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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Does Parental Support Affect Independent Student Status?

Does Parental Support Affect Independent Student Status?

I am 19 and have a baby (1 month old) and I am living with my boyfriend and his mother. I am confused about whose tax information to use on the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 4, 2013
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
Does Cash from the Sale of the Family Home Count as an Asset on the FAFSA?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 11, 2013
Financial Aid for Minority Students

Financial Aid for Minority Students

Check out financial aid opportunities for minority students.

Published August 24, 2015
Impact of the Super Committee Stalemate on Federal Student Financial Aid

Impact of the Super Committee Stalemate on Federal Student Financial Aid

On November 21, 2011 the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the super committee, announced that it had failed to reach an agreement to reduce the deficit. The ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 22, 2011
If a Student's Parents Are Not Married, How Does the Student Complete the FAFSA?

If a Student's Parents Are Not Married, How Does the Student Complete the FAFSA?

I live with my mother and my step-father but they are not married. They keep their finances separate and, other than helping my mom to pay for the house I live ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 28, 2011
Is the Pell Grant Reduced When the Student Wins a Private Scholarship?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 27, 2012
When is Real Estate Reported as a Business Asset on the FAFSA?

When is Real Estate Reported as a Business Asset on the FAFSA?

For parents who are self-employed and own real estate as one of their businesses, should they list the real estate assets as their assets (since they are self-employed) or as business ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 3, 2012
When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

I have an old UTMA account for my daughter with Janus, with approximately $5,000 in gains. I opened this before they even had 529 college savings plans. I was thinking of ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 6, 2012
Borrowers with a Recent Bankruptcy are Ineligible for the Federal PLUS Loan

Borrowers with a Recent Bankruptcy are Ineligible for the Federal PLUS Loan

Borrowers who have had a bankruptcy discharge in the last five years are generally not eligible for the Federal PLUS loan. They remain eligible, however, for Federal Stafford, Federal Perkins and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 16, 2012
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
Are You a College Drop-Out Risk?

Are You a College Drop-Out Risk?

Before you borrow, make sure it will pay off in the future.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published July 2, 2013
Is There a Better Option for Financing a College Education than a Parent PLUS Loan?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 19, 2012
How to Minimize the Impact of a Student's Brokerage Account on Financial Aid

How to Minimize the Impact of a Student's Brokerage Account on Financial Aid

We have an UTMA mutual fund for our son who is a senior in high school (17 years old). It is approximately $19,000 and was intended to help pay for college ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 26, 2012
Should Students and Parents Who are Close to Retirement Borrow to Pay for College?

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, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 16, 2012
Fastweb Wins Award for Financial Literacy Education

Fastweb Wins Award for Financial Literacy Education

For nearly 17 years, Fastweb has worked to become the leading online resource for paying and preparing for college, and recently, our site soared to new heights with the EIFLE Award! ...

Published April 23, 2012
Can You Appeal for More Student Financial Aid in the Middle of the Academic Year?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 26, 2011
The Beginner’s Guide to Financial Aid

The Beginner’s Guide to Financial Aid

Get the most out of your financial aid application by knowing more about how the process works.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published March 31, 2016
Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

I'm a first year and I'm searching for student loans with my mom and I'm not sure which one is the best one I should take out. Do you have any ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 11, 2012
Public College Tuition Increased by 15% Last Year from Two Years Ago

Public College Tuition Increased by 15% Last Year from Two Years Ago

Nationwide, in-state tuition at 4-year public colleges increased by 15.0% from 2008-09 to 2010-11, according to updated college affordability data released by the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday, June 12, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 13, 2012