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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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When is Real Estate Reported as a Business Asset on the FAFSA?

When is Real Estate Reported as a Business Asset on the FAFSA?

For parents who are self-employed and own real estate as one of their businesses, should they list the real estate assets as their assets (since they are self-employed) or as business ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 3, 2012
What are the Downsides to Using Home Equity to Refinance Student Loan Debt?

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

Home equity and student loan payments.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 22, 2012
Money Saving Advice for College Students

Money Saving Advice for College Students

Students often overlook opportunities to save - don't allow yourself to be one of them!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published May 15, 2016
How to Include Yourself on Your Teen's FAFSA if You're Enrolled Too

How to Include Yourself on Your Teen's FAFSA if You're Enrolled Too

How should a FAFSA be filled out if I have two children going to college and I am enrolling in a graduate program? When it asks how many are attending college ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 1, 2010
How is retirement income and past due child support reported on the FAFSA?

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, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 11, 2010
Student Loan Debt Clock Reaches $1 Trillion

Student Loan Debt Clock Reaches $1 Trillion

The student loan debt clock reached the $1 trillion milestone at about 6:40 am ET on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Although the student loan debt clock is for entertainment purposes only, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 8, 2012
Guidelines for Financial Freedom

Guidelines for Financial Freedom

When you’re a student trying to pay for school, one of the greatest challenges can be managing your finances in the best way possible.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published August 14, 2013
Borrowers with a Recent Bankruptcy are Ineligible for the Federal PLUS Loan

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 16, 2012
3 Tips to Appeal Financial Aid Packages

3 Tips to Appeal Financial Aid Packages

Learn the steps you can take to appeal a financial aid package.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published March 5, 2016
What are the Downsides and Upsides to Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans?

What are the Downsides and Upsides to Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans?

As a guidance counselor, I have many families asking me if there's any downside to taking out a federal unsubsidized loan. They need loan money either way and the rates for ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 23, 2012
Does Parental Support Affect Independent Student Status?

Does Parental Support Affect Independent Student Status?

I am 19 and have a baby (1 month old) and I am living with my boyfriend and his mother. I am confused about whose tax information to use on the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 4, 2013
Financial Aid for Older and Nontraditional Students

Financial Aid for Older and Nontraditional Students

Check out financial aid options for older, nontraditional and returning students.

Published August 25, 2015
Can a Student Receive Both Need-Based Grants and Merit-Based Scholarships?

Can a Student Receive Both Need-Based Grants and Merit-Based Scholarships?

If a child does receive FAFSA can they still receive scholarships and grants? — Y.P. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for need-based financial aid ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 14, 2012
What is a Reasonable and Affordable Monthly Payment for a Defaulted Borrower to Regain Federal Student Aid Eligibility?

What is a Reasonable and Affordable Monthly Payment for a Defaulted Borrower to Regain Federal Student Aid Eligibility?

I am 26 years old and would like to go back to college. I have $12,000 in student loans which are currently in administrative wage garnishment. I make $27,000 a year ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 30, 2010
Year in Review: Ups and Downs for Student Financial Aid in 2011

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 5, 2012
Must a Trust Fund be Reported on the FAFSA Even If Access to the Trust is Restricted?

Must a Trust Fund be Reported on the FAFSA Even If Access to the Trust is Restricted?

I have a friend whose mother passed away two years ago, and left her some money from an insurance policy. The money is currently in trust for her with her grandmother ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 15, 2012
Should Parents Pay Off Credit Cards Before Applying for College Loans and Other Aid?

Should Parents Pay Off Credit Cards Before Applying for College Loans and Other Aid?

Why is it better for parents to pay off credit cards (if one can) before obtaining loans for a child for college? — Diane H. Most forms of consumer debt, such ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 30, 2011
Is tuition refund insurance worthwhile?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 31, 2009
New Proposals for Hybrid Fixed/Variable Interest Rates on Federal Student Loans

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 12, 2013
College Credit Cards Cut by Credit CARD Act

College Credit Cards Cut by Credit CARD Act

Need a credit card? It will soon become a lot more difficult to get one. College students who want a credit card but are under age 21 will need to have ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 27, 2010