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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +7

    Is a 3.75% Cash-Out Refinance on a Mortgage Better than Federal Student Loans?

    I have daughter who will be attending college in the fall of 2013 (and a son in 2017). For various reasons, our savings are not sufficient to pay for college given the current costs that I see. As home mortgage refinance rates have dropped to their lowest levels in my lifetime (around 3.75%), I had the notion of conducting a refinance ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Can I Get a New Financial Aid Package if My Mom Lost Her Job?

    I am in my third semester and have already received my financial aid for this semester; however, our financial circumstances have dramatically changed. My mother was laid off as of the first of August and my father has been found to have cancer and will be off work well into next year with treatments. Is there a way to amend the ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Does Financial Aid Cover Room and Board in Addition to Tuition and Fees?

    Does Financial Aid Cover Room and Board in Addition to Tuition and Fees?
    I am currently a senior at a high school. If I want to dorm at a private university, which adds $10,000 more to the $40,000 tuition, do the universities take into account the financial aid as a whole thing with tuition and room and board, or do they just give financial aid for the tuition? To simplify this, my total costs ...
    Published 3 months ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    How to Qualify for a PLUS Loan Despite an Adverse Credit History

    I'm currently an MBA student who has a VERY adverse credit history. Part of which includes a defaulted Federal Loan. I'm halfway through my first year of business school and find myself needing more money. I've found someone who does not have an adverse credit history who is willing to cosign. I'm worried that I still won't receive the loan. What ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Does Joint Repayment Obligate Spouses for Each Other's Student Loans?

    I applied to have both my husband's and my student loan debt considered in determining our payments under income-based repayment. This reduced our payments significantly. My concern is that the repayment plan selection forms have a box to check that accepts responsibility for your spouse's loan. My student loan debt is considerably higher than my husband's and should I precede him ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Time to panic about prepaid tuition plans?

    Time to panic about prepaid tuition plans?
    The New York Times reported on October 5, 2009 that 16 of the 18 state prepaid tuition plans are facing funding shortfalls because of a combination of stock market losses and increases in tuition at public colleges. Only five state plans are backed by the full faith and credit of the state. While the other states will be under political pressure ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Drowning in Six-Figure Debt for a Low-Paying Field of Study

    I am going to be attending a New York university this spring as a music major. My ultimate goal is to get a doctorate of ethnomusicology and to teach at a university while also completing fieldwork research. My loan debt will be very high (at least $100,000). Do you know how to attempt to get a high-paying college job right out ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    How do retirement funds affect student aid eligibility?

    How do parent contributions to 401(k) or IRA retirement plans affect financial aid eligibility? — Stephen C. The federal need analysis methodology considers both income (taxable and untaxed) and assets that are reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Money in qualified retirement plans, such as a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, pension, SEP, SIMPLE, Keogh and certain annuities, is ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Impact of Tax Filing Status on Income-Based Repayment for Married Borrowers

    We married in January of last year, after my husband graduated with a Master's degree in December. His loans total $65,000 and he earned $20,000 last year. I graduated in May with a doctorate in physical therapy and $175,000 in debt. My income last year was $33,000. Our combined AGI was $53,000. For our federal loans we want income-based repayment. But ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Advice to Parents Whose Child will be the First in the Family to Go to College

    My wife and I are looking for help in getting our son into college. He is a junior in high school. His mother and I are on disability. My wife is fighting stage four breast cancer. I was hurt at work two years ago. We would like to see our son go to college but there is no way we would ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Which parent is responsible for completing the financial aid application?

    I am confused about which parent's information to include on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). My ex-husband paid child support for 7 months this year from a settlement agreement but has been unemployed for nearly two years. He is re-married. My son is 18, lives with me, and starts college next fall. This year my ex-husband gets to ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Private Student Loans Add Fixed Rate Options

    Student loan pricing goes through cycles. When fixed interest rates are high but variable interest rates are heading downward, borrowers prefer variable interest rates. When variable interest rates are low but likely to head higher, borrowers prefer fixed-rate options. A little over a year ago only one commercial lender, SunTrust, offered a fixed-rate option on its loans. Today there are eight, ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores

    Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores
    Good credit, bad credit, credit score reports, sites and don’t even mention credit cards! It’s all too easy to get jumbled in the mix. Luckily, our financial expert Mark Kantrowitz breaks down the basic questions, like what a credit score is and why should you care.[gate] How is my credit score calculated? Lenders report whether you pay your bills on time ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +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
  • +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
  • +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 over 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +6

    Why Your Grandparents Could be Your Meal Ticket to College

    Why Your Grandparents Could be Your Meal Ticket to College
    There are many ways in which grandparents can help their grandchildren pay for a college education. These include legacy scholarships and tuition assistance programs, educational awards for volunteering and community service, college savings plans and direct gifts. Scholarships for Grandchildren Very few scholarships are based on a grandparent's affiliations. There are many more awards based on a parent's affiliations. However, sometimes ...
    Published about 6 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +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 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +6

    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 Joe Biden, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Richard Cordray and Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz hosted a roundtable with presidents of ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +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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