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  • +4

    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 interest rate of 6.8 percent for the life of the loan. Previously, Stafford loans had a variable interest rate that was adjusted every July and a lower interest rate while ...
    Published over 7 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +4

    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 York state specific with the response. — T.G. A life estate involves an irrevocable grant of a future interest in a property while reserving a present interest in the property. ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +12

    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 all. He is disabled but was denied disability when he applied. We don't mind waiting if it would be better to wait. — Sarah K. Your fears are justified. When ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +4

    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 over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +6

    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 a Roth IRA. Such conversion is included in my adjusted gross income, but is not really spendable income to support my son's education. If I make such a conversion, would ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +20

    Bi-Partisanship in the Name of Debt

    Bi-Partisanship in the Name of Debt
    Let’s start out with a riddle: What’s something the majority students have, but don’t want? Here’s a hint: the answer is as simple and, unfortunately, as American, as apple pie. The answer? Debt. Regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, political party (the list goes on and on), the majority of college graduates now have student debt – 58 percent, according ...
    Published 8 months ago | Rated: +20
  • +4

    Is the Pell Grant Reduced When the Student Wins a Private Scholarship?

    My daughter has been approved for a Pell Grant. She recently received notification that she has won a $1,000 scholarship. Will the scholarship reduce her Pell Grant? — Virginia M. The Pell Grant is never reduced when the recipient wins a private scholarship. Some forms of need-based financial aid are reduced when a student wins a scholarship. These include federal campus-based ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +11

    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 aid for my son's education. What should I know and is there something I should do to improve my odds of getting what other typically debt-ridden families in our tax ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +5

    Should Students and Parents Who are Close to Retirement Borrow to Pay for College?

    I am 47 and recently divorced single parent of two children, ages 7 and 8. I spent the last 9 years as a stay-at-home parent. As a result of the divorce, I am re-entering the job market. My last position, as a training and development specialist for a bank, earned roughly $45,000. It has been somewhat difficult obtaining full-time employment and ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +3

    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 on the FAFSA as parent assets. The amounts would be vastly different because most of my son's money will have been used by the time my youngest starts college. We'll ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +5

    Should Borrowers Pay Off Old Student Loans to Qualify for the New 10% Version of Income-Based Repayment?

    I want to qualify for the "pay as you earn plan" 10% income-based repayment plan. I have $80,000 in Direct Loans from 2010-2012. I have a balance of $2,800 on an old student loan from the 1990's. Should I pay off the old balance before a certain date to make sure and qualify for the "pay as you earn plan"? Or ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +14

    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 more than 17% compared with last year. As a result, families are becoming more cost conscious in their college choices. Family estimates of the total cost of attendance increased 17% ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +14
  • +1

    Combat Pay and Other Untaxed Income

    Combat Pay and Other Untaxed Income
    This page discusses the reporting of combat pay, housing allowances and substistence allowances on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It also mentions other pitfalls encountered by veterans, such as confusing aspects of the W-2 statement. Combat pay, although excluded from gross income, is still considered during the need analysis for federal student aid purposes. It is reported as ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +1
  • +1

    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 to pay interest on interest. I'm thinking about declining it and mailing it back to the school I attend. Will I be offered any other financial aid or is this ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +1
  • +7

    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 was operating on half of my income. My husband's work status is the same, so we are at three-quarters. This year I do not have a job. Is there any ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +10

    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 to help students and parents make informed decisions concerning the tradeoffs between college affordability and college quality. It will also help students and their families make smarter borrowing decisions. Students ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +6

    Who Completes the FAFSA When a Student Lives with his Grandparents?

    My grandson lives with his grandfather and me. His parents do not support him other than providing medical insurance. He will claim himself on his 2012 income tax and his parents financials are not available to us. How do we handle completing the FAFSA and applying for scholarships, etc.? I am more than willing to provide our information if that is ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +6
  • +10

    Top Strategies for Maximizing Aid Eligibility

    Top Strategies for Maximizing Aid Eligibility
    These strategies will have the largest impact on need-based aid eligibility. By implementing these strategies, you will be able to maximize your aid eligibility and therefore have a chance of receiving more financial aid. None of these strategies are guaranteed, but they do offer the best chance. 1. Save money in the parent's name, not the child's name. Or use a ...
    Published 5 months ago | Rated: +10
  • +7

    The Procrastinator's Guide to Financial Aid

    When it comes to financial aid, late is often too late. Funds for next year are already allotted, and your school simply has nothing more to give. But don't give up until you consider these options: Step 1: Check out your school's Web site. Many sites provide information about the school's late applicant policies, additional suggestions for late applicants and links ...
    Published almost 6 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +14

    The Elephant in the Room

    The Elephant in the Room
    Students, you and your parents are so focused on the standard college questions – what school, what degree, how to pay for it – that you overlook the elephant in the room. An Elephant in the room? Yes, the educational Elephant who can cost you and your families thousands of dollars, unnecessarily. Here’s where the elephant raises his costly tusks. You ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +14
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