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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 21, 2013
How Do I Fix an Non-Qualified Distribution from a College Savings Plan?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 4, 2011
Conflicting Information about Trends in Net College Costs

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 17, 2011
Staying Eligible: Losing Financial Aid for Unsatisfactory Academic Progress

Staying Eligible: Losing Financial Aid for Unsatisfactory Academic Progress

Maintain a good GPA -- or lose financial aid.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published July 22, 2016
That Free Financial Aid Seminar May be Just a Worthless Sales Pitch

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 18, 2011
Financial Aid for Female Students

Financial Aid for Female Students

Check out financial aid opportunities that are exclusive to females.

Published August 21, 2015
Who Really Graduates with $100,000 or More in Student Loans?

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

Expert insights into who leaves college with the most debt.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 5, 2012
Why Do Financial Aid Application Forms Use Last Year's Income?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 29, 2013
Are There Any Fees for Filing the FAFSA?

Are There Any Fees for Filing the FAFSA?

Is there a fee to complete the FAFSA and if so, how much? — T. Smith There is no fee to file the FAFSA. As the name suggests, the Free Application ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 27, 2011
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 ...

Published January 24, 2012
US Department of Education Publishes College Cost and Net Price Rankings

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 1, 2011
Is a Student with Children But No Income Considered to be Independent?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 30, 2012
Must the Student's Child Live with the Student for the Student to be Independent?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 5, 2012
Should a Family Sell Student-Owned Stocks to Get More Financial Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 2, 2012
U.S. Department of Education Seeks Ideas from Students, Parents and Educators on How To Improve Financial Aid Award Letters

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 ...

Published September 1, 2011
If I Stop Paying My Student Loans, Will the Default Yield a Reasonable Settlement?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 5, 2011
Should Wealthy Parents Cut Family Income Tenfold to Help their Children Qualify for Need-Based Student Financial Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 9, 2012
ProPublica and the Chronicle of Higher Education Seek Copies of Financial Aid Award Letters

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 ...

Published May 29, 2012
Which Parents are Responsible for Completing the Financial Aid Application Forms?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 4, 2012
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