student loan debt considered in determining our payments under income-based repayment. This reduced our payments significantly. My concern is that the repayment plan selection forms have a box to check that accepts responsibility for your spouse's loan. My student loan debt is considerably higher than my husband's and should I precede him ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +7
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