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Will Refusing Loans Increase College Grants in the Financial Aid Package?

Will Refusing Loans Increase College Grants in the Financial Aid Package?

I filled out the FAFSA in March and recently received a letter that offered me a $3,500 unsubsidized Stafford loan. I did a little research and found out I would have ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 21, 2010
Beyond Sticker Shock - Extracurricular College Costs

Beyond Sticker Shock - Extracurricular College Costs

You've probably already calculated tuition bills and costs for room and board. Yet the hidden costs of college — from pizza to airfare, from library fines to laundry money — can ...

By Kathleen Carmichael, Ph.D.
Published June 5, 2007
Senator Al Franken Introduces Legislation to Standardize Financial Aid Award Letters

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 28, 2012
Can the FAFSA be Completed with Information from the Previous Year's Tax Returns?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 7, 2013
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
What Happens When Retirement Money isn't in a Qualified Retirement Plan?

What Happens When Retirement Money isn't in a Qualified Retirement Plan?

I am a single parent, age 56 and my daughter will be applying for college next year. I make less than $60,000, but have just over $100,000 in savings and mutual ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 25, 2013
Avoiding the Average...

Avoiding the Average...

Stop being a statistic and start getting smart about student debt.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 6, 2013
What Documentation can a College Financial Aid Administrator Request?

What Documentation can a College Financial Aid Administrator Request?

I'm an independent student who filed a 1040A last year so I was not required to answer questions about assets on the FAFSA application. I had very little income last year ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 10, 2012
Cost of Raising Children from Birth to High School Graduation Up 0.5% to $222,360

Cost of Raising Children from Birth to High School Graduation Up 0.5% to $222,360

The US Department of Agriculture estimates that middle-income two-parent families will spend $222,360 in 2009 dollars to raise a child born in 2009 from birth to high school graduation. The cost ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 28, 2010
Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for One-Time Events

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 16, 2012
Finding Funding on Campus

Finding Funding on Campus

Avoiding the topic of financial aid only makes it that much worse in the long run!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published January 29, 2014
Congress Passes One-Year Interest Rate Freeze

Congress Passes One-Year Interest Rate Freeze

Congress passed legislation on Friday, June 29, 2012 to prevent the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans to undergraduate students from doubling July 1, 2012. The last-minute legislation, which passed with ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 29, 2012
When Grandma Moves In, Does It Help or Hurt Financial Aid Eligibility?

When Grandma Moves In, Does It Help or Hurt Financial Aid Eligibility?

Grandma is moving in with her Social Security check. Does this help or hurt my FAFSA results? Does her Social Security check count towards my parents' income on the FAFSA? — ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 26, 2010
Questions about retirement plan contributions and help for a student whose brother has cancer

Questions about retirement plan contributions and help for a student whose brother has cancer

We are a family of 4 with gross income of about $58,000. With IRA and 401(k) contributions and pretax health care deductions our AGI is about $47,000. Would it benefit us ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 19, 2010
Is a Student Who is Enrolled Simultaneously in High School and College Eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid?

Is a Student Who is Enrolled Simultaneously in High School and College Eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid?

My 16-year-old son has passed an ability-to-benefit (ATB) test at a community college. He has been accepted has a regular student in a qualifying program but has not graduated from high ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 2, 2011
How Accurate are the Net Price Figures from Colleges and College Navigator?

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. ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 17, 2011
How to Pay Off $23K in Student Loans in 10 Months

How to Pay Off $23K in Student Loans in 10 Months

Find out how one recent college grad paid of all of his student loan debt in 10 months.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published January 28, 2016
Conflicting Information about Trends in Net College Costs

Conflicting Information about Trends in Net College Costs

A report released today by The Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), discusses trends in net tuition and net price at US colleges and universities. Net Tuition and Net Price ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 17, 2011
Questions about the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

Questions about the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

If you have already graduated from college, will you be affected by the new changes to student loans in the health care bill? — Lauren A. No. None of the changes ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 12, 2010
Changes in Store for Student Loan Programs

Changes in Store for Student Loan Programs

Recent changes on popular student loan programs will affect recent college graduates, incoming college freshman and parents too. Interest Rates Up As of July 1, new Stafford loans carry a fixed ...

By Stephen Borkowski
Published March 5, 2007