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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 2 years 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 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +13

    Impact of a Government Shutdown on Student Financial Aid

    Impact of a Government Shutdown on Student Financial Aid
    If Congress fails to pass legislation funding the federal government, the federal government will shut down and more than 800,000 government employees will be furloughed. The impact on federal student aid, however, will be minimal. During a government shutdown government employees who are considered "essential" will continue to work. This includes personnel who are critical for national security and the safety ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +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 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +8

    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 in the last ten years. My original paper work says that I will need to make payments until 2031, when I'll be 88. I would like to think about retiring ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +24

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

    10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders
    Filling out financial aid forms is challenging and a task, to say the least. But don’t rush the process – any mistakes can cause serious delays in the process or, worse, disqualify you all together. Though these seem like common sense-covered areas, the following are errors that students frequently make when filling out financial aid forms. Before submitting any financial aid ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +24
  • +6

    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 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +8

    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 almost 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 4 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +8

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

    I'm a soon-to-be college freshman. My tuition is close to $40,000 but financial aid only covers $19,000. My mother is a single parent making only $18,000 a year and I was wondering if there are any other options I can get besides loans that financial aid can help me with. — D.V. Something doesn't add up. The amount of financial aid ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +6

    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 the President's proposals are in excess of $10 billion per year. Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the education appendix to the FY2013 budget, as released on ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +8

    Student Credit Cards

    Student Credit Cards
    You see the offers everywhere, free duffel bag for signing up for this credit card, free water bottle, campus gear and sometimes even free money. Before you go signing on the dotted line, find out what you’re really signing up for. If you’re serious about considering a credit card, find out what kind of card it is. Not all plastics are ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +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 3 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +4

    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 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +9

    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 if I have to put my father's information on the FAFSA even though my mother is my primary care-giver. (I spend all 365 days a year with her.) I don't ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +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 3 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 2 years ago | Rated: +6
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