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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +8

    Rolling Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan for Tax-Free Treatment

    My son is heading to college this fall and I would like to use his savings bonds tax free, although the way I read the rules I think I cannot do it. Here is the story: All of the bonds were bought from 1994 through 2001 by various family members. All of the bonds have my son's name on the "TO" ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    How Does Bankruptcy Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

    How does a chapter 13 bankruptcy affect financial aid? Would it be difficult to get financial aid for my child because my husband and I filed chapter 13 about 2 years ago? — C. F. A previous bankruptcy can affect eligibility for some education loans but it does not affect eligibility for other forms of financial aid. The Bankruptcy Reform Act ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Financial Aid and Scholarships for Foster Care and Adopted Children

    I adopted a special needs foster child when he was 11 years old. I have been told he does not qualify for any aid. I recently learned that if I would have adopted him at age 13 he would of received a full scholarship. My son wants to attend a private college at approximately $43,000 per year. Do you have any ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Can Parent PLUS Loans Get Income-Based Repayment and Loan Forgiveness?

    You've mentioned previously that while Parent PLUS loans are nominally eligible for public service loan forgiveness, they are not eligible for IBR or ICR, which leaves nothing left to forgive. Is there no relief for Parent PLUS loans altogether? Or, is there any way for Parent PLUS loans to qualify for loan forgiveness? — Anonymous Federal Parent PLUS loans are not ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Help for Retired Parents Repaying Parent PLUS Loans on Fixed Income

    Help!!! My Parent PLUS loans are presently in a forbearance that will end in a few months. My expected installment payments are more than my monthly income. I am retired and my husband is on disability retirement. We have another son presently attending college. What options are available to me (if any)? Do I ask for an extended repayment, or continue ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Year in Review: Ups and Downs for Student Financial Aid in 2011

    2011 was an eventful year for student financial aid, student loans and scholarships. This article summarizes the major events, positive and negative, for student aid in 2011. It also provides a few highlights of developments that are anticipated for 2012. The Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (P.L. 112-10, April 15, 2011) ended the year-round Pell Grant program ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Tips for Evaluating Financial Aid Award Letters

    Financial aid award letters provide college students with information about college costs and the types and amount of financial aid the student will receive. Families rely on the financial aid award letters to help them understand college costs and compare costs among different colleges. But financial aid award letters can sometimes be confusing. Fastweb surveyed about 580,000 college freshmen and sophomores ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    How Do Grandparent-Owned 529 College Savings Plans Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?

    How Do Grandparent-Owned 529 College Savings Plans Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?
    Only 529 college savings plans that are owned by the student or the student's parents are reported as assets on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). So a 529 plan owned by a grandparent or other third party will not be reported as an asset on the FAFSA. However, qualified distributions from such a 529 plan are treated as ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Should a custodial account held by a grandparent be reported on the grandchild's FAFSA?

    Does a parent need to disclose (on the FAFSA) funds in an UGMA or UTMA account in the student's name with a grandparent as custodian? If so, how does this affect a student's eligibility for financial aid? Are there penalties for not reporting such an account, even if the parent and student have no knowledge of its existence? Would it be ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Timing of an Appeal for More Aid and Appealing the Asset Value of Unsold Real Estate

    How soon after filing the FAFSA can I request a professional judgement review (without seeming overanxious)? We tried to sell our previous home last year without success. The home is vacant and not used for rental. Naturally we have to list this as an asset which makes our total assets look like more than they are. Furthermore, the value we used ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Can a Parent Count a Child in Household Size and Also Report Amounts Paid in Child Support on the FAFSA?

    I am the custodial parent for my son and college-bound daughter. It seems like the form assumes that only non-custodial parents pay child support! However, I still pay their mother child support of over $1,600/month (they are with her slightly less than half the time). Do I report those child support payments on the FAFSA where it asks for "child support ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    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 over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +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 about 3 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 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +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 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Ask the Expert: Why Not Borrow from My 401(k) for My Daughter's College Tuition?

    QUESTION: Why not borrow from my 401(k) for my daughter's college tuition, as there will be less to lose in this economic crisis? -- Betsy Thomas ANSWER: Borrowing from your 401(k) is almost always a big mistake. It may seem innocuous, since instead of paying back a bank loan, you're paying yourself. But you've lost the opportunity to earn further returns ...
    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 over 2 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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +7
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