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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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How Does a Pending Foreclosure or Short Sale Affect Financial Aid?

How Does a Pending Foreclosure or Short Sale Affect Financial Aid?

How do we answer the question "Do you own your home" on financial aid forms when we are in pre-foreclosure? We are not yet in active foreclosure, but are several years ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 28, 2013
How to Evaluate Financial Aid Award Letters with Missing Tuition and Grant Information

How to Evaluate Financial Aid Award Letters with Missing Tuition and Grant Information

We have a dilemma here. My son has been accepted by five colleges: four public colleges and one private college. The private school is the only one that is showing us ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 11, 2011
People Retiring with Student Loans May Save Money with Income-Based Repayment

People Retiring with Student Loans May Save Money with Income-Based Repayment

I'm 68 years old, have worked for the last thirteen years in a state psychiatric hospital and after consolidating all my loans, have never missed a payment to Direct Student Loan ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 21, 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
Impact of the Super Committee Stalemate on Federal Student Financial Aid

Impact of the Super Committee Stalemate on Federal Student Financial Aid

On November 21, 2011 the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the super committee, announced that it had failed to reach an agreement to reduce the deficit. The ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 22, 2011
Paying for Tuition with a Credit Card or an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

Paying for Tuition with a Credit Card or an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

I am a graduate school student at a university where subsidized loans are no longer an option. Only unsubsidized. I am now faced with a decision: which would be a better ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 20, 2012
Is the Pell Grant Reduced When the Student Wins a Private Scholarship?

Is the Pell Grant Reduced When the Student Wins a Private Scholarship?

My daughter has been approved for a Pell Grant. She recently received notification that she has won a $1,000 scholarship. Will the scholarship reduce her Pell Grant? — Virginia M. The ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 27, 2012
How Can I Fill the Gap Between Financial Aid and My Ability to Pay?

How Can I Fill the Gap Between Financial Aid and My Ability to Pay?

What to do when the school you plan to attend practices financial aid gapping.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 3, 2011
Summary of President Obama's Budget Blueprint for Federal Student Aid

Summary of President Obama's Budget Blueprint for Federal Student Aid

This article summarizes President Obama's FY2013 budget proposals for the federal student aid programs. Most of these proposals will require Congressional approval before they can be implemented. The combined cost of ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 30, 2012
Does a Parent's Credit History Affect the Student's Eligibility for Loans and Other Aid?

Does a Parent's Credit History Affect the Student's Eligibility for Loans and Other Aid?

My parents have a Federal Direct PLUS Loan they got while I was an undergraduate student several years ago. Due to their current financial hardship, they haven't been keeping up with ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 11, 2011
When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

I have an old UTMA account for my daughter with Janus, with approximately $5,000 in gains. I opened this before they even had 529 college savings plans. I was thinking of ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 6, 2012
Making Smarter Student Loan Decisions

Making Smarter Student Loan Decisions

Remember, loans are not free money!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published May 12, 2015
What Income is Listed on the FAFSA when Separated Parents File a Joint Tax Return?

What Income is Listed on the FAFSA when Separated Parents File a Joint Tax Return?

I am praying that you may be able to advise me on the FAFSA application. I am a senior in high school and will file the FAFSA in January. I live ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 12, 2012
Is There a Better Option for Financing a College Education than a Parent PLUS Loan?

Is There a Better Option for Financing a College Education than a Parent PLUS Loan?

I have a simple question: Is there currently a better option to help finance my sophomore daughter's college education than a 7.9% PLUS loan? That just seems a bit high given ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 19, 2012
Student Loan Over $1 Trillion: What to Know Before You Borrow

Student Loan Over $1 Trillion: What to Know Before You Borrow

Learn what your loan payments will be after graduation up front.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published April 13, 2012
Should Students and Parents Who are Close to Retirement Borrow to Pay for College?

Should Students and Parents Who are Close to Retirement Borrow to Pay for College?

I am 47 and recently divorced single parent of two children, ages 7 and 8. I spent the last 9 years as a stay-at-home parent. As a result of the divorce, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 16, 2012
Completing the FAFSA When the Student's Parents Have a Legal Separation

Completing the FAFSA When the Student's Parents Have a Legal Separation

My parents aren't divorced but are legally separated and have been for about ten years. My mother is unable to remember where the papers for their separation are. I was wondering ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 12, 2011
Will Filing Income Tax Returns as Married Filing Separately Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

Will Filing Income Tax Returns as Married Filing Separately Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

My husband and I separated last year and are living at separate addresses. We have not filed for divorce yet or a formal separation. We are considering filing our taxes as ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 19, 2011
White House Calls on Colleges to Adopt Clear College Cost and Financial Aid Disclosures

White House Calls on Colleges to Adopt Clear College Cost and Financial Aid Disclosures

The White House is calling on all college and university presidents to provide incoming students with clear and easy-to-understand college cost and financial aid disclosures. On June 5, 2012, Vice President ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 5, 2012
Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

I'm a first year and I'm searching for student loans with my mom and I'm not sure which one is the best one I should take out. Do you have any ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 11, 2012