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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
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
Financial Aid and Scholarships for Foster Care and Adopted Children

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 17, 2012
Can Parent PLUS Loans Get Income-Based Repayment and Loan Forgiveness?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 8, 2013
Potential Impact of the Fiscal Cliff on Federal Student Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 16, 2012
5 Ways to Make College More Affordable

5 Ways to Make College More Affordable

Make college more affordable with these tips.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published October 23, 2015
New Proposals for Hybrid Fixed/Variable Interest Rates on Federal Student Loans

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 12, 2013
How to Qualify for a PLUS Loan Despite an Adverse Credit History

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 15, 2013
Maximizing Aid Eligibility: What You Need to Know

Maximizing Aid Eligibility: What You Need to Know

Work with your parents to maximize your aid eligibility for college.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published June 13, 2011
Does Adoption Affect an Orphan's Eligibility for Financial Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 22, 2013