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If the Financial Aid Package Does Not Fit, A Request for More Aid You Should Submit

If the Financial Aid Package Does Not Fit, A Request for More Aid You Should Submit

I'm 16 years old and I'm the valedictorian of my senior graduating class in New York City. This year was a very difficult one finding the right college to go; fortunately ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 5, 2010
Secrets to Settling Defaulted Federal Student Loan Debts for Less than What You Owe

Secrets to Settling Defaulted Federal Student Loan Debts for Less than What You Owe

Your federal student loans are in default and collection agencies are calling you dozens of times a day. They are threatening to garnish your wages, offset your income tax refunds and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 30, 2010
To Cosign or Not To Cosign, That is the Question

To Cosign or Not To Cosign, That is the Question

My nephew has asked me to cosign a private student loan for college. He's on his own since he lives independently from his mother, his parents are divorced, and his father ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 28, 2010
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
Save Thousands on Your Student Loan Repayment.  Take Action July 1st.

Save Thousands on Your Student Loan Repayment. Take Action July 1st.

On July 1st, borrowers who have federal loans with a variable interest rate will be able to take advantage of some of the lowest interest rates in the history of student ...

Published June 21, 2010
Limit Total Student Loan Debt to Less Than $10,000 per Year to Avoid Overborrowing

Limit Total Student Loan Debt to Less Than $10,000 per Year to Avoid Overborrowing

I have twin daughters going to college in the fall. The annual tab (for both girls) after scholarships will be $58,000 in loans per year for four years. We have saved ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 14, 2010
Which 529 College Savings Plans are Reported on the FAFSA?

Which 529 College Savings Plans are Reported on the FAFSA?

On the FAFSA we listed the value of all three of our children's 529 plan accounts, not just our oldest son's 529 plan. There was no way to differentiate the amounts ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 7, 2010
Reporting of Untaxed Social Security Benefits on the FAFSA and the Impact of IRS Filing Extensions on FAFSA Verification

Reporting of Untaxed Social Security Benefits on the FAFSA and the Impact of IRS Filing Extensions on FAFSA Verification

I am a college student with a severe congenital physical disability. If I apply for and am granted SSI benefits, will receiving these benefits cause my family's EFC to increase? I ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 31, 2010
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
How are Trust Funds Reported on the FAFSA?

How are Trust Funds Reported on the FAFSA?

Each of my parents left me a trust. From each trust I am entitled to the interest income and $5,000 annually. The remainder of the principal stays in the trusts until ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 24, 2010
What Can You Do If Your Parents Won't File the FAFSA or Help Pay for College?

What Can You Do If Your Parents Won't File the FAFSA or Help Pay for College?

Find out if there are financial aid opportunities for students whose parents can't pay for college.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 14, 2010
Do Outstanding Loans Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid?

Do Outstanding Loans Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid?

How do outstanding loans affect future financial aid awards for my children? Is there any advantage to trying to pay them back early (other than less interest)? Are they counted towards ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 10, 2010
How to Choose the Best Education Loans

How to Choose the Best Education Loans

Know your student loan options before you borrow.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 30, 2010
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
Congress Proposes Allowing Private Student Loans to be Discharged in Bankruptcy

Congress Proposes Allowing Private Student Loans to be Discharged in Bankruptcy

Congress is proposing to allow borrowers to discharge private student loans in bankruptcy. Under current law, education loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy except in extreme circumstances. The US Bankruptcy Code ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 22, 2010
Education Lender Agrees to Pay Borrowers $9.75 Million in Class-Action Lawsuit Settlement

Education Lender Agrees to Pay Borrowers $9.75 Million in Class-Action Lawsuit Settlement

If you borrowed federal student loans from NorthStar Education Finance, you may get a small refund as part of a class action settlement concerning NorthStar Education Finance's suspension of its T.H.E. ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 21, 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
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
Treatment of Grandparent Assets Held by a Parent on the FAFSA

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 5, 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