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Will Filing Income Tax Returns as Married Filing Separately Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

Will Filing Income Tax Returns as Married Filing Separately Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

My husband and I separated last year and are living at separate addresses. We have not filed for divorce yet or a formal separation. We are considering filing our taxes as ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 19, 2011
Completing the FAFSA When the Student's Parents Have a Legal Separation

Completing the FAFSA When the Student's Parents Have a Legal Separation

My parents aren't divorced but are legally separated and have been for about ten years. My mother is unable to remember where the papers for their separation are. I was wondering ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 12, 2011
If I Stop Paying My Student Loans, Will the Default Yield a Reasonable Settlement?

If I Stop Paying My Student Loans, Will the Default Yield a Reasonable Settlement?

I would like to know what will happen if I stop paying my student loans. I have never been unemployed and don't plan to be, but my loan payments are over ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 5, 2011
U.S. Department of Education Seeks Ideas from Students, Parents and Educators on How To Improve Financial Aid Award Letters

U.S. Department of Education Seeks Ideas from Students, Parents and Educators on How To Improve Financial Aid Award Letters

Public Meeting The U.S. Department of Education is holding a public meeting on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, to discuss ways to improve financial aid award letters. The goal is to ...

Published September 1, 2011
Students Lose Financial Aid for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students Lose Financial Aid for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

I have been attending college for some time now. Ever since my mom passed away I have been really shaking with some of my classes. Last semester I did decent: I ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 29, 2011
PSST! Want to Graduate from College with an Undergraduate Degree and No Debt?

PSST! Want to Graduate from College with an Undergraduate Degree and No Debt?

A recent research report analyzes the characteristics of the 1.7 million undergraduate students who were able to graduate in 2007-08 without any student loan debt. About two fifths of undergraduate students ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 24, 2011
Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home?

Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home?

Ask Kantro: Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home? Is home equity considered an asset when determining eligibility for aid? — Steve ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 22, 2011
When Does Repayment Begin on a Subsidized Loan?

When Does Repayment Begin on a Subsidized Loan?

When does a student have to start paying back a subsidized loan? — A.A. If the loan is a subsidized Stafford loan, repayment begins 6 months after graduating from college or ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 15, 2011
Dealing with the Debt Deal and Downgrade: Practical Tips for Students and their Families

Dealing with the Debt Deal and Downgrade: Practical Tips for Students and their Families

Title: Dealing with the Debt Deal and Downgrade: Practical Tips for Students and their Families Standard & Poor's (S&P) downgraded US long-term debt one notch from AAA to AA+ after ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 8, 2011
When Can a Student's Grandparents Substitute for the Parents on Financial Aid Forms?

When Can a Student's Grandparents Substitute for the Parents on Financial Aid Forms?

If a student lives with a grandparent, is there any way the student can use the grandparent's income tax information on her FAFSA? I have lived with my grandmother for all ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 8, 2011
Congress Raises Debt Ceiling, with Shifts and Cuts in Student Aid Funding

Congress Raises Debt Ceiling, with Shifts and Cuts in Student Aid Funding

Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 on Tuesday, August 2, 2011, raising the debt ceiling at the last minute. The debt deal cuts some student loan benefits, especially for ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 3, 2011
A Prospective Student is Ineligible for Financial Aid Because of a Student Loan Default

A Prospective Student is Ineligible for Financial Aid Because of a Student Loan Default

I gave college a shot when I was 18 and dropped out due to major health problems. Student loans obviously did not disappear because of this and I have been struggling ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 1, 2011
Impact of Capital Gains on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

Impact of Capital Gains on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

Families often sell investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds to pay college bills. If these investments are not held within a 529 college savings plan or other qualified tuition ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 29, 2011
Student Credit Cards

Student Credit Cards

You see the offers everywhere, free duffel bag for signing up for this credit card, free water bottle, campus gear and sometimes even free money. Before you go signing on the ...

By Leah Westfall
Published July 28, 2011
Can a Stepdaughter be Counted in the Household If She Lives with the Other Parent?

Can a Stepdaughter be Counted in the Household If She Lives with the Other Parent?

My stepdaughter used my husband's tax return to file her FAFSA because her mother had said that his taxes needed to be used because he claims her on his income tax ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 25, 2011
Facing the Prospect of High Student Loan Debt at a Prestigious College

Facing the Prospect of High Student Loan Debt at a Prestigious College

I graduated from high school with honors in June and have been accepted to a prestigious private college, where I will be majoring in computer science and math. The college awarded ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 18, 2011
Consequences for Student Financial Aid If Congress Doesn't Raise the Debt Ceiling

Consequences for Student Financial Aid If Congress Doesn't Raise the Debt Ceiling

The game of chicken being played out in Washington, DC, may have serious consequences for student financial aid as well as the rest of the economy. Congress and the White House ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 14, 2011
Free College Tuition for Veterans at Select Schools

Free College Tuition for Veterans at Select Schools

Education benefits for military veterans. Thank you for your service!

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published July 14, 2011
Does a Parent's Credit History Affect the Student's Eligibility for Loans and Other Aid?

Does a Parent's Credit History Affect the Student's Eligibility for Loans and Other Aid?

My parents have a Federal Direct PLUS Loan they got while I was an undergraduate student several years ago. Due to their current financial hardship, they haven't been keeping up with ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 11, 2011
How Can I Fill the Gap Between Financial Aid and My Ability to Pay?

How Can I Fill the Gap Between Financial Aid and My Ability to Pay?

What to do when the school you plan to attend practices financial aid gapping.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 3, 2011