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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +8

    When must a Non-Custodial Parent Count a Child in Household Size?

    I am remarried and my husband pays child support for his two children that live with their mother. They pass the support test. Do we include his children in our household size as well as report the amount he pays for child support for them? If it's only one or the other, which is more financial beneficial from a FAFSA standpoint? ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    How Does a Pending Foreclosure or Short Sale Affect Financial Aid?

    How do we answer the question "Do you own your home" on financial aid forms when we are in pre-foreclosure? We are not yet in active foreclosure, but are several years in arrears on our mortgage as we are significantly underwater on our loans and have been unsuccessful so far in getting a satisfactory modification. To that end, we just retained ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +5
  • +12

    Impact of a Government Shutdown on Student Financial Aid

    Impact of a Government Shutdown on Student Financial Aid
    If Congress fails to pass legislation funding the federal government, the federal government will shut down and more than 800,000 government employees will be furloughed. The impact on federal student aid, however, will be minimal. During a government shutdown government employees who are considered "essential" will continue to work. This includes personnel who are critical for national security and the safety ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +19

    How to Evaluate Financial Aid Award Letters with Missing Tuition and Grant Information

    We have a dilemma here. My son has been accepted by five colleges: four public colleges and one private college. The private school is the only one that is showing us the "sticker price." The rest, while they have sent aid packages, are not firm on what their fees are for the upcoming fall semester or academic year. The deadline to ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +8

    People Retiring with Student Loans May Save Money with Income-Based Repayment

    I'm 68 years old, have worked for the last thirteen years in a state psychiatric hospital and after consolidating all my loans, have never missed a payment to Direct Student Loan in the last ten years. My original paper work says that I will need to make payments until 2031, when I'll be 88. I would like to think about retiring ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +4

    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 super committee was charged with cutting the budget deficit at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. One side was unwilling to increase revenues while the other side was ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +21

    Finding Funding on Campus

    Finding Funding on Campus
    By now, you’re probably fully geared up for second semester. But, are you fully prepared to pay for this – not to mention future semesters – as well? Probably not. In fact, most students shudder at hearing “financial aid” and why wouldn't you? It’s confusing, intimidating and, as a result, you likely avoid the topic at all costs. However, avoiding the ...
    Published 3 months ago | Rated: +21
  • +1

    Paying for Tuition with a Credit Card or an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

    I am a graduate school student at a university where subsidized loans are no longer an option. Only unsubsidized. I am now faced with a decision: which would be a better option for me to use to pay for my tuition this fall, taking out unsubsidized loans or putting it on my credit card (9.9% interest)? — B.R. Subsidized Stafford loans ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +1
  • +23

    10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders

    10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders
    Filling out financial aid forms is challenging and a task, to say the least. But don’t rush the process – any mistakes can cause serious delays in the process or, worse, disqualify you all together. Though these seem like common sense-covered areas, the following are errors that students frequently make when filling out financial aid forms. Before submitting any financial aid ...
    Published 2 months ago | Rated: +23
  • +9

    Why Do Financial Aid Application Forms Use Last Year's Income?

    Why do the government and colleges use last year's income to determine financial aid for the current year? Our financial situation has changed, my husband was laid off last year but our FAFSA looks okay because of his severance pay. We need financial aid help in order to help our daughter who wants to attend college in the fall. How can ...
    Published 12 months ago | Rated: +9
  • +8

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

    I'm a soon-to-be college freshman. My tuition is close to $40,000 but financial aid only covers $19,000. My mother is a single parent making only $18,000 a year and I was wondering if there are any other options I can get besides loans that financial aid can help me with. — D.V. Something doesn't add up. The amount of financial aid ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +4

    Summary of President Obama's Budget Blueprint for Federal Student Aid

    This article summarizes President Obama's FY2013 budget proposals for the federal student aid programs. Most of these proposals will require Congressional approval before they can be implemented. The combined cost of the President's proposals are in excess of $10 billion per year. Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the education appendix to the FY2013 budget, as released on ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +5

    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 the payments. I also had some college loans which I am paying regularly without problems. I would like to know if my parents' financial situation will impact my credit, since ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +20

    Making Smarter Student Loan Decisions

    Making Smarter Student Loan Decisions
    It’s no secret that college is getting more expensive by the minute. For instance, the cost of education at a university rose from 23 to 38 percent between 2001 and 2010. That’s a huge climb! In attempts to make college possible, many students take out student loans in pursuit of their higher education. While an investment in education is one of ...
    Published 10 months ago | Rated: +20
  • +7

    How Will the Election Results Affect Student Financial Aid?

    President Obama was reelected on November 6, 2012, but control of Congress remains split. Republicans retained control of the House and Democrats retained control of the Senate. The Democrats may have gained two seats in the Senate, but they still do not have a supermajority. A supermajority (a three fifths majority) is required in the Senate to end a filibuster by ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +1

    What Income is Listed on the FAFSA when Separated Parents File a Joint Tax Return?

    I am praying that you may be able to advise me on the FAFSA application. I am a senior in high school and will file the FAFSA in January. I live with my mom. My dad moved out almost 2 years ago. As part of my parents' agreement, my dad is paying for our rent and utilities. My mom and dad ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +1
  • +10

    Student Loan Over $1 Trillion: What to Know Before You Borrow

    Student Loan Over $1 Trillion: What to Know Before You Borrow
    With National Decision Day looming, students and their parents are taking a close look at top college choices and assessing academic offerings and campus body fit. But most importantly, families are taking a look at each school’s affordability. On Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched its latest tool to help educate students and their families on the costs of borrowing ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +6

    White House Calls on Colleges to Adopt Clear College Cost and Financial Aid Disclosures

    The White House is calling on all college and university presidents to provide incoming students with clear and easy-to-understand college cost and financial aid disclosures. On June 5, 2012, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Richard Cordray and Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz hosted a roundtable with presidents of ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +6