Discover - for college and beyond. Learn More

Financial Aid >> Browse Articles

Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +19

    Avoiding the Average...

    Avoiding the Average...
    ...When It Comes to Your Student Debt So, what’s the deal with debt these days? Well, a lot actually. And, unfortunately, it’s not good news. According to a recent report released by the Institute for College Access & Success’ Project on Student Debt, which also appeared on CNNMoney, the average debt for a student in the class of 2012 was $29,400. ...
    Published 8 months ago | Rated: +19
  • +4

    Government Report Reviews Private Student Loans and Recommends Statutory Changes

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the US Department of Education released a report to Congress about private student loans on July 20, 2012 as mandated by section 1077 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203, 7/21/2010). The report discusses the growth and changes in the private student loan marketplace, the use of private student ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +8

    Rolling Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan for Tax-Free Treatment

    My son is heading to college this fall and I would like to use his savings bonds tax free, although the way I read the rules I think I cannot do it. Here is the story: All of the bonds were bought from 1994 through 2001 by various family members. All of the bonds have my son's name on the "TO" ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    What Happens When Retirement Money isn't in a Qualified Retirement Plan?

    I am a single parent, age 56 and my daughter will be applying for college next year. I make less than $60,000, but have just over $100,000 in savings and mutual funds that I have saved towards retirement as I am self employed. (I just recently found out about other self employed retirement options.) Will my daughter receive less financial aid ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +5
  • +3

    Quick Answers to Common Questions about Financial Aid

    Financial aid is an inherently complicated topic. Sometimes students and parents have questions that may seem obvious to people who have more experience with financial aid. But they can't find the answers they need. This week's Ask Kantro column addresses several such questions. Hi. I was wondering how or where you can apply for the federal supplemental educational opportunity grant. I ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +5

    Should Parents Pay Off Credit Cards Before Applying for College Loans and Other Aid?

    Why is it better for parents to pay off credit cards (if one can) before obtaining loans for a child for college? — Diane H. Most forms of consumer debt, such as credit cards and auto loans, are ignored on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even education loans are ignored. The only exception to this rule occurs when ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +8

    Year in Review: Ups and Downs for Student Financial Aid in 2011

    2011 was an eventful year for student financial aid, student loans and scholarships. This article summarizes the major events, positive and negative, for student aid in 2011. It also provides a few highlights of developments that are anticipated for 2012. The Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (P.L. 112-10, April 15, 2011) ended the year-round Pell Grant program ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +4

    Can a Student Receive a Pell Grant for a Second College Degree?

    I am a 25-year-old woman looking to go back to school for a second degree in a different field of study than my original degree. I am married to an enlisted sailor and currently unemployed. For my first degree I did not fill out the FAFSA and therefore I did not receive any federal aid in the form of grants or ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +4

    Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students

    What advice would you give on financial aid to undocumented students? — T.T. Before discussing financial aid for undocumented students, it is best for students who believe that they are undocumented to first confirm with their parents that they are indeed undocumented. A student who was born in the United States or certain territories or outlying possessions is a US citizen ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +6

    When Does Repayment Begin on a Subsidized Loan?

    When does a student have to start paying back a subsidized loan? — A.A. If the loan is a subsidized Stafford loan, repayment begins 6 months after graduating from college or dropping below half-time enrollment status. If the loan is a Perkins loan, repayment begins 9 months after graduating from college or dropping below half-time enrollment status. The 6 or 9 ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +8

    How Do Grandparent-Owned 529 College Savings Plans Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?

    How Do Grandparent-Owned 529 College Savings Plans Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?
    Only 529 college savings plans that are owned by the student or the student's parents are reported as assets on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). So a 529 plan owned by a grandparent or other third party will not be reported as an asset on the FAFSA. However, qualified distributions from such a 529 plan are treated as ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +6

    Family Incorrectly Reported 529 Plan as a Student Asset on the FAFSA

    I have two questions which I assume you've been asked a million times and I just want to make sure I'm understanding the write-ups about them correctly. We have a regular UGMA/UTMA savings account for our daughter where we are the custodian. In the FAFSA application, should this be entered under the student or the parent? Am I assuming correctly that ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • -1

    Congress Passes Fiscal Cliff Legislation, Extending American Opportunity Tax Credit

    Congress Passes Fiscal Cliff Legislation, Extending American Opportunity Tax Credit
    Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) late on Tuesday, January 1, 2013. The measure passed with bipartisan support in the Senate by a vote of 89 to 8 and in the House by a vote of 257 to 167. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law. This legislation addresses some aspects of the ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: -1
  • +7

    Can a Student Receive Both Need-Based Grants and Merit-Based Scholarships?

    If a child does receive FAFSA can they still receive scholarships and grants? — Y.P. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for need-based financial aid from the federal government, state governments and most colleges. The financial aid will include a mix of grants, loans and student employment. The terms grants and scholarships are often used ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +22

    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 9 months ago | Rated: +22
  • +9

    Free Money for College Savings

    There are a variety of national, state and local programs that encourage families to save for college by providing families with free money. There are two main types of such programs: 1. Birthday Present. Such programs provide contributions of $100 to $1,000 as seed money in the college savings plan when the parents open a new 529 college savings plan before ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +5

    Is There Any Way to Shelter Retirement Plan Distributions on the FAFSA?

    My question is simple: is there a way to withdraw money from my 401(K), at age 59 1/2, that will not be counted as income for FAFSA purposes? Although I receive an annual pension of $34,500, I fall short by about $20,000 to meet my annual expenses. Should I withdraw what I need for next year this year, so it doesn't ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +5

    Can the FAFSA be Completed with Information from the Previous Year's Tax Returns?

    My daughter got accepted to her first-choice school, a private university, as an early-decision candidate. The school won't be able to tell us the amount of financial aid she will be offered until March. I am eager to file the FAFSA and CSS Financial Aid PROFILE forms as soon as possible, as I've heard this helps maximize the amount of aid ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +5
  • +8

    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 and not used for rental. Naturally we have to list this as an asset which makes our total assets look like more than they are. Furthermore, the value we used ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +24

    Trick or Treat: President Obama's Plan for Cutting Federal Student Loan Payments

    Income-based Repayment Who: 1.6 million borrowers since 2008 with at least one loan in 2012 or later, generally borrowers whose total federal student loans exceeds their annual income What: Reduces cap on monthly loan payments by a third, from 15% of discretionary income to 10%, and forgives the remaining debt in 20 years instead of 25 When: Starts in 2012 ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +24
Join Fastweb for FREE