Home / Financial Aid / Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

Displaying 261 - 280 of 334
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?

I am in kind of a bad situation. I had a bit of personal problems and had to move out of my house and no longer live with my parents. Unfortunately ...

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
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
How Will The Student Loan Bill Affect Students?

How Will The Student Loan Bill Affect Students?

The US House of Representatives approved the student loan and health care reform legislation on Sunday night, March 21, 2010, by a vote of 220 to 211. No Republicans voted in ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 23, 2010
How Does Income Tax Filing Status Affect Student Aid?

How Does Income Tax Filing Status Affect Student Aid?

My married parents want to file their income tax returns as married filing separately. If the parent with the lower income claims me as a dependent, does that mean that I ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 22, 2010
How to Report Stocks on the FAFSA

How to Report Stocks on the FAFSA

I am a single mom and my son will be entering his freshman year in college this fall. The FAFSA application asks for the gross income from last year's tax return. ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 15, 2010
College Board Simplifies CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Form

College Board Simplifies CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Form

While the US Department of Education is working on simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the College Board has already been taking similar steps toward simplifying the CSS/Financial ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 10, 2010
Death and Disability May Now Get You Out of Paying Loans

Death and Disability May Now Get You Out of Paying Loans

According to a press release from Securian Financial Group, Sallie Mae is adding a total and permanent disability discharge on its Smart Option private student loan. This discharge will forgive the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 8, 2010
Short Answers to A Few Common FAFSA Questions

Short Answers to A Few Common FAFSA Questions

Does checking the Federal Work Study box on the FAFSA affect other forms of financial aid that a college might award, such as scholarships or other government aid? Is it wise ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 7, 2010