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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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New Husband Refuses to Help with College Costs

New Husband Refuses to Help with College Costs

I have been a single mother raising twin daughters pretty much all their life but recently (2 years ago) remarried a fairly successful man who has from day one said he ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 7, 2011
White House Releases Model Financial Aid Award Letter "Shopping Sheet"

White House Releases Model Financial Aid Award Letter "Shopping Sheet"

Photo courtesy of Department of Education.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 24, 2012
Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?

Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid; translation: free government money to help you pay for school!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 2, 2015
How Does Bankruptcy Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

How Does Bankruptcy Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

How does a chapter 13 bankruptcy affect financial aid? Would it be difficult to get financial aid for my child because my husband and I filed chapter 13 about 2 years ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 6, 2011
Can Parent PLUS Loans Get Income-Based Repayment and Loan Forgiveness?

Can Parent PLUS Loans Get Income-Based Repayment and Loan Forgiveness?

You've mentioned previously that while Parent PLUS loans are nominally eligible for public service loan forgiveness, they are not eligible for IBR or ICR, which leaves nothing left to forgive. Is ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 8, 2013
Are There Any Loan Forgiveness Programs for Social Workers, Teachers and Other Public Service Jobs?

Are There Any Loan Forgiveness Programs for Social Workers, Teachers and Other Public Service Jobs?

Are you familiar with any programs that could assist a low-income social worker who has used up his hardship deferments? Any assistance would be appreciated. I'm in a low-paying county, being ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 13, 2011
Why Do We Owe the College Money After the Student Dropped Out?

Why Do We Owe the College Money After the Student Dropped Out?

My son was awarded an amount from FAFSA and also money from the LIFE and Pell grants. We paid the remainder of his tuition out of pocket. He started his freshman ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 9, 2012
Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for One-Time Events

Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for One-Time Events

In our base year, my spouse will have a one-time job that will significantly raise our income for one year only. We have significant credit card debt and no savings for ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 16, 2012
Must a Trust Fund be Reported on the FAFSA Even If Access to the Trust is Restricted?

Must a Trust Fund be Reported on the FAFSA Even If Access to the Trust is Restricted?

I have a friend whose mother passed away two years ago, and left her some money from an insurance policy. The money is currently in trust for her with her grandmother ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 15, 2012
2016-2017 Financial Aid Deadlines

2016-2017 Financial Aid Deadlines

We've got you covered with a complete list of financial aid deadlines, state-by-state, for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published January 6, 2016
Congressman Hansen Clarke Proposes Student Loan Relief Legislation

Congressman Hansen Clarke Proposes Student Loan Relief Legislation

Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI-13) introduced the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 4170) on March 8, 2012. If enacted, this legislation will provide student loan forgiveness for federal education loans, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 12, 2012
Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 22, 2011
PSST! Want to Graduate from College with an Undergraduate Degree and No Debt?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 24, 2011
Don’t Miss Out on These 5 Financial Aid Options

Don’t Miss Out on These 5 Financial Aid Options

Know all of your financial aid options.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published April 3, 2015
3 Tips to Appeal Financial Aid Packages

3 Tips to Appeal Financial Aid Packages

Three tips to appeal a financial aid package.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published May 1, 2015
Timing of an Appeal for More Aid and Appealing the Asset Value of Unsold Real Estate

Timing of an Appeal for More Aid and Appealing the Asset Value of Unsold Real Estate

How soon after filing the FAFSA can I request a professional judgement review (without seeming overanxious)? We tried to sell our previous home last year without success. The home is vacant ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 7, 2011
Private Student Loans Add Fixed Rate Options

Private Student Loans Add Fixed Rate Options

Student loan pricing goes through cycles. When fixed interest rates are high but variable interest rates are heading downward, borrowers prefer variable interest rates. When variable interest rates are low but ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 21, 2012
When Will the Financial Aid Award Letter Arrive?

When Will the Financial Aid Award Letter Arrive?

I am new to all of this and I am wondering how soon we find out how much financial aid we will be getting. My son has been accepted at 3 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 14, 2011
Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores

Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores

What's a credit score and why should you care?

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published January 8, 2013
To Convert or Not To Convert; How Does a Roth IRA Conversion Affect Student Aid?

To Convert or Not To Convert; How Does a Roth IRA Conversion Affect Student Aid?

I am retired with no income from employment and a moderate amount of investment income, $20,000 to $30,000 a year. I am contemplating a partial conversion from my traditional IRA to ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 31, 2011