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How is a Life Estate Treated on the FAFSA? Do the Restrictions Matter?

How is a Life Estate Treated on the FAFSA? Do the Restrictions Matter?

How is a life estate reflected on the FAFSA? A student's parent has a deed with student's grandparent having life use of the property through a life estate. Please be New ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 4, 2013
Are You Really Paying More for College?

Are You Really Paying More for College?

For years, the college cost inflation rate has been steadily rising by roughly 7% each year. The 2010-2011 academic year is no exception. According to College Board, who recently released their ...

By Kathryn Knight
Published November 12, 2010
Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for Job Loss or Other Changes in Income

Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for Job Loss or Other Changes in Income

I lost my teaching job last June and got a half year's salary instead of a full year. I did not get a job in the fall, so our household income ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 17, 2011
How the Increase in Financial Aid Applications Will Affect You

How the Increase in Financial Aid Applications Will Affect You

More students means more financial aid applications.

By Kathryn Knight
Published January 6, 2009
Cost of Raising Children from Birth to High School Graduation Up 4.4% to $221,190

Cost of Raising Children from Birth to High School Graduation Up 4.4% to $221,190

The US Department of Agriculture estimates that middle-income two-parent families will spend $221,190 in 2008 dollars to raise a child born in 2008 from birth to high school graduation. The cost ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 25, 2009
Pay Down Mortgage or Contribute to Son's 529?

Pay Down Mortgage or Contribute to Son's 529?

I just sold my house and moved in with my new husband. We have three children between us (two are his) and are looking for a bigger house. Would it make ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 14, 2009
Repayment Begins for Students Who Graduated in May and June

Repayment Begins for Students Who Graduated in May and June

Students who graduated in May or June are nearing the end of the six-month grace period. The first monthly loan payment is usually due in November or December. Don't Be Delinquent ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 26, 2011
Pros and Cons of Using Retirement Funds to Pay for College Costs

Pros and Cons of Using Retirement Funds to Pay for College Costs

Why should one NOT use retirement funds to pay for a child's college costs? — Diane H. There are two main reasons why families shouldn't use retirement plan funds to pay ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 3, 2011
The Procrastinator's Guide to Financial Aid

The Procrastinator's Guide to Financial Aid

Stop procrastinating; fill out your financial aid forms now.

By Kay Peterson, Ph. D.
Published April 28, 2016
To Convert or Not To Convert; How Does a Roth IRA Conversion Affect Student Aid?

To Convert or Not To Convert; How Does a Roth IRA Conversion Affect Student Aid?

I am retired with no income from employment and a moderate amount of investment income, $20,000 to $30,000 a year. I am contemplating a partial conversion from my traditional IRA to ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 31, 2011
Do Twins Get More Aid? If a Student Gets Married, Does the Financial Aid Change?

Do Twins Get More Aid? If a Student Gets Married, Does the Financial Aid Change?

My boyfriend and I are afraid that if we marry my annual gross income ($47,000) will prevent him from getting federal grants and loans for college. He has no income at ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 20, 2010
Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size

Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size

Get the FAQs on the FAFSA.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 25, 2010
Questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Having grown up with depression era parents, I've never been someone that liked to have debt. I'm told that avoiding debt will not work in my favor when applying for financial ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 23, 2009
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
Which are Better, US Savings Bonds or 529 College Savings Plans?

Which are Better, US Savings Bonds or 529 College Savings Plans?

We have a son who is going to be in the 10th grade this year. We also have twins who are 3.5 years old. I am trying to understand where to ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 6, 2012
Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

Advice on federal and private student loans.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 11, 2012
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
Survey Says: Families Perceive College Costs as Increasing by 17% Compared with Last Year

Survey Says: Families Perceive College Costs as Increasing by 17% Compared with Last Year

Sallie Mae and Gallup just released the results of their third annual survey of how American families pay for college. The survey found that families perceived college costs as increasing by ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 9, 2010
Wells Fargo Adds Death and Disability Discharges to Private Student Loans

Wells Fargo Adds Death and Disability Discharges to Private Student Loans

Wells Fargo announced on December 17, 2010 that it is adding death and disability discharges to its private student loan products. When the student borrower dies or becomes totally and permanently ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 18, 2010
How to Minimize the Impact of a Student's Brokerage Account on Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 26, 2012