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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +5

    What Do You Do If Your Application for a FAFSA PIN is Rejected?

    If you get an email message that says "Your request for a Federal Student Aid PIN cannot be processed because the Social Security Number (SSN), name, or date of birth that you provided on your PIN application does not match your information on file at the Social Security Administration (SSA)... If you are sure that the SSN, name, and date of ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +3

    How Accurate are the Net Price Figures from Colleges and College Navigator?

    How believeable and reliable are the net price values quoted on the College Navigator web site? My granddaughter is interested in two public universities, one in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota. Each has an online net price calculator. The Wisconsin university is $13,948 and the Minnesota university is $18,318. But on the College Navigator web site the costs are $14,063 and ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +8

    Can a Parent Count a Child in Household Size and Also Report Amounts Paid in Child Support on the FAFSA?

    I am the custodial parent for my son and college-bound daughter. It seems like the form assumes that only non-custodial parents pay child support! However, I still pay their mother child support of over $1,600/month (they are with her slightly less than half the time). Do I report those child support payments on the FAFSA where it asks for "child support ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +7

    Congress Proposes Cutting Student Financial Aid in FY2012 Federal Education Budget

    The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are considering proposals to cut student financial aid in the FY2012 federal education budget. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee with oversight over education spending, released draft legislation (H.R. 3070) on Friday, September 30, 2011, which includes several changes to student financial aid for college. The legislation was referred ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +11

    Pros and Cons of Using Retirement Funds to Pay for College Costs

    Why should one NOT use retirement funds to pay for a child's college costs? — Diane H. There are two main reasons why families shouldn't use retirement plan funds to pay for college. The first reason is the financial impact of taking a distribution from a retirement plan to pay for college. The financial impact includes both the tax liability and ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +18

    Top Ten Myths About Scholarships

    Top Ten Myths About Scholarships
    There are many myths about who wins private scholarships and the benefits of winning scholarships. These myths can be harmful if they give students and their families unrealistic expectations about their ability to win scholarships. Some myths cause students to underestimate their eligibility for scholarships, discouraging them from applying for scholarships. Other myths cause students and parents to overestimate their eligibility ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +18
  • +8

    Can You Appeal for More Student Financial Aid in the Middle of the Academic Year?

    My husband lost his job recently. My oldest son did not qualify for student aid for college this year except for federal loans. Is there any way my son could now receive financial aid until my husband finds a new job? — Sonja R. Ask the college for a professional judgment review. Some colleges call it a special circumstances review or ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +4

    Will Filing Income Tax Returns as Married Filing Separately Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

    My husband and I separated last year and are living at separate addresses. We have not filed for divorce yet or a formal separation. We are considering filing our taxes as married filing separately. I am currently a student at an online university and will need to fill out my FAFSA soon. Although my soon to be ex-husband makes about $75,000 ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +9

    Completing the FAFSA When the Student's Parents Have a Legal Separation

    My parents aren't divorced but are legally separated and have been for about ten years. My mother is unable to remember where the papers for their separation are. I was wondering if I have to put my father's information on the FAFSA even though my mother is my primary care-giver. (I spend all 365 days a year with her.) I don't ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +13

    If I Stop Paying My Student Loans, Will the Default Yield a Reasonable Settlement?

    I would like to know what will happen if I stop paying my student loans. I have never been unemployed and don't plan to be, but my loan payments are over $700 a month and that is unreasonable (that's over half of my monthly salary). I have tried three different jobs since graduating in the hopes of making more money, but ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +6

    U.S. Department of Education Seeks Ideas from Students, Parents and Educators on How To Improve Financial Aid Award Letters

    Public Meeting The U.S. Department of Education is holding a public meeting on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, to discuss ways to improve financial aid award letters. The goal is to develop recommendations for making financial aid award letters easier to understand and compare. The public meeting will also help the U.S. Department of Education create a recommended model for financial ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +8

    Students Lose Financial Aid for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

    I have been attending college for some time now. Ever since my mom passed away I have been really shaking with some of my classes. Last semester I did decent: I got an A, two Cs and a D. But my appeal for financial aid got denied. I had to pay out of pocket for the spring semester and I won't ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • -22

    PSST! Want to Graduate from College with an Undergraduate Degree and No Debt?

    A recent research report analyzes the characteristics of the 1.7 million undergraduate students who were able to graduate in 2007-08 without any student loan debt. About two fifths of undergraduate students graduate with no debt and three fifths graduate with less than $10,000 in student loan debt. This analysis yields seven practical tips on what you should do if you want ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: -22
  • +4

    Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home?

    Ask Kantro: Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home? Is home equity considered an asset when determining eligibility for aid? — Steve The net home equity of the family's principal place of residence (the family home) is not reported as an asset on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +6

    When Does Repayment Begin on a Subsidized Loan?

    When does a student have to start paying back a subsidized loan? — A.A. If the loan is a subsidized Stafford loan, repayment begins 6 months after graduating from college or dropping below half-time enrollment status. If the loan is a Perkins loan, repayment begins 9 months after graduating from college or dropping below half-time enrollment status. The 6 or 9 ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +11

    Dealing with the Debt Deal and Downgrade: Practical Tips for Students and their Families

    Title: Dealing with the Debt Deal and Downgrade: Practical Tips for Students and their Families Standard & Poor's (S&P) downgraded US long-term debt one notch from AAA to AA+ after the stock market closed on Friday, August 5, 2011. This is the first time the United States has lost its AAA rating. The downgrade triggered a panic sell-off when the ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +6

    When Can a Student's Grandparents Substitute for the Parents on Financial Aid Forms?

    If a student lives with a grandparent, is there any way the student can use the grandparent's income tax information on her FAFSA? I have lived with my grandmother for all 17 years of my life. My parents currently pay a small amount of child support to her, but that is the only financial support that I receive from them. My ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +12

    Congress Raises Debt Ceiling, with Shifts and Cuts in Student Aid Funding

    Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 on Tuesday, August 2, 2011, raising the debt ceiling at the last minute. The debt deal cuts some student loan benefits, especially for graduate and professional students, but avoids a more severe cut in government grants for undergraduate students. The Budget Control Act of 2011 passed the US House of Representatives by a ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +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 about 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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 about 3 years ago | Rated: +5
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