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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +9

    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 over 4 years 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 over 3 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 1 year ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    How to Pay for College After a Recent Bankruptcy Discharge

    My daughter will be starting college in the fall (hopefully). The full cost for each year is approximately $50,000. She received a scholarship for $35,000 and she has enough saved for books ($1,000), leaving her needing $14,000. When we filled out the FAFSA it said her family contribution would be too high. Unfortunately my husband and I filed for bankruptcy in ...
    Published about 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 over 3 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 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Does Cash from the Sale of the Family Home Count as an Asset on the FAFSA?

    We just sold our house and have not yet found our new house and have a lot of cash on hand. We will use the cash to buy a home in the next couple of months. The cash is a false representation of our savings, but since we don't have a mortgage, it looks like we do. We need to keep ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 about 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    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 over 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Emergency Dental Care for an International Student; Reporting a New Spouse's Income and Assets on the FAFSA

    I am not a US citizen. I came to the United States a month ago to begin graduate school. Unfortunately I got a severe toothache a week ago. As a teaching assistant I have health insurance provided by my school, but it doesn't cover dental care. No matter how bad it gets, the toothache will not be considered an emergency. The ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Can a Stepdaughter be Counted in the Household If She Lives with the Other Parent?

    My stepdaughter used my husband's tax return to file her FAFSA because her mother had said that his taxes needed to be used because he claims her on his income tax return. From what I know, the parent that the child lives with most of the time should be used. Am I right or wrong? She got denied financial aid when ...
    Published almost 3 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 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Choosing an Education Loan

    Choosing an Education Loan
    Most families evaluate education loans based mainly on cash flow considerations: How much money can you get to pay for college costs and/or living expenses? How much are the monthly payments? When do the payments start and when do they end? What is the total cost of the loan (total payments over the life of the loan)? Who is responsible for ...
    Published over 5 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 over 5 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    FAFSA Questions Concerning Assets and Legal Guardianships

    I am an incoming freshman in college and my single mom is worried about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We recently sold our house and are currently living in a rented apartment. The money from selling the house is in her savings account. We are currently looking for a new house. My mom is worried that if we ...
    Published almost 5 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 about 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Students Lose Financial Aid for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

    I have been attending college for some time now. Ever since my mom passed away I have been really shaking with some of my classes. Last semester I did decent: I got an A, two Cs and a D. But my appeal for financial aid got denied. I had to pay out of pocket for the spring semester and I won't ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 almost 3 years ago | Rated: +8
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