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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +9

    What Counts as Child Support on the FAFSA?

    I am very grateful to Fastweb for providing all that you do. I am especially grateful for your answers to questions. I agreed (outside of the courts) to pay my daughter's car payment and some additional spending money for internet access. This increased my costs by $100 per month beyond the child support obligation. Can I exclude this amount from the ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    Short Answers to A Few Common FAFSA Questions

    Does checking the Federal Work Study box on the FAFSA affect other forms of financial aid that a college might award, such as scholarships or other government aid? Is it wise to check this box even if you have not yet received a college's financial aid offer? — S. Z. Turning down one form of need-based financial aid generally does not ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    Questions about Maintaining and Regaining Eligibility for Federal Education Loans

    I have a sophomore in college right now and will have another child starting her freshman year in college next year. We were approved for a Stafford Loan and a Parent PLUS loan for our son this year. We will need to have student loans to finance the entire amount of both kids' education. Will we be able to continue to ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    College Board Simplifies CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Form

    College Board Simplifies CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Form
    While the US Department of Education is working on simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the College Board has already been taking similar steps toward simplifying the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE form. The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE form tries to calculate a more precise measurement of ability to pay. This necessarily involves asking more questions than on the FAFSA. However, ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    How to Report Stocks on the FAFSA

    I am a single mom and my son will be entering his freshman year in college this fall. The FAFSA application asks for the gross income from last year's tax return. My W-2 total includes not only my salary but also stock grants that were given to me by my employer. This total in no way reflects the amount I lived ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    Financial Aid without Filing the FAFSA?

    Financial Aid without Filing the FAFSA?
    I tried to apply for federal student aid last year, and was told that I needed to include my parents tax information to receive aid. I've been living on my own since I was 17, claim myself on my taxes, and support myself with the help of my fiance. I can't afford to go to school without financial aid, and my ...
    Published 4 months ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    If a Student's Parents Do Not Claim Him as a Dependent on their Income Tax Returns, Will the Student Get More Financial Aid?

    How beneficial is it to have our college attending son file his taxes on his own versus us claiming him as a dependent? Does it make a huge difference in the amount of aid and/or scholarships he would receive? — Lois H. Whether or not a student is claimed as an exemption on his parents' federal income tax returns has no ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size

    Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size
    My sister is in college and she applied for financial aid so my dad already has a pin. Should I create a new pin or use the same one? — Perla C. A PIN is used to sign the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) electronically. Each person signing the form must have their own PIN. Your father can use ...
    Published 4 months ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    Pay Down Mortgage or Contribute to Son's 529?

    I just sold my house and moved in with my new husband. We have three children between us (two are his) and are looking for a bigger house. Would it make sense to save the $30,000 from the house sale in my son's 529 college savings plan account (he is 13 now), or use this money to buy a house and ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    7 Resources for Returning Students Paying for College

    7 Resources for Returning Students Paying for College
    As a returning student, you may feel that the scholarship search will be fruitless, financial aid will be nonexistent and that there are more inconveniences rather than benefits to going back to school. But that’s not the case at all. In fact, there are more than a few resources at your disposal to help you pay for school too. Independent Student ...
    Published 9 months ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    Free Money for College Savings

    There are a variety of national, state and local programs that encourage families to save for college by providing families with free money. There are two main types of such programs: 1. Birthday Present. Such programs provide contributions of $100 to $1,000 as seed money in the college savings plan when the parents open a new 529 college savings plan before ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    Questions about How to Handle an Inheritance and Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

    Our son is a sophomore in college. He receives both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. My husband and I have been paying the remaining balance for his education. I recently inherited approximately $100,000. I am aware that we should pay off high interest debt with this money. However, we want to save enough to pay for the rest of his college education ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    How Do I Transfer Financial Aid from One College to Another?

    If I change schools, how do I edit my FAFSA so the money goes to my new school? And about how long would it take for the money to transfer schools? — Q.T. Student financial aid does not directly transfer between colleges. Instead, the new college will recalculate your eligibility from scratch based on the information on your FAFSA and the ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +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
  • +8

    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 Trends in the United States: 2000-2009 reports that "At four year colleges, net tuition has increased by around one thousand dollars over a time period when per capita income has ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 about 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 almost 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Solutions for Borrowers Who are Having Trouble Repaying Education Loans

    Solutions for Borrowers Who are Having Trouble Repaying Education Loans
    There are many options for repayment relief for borrowers who are having trouble repaying their education loans. These include deferments and forbearances that suspend the monthly payment obligation, alternate repayment plans that reduce the monthly payments by increasing the loan term, and forgiveness and discharge programs that cancel the loans entirely. Which options are appropriate for you depends in part on ...
    Published about 6 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Why Do Some Merit-Based Scholarships Require the FAFSA?

    I am a 38-year-old student who returned to junior college after being laid off and being unable to find a comparable job. Because I was a "good saver" in my 20's, I was able to do this while only working part-time. Approximately 60% of my expenses are paid with my savings. I am ready to transfer into a 4-year institution. However, ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +8
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