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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +19

    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 the "sticker price." The rest, while they have sent aid packages, are not firm on what their fees are for the upcoming fall semester or academic year. The deadline to ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +7

    Does Parental Support Affect Independent Student Status?

    I am 19 and have a baby (1 month old) and I am living with my boyfriend and his mother. I am confused about whose tax information to use on the FAFSA. My boyfriend's mother is in Section 8 housing and put me in it and in her food stamps. — J.F. A student who has one or more dependent children ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +18

    How to Minimize Student Loan Debt

    How to Minimize Student Loan Debt
    This article discusses the need to minimize student loan debt and provides more than a dozen practical tips on ways to reduce borrowing for college costs. Try to avoid overborrowing for your college education. Do not treat loan limits as targets. A good rule of thumb is that your total education debt for your entire college education should be less than ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +18
  • +4

    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 super committee was charged with cutting the budget deficit at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. One side was unwilling to increase revenues while the other side was ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +2

    If a Student's Parents Are Not Married, How Does the Student Complete the FAFSA?

    I live with my mother and my step-father but they are not married. They keep their finances separate and, other than helping my mom to pay for the house I live in, he does not help me out financially. Do I still have to include him on my FAFSA? — Emily L. The first step in addressing non-traditional family structures is ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +6

    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 Pell Grant is never reduced when the recipient wins a private scholarship. Some forms of need-based financial aid are reduced when a student wins a scholarship. These include federal campus-based ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +29

    Programs and Scholarships to Pay Off Student Loans

    Programs and Scholarships to Pay Off Student Loans
    If you’re like the millions of students looking for a way out of your student loans; I've got good news for you. There are alternatives but, as with most things in life, there’s a tiny catch. What's the catch? If you’re willing to do some good for the world (gasp!) and volunteer, there are plenty of programs that will be willing ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +29
  • +5

    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 the payments. I also had some college loans which I am paying regularly without problems. I would like to know if my parents' financial situation will impact my credit, since ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +3

    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 transferring this to a 529 account with NYSaves.com. My daughter is 13. Is it worth transferring this UTMA account to a 529 and paying capital gains now, or is it ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +5

    Borrowers with a Recent Bankruptcy are Ineligible for the Federal PLUS Loan

    Borrowers who have had a bankruptcy discharge in the last five years are generally not eligible for the Federal PLUS loan. They remain eligible, however, for Federal Stafford, Federal Perkins and Federal Consolidation loans. Section 428B(a)(1)(A) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 [20 USC 1078-2(a)(1)(A)] specifies that borrowers of a Parent PLUS or Grad PLUS loan may not have an ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +20

    Consequences for Student Financial Aid If Congress Doesn't Raise the Debt Ceiling

    The game of chicken being played out in Washington, DC, may have serious consequences for student financial aid as well as the rest of the economy. Congress and the White House are fighting over raising the debt ceiling, which caps the amount the federal government can borrow to pay its bills. The current debt ceiling is set at $14.294 trillion. The ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +20
  • +35

    Making Smarter Student Loan Decisions

    Making Smarter Student Loan Decisions
    It’s no secret that college is getting more expensive by the minute. For instance, the cost of education at a university rose from 23 to 38 percent between 2001 and 2010. That’s a huge climb! In attempts to make college possible, many students take out student loans in pursuit of their higher education. While an investment in education is one of ...
    Published 12 days ago | Rated: +35
  • +21

    Are You a College Drop-Out Risk?

    Are You a College Drop-Out Risk?
    Yep, it happened. Congress couldn't get their act together, so now you’re going to have to pay more. But, before you borrow, make sure it will pay off in the future. What do we mean by this? Investing in your education is a good thing; it’s even often referred to as “good” debt. As long as you get a degree to ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +21
  • +4

    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 the current economic environment? — Alan S. When considering how to finance a college education, there are many options, including federal education loans, private student loans and non-education loans. It ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +5

    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, I am re-entering the job market. My last position, as a training and development specialist for a bank, earned roughly $45,000. It has been somewhat difficult obtaining full-time employment and ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +8

    Fastweb Wins Award for Financial Literacy Education

    Fastweb Wins Award for Financial Literacy Education
    For nearly 17 years, Fastweb has worked to become the leading online resource for paying and preparing for college, and recently, our site soared to new heights with the EIFLE Award! Fastweb was named 2012 Organization of the Year by the Institute for Financial Literacy on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. The Institute for Financial Literacy announced the winners of the 2012 ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +4

    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 married filing separately. I am currently a student at an online university and will need to fill out my FAFSA soon. Although my soon to be ex-husband makes about $75,000 ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +8

    Can You Appeal for More Student Financial Aid in the Middle of the Academic Year?

    My husband lost his job recently. My oldest son did not qualify for student aid for college this year except for federal loans. Is there any way my son could now receive financial aid until my husband finds a new job? — Sonja R. Ask the college for a professional judgment review. Some colleges call it a special circumstances review or ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    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 suggestions? — Joanna P. When comparing student loans, consider both the cost of the loan and the other benefits of the loan program. The cost of a loan is based ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • Rate

    Public College Tuition Increased by 15% Last Year from Two Years Ago

    Nationwide, in-state tuition at 4-year public colleges increased by 15.0% from 2008-09 to 2010-11, according to updated college affordability data released by the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. (These figures do not appear to be weighted by full-time equivalent enrollment.) Tuition at community colleges increased by an even greater percentage, 16.6%. Tuition at 4-year non-profit colleges increased ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rate This
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