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  • +9

    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: 1. Birthday Present. Such programs provide contributions of $100 to $1,000 as seed money in the college savings plan when the parents open a new 529 college savings plan before ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +5

    Is There Any Way to Shelter Retirement Plan Distributions on the FAFSA?

    My question is simple: is there a way to withdraw money from my 401(K), at age 59 1/2, that will not be counted as income for FAFSA purposes? Although I receive an annual pension of $34,500, I fall short by about $20,000 to meet my annual expenses. Should I withdraw what I need for next year this year, so it doesn't ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +5

    Can the FAFSA be Completed with Information from the Previous Year's Tax Returns?

    My daughter got accepted to her first-choice school, a private university, as an early-decision candidate. The school won't be able to tell us the amount of financial aid she will be offered until March. I am eager to file the FAFSA and CSS Financial Aid PROFILE forms as soon as possible, as I've heard this helps maximize the amount of aid ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +5
  • +8

    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 and not used for rental. Naturally we have to list this as an asset which makes our total assets look like more than they are. Furthermore, the value we used ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Can a Parent Count a Child in Household Size and Also Report Amounts Paid in Child Support on the FAFSA?

    I am the custodial parent for my son and college-bound daughter. It seems like the form assumes that only non-custodial parents pay child support! However, I still pay their mother child support of over $1,600/month (they are with her slightly less than half the time). Do I report those child support payments on the FAFSA where it asks for "child support ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +7

    Private Student Loans Add Fixed Rate Options

    Student loan pricing goes through cycles. When fixed interest rates are high but variable interest rates are heading downward, borrowers prefer variable interest rates. When variable interest rates are low but likely to head higher, borrowers prefer fixed-rate options. A little over a year ago only one commercial lender, SunTrust, offered a fixed-rate option on its loans. Today there are eight, ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +1

    Student Debt Guide: Types of Loans

    Student Debt Guide: Types of Loans
    Student loans, federal education loans, credit cards, mortgages, home equity...the list goes on and on. It's enough to drive a person mad! From the different types of debt to the different types of loans, this financial information is something any borrowing student should be aware of. Learn to decipher the definitions of debt so that you know what you're getting yourself ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +1
  • +13

    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 colleges and each one wants money to secure his place. One is way more expensive than the others but if we get enough aid he can go there. The deposit ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +4

    Are UGMA and UTMA Accounts Reported as Investments on the FAFSA?

    Tuesday, May 29 is National College Savings Day (i.e., May 29 is 5/29, a cute reference to 529 college savings plans). To commemorate the occasion, Mark Kantrowitz answers a question about saving for college. After submitting our FAFSA for my son, we got back an EFC of 23207 on the SAR. I have been told by admissions that that is extremely ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +3

    How Accurate are the Net Price Figures from Colleges and College Navigator?

    How believeable and reliable are the net price values quoted on the College Navigator web site? My granddaughter is interested in two public universities, one in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota. Each has an online net price calculator. The Wisconsin university is $13,948 and the Minnesota university is $18,318. But on the College Navigator web site the costs are $14,063 and ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +10

    Senator Al Franken Introduces Legislation to Standardize Financial Aid Award Letters

    Senator Al Franken (D-MN) introduced the Understanding the True Cost of College Act (S.3244) on Thursday, May 24, 2012 with bipartisan support. This legislation will standardize college financial aid award letters to help students and parents make informed decisions concerning the tradeoffs between college affordability and college quality. It will also help students and their families make smarter borrowing decisions. Students ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +1

    ProPublica and the Chronicle of Higher Education Seek Copies of Financial Aid Award Letters

    Two leading newspapers, ProPublica and the Chronicle of Higher Education, are seeking copies of actual financial aid award letters received by students. They are interested in receiving award letters from all colleges that admitted the student, not just the ones where the students ultimately enrolled. The newspapers have promised to keep names and personally identifiable information confidential. The award letters may ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +1
  • +7

    Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores

    Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores
    Good credit, bad credit, credit score reports, sites and don’t even mention credit cards! It’s all too easy to get jumbled in the mix. Luckily, our financial expert Mark Kantrowitz breaks down the basic questions, like what a credit score is and why should you care.[gate] How is my credit score calculated? Lenders report whether you pay your bills on time ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +3

    Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards

    Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards
    By now, we’re all aware that managing money can be quite difficult. Here are some surefire ways, straight from nationally recognized financial expert Mark Kantrowitz, on how to help stay on track when it comes to pinching pennies. [gate] First, exercise control over your money by increasing awareness of your spending habits. Start by preparing a descriptive budget, where you track ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +28

    FAFSA Checklist

    FAFSA Checklist
    The FAFSA: one of - if not the most, daunting of financial aid forms. The name alone can make students shudder in fear. But, there’s no reason to be afraid, Fastwebbers! We've got you covered; letting you know everything you need before you even think about filling out the form. It’s important to gather all the necessary information and materials beforehand. ...
    Published 6 months ago | Rated: +28
  • +15

    Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money

    Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money
    Nobody ever said being an adult was easy and knowing how to save and invest properly is not exception to the rule. But, who better to advise you on saving and investing money than Mark Kantrowitz, a nationally recognized finance guru? Here are tips, right from the expert, on how to save and invest like a pro. [gate] • Save for ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +15
  • +4

    Which Parents are Responsible for Completing the Financial Aid Application Forms?

    Both of my daughters' parents have re-married. Whose income is counted for financial aid? Just biological parents or their spouses too? Does primary parent fill out the paperwork or the parent with the lowest (or highest) income? — M.J. When a student's biological/adoptive parents are divorced, only one of the two parents is responsible for completing the Free Application for Federal ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +9

    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? — Q.T. Student financial aid does not directly transfer between colleges. Instead, the new college will recalculate your eligibility from scratch based on the information on your FAFSA and the ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +6

    White House Calls on Colleges to Adopt Clear College Cost and Financial Aid Disclosures

    The White House is calling on all college and university presidents to provide incoming students with clear and easy-to-understand college cost and financial aid disclosures. On June 5, 2012, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Richard Cordray and Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz hosted a roundtable with presidents of ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +5

    What Do You Do If Your Application for a FAFSA PIN is Rejected?

    If you get an email message that says "Your request for a Federal Student Aid PIN cannot be processed because the Social Security Number (SSN), name, or date of birth that you provided on your PIN application does not match your information on file at the Social Security Administration (SSA)... If you are sure that the SSN, name, and date of ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5