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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +7

    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 FAFSA. My boyfriend's mother is in Section 8 housing and put me in it and in her food stamps. — J.F. A student who has one or more dependent children ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +18

    How to Minimize Student Loan Debt

    How to Minimize Student Loan Debt
    This article discusses the need to minimize student loan debt and provides more than a dozen practical tips on ways to reduce borrowing for college costs. Try to avoid overborrowing for your college education. Do not treat loan limits as targets. A good rule of thumb is that your total education debt for your entire college education should be less than ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +18
  • +8

    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 the next couple of months. The cash is a false representation of our savings, but since we don't have a mortgage, it looks like we do. We need to keep ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +8
  • +2

    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 in, he does not help me out financially. Do I still have to include him on my FAFSA? — Emily L. The first step in addressing non-traditional family structures is ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +4

    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 Pell Grant is never reduced when the recipient wins a private scholarship. Some forms of need-based financial aid are reduced when a student wins a scholarship. These include federal campus-based ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +3

    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 assets? Does it make a difference one way or other? When we listed $350,000 in property as our assets, it made a huge difference but we are not sure how ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +24

    Give Back to Say Goodbye to Student Loan Debt

    Give Back to Say Goodbye to Student Loan Debt
    If you’re like the millions of students looking for a way out of your student loans; I've got good news for you. There are alternatives but, as with most things in life, there’s a tiny catch. What's the catch? If you’re willing to do some good for the world (gasp!) and volunteer, there are plenty of programs that will be willing ...
    Published about 1 month ago | Rated: +24
  • +3

    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 transferring this to a 529 account with NYSaves.com. My daughter is 13. Is it worth transferring this UTMA account to a 529 and paying capital gains now, or is it ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +5

    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 Federal Consolidation loans. Section 428B(a)(1)(A) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 [20 USC 1078-2(a)(1)(A)] specifies that borrowers of a Parent PLUS or Grad PLUS loan may not have an ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +18

    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 are fighting over raising the debt ceiling, which caps the amount the federal government can borrow to pay its bills. The current debt ceiling is set at $14.294 trillion. The ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +18
  • +8

    Student Credit Cards

    Student Credit Cards
    You see the offers everywhere, free duffel bag for signing up for this credit card, free water bottle, campus gear and sometimes even free money. Before you go signing on the dotted line, find out what you’re really signing up for. If you’re serious about considering a credit card, find out what kind of card it is. Not all plastics are ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +21

    Are You a College Drop-Out Risk?

    Are You a College Drop-Out Risk?
    Yep, it happened. Congress couldn't get their act together, so now you’re going to have to pay more. But, before you borrow, make sure it will pay off in the future. What do we mean by this? Investing in your education is a good thing; it’s even often referred to as “good” debt. As long as you get a degree to ...
    Published 10 months ago | Rated: +21
  • +28

    The “Free” Tuition Experiment

    The “Free” Tuition Experiment
    No matter where you attend college today, costs have skyrocketed, leaving students with the impending doom of student debt for years to come. Meanwhile, public funding for education has been declining to the point of nonexistence, as far as many students are concerned. So, what can be done to combat the issue? It seems as though many are considering the recent ...
    Published 10 months ago | Rated: +28
  • +4

    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 the current economic environment? — Alan S. When considering how to finance a college education, there are many options, including federal education loans, private student loans and non-education loans. It ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +4

    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 costs. When we opened it we weren't aware of the impact it could have on financial aid. I realize it's too late to fix anything for his freshman year next ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +5

    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, I am re-entering the job market. My last position, as a training and development specialist for a bank, earned roughly $45,000. It has been somewhat difficult obtaining full-time employment and ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +8

    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! Fastweb was named 2012 Organization of the Year by the Institute for Financial Literacy on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. The Institute for Financial Literacy announced the winners of the 2012 ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    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 suggestions? — Joanna P. When comparing student loans, consider both the cost of the loan and the other benefits of the loan program. The cost of a loan is based ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • Rate

    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, 2012. (These figures do not appear to be weighted by full-time equivalent enrollment.) Tuition at community colleges increased by an even greater percentage, 16.6%. Tuition at 4-year non-profit colleges increased ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rate This