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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +7

    Financial Aid for Graduate School: Your Credit History Affect and Types of Aid

    I recently decided to go back to school for a degree in software engineering. My short terms goal after school is to apply for a job with one of the top software application companies. My long term goal is to eventually start my own business specializing in creating custom apps for businesses and/or individuals. I am in debt from previous undergraduate ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Is a 3.75% Cash-Out Refinance on a Mortgage Better than Federal Student Loans?

    I have daughter who will be attending college in the fall of 2013 (and a son in 2017). For various reasons, our savings are not sufficient to pay for college given the current costs that I see. As home mortgage refinance rates have dropped to their lowest levels in my lifetime (around 3.75%), I had the notion of conducting a refinance ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    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 for money is awkward. It feels like begging. Most people are uncomfortable asking for money, even for a good purpose. Asking for gifts of money is taboo in the United ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +2

    Does Dependency Status on Income Tax Returns Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?

    My daughter graduated from undergraduate school in May of this year. As far as student loans were concerned she was considered a dependent for the 4 years she attended there and we filed our income tax as such. However, she started graduate school in July of this year and in order to attend she had to apply for a student loan ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +6

    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 graduated from college and will soon be starting to pay back my loans. My unsubsidized loans are at 6.8% and subsidized are at 5.5%. I also have many DEAL loans, ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +25

    FAFSA Information for DACA Students

    FAFSA Information for DACA Students
    The Immigration Policy Center estimates that “approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school” annually. DACA students are defined as a subgroup of these undocumented students who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). What is Deferred Action? The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines "deferred action" as "a discretionary determination to defer a removal action of an individual ...
    Published 8 months ago | Rated: +25
  • +21

    First Lady Michelle Obama's FAFSA Completion Challenge

    First Lady Michelle Obama's FAFSA Completion Challenge
    The release of the 2015-2016 FAFSA – that’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (as if you didn’t know) – is right around the corner. On January 1, 2015, the financial aid form becomes available for the New Year. As part of her Reach Higher education initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama is calling on you to help increase the number ...
    Published 8 months ago | Rated: +21
  • +3

    Will Differences in Parent Assets Due to the Omission Sibling-Owned Custodial 529 Plan Accounts Cause Problems on the FAFSA?

    Since siblings' UTMA 529s don't get reported on the FAFSA, but the student's UTMA 529 is counted as a parent asset, each of my kids would have a different amount listed on the FAFSA as parent assets. The amounts would be vastly different because most of my son's money will have been used by the time my youngest starts college. We'll ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +3

    Does a "Safety Net" Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

    We are parents of a high school junior looking to learn about the best places to put our money for when we fill out that first FAFSA in two years. My husband insists that we have a "safety net" of at least $10,000 in an account for emergencies (like large car maintenance costs, accident deductibles, etc.). Currently that money is in ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +7

    Does Joint Repayment Obligate Spouses for Each Other's Student Loans?

    I applied to have both my husband's and my student loan debt considered in determining our payments under income-based repayment. This reduced our payments significantly. My concern is that the repayment plan selection forms have a box to check that accepts responsibility for your spouse's loan. My student loan debt is considerably higher than my husband's and should I precede him ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +14

    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 almost 4 years ago | Rated: +14
  • +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 almost 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +3

    Social Worker with Six Figure Debt Seeks Advice Handling Student Loans

    Help! I am a 24-year-old recent college graduate who is struggling to find full-time employment. I'm currently working full-time hours on a three-month contract that is going to expire at the end of the month. I received my Master's degree in Social Work and do not expect a high starting salary based upon the current market. My student loans from undergrad ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +6

    How to Deal with a Defaulted But Paid-Off Student Loan that Reappears

    Years ago, I went to a two-year school and obtained my Associate's degree. I defaulted on the loan. However, my taxes were taken years later (twice) to take care of the loan. In 1995, I enrolled at a different college and was awarded the Pell Grant. I didn't take out any more loans. I paid the difference with a scholarship from ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +7

    An Early Look at the New Income-Based Repayment Plan

    A new version of income-based repayment (IBR) was enacted by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, but will be effective only for new borrowers on or after July 1, 2014. President Obama has proposed fast-tracking the new IBR plan to make it available to more students sooner. This article presents a sneak peak at the details of the ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +5

    Why is Parental Information Required on the FAFSA for a Self-Sufficient Student?

    Why do we have to file the FAFSA when my daughter supports herself? My daughter has not lived with me or my husband for a year and a half while she’s been attending college. We do not support her financially, we do not pay for her education nor do we even send her money. She is completely self-sufficient, a fact of ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +4

    How will a Parent's Financial Troubles Affect the Student's Eligibility for Student Loans?

    My 17-year-old daughter is eager to begin college. We have some difficult financial situations to contend with and could use your advice and direction. Her dad and I are divorced. I have poor credit due to excessive debt, and late payments. I am considering a debt settlement plan right now on two of my debts. I have outstanding student loans, and ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +23

    Have You Considered Consolidating?

    Have You Considered Consolidating?
    No matter what type of loan you take out, it comes with its own interest rate. It can seem like a riddle when trying to keep track of your loans and payments. When it comes to loans, consolidation can be a great option. In consolidating your loans, it can become easier to handle because, essentially, your multiple loans will become one ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +23
  • +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 4 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +5

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

    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 4 years ago | Rated: +5
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