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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Student Credit Cards

Student Credit Cards

You see the offers everywhere, free duffel bag for signing up for this credit card, free water bottle, campus gear and sometimes even free money. Before you go signing on the ...

By Leah Westfall
Published July 28, 2011
Can a Stepdaughter be Counted in the Household If She Lives with the Other Parent?

Can a Stepdaughter be Counted in the Household If She Lives with the Other Parent?

My stepdaughter used my husband's tax return to file her FAFSA because her mother had said that his taxes needed to be used because he claims her on his income tax ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 25, 2011
Facing the Prospect of High Student Loan Debt at a Prestigious College

Facing the Prospect of High Student Loan Debt at a Prestigious College

I graduated from high school with honors in June and have been accepted to a prestigious private college, where I will be majoring in computer science and math. The college awarded ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 18, 2011
Consequences for Student Financial Aid If Congress Doesn't Raise the Debt Ceiling

Consequences for Student Financial Aid If Congress Doesn't Raise the Debt Ceiling

The game of chicken being played out in Washington, DC, may have serious consequences for student financial aid as well as the rest of the economy. Congress and the White House ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 14, 2011
Does a Parent's Credit History Affect the Student's Eligibility for Loans and Other Aid?

Does a Parent's Credit History Affect the Student's Eligibility for Loans and Other Aid?

My parents have a Federal Direct PLUS Loan they got while I was an undergraduate student several years ago. Due to their current financial hardship, they haven't been keeping up with ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 11, 2011
How Can I Fill the Gap Between Financial Aid and My Ability to Pay?

How Can I Fill the Gap Between Financial Aid and My Ability to Pay?

What to do when the school you plan to attend practices financial aid gapping.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 3, 2011
US Department of Education Publishes College Cost and Net Price Rankings

US Department of Education Publishes College Cost and Net Price Rankings

As required by Congress, the US Department of Education is now publishing lists that rank the most and least expensive colleges. Colleges are ranked according to tuition and fees as well ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 1, 2011
Are There Any Fees for Filing the FAFSA?

Are There Any Fees for Filing the FAFSA?

Is there a fee to complete the FAFSA and if so, how much? — T. Smith There is no fee to file the FAFSA. As the name suggests, the Free Application ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 27, 2011
Does Filing a FAFSA Obligate You in Any Way? Are Parents Responsible for Repaying a Child's Student Loans?

Does Filing a FAFSA Obligate You in Any Way? Are Parents Responsible for Repaying a Child's Student Loans?

I have a question about filling out a FAFSA form for my child. If we fill out the form and my child is granted a loan for college, will the parents ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 18, 2011
Are There Any Loan Forgiveness Programs for Social Workers, Teachers and Other Public Service Jobs?

Are There Any Loan Forgiveness Programs for Social Workers, Teachers and Other Public Service Jobs?

Are you familiar with any programs that could assist a low-income social worker who has used up his hardship deferments? Any assistance would be appreciated. I'm in a low-paying county, being ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 13, 2011
How Does Bankruptcy Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

How Does Bankruptcy Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

How does a chapter 13 bankruptcy affect financial aid? Would it be difficult to get financial aid for my child because my husband and I filed chapter 13 about 2 years ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 6, 2011
Should Parents Pay Off Credit Cards Before Applying for College Loans and Other Aid?

Should Parents Pay Off Credit Cards Before Applying for College Loans and Other Aid?

Why is it better for parents to pay off credit cards (if one can) before obtaining loans for a child for college? — Diane H. Most forms of consumer debt, such ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 30, 2011
How Should Divorced Parents Split a Child's College Costs?

How Should Divorced Parents Split a Child's College Costs?

I am the custodial parent for my daughter who will go to college this fall. It will be her first year. My income was reported on the FAFSA. This included child ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 23, 2011
Does Consolidating Student Loans Save Money Like a Refinance?

Does Consolidating Student Loans Save Money Like a Refinance?

I have a question concerning consolidating my federal loans. I have some that are subsidized and some that are unsubsidized. Can I combine these at a lower interest rate? I have ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 16, 2011
How To Ask Friends and Family for Money for a Child's College Savings Plan

How To Ask Friends and Family for Money for a Child's College Savings Plan

In a Fastweb survey of high school and college students about preferred holiday gifts, more than half of the respondents said that they were hoping for money for college. But asking ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 12, 2011
How Does a Parent Enrolling in College Affect the Child's Financial Aid?

How Does a Parent Enrolling in College Affect the Child's Financial Aid?

My daughter is hoping to attend a private college next year. Of course, we will be applying for financial aid and as many scholarships as we can find! My husband works ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 9, 2011
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
Should I Work My Way Through College or Quit My Job to Enroll Full-Time?

Should I Work My Way Through College or Quit My Job to Enroll Full-Time?

I am 26 and looking to start attending school full time this fall. I am also taking some summer classes at a community college to get all the credits I can ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 25, 2011
How Do I Become Independent on the FAFSA If I Am Under Age 24?

How Do I Become Independent on the FAFSA If I Am Under Age 24?

If my son applies for public assistance and does his own financial aid, will he be able to apply as independent next year? In addition, (assuming he's able to) would I ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 17, 2011
How to Minimize Student Loan Debt

How to Minimize Student Loan Debt

More students graduate each year with excessive student loan debt.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 11, 2011