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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +19

    Should Parents Transfer College Savings from an UTMA Account to a 529 Plan?

    My twin daughters will be entering college in the fall. We have saved for their college education over the last 17 years. Presently the savings are held in two accounts each: a custodial account under the Uniform Transfer to Minor Act (UTMA) and in a Coverdell Education IRA account. I recently read that in connection with evaluating any possible financial aid ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +17

    How to Include Yourself on Your Teen's FAFSA if You're Enrolled Too

    How should a FAFSA be filled out if I have two children going to college and I am enrolling in a graduate program? When it asks how many are attending college it says do not include parents. How do they know that I am also attending college? — Vicki Y. I am a single parent in college and my daughter is ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +17
  • +44

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes a Big Boost in Student Aid Funding

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes a Big Boost in Student Aid Funding
    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus bill, includes major increases in student aid funding for the 2009-10 academic year. It includes the largest dollar increase ever in the maximum Pell Grant and significantly expands the Hope Scholarship tax credit. It also increases funding for the Federal Work-Study and AmeriCorps programs. The legislation was signed ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +44
  • +5

    How are Trust Funds Reported on the FAFSA?

    Each of my parents left me a trust. From each trust I am entitled to the interest income and $5,000 annually. The remainder of the principal stays in the trusts until I die. The trusts then terminate, and the remaining principal is distributed to my son. My son is the one going to college, by the way. This skews my EFC ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +17

    Choose a Cheaper In-State Public College to Cut College Costs

    I am a 17-year-old high school senior applying to colleges. I wish to apply to certain private institutions where the tuition is over 45K. I am doing my best applying for scholarships, but have not heard back from anyone yet. I do not think that my parents qualify for financial aid, they are upper middle class earners. They cannot afford to ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +17
  • +12

    Will Delaying a Bankruptcy Filing Affect Eligibility for Student Aid?

    My son is a senior in high school this year. I might have to file for bankruptcy. Should I file this year or wait until next year to file? — Rich N. Filing for bankruptcy will affect your eligibility for the Parent PLUS loan and your ability to cosign or borrow a private student loan. It will not otherwise affect your ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +253

    Grads to Get a Break on Student Loan Payments

    Grads to Get a Break on Student Loan Payments
    If you're struggling to make your monthly student loan payments on your measly first-job salary, you're not alone. The good news is, the government is taking notice -- and changing the game to make sure monthly payments don't cripple college grads. Even better, whatever you haven't paid off after 25 years may be forgiven. With this new option, instead of calculating ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +253
  • +6

    How Does Income Tax Filing Status Affect Student Aid?

    My married parents want to file their income tax returns as married filing separately. If the parent with the lower income claims me as a dependent, does that mean that I will receive more financial aid than I would if the other parent (with higher income) claimed me as a dependent? — Ilya S. Although you indicated that your parents are ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +24

    Answers to Introductory Questions about Financial Aid for College

    I am a high school junior and an Upward Bound scholar. I do not have any way to pay for college and I really want to attend. How do I apply for financial aid? What are the requirements? Do I have to pay for anything? What advice do you have for me if I do receive financial aid? — Alexis M. ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +24
  • +13

    What Can You Do If Your Parents Won't File the FAFSA or Help Pay for College?

    I am in kind of a bad situation. I had a bit of personal problems and had to move out of my house and no longer live with my parents. Unfortunately they will no longer pay for any of my schooling. I previously filled out the FAFSA and did not qualify because my parents made too much money. However, because I ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +2

    Survey Says: Financial Considerations Affecting College Choices

    Sallie Mae and Gallup just released the results of a survey of how American families pay for college. The survey found that families are becoming more cost conscious in their college choices. Nevertheless, the majority of families still see college as a necessary and worthwhile investment in their children's future. Students from higher income families were more likely to enroll at ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +204

    Congress Proposes Overhaul of Federal Student Loan and Grant Programs

    Congress Proposes Overhaul of Federal Student Loan and Grant Programs
    The US House of Representatives is considering legislation to overhaul the federal education loan and grant programs. The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, nicknamed SAFRA, will increase funding for federal student aid programs and simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. These changes will implement several of President Obama's campaign promises. Switch to 100% Direct Lending Starting ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +204
  • +8

    Solutions for Borrowers Who are Having Trouble Repaying Education Loans

    Solutions for Borrowers Who are Having Trouble Repaying Education Loans
    There are many options for repayment relief for borrowers who are having trouble repaying their education loans. These include deferments and forbearances that suspend the monthly payment obligation, alternate repayment plans that reduce the monthly payments by increasing the loan term, and forgiveness and discharge programs that cancel the loans entirely. Which options are appropriate for you depends in part on ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +12

    How does job loss affect federal student financial aid?

    When I turned in my FAFSA my parents were making a lot more money than they are now. Both my parents were working full time, but now my mom is the only one working for minimum wage, with my dad jobless. Is there anything I can do at this time to change my FAFSA? — Sam W. Call or write the ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +7

    Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for Job Loss or Other Changes in Income

    I lost my teaching job last June and got a half year's salary instead of a full year. I did not get a job in the fall, so our household income was operating on half of my income. My husband's work status is the same, so we are at three-quarters. This year I do not have a job. Is there any ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Drowning in Six-Figure Debt for a Low-Paying Field of Study

    I am going to be attending a New York university this spring as a music major. My ultimate goal is to get a doctorate of ethnomusicology and to teach at a university while also completing fieldwork research. My loan debt will be very high (at least $100,000). Do you know how to attempt to get a high-paying college job right out ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +10

    How does divorce affect eligibility for student financial aid?

    I am currently a single parent with a daughter receiving financial aid. However, I plan to marry and am curious how that affects my child’s financial aid. Will his income be considered when completing the FAFSA next year even if we don’t share financial responsibility for her or commingle our bank accounts? — Terri S. If a dependent student's custodial parent ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +1

    Will Refusing Loans Increase College Grants in the Financial Aid Package?

    I filled out the FAFSA in March and recently received a letter that offered me a $3,500 unsubsidized Stafford loan. I did a little research and found out I would have to pay interest on interest. I'm thinking about declining it and mailing it back to the school I attend. Will I be offered any other financial aid or is this ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +1
  • +6

    Financial Aid for a Student Returning to College for Retraining in a New Career

    My wife is looking to go back to school for a new career. But I'm pretty lost as to how to help her with all this financial aid stuff. Can you help me to get started, or at least point me in the right direction? — Skyler G. Most of the answer to the first question in last week's Ask Kantro ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +7

    Does Financial Aid Cover Room and Board in Addition to Tuition and Fees?

    I am currently a senior at a high school. If I want to dorm at a private university, which adds $10,000 more to the $40,000 tuition, do the universities take into account the financial aid as a whole thing with tuition and room and board, or do they just give financial aid for the tuition? To simplify this, my total costs ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +7