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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +6

    What Do You Do When Income or an Asset Isn't Really Your Money?

    I am a disabled parent who hasn't worked since 2007. I am currently on long term disability and have been ruled disabled by the Social Security Administration. My child is heading off to college in the fall and we are working on his FAFSA. My Social Security came through in late November in a large lump sum due to back dating. ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +3

    How Accurate are the Net Price Figures from Colleges and College Navigator?

    How believeable and reliable are the net price values quoted on the College Navigator web site? My granddaughter is interested in two public universities, one in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota. Each has an online net price calculator. The Wisconsin university is $13,948 and the Minnesota university is $18,318. But on the College Navigator web site the costs are $14,063 and ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +3

    Quick Answers to Common Questions about Financial Aid

    Financial aid is an inherently complicated topic. Sometimes students and parents have questions that may seem obvious to people who have more experience with financial aid. But they can't find the answers they need. This week's Ask Kantro column addresses several such questions. Hi. I was wondering how or where you can apply for the federal supplemental educational opportunity grant. I ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +5

    Questions about the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

    If you have already graduated from college, will you be affected by the new changes to student loans in the health care bill? — Lauren A. No. None of the changes enacted by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 will affect students who have already graduated. Starting July 1, 2010, all new federal education loans will be made ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +8

    Conflicting Information about Trends in Net College Costs

    A report released today by The Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), discusses trends in net tuition and net price at US colleges and universities. Net Tuition and Net Price Trends in the United States: 2000-2009 reports that "At four year colleges, net tuition has increased by around one thousand dollars over a time period when per capita income has ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +9

    Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size

    My sister is in college and she applied for financial aid so my dad already has a pin. Should I create a new pin or use the same one? — Perla C. A PIN is used to sign the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) electronically. Each person signing the form must have their own PIN. Your father can use ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +8

    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 size as well as report the amount he pays for child support for them? If it's only one or the other, which is more financial beneficial from a FAFSA standpoint? ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    What Documentation can a College Financial Aid Administrator Request?

    I'm an independent student who filed a 1040A last year so I was not required to answer questions about assets on the FAFSA application. I had very little income last year and have a zero EFC. I reported taxes on capital gains and now my school is asking for information about my investment assets (which are about $40,000). Can they use ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +21

    Finding Funding on Campus

    Finding Funding on Campus
    By now, you’re probably fully geared up for second semester. But, are you fully prepared to pay for this – not to mention future semesters – as well? Probably not. In fact, most students shudder at hearing “financial aid” and why wouldn't you? It’s confusing, intimidating and, as a result, you likely avoid the topic at all costs. However, avoiding the ...
    Published 10 months ago | Rated: +21
  • +6

    When Grandma Moves In, Does It Help or Hurt Financial Aid Eligibility?

    Grandma is moving in with her Social Security check. Does this help or hurt my FAFSA results? Does her Social Security check count towards my parents' income on the FAFSA? — Doreen Y. The answer is complicated and depends on whether Grandma receives the Social Security benefits in her own name or whether they are received by your parents on her ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +12

    Is a Student Who is Enrolled Simultaneously in High School and College Eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid?

    My 16-year-old son has passed an ability-to-benefit (ATB) test at a community college. He has been accepted has a regular student in a qualifying program but has not graduated from high school. The college is denying him the Federal Pell Grant because they are stating that he is enrolled in high school. My position is that in Florida he has passed ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +4

    What Happens When Retirement Money isn't in a Qualified Retirement Plan?

    I am a single parent, age 56 and my daughter will be applying for college next year. I make less than $60,000, but have just over $100,000 in savings and mutual funds that I have saved towards retirement as I am self employed. (I just recently found out about other self employed retirement options.) Will my daughter receive less financial aid ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +9

    Dad Died, Mom Remarried; Grandma Moved In. How do These Changes Affect My FAFSA?

    We recently had an addition in the family. Not a new sibling, but my mother's mom is now living with us. She's great and we love having her, but she's not free. Should I change any info on my FAFSA because of this? — Sana B. If your grandmother lives with and receives more than half her support from your parents, ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +1

    Cost of Raising Children from Birth to High School Graduation Up 0.5% to $222,360

    The US Department of Agriculture estimates that middle-income two-parent families will spend $222,360 in 2009 dollars to raise a child born in 2009 from birth to high school graduation. The cost per child for low income families (earning less than $56,670) is $160,410 and the cost per child for upper income families (earning more than $98,120) is $369,360. These estimates do ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +1
  • +7

    Does Cash from the Sale of the Family Home Count as an Asset on the FAFSA?

    We just sold our house and have not yet found our new house and have a lot of cash on hand. We will use the cash to buy a home in the next couple of months. The cash is a false representation of our savings, but since we don't have a mortgage, it looks like we do. We need to keep ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +5

    Impact of Capital Gains on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

    Families often sell investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds to pay college bills. If these investments are not held within a 529 college savings plan or other qualified tuition plan, however, the capital gains from selling the investments can hurt the student's eligibility for need-based financial aid. Capital gains occur when you sell an asset that has appreciated in ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +7

    Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores

    Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores
    Good credit, bad credit, credit score reports, sites and don’t even mention credit cards! It’s all too easy to get jumbled in the mix. Luckily, our financial expert Mark Kantrowitz breaks down the basic questions, like what a credit score is and why should you care.[gate] How is my credit score calculated? Lenders report whether you pay your bills on time ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +9

    Questions about Maintaining and Regaining Eligibility for Federal Education Loans

    I have a sophomore in college right now and will have another child starting her freshman year in college next year. We were approved for a Stafford Loan and a Parent PLUS loan for our son this year. We will need to have student loans to finance the entire amount of both kids' education. Will we be able to continue to ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +4

    Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for One-Time Events

    In our base year, my spouse will have a one-time job that will significantly raise our income for one year only. We have significant credit card debt and no savings for our child's college education. We plan to use the extra income to pay down our debt and to have money available to help with college costs. But will this one ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +6

    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 will not contribute to their education. He provides absolutely NO support for the girls, I pay their tuition and everything else they need all on my own. My daughters are ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +6
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