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    Paying the College Directly to Avoid Gift Taxes

    Under current IRS rules, a payment made directly to an educational institution to pay for the tuition of a student does not count as a gift to the student for gift tax purposes. For example, a grandparent can avoid gift taxes by writing a check to the college for their grandchild's tuition instead of giving the money to the student or ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
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    Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students

    What advice would you give on financial aid to undocumented students? — T.T. Before discussing financial aid for undocumented students, it is best for students who believe that they are undocumented to first confirm with their parents that they are indeed undocumented. A student who was born in the United States or certain territories or outlying possessions is a US citizen ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
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    Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for One-Time Events

    In our base year, my spouse will have a one-time job that will significantly raise our income for one year only. We have significant credit card debt and no savings for our child's college education. We plan to use the extra income to pay down our debt and to have money available to help with college costs. But will this one ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +4
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    Must a Trust Fund be Reported on the FAFSA Even If Access to the Trust is Restricted?

    I have a friend whose mother passed away two years ago, and left her some money from an insurance policy. The money is currently in trust for her with her grandmother as the trustee. Does she need to claim this as an asset on her FAFSA? She is unable to touch it until she turns 21. — Karen A. In most ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
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    Guide to Student Loans

    Sometimes, the hardest thing about college or graduate school is paying for it. Scholarships, grants and work-study can help, but to fill the financial aid gap, most students will need to take out loans. There are a number of loan programs available. To pick the best one for you, check out all your options: Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL) vs. ...
    Published over 6 years ago | Rated: +4
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    Is There a Better Option for Financing a College Education than a Parent PLUS Loan?

    I have a simple question: Is there currently a better option to help finance my sophomore daughter's college education than a 7.9% PLUS loan? That just seems a bit high given the current economic environment? — Alan S. When considering how to finance a college education, there are many options, including federal education loans, private student loans and non-education loans. It ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
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    How to Minimize the Impact of a Student's Brokerage Account on Financial Aid

    We have an UTMA mutual fund for our son who is a senior in high school (17 years old). It is approximately $19,000 and was intended to help pay for college costs. When we opened it we weren't aware of the impact it could have on financial aid. I realize it's too late to fix anything for his freshman year next ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
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    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 The net home equity of the family's principal place of residence (the family home) is not reported as an asset on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +4
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    Should a Family Sell Student-Owned Stocks to Get More Financial Aid?

    I have two daughters. One is a junior in college. The other is a senior in high school who will be going to college this fall. They both have stocks given to them by my parents years ago, from which they get quarterly dividends of around $140 each. Every year on the FAFSA I have to put the current value of ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
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    Treatment of Grandparent Assets Held by a Parent on the FAFSA

    I am completing the FAFSA for my son and daughter. My Mom is elderly and has put my name as secondary on her accounts. Do I have to report the money in those accounts as my assets on the FAFSA? It doesn't seem fair if I do, because the money is not mine to use. — Chris S. Grandparents sometimes transfer ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +4
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    Should Wealthy Parents Cut Family Income Tenfold to Help their Children Qualify for Need-Based Student Financial Aid?

    My wife and I make about $150,000 in combined income. We have probably $350,000 in home equity, $100,000 in rental property equity and $500,000 in retirement accounts. We have three kids in college and a fourth starting in the fall a year from now. We hope to quit our jobs at some point and move to Nicaragua (or another Central American ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
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    Understand Your Student Aid Report

    If you've never set eyes on a Student Aid Report (SAR) before, it can be a dizzying experience. What do all those acronyms and numbers mean? It all looks so official and important. If you've recently submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you can expect to receive a SAR in return. And while the SAR is long on ...
    Published over 6 years ago | Rated: +4
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    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 married filing separately. I am currently a student at an online university and will need to fill out my FAFSA soon. Although my soon to be ex-husband makes about $75,000 ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +4
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    How does bankruptcy affect PLUS loan eligibility?

    I applied for a Parent PLUS loan for my son's education starting this fall. I was turned down due to filing chapter 7 four years ago this October. They said I would not be able to get funds until October of 2010. My lawyer, who helped me file chapter 7 said that he believed this was discrimination and not allowed. Is ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +4
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    How will a Parent's Financial Troubles Affect the Student's Eligibility for Student Loans?

    My 17-year-old daughter is eager to begin college. We have some difficult financial situations to contend with and could use your advice and direction. Her dad and I are divorced. I have poor credit due to excessive debt, and late payments. I am considering a debt settlement plan right now on two of my debts. I have outstanding student loans, and ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
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    How the Increase in Financial Aid Applications Will Affect You

    How the Increase in Financial Aid Applications Will Affect You
    Colleges all over the country are seeing a rise in applications for federal financial aid. In 2008, more than a million more students applied for financial aid, marking a 10.5% increase from 2007. In the first quarter of 2009, applications for financial aid are up 20.8% as compared with the first quarter of 2008. Not only are more students applying for ...
    Published almost 6 years ago | Rated: +4
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    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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
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    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 almost 2 years ago | Rated: +4
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    How to Complete the FAFSA when a Parent Didn't File her Federal Income Tax Return

    I have a problem with my FAFSA. My mom didn't file her income tax returns last year. What do I use when I fill out my FAFSA form? — Erica H. There are four common scenarios in which someone might not file a federal income tax return: 1. Not required to file. The taxpayer is not required to file a federal ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +4
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    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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
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