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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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How to Handle a Tuition Hike

How to Handle a Tuition Hike

How would you cope with a hike in tuition?

By Sandra Guy
Published September 4, 2008
Emergency Dental Care for an International Student; Reporting a New Spouse's Income and Assets on the FAFSA

Emergency Dental Care for an International Student; Reporting a New Spouse's Income and Assets on the FAFSA

I am not a US citizen. I came to the United States a month ago to begin graduate school. Unfortunately I got a severe toothache a week ago. As a teaching ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 27, 2010
College Choices in a Down Economy

College Choices in a Down Economy

Fastweb partnered with Maguire Associates, a firm that specializes in market research, analysis and predictive modeling for colleges and universities, to evaluate the impact of the economy on college choices by ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 7, 2009
Secrets to Settling Defaulted Federal Student Loan Debts for Less than What You Owe

Secrets to Settling Defaulted Federal Student Loan Debts for Less than What You Owe

Your federal student loans are in default and collection agencies are calling you dozens of times a day. They are threatening to garnish your wages, offset your income tax refunds and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 30, 2010
Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size

Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size

Get the FAQs on the FAFSA.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 25, 2010
How is retirement income and past due child support reported on the FAFSA?

How is retirement income and past due child support reported on the FAFSA?

I am trying to fill out my FAFSA. My father retired last year and I am confused as to what to put for his financial answers, for example, gross income, taxes, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 11, 2010
Answers to Common Questions about Dependency Status and Financial Aid

Answers to Common Questions about Dependency Status and Financial Aid

Will my daughter's chances for receiving financial aid be higher if we don't claim her on our taxes? Household income is about $85,000 and she did not qualify for financial aid ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 14, 2011
Which are Better, US Savings Bonds or 529 College Savings Plans?

Which are Better, US Savings Bonds or 529 College Savings Plans?

We have a son who is going to be in the 10th grade this year. We also have twins who are 3.5 years old. I am trying to understand where to ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 6, 2012
10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders

10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders

Don’t rush the process – any mistakes can cause serious delays in the process or, worse, disqualify you all together.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published February 18, 2014
How to Qualify for a PLUS Loan Despite an Adverse Credit History

How to Qualify for a PLUS Loan Despite an Adverse Credit History

I'm currently an MBA student who has a VERY adverse credit history. Part of which includes a defaulted Federal Loan. I'm halfway through my first year of business school and find ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 15, 2013
Does Filing a FAFSA Obligate You in Any Way? Are Parents Responsible for Repaying a Child's Student Loans?

Does Filing a FAFSA Obligate You in Any Way? Are Parents Responsible for Repaying a Child's Student Loans?

I have a question about filling out a FAFSA form for my child. If we fill out the form and my child is granted a loan for college, will the parents ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 18, 2011
What Do You Do When Income or an Asset Isn't Really Your Money?

What Do You Do When Income or an Asset Isn't Really Your Money?

I am a disabled parent who hasn't worked since 2007. I am currently on long term disability and have been ruled disabled by the Social Security Administration. My child is heading ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 23, 2012
Should Married Borrowers File Joint or Separate Federal Income Tax Returns with Income-Based Repayment?

Should Married Borrowers File Joint or Separate Federal Income Tax Returns with Income-Based Repayment?

I have a question about a joint consolidation loan and income-based repayment (IBR). My wife and I consolidated our loans jointly about 10 years ago (when such things were allowed). My ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 29, 2012
Advice to Parents Whose Child will be the First in the Family to Go to College

Advice to Parents Whose Child will be the First in the Family to Go to College

My wife and I are looking for help in getting our son into college. He is a junior in high school. His mother and I are on disability. My wife is ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 26, 2012
Students Lose Financial Aid for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students Lose Financial Aid for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

I have been attending college for some time now. Ever since my mom passed away I have been really shaking with some of my classes. Last semester I did decent: I ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 29, 2011
How to Read the New Financial Aid Award Letter

How to Read the New Financial Aid Award Letter

Colleges and universities are making changes to financial aid award letters.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published March 28, 2016
Senator Al Franken Introduces Legislation to Standardize Financial Aid Award Letters

Senator Al Franken Introduces Legislation to Standardize Financial Aid Award Letters

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) introduced the Understanding the True Cost of College Act (S.3244) on Thursday, May 24, 2012 with bipartisan support. This legislation will standardize college financial aid award letters ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 28, 2012
Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money

Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money

Learn how to invest and save like a pro.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published January 9, 2013
How Do I Transfer Financial Aid from One College to Another?

How Do I Transfer Financial Aid from One College to Another?

If I change schools, how do I edit my FAFSA so the money goes to my new school? And about how long would it take for the money to transfer schools? ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 21, 2011
What Happens If You Deliberately Don't Report Assets on the FAFSA?

What Happens If You Deliberately Don't Report Assets on the FAFSA?

I'm doing everything possible to lower my EFC. I have assets, UTMA, mutual funds, stocks and I know they hurt my chances of receiving free money (Federal or state grants). I ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 28, 2011