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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +8

    When must a Non-Custodial Parent Count a Child in Household Size?

    I am remarried and my husband pays child support for his two children that live with their mother. They pass the support test. Do we include his children in our household size as well as report the amount he pays for child support for them? If it's only one or the other, which is more financial beneficial from a FAFSA standpoint? ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    How Do I Fix an Non-Qualified Distribution from a College Savings Plan?

    I had a CollegeSure CD for my son who started college last fall. After the CD matured in August, I cashed it out and put the money in a savings account thinking I had to do that. He didn't have enough college expenses for the first semester to equal the gross distribution, so now I think we're in a terrible tax ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Conflicting Information about Trends in Net College Costs

    A report released today by The Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), discusses trends in net tuition and net price at US colleges and universities. Net Tuition and Net Price Trends in the United States: 2000-2009 reports that "At four year colleges, net tuition has increased by around one thousand dollars over a time period when per capita income has ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    That Free Financial Aid Seminar May be Just a Worthless Sales Pitch

    From time to time I receive solicitations for free financial aid seminars that are really sales pitches for a product or service. I attend these seminars to monitor the information (and misinformation) that these seminars disseminate. The latest one was a bit different, in that it was affiliated with a national asset management and financial planning firm. It's not a very ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +3

    Who Really Graduates with $100,000 or More in Student Loans?

    Who Really Graduates with $100,000 or More in Student Loans?
    Newspaper headlines suggest that many students graduate from college with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. But is this really the case? A new report, Who Graduates College with Six-Figure Student Loan Debt?, finds that only 0.2% of undergraduate students and 6.4% of graduate students graduated with $100,000 or more in student loans in 2007-08. Far from being ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +4

    Will a Parent PLUS Loan be Denied When Applying for Two Loans for Two Children?

    I am applying for two Parent PLUS loans because I have twins going to school at the same time. Is it possible one loan will be denied because we are applying for two at the same time? What can I do if one of the applications is denied? We have good credit 730 and 780 for each of us. — Michelle ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +7

    Does Adoption Affect an Orphan's Eligibility for Financial Aid?

    I am trying to advise two students whose mother died four years ago and their father died last week, unfortunately. The girls' grandmother is now taking care of them (a 9th and 10th grader) and we are concerned about the possible college financial ramifications. They are in the process of determining the Social Security benefits from their father's contributions. Once that ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +9

    Why Do Financial Aid Application Forms Use Last Year's Income?

    Why do the government and colleges use last year's income to determine financial aid for the current year? Our financial situation has changed, my husband was laid off last year but our FAFSA looks okay because of his severance pay. We need financial aid help in order to help our daughter who wants to attend college in the fall. How can ...
    Published 12 months ago | Rated: +9
  • +14

    President Obama Proposes Student Aid Increases in State of the Union Address

    President Obama Proposes Student Aid Increases in State of the Union Address
    In the state of the union address on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, President Obama proposed several increases in student aid spending. The first two proposals call for Congress to extend existing student aid programs that are scheduled to expire this year. Stop the pending increase in student loan interest rates. The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 enacted a ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +14
  • +7

    US Department of Education Publishes College Cost and Net Price Rankings

    As required by Congress, the US Department of Education is now publishing lists that rank the most and least expensive colleges. Colleges are ranked according to tuition and fees as well as net price within each college type category. The US Department of Education is also publishing lists of colleges with the greatest increases in tuition and fees or net price. ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Is a Student with Children But No Income Considered to be Independent?

    I am under 24 years of age. I did not have any income the year before last. I have 2 children and live with a partner of 6 years. He is the father of my children. We are not married. He supported us on his income; my mother did not. I was a stay at home mom. My school is telling ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +5

    Must the Student's Child Live with the Student for the Student to be Independent?

    I'm 23 and have a 4-year-old child. Last year I received independent status for my financial aid because I supported my child more than 51% of his needs. This year the financial aid office asked for the same documents as last year but told me that I couldn't be an independent student because I didn't have enough documented proof. I explained ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +5
  • +7

    How Will the Election Results Affect Student Financial Aid?

    President Obama was reelected on November 6, 2012, but control of Congress remains split. Republicans retained control of the House and Democrats retained control of the Senate. The Democrats may have gained two seats in the Senate, but they still do not have a supermajority. A supermajority (a three fifths majority) is required in the Senate to end a filibuster by ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +4

    Should a Family Sell Student-Owned Stocks to Get More Financial Aid?

    I have two daughters. One is a junior in college. The other is a senior in high school who will be going to college this fall. They both have stocks given to them by my parents years ago, from which they get quarterly dividends of around $140 each. Every year on the FAFSA I have to put the current value of ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +6

    U.S. Department of Education Seeks Ideas from Students, Parents and Educators on How To Improve Financial Aid Award Letters

    Public Meeting The U.S. Department of Education is holding a public meeting on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, to discuss ways to improve financial aid award letters. The goal is to develop recommendations for making financial aid award letters easier to understand and compare. The public meeting will also help the U.S. Department of Education create a recommended model for financial ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +13

    If I Stop Paying My Student Loans, Will the Default Yield a Reasonable Settlement?

    I would like to know what will happen if I stop paying my student loans. I have never been unemployed and don't plan to be, but my loan payments are over $700 a month and that is unreasonable (that's over half of my monthly salary). I have tried three different jobs since graduating in the hopes of making more money, but ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +3

    Should Wealthy Parents Cut Family Income Tenfold to Help their Children Qualify for Need-Based Student Financial Aid?

    My wife and I make about $150,000 in combined income. We have probably $350,000 in home equity, $100,000 in rental property equity and $500,000 in retirement accounts. We have three kids in college and a fourth starting in the fall a year from now. We hope to quit our jobs at some point and move to Nicaragua (or another Central American ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +1

    ProPublica and the Chronicle of Higher Education Seek Copies of Financial Aid Award Letters

    Two leading newspapers, ProPublica and the Chronicle of Higher Education, are seeking copies of actual financial aid award letters received by students. They are interested in receiving award letters from all colleges that admitted the student, not just the ones where the students ultimately enrolled. The newspapers have promised to keep names and personally identifiable information confidential. The award letters may ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +1
  • +4

    Which Parents are Responsible for Completing the Financial Aid Application Forms?

    Both of my daughters' parents have re-married. Whose income is counted for financial aid? Just biological parents or their spouses too? Does primary parent fill out the paperwork or the parent with the lowest (or highest) income? — M.J. When a student's biological/adoptive parents are divorced, only one of the two parents is responsible for completing the Free Application for Federal ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +6

    Who Completes the FAFSA When a Student Lives with his Grandparents?

    My grandson lives with his grandfather and me. His parents do not support him other than providing medical insurance. He will claim himself on his 2012 income tax and his parents financials are not available to us. How do we handle completing the FAFSA and applying for scholarships, etc.? I am more than willing to provide our information if that is ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +6