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Should You Pay for FAFSA and Loan Services Help?

Should You Pay for FAFSA and Loan Services Help?

Is paying for FAFSA or student loan help a waste of money?

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published September 18, 2015
How Should Divorced Parents Split a Child's College Costs?

How Should Divorced Parents Split a Child's College Costs?

I am the custodial parent for my daughter who will go to college this fall. It will be her first year. My income was reported on the FAFSA. This included child ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 23, 2011
When is Real Estate Reported as a Business Asset on the FAFSA?

When is Real Estate Reported as a Business Asset on the FAFSA?

For parents who are self-employed and own real estate as one of their businesses, should they list the real estate assets as their assets (since they are self-employed) or as business ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 3, 2012
Excerpts from the Democratic and Republican Party Platforms on Student Financial Aid

Excerpts from the Democratic and Republican Party Platforms on Student Financial Aid

This article provides excerpts of the proposals concerning student financial aid for college that appear in the 2012 Democratic National Platform and the 2012 Republican Platform. Neither platform, however, contains a ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 4, 2012
Does Moving a 529 College Savings Plan into a Roth IRA Make Sense?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 12, 2011
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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 13, 2011
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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 15, 2011
Impact of a Gift Trust Account on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 10, 2012
Quick Answers to Common Questions about Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 1, 2013
What’s New on the 2015-16 FAFSA?

What’s New on the 2015-16 FAFSA?

What you need to know before you file your FAFSA in 2015.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published December 2, 2014
3 Ways to Pay Off Big Student Loans Faster

3 Ways to Pay Off Big Student Loans Faster

Get rid of your student loan debt with these tips.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published October 12, 2016
Should Parents Pay Off Credit Cards Before Applying for College Loans and Other Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 30, 2011
Could You Be Giving Away Too Much on the FAFSA?

Could You Be Giving Away Too Much on the FAFSA?

What your FAFSA says about your first choice college.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published December 8, 2014
10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders

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

Don’t rush the process – any mistakes can cause serious delays in the process or, worse, disqualify you all together.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published February 18, 2014
FAFSA Information for DACA Students

FAFSA Information for DACA Students

DACA students are defined as a subgroup of these undocumented students who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 10, 2014
How Does Bankruptcy Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 6, 2011
First Lady Michelle Obama's FAFSA Completion Challenge

First Lady Michelle Obama's FAFSA Completion Challenge

In addition to encouraging students to complete the FAFSA, the First Lady could send your school a special video message or speak at your commencement ceremony!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 10, 2014
Will Differences in Parent Assets Due to the Omission Sibling-Owned Custodial 529 Plan Accounts Cause Problems on the FAFSA?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 19, 2011
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 ...

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published December 19, 2011
2017-18 FAFSA Changes: What Prior-Prior Year (PPY) Means for You

2017-18 FAFSA Changes: What Prior-Prior Year (PPY) Means for You

The change will allow students to report tax information from a prior-prior tax year (PPY) allowing tax information from two years ago.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published October 19, 2015