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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +5

    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 as credit cards and auto loans, are ignored on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even education loans are ignored. The only exception to this rule occurs when ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +3

    Why Do We Owe the College Money After the Student Dropped Out?

    My son was awarded an amount from FAFSA and also money from the LIFE and Pell grants. We paid the remainder of his tuition out of pocket. He started his freshman year and started having some medical issues. He withdrew from school during the second drop period. The university sent us a letter explaining how this money was sent back to ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +22

    Survey Says: Parents Still Saving for College Despite Economy

    Sallie Mae and Gallup just released the results of a survey of how American families save for college. The survey found that most parents are continuing to save for college despite the economy and that saving for college slightly trails saving for retirement. More than 9 in 10 of the parents (92%) think that it is likely or very likely that ...
    Published about 6 years ago | Rated: +22
  • +4

    Kantro's Tips to Save You Money!

    Kantro's Tips to Save You Money!
    Financial Aid Guru Mark Kantrowitz has compiled his top tips on repaying student loans, saving money and alternatives to student loans. Any wise student will heed this advice! Repaying Student Loans • Sign up for auto-debit with electronic billing, where the monthly loan payments are automatically debited from your bank account. Many education lenders offer a 0.25% or 0.50% interest rate ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +4
  • -1

    Potential Impact of the Fiscal Cliff on Federal Student Financial Aid

    The Budget Control Act of 2011 enacted automatic across-the-board spending cuts in the federal budget if Congress in unable to achieve specified reductions in overall spending on its own. This process is called sequestration. The White House's Office of Management and Budget released a 394-page report on Friday, September 14, 2012, detailing the specific budget lines in the FY2013 budget that ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: -1
  • +26

    Answers to Introductory Questions about Financial Aid for College

    Answers to Introductory Questions about Financial Aid for College
    I am a high school junior and an Upward Bound scholar. I do not have any way to pay for college and I really want to attend. How do I apply for financial aid? What are the requirements? Do I have to pay for anything? What advice do you have for me if I do receive financial aid? — Alexis M. ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +26
  • +5

    How Does a Pending Foreclosure or Short Sale Affect Financial Aid?

    How do we answer the question "Do you own your home" on financial aid forms when we are in pre-foreclosure? We are not yet in active foreclosure, but are several years in arrears on our mortgage as we are significantly underwater on our loans and have been unsuccessful so far in getting a satisfactory modification. To that end, we just retained ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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 over 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +3

    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 assets? Does it make a difference one way or other? When we listed $350,000 in property as our assets, it made a huge difference but we are not sure how ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +3

    When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

    I have an old UTMA account for my daughter with Janus, with approximately $5,000 in gains. I opened this before they even had 529 college savings plans. I was thinking of transferring this to a 529 account with NYSaves.com. My daughter is 13. Is it worth transferring this UTMA account to a 529 and paying capital gains now, or is it ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +7

    An Early Look at the New Income-Based Repayment Plan

    A new version of income-based repayment (IBR) was enacted by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, but will be effective only for new borrowers on or after July 1, 2014. President Obama has proposed fast-tracking the new IBR plan to make it available to more students sooner. This article presents a sneak peak at the details of the ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +4

    Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards

    Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards
    By now, we’re all aware that managing money can be quite difficult. Here are some surefire ways, straight from nationally recognized financial expert Mark Kantrowitz, on how to help stay on track when it comes to pinching pennies. [gate] First, exercise control over your money by increasing awareness of your spending habits. Start by preparing a descriptive budget, where you track ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +7

    Impact of a Gift Trust Account on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

    My daughter turned 18 recently, and received a $25,000 mutual fund statement with her name on it. Her aunt had put $10,000 away in 1995 in a gift trust account for a minor. This was a mutual fund account in which the interest was reinvested each year and therefore no IRS interest statements were generated. We were unaware that her aunt ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +30

    Money Saving Advice for College Students

    Money Saving Advice for College Students
    Saving money as a college student is critical. The more you save, the better off you'll be. And, while plenty of expenses arise, there are also plenty of overlooked opportunities for students to save. Don't allow yourself to overlook these opportunities! If there's ever a time to live frugally, college is it. You're currently in a very unique situation where frugality ...
    Published 12 months ago | Rated: +30
  • +20

    If the Financial Aid Package Does Not Fit, A Request for More Aid You Should Submit

    I'm 16 years old and I'm the valedictorian of my senior graduating class in New York City. This year was a very difficult one finding the right college to go; fortunately I did find the perfect college. The problem is that the college left me with an unmet need of almost $13,000 when my Student Aid Report from the FAFSA said ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +20
  • +7

    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 from the federal government, state governments and most colleges. The financial aid will include a mix of grants, loans and student employment. The terms grants and scholarships are often used ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +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 4 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 5 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +15

    Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money

    Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money
    Nobody ever said being an adult was easy and knowing how to save and invest properly is not exception to the rule. But, who better to advise you on saving and investing money than Mark Kantrowitz, a nationally recognized finance guru? Here are tips, right from the expert, on how to save and invest like a pro. [gate] • Save for ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +15
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