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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Finding Funding on Campus

Finding Funding on Campus

Avoiding the topic of financial aid only makes it that much worse in the long run!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published January 29, 2014
Congress Passes One-Year Interest Rate Freeze

Congress Passes One-Year Interest Rate Freeze

Congress passed legislation on Friday, June 29, 2012 to prevent the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans to undergraduate students from doubling July 1, 2012. The last-minute legislation, which passed with ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 29, 2012
Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for One-Time Events

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 16, 2012
When Grandma Moves In, Does It Help or Hurt Financial Aid Eligibility?

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? — ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 26, 2010
Questions about retirement plan contributions and help for a student whose brother has cancer

Questions about retirement plan contributions and help for a student whose brother has cancer

We are a family of 4 with gross income of about $58,000. With IRA and 401(k) contributions and pretax health care deductions our AGI is about $47,000. Would it benefit us ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 19, 2010
Is a Student Who is Enrolled Simultaneously in High School and College Eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 2, 2011
How Accurate are the Net Price Figures from Colleges and College Navigator?

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. ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 17, 2011
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
Will Delaying a Bankruptcy Filing Affect Eligibility for Student Aid?

Will Delaying a Bankruptcy Filing Affect Eligibility for Student Aid?

My son is a senior in high school this year. I might have to file for bankruptcy. Should I file this year or wait until next year to file? — Rich ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 15, 2010
Questions about the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 12, 2010
Conflicting Information about Trends in Net College Costs

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 17, 2011
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
Dad Died, Mom Remarried; Grandma Moved In. How do These Changes Affect My FAFSA?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 16, 2009
Questions about Obtaining and Repaying Student Loans

Questions about Obtaining and Repaying Student Loans

How will my credit score effect my ability to get the funding I need for graduate school? If my credit is not great, will I be able to get the loans ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 26, 2009
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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 15, 2011
Can a Stepdaughter be Counted in the Household If She Lives with the Other Parent?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 25, 2011
Questions about Maintaining and Regaining Eligibility for Federal Education Loans

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 30, 2009
Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students

Check out financial aid and scholarship opportunities for undocumented students.

Published September 9, 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
Rolling US Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan for Tax-Free Treatment

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, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 30, 2012