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Browse Financial Aid Articles

  • +4

    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 about 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +9

    Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size

    Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size
    My sister is in college and she applied for financial aid so my dad already has a pin. Should I create a new pin or use the same one? — Perla C. A PIN is used to sign the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) electronically. Each person signing the form must have their own PIN. Your father can use ...
    Published 3 months ago | Rated: +9
  • +5

    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 disabled, the remaining debt will be discharged. This new policy applies to all Wells Fargo private student loans, including loans with a cosigner. Total and permanent disability is defined as ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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 5 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +10

    Best Colleges for Low Income Students

    Best Colleges for Low Income Students
    Many students, whether low-income or not, take a look at the full sticker price of attending certain colleges and find it’s impossible to pay that much. What students may not take into account at that moment is the net price, which means the total cost after merit and financial aid are applied. When net price is figured, some of the most ...
    Published 7 months ago | Rated: +10
  • +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 almost 3 years ago | Rated: +10
  • Rate

    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 about 6 years ago | Rate This
  • +6

    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 park my savings for elder son and the little ones. I heard if we have 529 plans, they will be included in financial aid calculations and this is not a ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +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 almost 5 years ago | Rated: +1
  • +5

    A Prospective Student is Ineligible for Financial Aid Because of a Student Loan Default

    I gave college a shot when I was 18 and dropped out due to major health problems. Student loans obviously did not disappear because of this and I have been struggling with them ever since. Now at age 24 I finally feel that I am healthy enough to give school a second try. I thought I had every detail worked out ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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 about 8 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +11

    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 strong bipartisan support, keeps the interest rate at 3.4 percent for new loans in 2012-13, instead of allowing it to revert to 6.8 percent. The Student Loan Interest Rate Extension ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +7

    Year-End Financial Aid Moves

    As the year draws to a close, there are several steps families can take to get more need-based and merit-based financial aid. Prepay Next Year's Tuition Taxpayers can claim one of two education tax credits based on amounts paid for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition and fees. These are the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Does Cash from the Sale of the Family Home Count as an Asset on the FAFSA?

    We just sold our house and have not yet found our new house and have a lot of cash on hand. We will use the cash to buy a home in the next couple of months. The cash is a false representation of our savings, but since we don't have a mortgage, it looks like we do. We need to keep ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +11

    Tips for a Teacher on Managing Excessive Debt

    I have a dire question that needs urgent results. I took out a loan in college (undergraduate). I was foolish and took out the maximum loan amount that I could each time. Upon graduating, I moved to another state and began my teaching career. In the beginning years it was hard for me to make payments and I made bad choices ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +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 over 5 years ago | Rated: +14
  • +6

    What Do You Do When Income or an Asset Isn't Really Your Money?

    I am a disabled parent who hasn't worked since 2007. I am currently on long term disability and have been ruled disabled by the Social Security Administration. My child is heading off to college in the fall and we are working on his FAFSA. My Social Security came through in late November in a large lump sum due to back dating. ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +5

    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 plan, however, the capital gains from selling the investments can hurt the student's eligibility for need-based financial aid. Capital gains occur when you sell an asset that has appreciated in ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +7

    Vietnam Era Veteran Needs Help Paying for Graduate School

    I will soon be 60 and have returned to school to get a Master's degree in Psychology as I could not get a job here with a BA and compete with younger people. I have used up my GI bill (Vietnam era Navy vet), received a loan for money for school, but have to live off of that as well as ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +3

    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 as far as financial aid grants go to max out on our retirement accounts and knock our family AGI down to about $30,000 or less? Or do the aid people ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +3
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