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Cost of Raising Children from Birth to High School Graduation Up 0.5% to $222,360

Cost of Raising Children from Birth to High School Graduation Up 0.5% to $222,360

The US Department of Agriculture estimates that middle-income two-parent families will spend $222,360 in 2009 dollars to raise a child born in 2009 from birth to high school graduation. The cost ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 28, 2010
Kantro's Tips to Save You Money!

Kantro's Tips to Save You Money!

Financial Aid Guru Mark Kantrowitz has compiled his top tips on repaying student loans, saving money and alternatives to student loans. Any wise student will heed this advice! Repaying Student Loans ...

Published August 27, 2010
Tips for a Teacher on Managing Excessive Debt

Tips for a Teacher on Managing Excessive Debt

I have a dire question that needs urgent results. I took out a loan in college (undergraduate). I was foolish and took out the maximum loan amount that I could each ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 23, 2010
What is a Reasonable and Affordable Monthly Payment for a Defaulted Borrower to Regain Federal Student Aid Eligibility?

What is a Reasonable and Affordable Monthly Payment for a Defaulted Borrower to Regain Federal Student Aid Eligibility?

I am 26 years old and would like to go back to college. I have $12,000 in student loans which are currently in administrative wage garnishment. I make $27,000 a year ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 30, 2010
Can I Get a New Financial Aid Package if My Mom Lost Her Job?

Can I Get a New Financial Aid Package if My Mom Lost Her Job?

I am in my third semester and have already received my financial aid for this semester; however, our financial circumstances have dramatically changed. My mother was laid off as of the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 29, 2009
To Cosign or Not To Cosign, That is the Question

To Cosign or Not To Cosign, That is the Question

My nephew has asked me to cosign a private student loan for college. He's on his own since he lives independently from his mother, his parents are divorced, and his father ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 28, 2010
Help for Retired Parents Repaying Parent PLUS Loans on Fixed Income

Help for Retired Parents Repaying Parent PLUS Loans on Fixed Income

Help!!! My Parent PLUS loans are presently in a forbearance that will end in a few months. My expected installment payments are more than my monthly income. I am retired and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 13, 2010
Death and Disability May Now Get You Out of Paying Loans

Death and Disability May Now Get You Out of Paying Loans

According to a press release from Securian Financial Group, Sallie Mae is adding a total and permanent disability discharge on its Smart Option private student loan. This discharge will forgive the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 8, 2010
College Board Simplifies CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Form

College Board Simplifies CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Form

While the US Department of Education is working on simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the College Board has already been taking similar steps toward simplifying the CSS/Financial ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 10, 2010
How to Report Stocks on the FAFSA

How to Report Stocks on the FAFSA

I am a single mom and my son will be entering his freshman year in college this fall. The FAFSA application asks for the gross income from last year's tax return. ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 15, 2010
Time to panic about prepaid tuition plans?

Time to panic about prepaid tuition plans?

The New York Times reported on October 5, 2009 that 16 of the 18 state prepaid tuition plans are facing funding shortfalls because of a combination of stock market losses and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 5, 2009
How do retirement funds affect student aid eligibility?

How do retirement funds affect student aid eligibility?

How do parent contributions to 401(k) or IRA retirement plans affect financial aid eligibility? — Stephen C. The federal need analysis methodology considers both income (taxable and untaxed) and assets that ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 6, 2009
Why Do Students Drop Out of College?

Why Do Students Drop Out of College?

A study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that the main reason why students drop out of college is the conflict between school and work and family commitments. ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 17, 2009
Should a custodial account held by a grandparent be reported on the grandchild's FAFSA?

Should a custodial account held by a grandparent be reported on the grandchild's FAFSA?

Does a parent need to disclose (on the FAFSA) funds in an UGMA or UTMA account in the student's name with a grandparent as custodian? If so, how does this affect ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 21, 2009
How does child support affect eligibility for student aid?

How does child support affect eligibility for student aid?

I have been divorced for more than 10 years and receive a small amount of child support from my ex-husband. At the time of the divorce, I agreed to let my ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 28, 2009
Is college worth the cost?

Is college worth the cost?

Some people have argued that the high cost of a college education is a bubble waiting to burst. They draw superficial comparisons with the housing market, pointing out the high cost, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 26, 2009
Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

The Lifetime Learning provides a federal income tax credit of up to $2,000 per taxpayer based on the first $10,000 in postsecondary tuition and fees paid by the taxpayer during the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 18, 2009
Student Loan Interest Deduction

Student Loan Interest Deduction

Borrowers of federal and private education loans may deduct up to $2,500 in interest as an above-the-line exclusion from income. This deduction may be taken even if the taxpayer does not ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 18, 2009
How to Complete the FAFSA when a Parent Didn't File her Federal Income Tax Return

How to Complete the FAFSA when a Parent Didn't File her Federal Income Tax Return

I have a problem with my FAFSA. My mom didn't file her income tax returns last year. What do I use when I fill out my FAFSA form? — Erica H. ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 8, 2010
Employer Tuition Assistance

Employer Tuition Assistance

Your employer may provide you with up to $5,250 in employer education assistance benefits for undergraduate or graduate courses tax-free each year. The benefits must have been paid for tuition, fees, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 18, 2009