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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +5

    A Prospective Student is Ineligible for Financial Aid Because of a Student Loan Default

    I gave college a shot when I was 18 and dropped out due to major health problems. Student loans obviously did not disappear because of this and I have been struggling with them ever since. Now at age 24 I finally feel that I am healthy enough to give school a second try. I thought I had every detail worked out ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +7

    Time to panic about prepaid tuition plans?

    Time to panic about prepaid tuition plans?
    The New York Times reported on October 5, 2009 that 16 of the 18 state prepaid tuition plans are facing funding shortfalls because of a combination of stock market losses and increases in tuition at public colleges. Only five state plans are backed by the full faith and credit of the state. While the other states will be under political pressure ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +11

    Tips for a Teacher on Managing Excessive Debt

    I have a dire question that needs urgent results. I took out a loan in college (undergraduate). I was foolish and took out the maximum loan amount that I could each time. Upon graduating, I moved to another state and began my teaching career. In the beginning years it was hard for me to make payments and I made bad choices ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +11

    5 Myths about Financial Aid

    5 Myths about Financial Aid
    Let’s be honest about something: financial aid is tricky, confusing and overwhelming. As is with all things complicated, it’s easy to see why students and parents alike believe everything they’re told about the process. Unfortunately, that means students are told a lot of “falsehoods.” One of the best things students and parents can do for their financial aid chances is to ...
    Published about 1 month ago | Rated: +11
  • +5

    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 financial aid office asked for the same documents as last year but told me that I couldn't be an independent student because I didn't have enough documented proof. I explained ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +5

    Questions about Net Assets and Changes in Marital Status

    On the asset section of the FAFSA form if you have $100,000 in stocks but also have a $75,000 margin loan balance would you net this out and put down $25,000 in stock assets? — Rob A. Yes. You report the net asset value, namely the current market value of the assets minus any debts secured by the assets. Since a ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +2

    Aboriginal Art and College Cost Bubbles

    Aboriginal Art and College Cost Bubbles
    What does Australian aboriginal art have to do with college costs? Read on. When I was a research scientist at a software laboratory over a decade ago, I purchased a few paintings by aboriginal artists during a trip to Australia to present a paper at an international computer science conference. Australian aboriginal art is intriguing because it is both primitive and ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +5

    Can the FAFSA be Completed with Information from the Previous Year's Tax Returns?

    My daughter got accepted to her first-choice school, a private university, as an early-decision candidate. The school won't be able to tell us the amount of financial aid she will be offered until March. I am eager to file the FAFSA and CSS Financial Aid PROFILE forms as soon as possible, as I've heard this helps maximize the amount of aid ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +7

    Drowning in Six-Figure Debt for a Low-Paying Field of Study

    I am going to be attending a New York university this spring as a music major. My ultimate goal is to get a doctorate of ethnomusicology and to teach at a university while also completing fieldwork research. My loan debt will be very high (at least $100,000). Do you know how to attempt to get a high-paying college job right out ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +5

    Can a Family on Fixed Income Afford to Pay Double for an Out-of-State Private College?

    My husband took early retirement so we are on a fixed income. We set aside enough money in various college funds for our daughter to attend any in-state public college. However, she is interested in an out-of-state private college that costs approximately double what we have saved. We are researching scholarship opportunities but wonder how the fact that we are retired ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +8

    Can a Stepdaughter be Counted in the Household If She Lives with the Other Parent?

    My stepdaughter used my husband's tax return to file her FAFSA because her mother had said that his taxes needed to be used because he claims her on his income tax return. From what I know, the parent that the child lives with most of the time should be used. Am I right or wrong? She got denied financial aid when ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    Rolling US Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan for Tax-Free Treatment

    I read your article on rolling savings bonds into a 529 plan but I am still not sure of one thing. If we are over the income threshold for tax-free redemption, can we roll the bonds into the 529 and avoid paying taxes on the bonds? Then when we take deductions from the 529 to pay for qualified expenses do we ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +4

    Treatment of Grandparent Assets Held by a Parent on the FAFSA

    I am completing the FAFSA for my son and daughter. My Mom is elderly and has put my name as secondary on her accounts. Do I have to report the money in those accounts as my assets on the FAFSA? It doesn't seem fair if I do, because the money is not mine to use. — Chris S. Grandparents sometimes transfer ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +4
  • Rate

    Public College Tuition Increased by 15% Last Year from Two Years Ago

    Nationwide, in-state tuition at 4-year public colleges increased by 15.0% from 2008-09 to 2010-11, according to updated college affordability data released by the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. (These figures do not appear to be weighted by full-time equivalent enrollment.) Tuition at community colleges increased by an even greater percentage, 16.6%. Tuition at 4-year non-profit colleges increased ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rate This
  • +8

    Student Credit Cards

    Student Credit Cards
    You see the offers everywhere, free duffel bag for signing up for this credit card, free water bottle, campus gear and sometimes even free money. Before you go signing on the dotted line, find out what you’re really signing up for. If you’re serious about considering a credit card, find out what kind of card it is. Not all plastics are ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +11

    The Beginner’s Guide to Financial Aid

    The Beginner’s Guide to Financial Aid
    If you’ve begun the college search, you’ve probably heard of a little thing called financial aid. The term is pretty self-explanatory; however, if you’ve talked to anyone who has filled out financial aid forms, the process is anything but simple. But it’s not impossible. Learning more about financial aid on a basic level can help you get a grasp of the ...
    Published 3 months ago | Rated: +11
  • +6

    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 dropping below half-time enrollment status. If the loan is a Perkins loan, repayment begins 9 months after graduating from college or dropping below half-time enrollment status. The 6 or 9 ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +6

    Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Call for Return of Bankruptcy Discharge for Student Loans

    The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) held a press conference on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 during which they called on Congress to allow federal and private student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy, to restore a reasonable statute of limitations on student loan collections and to improve oversight of private collection agencies. NACBA also released the results of a ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +8

    Rolling Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan for Tax-Free Treatment

    My son is heading to college this fall and I would like to use his savings bonds tax free, although the way I read the rules I think I cannot do it. Here is the story: All of the bonds were bought from 1994 through 2001 by various family members. All of the bonds have my son's name on the "TO" ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +9

    Completing the FAFSA When the Student's Parents Have a Legal Separation

    My parents aren't divorced but are legally separated and have been for about ten years. My mother is unable to remember where the papers for their separation are. I was wondering if I have to put my father's information on the FAFSA even though my mother is my primary care-giver. (I spend all 365 days a year with her.) I don't ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +9
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