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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +6

    How is retirement income and past due child support reported on the FAFSA?

    I am trying to fill out my FAFSA. My father retired last year and I am confused as to what to put for his financial answers, for example, gross income, taxes, etc. Do I fill out a separate form because he is retired? Will they know that he is retired? I am so lost and getting frustrated. Please help! — Alexa ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +3

    Social Worker with Six Figure Debt Seeks Advice Handling Student Loans

    Help! I am a 24-year-old recent college graduate who is struggling to find full-time employment. I'm currently working full-time hours on a three-month contract that is going to expire at the end of the month. I received my Master's degree in Social Work and do not expect a high starting salary based upon the current market. My student loans from undergrad ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +2

    Survey Says: Financial Considerations Affecting College Choices

    Sallie Mae and Gallup just released the results of a survey of how American families pay for college. The survey found that families are becoming more cost conscious in their college choices. Nevertheless, the majority of families still see college as a necessary and worthwhile investment in their children's future. Students from higher income families were more likely to enroll at ...
    Published almost 6 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +11

    5 Myths about Financial Aid

    5 Myths about Financial Aid
    Let’s be honest about something: financial aid is tricky, confusing and overwhelming. As is with all things complicated, it’s easy to see why students and parents alike believe everything they’re told about the process. Unfortunately, that means students are told a lot of “falsehoods.” One of the best things students and parents can do for their financial aid chances is to ...
    Published 8 months ago | Rated: +11
  • +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
  • +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

    New Proposals for Hybrid Fixed/Variable Interest Rates on Federal Student Loans

    The President's budget for fiscal year 2014, which was released on April 10, 2013, includes a proposal for switching new federal student loans to a hybrid fixed/variable interest rate scheme starting July 1, 2013. A similar proposal was introduced the day before by several Republican Senators as the Comprehensive Student Loan Protection Act (S.682). Subsidized Stafford Loan Rate May Double Currently, ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +3

    A Primer on the Doubling of the Subsidized Stafford Loan Interest Rate

    This article summarizes the background concerning the doubling of the interest rate on new subsidized Stafford loans to undergraduate students from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1, 2012. It also discusses the impact of the pending change. [Congress passed a one-year extension to the 3.4% interest rate on June 29, 2012.] Background The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • -1

    Is tuition refund insurance worthwhile?

    College is a big investment, as expensive as buying an automobile or a house. You insure your car and your home, why not insure your child's college education? Tuition refund insurance provides a full or partial refund of college costs -- including tuition, fees, room and board -- in the event your child is forced to withdraw midway through the school ...
    Published almost 6 years ago | Rated: -1
  • +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
  • +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 almost 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +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

    What are the Downsides to Using Home Equity to Refinance Student Loan Debt?

    I have almost $200K in student loan debt at interest rates from 6.5% to 8.5%. My parents are offering to take on $70K of my debt that's at 8.5% by way of a mortgage they have access to at 3.5%, provided that I am able to pay it off in 3 years. Given my current job situation, I can handle the ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +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
  • +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 over 5 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +4

    Will a Parent PLUS Loan be Denied When Applying for Two Loans for Two Children?

    I am applying for two Parent PLUS loans because I have twins going to school at the same time. Is it possible one loan will be denied because we are applying for two at the same time? What can I do if one of the applications is denied? We have good credit 730 and 780 for each of us. — Michelle ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +2

    Excerpts from the Democratic and Republican Party Platforms on Student Financial Aid

    This article provides excerpts of the proposals concerning student financial aid for college that appear in the 2012 Democratic National Platform and the 2012 Republican Platform. Neither platform, however, contains a lot of detail about student financial aid. Some of the key differences between the two parties include the role of banks in making new federal education loans, changes in funding ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +11

    Death and Disability May Now Get You Out of Paying Loans

    Death and Disability May Now Get You Out of Paying Loans
    According to a press release from Securian Financial Group, Sallie Mae is adding a total and permanent disability discharge on its Smart Option private student loan. This discharge will forgive the loan if the primary borrower becomes totally and permanently disabled. In addition, Sallie Mae will cancel the Smart Option private student loan if the primary borrower dies. Securian Financial Group ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +9

    Reporting Prepaid Tuition Plans and 529 Plans on the FAFSA for Independent Students

    I'm confused as to how to treat a prepaid tuition plan when applying for financial aid. I'm an independent student but I have a small prepaid tuition account which is held by a parent as account owner with me as the beneficiary. Since I don't list parent assets when filling out the FAFSA, do I need to list the prepaid tuition ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +8

    Congress Proposes Cutting Student Financial Aid in FY2012 Federal Education Budget

    The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are considering proposals to cut student financial aid in the FY2012 federal education budget. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee with oversight over education spending, released draft legislation (H.R. 3070) on Friday, September 30, 2011, which includes several changes to student financial aid for college. The legislation was referred ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
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