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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Facing the Prospect of High Student Loan Debt at a Prestigious College

Facing the Prospect of High Student Loan Debt at a Prestigious College

I graduated from high school with honors in June and have been accepted to a prestigious private college, where I will be majoring in computer science and math. The college awarded ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 18, 2011
Wells Fargo Adds Death and Disability Discharges to Private Student Loans

Wells Fargo Adds Death and Disability Discharges to Private Student Loans

Wells Fargo announced on December 17, 2010 that it is adding death and disability discharges to its private student loan products. When the student borrower dies or becomes totally and permanently ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 18, 2010
When must a Non-Custodial Parent Count a Child in Household Size?

When must a Non-Custodial Parent Count a Child in Household Size?

I am remarried and my husband pays child support for his two children that live with their mother. They pass the support test. Do we include his children in our household ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 21, 2013
Will Differences in Parent Assets Due to the Omission Sibling-Owned Custodial 529 Plan Accounts Cause Problems on the FAFSA?

Will Differences in Parent Assets Due to the Omission Sibling-Owned Custodial 529 Plan Accounts Cause Problems on the FAFSA?

Since siblings' UTMA 529s don't get reported on the FAFSA, but the student's UTMA 529 is counted as a parent asset, each of my kids would have a different amount listed ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 19, 2011
Survey Says: Families Perceive College Costs as Increasing by 17% Compared with Last Year

Survey Says: Families Perceive College Costs as Increasing by 17% Compared with Last Year

Sallie Mae and Gallup just released the results of their third annual survey of how American families pay for college. The survey found that families perceived college costs as increasing by ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 9, 2010
How to Minimize the Impact of a Student's Brokerage Account on Financial Aid

How to Minimize the Impact of a Student's Brokerage Account on Financial Aid

We have an UTMA mutual fund for our son who is a senior in high school (17 years old). It is approximately $19,000 and was intended to help pay for college ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 26, 2012
Should a Family Sell Student-Owned Stocks to Get More Financial Aid?

Should a Family Sell Student-Owned Stocks to Get More Financial Aid?

I have two daughters. One is a junior in college. The other is a senior in high school who will be going to college this fall. They both have stocks given ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 2, 2012
When Does Repayment Begin on a Subsidized Loan?

When Does Repayment Begin on a Subsidized Loan?

When does a student have to start paying back a subsidized loan? — A.A. If the loan is a subsidized Stafford loan, repayment begins 6 months after graduating from college or ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 15, 2011
Year-End Financial Aid Moves

Year-End Financial Aid Moves

As the year draws to a close, there are several steps families can take to get more need-based and merit-based financial aid. Prepay Next Year's Tuition Taxpayers can claim one of ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 20, 2012
Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

Advice on federal and private student loans.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 11, 2012
Money Matters to Tackle While You're Still a Student

Money Matters to Tackle While You're Still a Student

Take on these money moves while you’re still a student so that you’re fully prepared once you enter the real world.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published February 11, 2015
Must the Student's Child Live with the Student for the Student to be Independent?

Must the Student's Child Live with the Student for the Student to be Independent?

I'm 23 and have a 4-year-old child. Last year I received independent status for my financial aid because I supported my child more than 51% of his needs. This year the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 5, 2012
Choose a Cheaper In-State Public College to Cut College Costs

Choose a Cheaper In-State Public College to Cut College Costs

I am a 17-year-old high school senior applying to colleges. I wish to apply to certain private institutions where the tuition is over 45K. I am doing my best applying for ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 6, 2010
Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores

Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores

What's a credit score and why should you care?

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published January 8, 2013
Vietnam Era Veteran Needs Help Paying for Graduate School

Vietnam Era Veteran Needs Help Paying for Graduate School

Advice for older veterans returning to college.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 2, 2012
Should Borrowers Pay Off Old Student Loans to Qualify for the New 10% Version of Income-Based Repayment?

Should Borrowers Pay Off Old Student Loans to Qualify for the New 10% Version of Income-Based Repayment?

I want to qualify for the "pay as you earn plan" 10% income-based repayment plan. I have $80,000 in Direct Loans from 2010-2012. I have a balance of $2,800 on an ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 5, 2011
Should Students and Parents Who are Close to Retirement Borrow to Pay for College?

Should Students and Parents Who are Close to Retirement Borrow to Pay for College?

I am 47 and recently divorced single parent of two children, ages 7 and 8. I spent the last 9 years as a stay-at-home parent. As a result of the divorce, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 16, 2012
New Husband Refuses to Help with College Costs

New Husband Refuses to Help with College Costs

I have been a single mother raising twin daughters pretty much all their life but recently (2 years ago) remarried a fairly successful man who has from day one said he ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 7, 2011
Financial Aid for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students

Financial Aid for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students

Find LGBT scholarships to help pay for school.

Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published May 25, 2016
How to Read the New Financial Aid Award Letter

How to Read the New Financial Aid Award Letter

Colleges and universities are making changes to financial aid award letters.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published March 28, 2016