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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Questions about How to Handle an Inheritance and Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

Questions about How to Handle an Inheritance and Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

Our son is a sophomore in college. He receives both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. My husband and I have been paying the remaining balance for his education. I recently inherited approximately ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 1, 2010
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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 8, 2010
Advice to Parents Whose Child will be the First in the Family to Go to College

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 26, 2012
When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 6, 2012
How to Evaluate Financial Aid Award Letters with Missing Tuition and Grant Information

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 11, 2011
Should a custodial account held by a grandparent be reported on the grandchild's FAFSA?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 21, 2009
Paying for Tuition with a Credit Card or an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

Paying for Tuition with a Credit Card or an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

The pros and cons of paying college tuition with a credit card.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 20, 2012
Does Joint Repayment Obligate Spouses for Each Other's Student Loans?

Does Joint Repayment Obligate Spouses for Each Other's Student Loans?

Are you accountable for your spouse's student loans?

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 24, 2012
Which Parents are Responsible for Completing the Financial Aid Application Forms?

Which Parents are Responsible for Completing the Financial Aid Application Forms?

Both of my daughters' parents have re-married. Whose income is counted for financial aid? Just biological parents or their spouses too? Does primary parent fill out the paperwork or the parent ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 4, 2012
An Early Look at the New Income-Based Repayment Plan

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 3, 2012
Potential Impact of the Fiscal Cliff on Federal Student Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 16, 2012
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 ...

Published August 27, 2010
Why Do Some Merit-Based Scholarships Require the FAFSA?

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, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 12, 2010
Survey Says: Parents Still Saving for College Despite Economy

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 29, 2009
Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money

Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money

Learn how to invest and save like a pro.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published January 9, 2013
If the Financial Aid Package Does Not Fit, A Request for More Aid You Should Submit

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 5, 2010
Don’t Miss Out on These 5 Financial Aid Options

Don’t Miss Out on These 5 Financial Aid Options

Know all of your financial aid options.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published March 7, 2016
Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards

Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards

Managing money can be quite a challenge. Are you up for it?

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published January 8, 2013
Tips for Evaluating Financial Aid Award Letters

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 10, 2010
Can a Parent Count a Child in Household Size and Also Report Amounts Paid in Child Support on the FAFSA?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 10, 2011