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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +4

    How to Complete the FAFSA when a Parent Didn't File her Federal Income Tax Return

    I have a problem with my FAFSA. My mom didn't file her income tax returns last year. What do I use when I fill out my FAFSA form? — Erica H. There are four common scenarios in which someone might not file a federal income tax return: 1. Not required to file. The taxpayer is not required to file a federal ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +24

    10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders

    10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders
    Filling out financial aid forms is challenging and a task, to say the least. But don’t rush the process – any mistakes can cause serious delays in the process or, worse, disqualify you all together. Though these seem like common sense-covered areas, the following are errors that students frequently make when filling out financial aid forms. Before submitting any financial aid ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +24
  • +7

    Financial Aid for Graduate School: Your Credit History Affect and Types of Aid

    I recently decided to go back to school for a degree in software engineering. My short terms goal after school is to apply for a job with one of the top software application companies. My long term goal is to eventually start my own business specializing in creating custom apps for businesses and/or individuals. I am in debt from previous undergraduate ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +16

    What are Your Options When Your Parents Refuse to File the FAFSA?

    What are Your Options When Your Parents Refuse to File the FAFSA?
    I am hoping you can help me with my FAFSA issue. I am 16 and a senior this year in high school, so I plan on attending a university in the fall. However, my dream college is a private university and is extremely expensive. My parents refuse to help pay a dime towards furthering my education — they believe college isn't ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +16
  • -22

    PSST! Want to Graduate from College with an Undergraduate Degree and No Debt?

    A recent research report analyzes the characteristics of the 1.7 million undergraduate students who were able to graduate in 2007-08 without any student loan debt. About two fifths of undergraduate students graduate with no debt and three fifths graduate with less than $10,000 in student loan debt. This analysis yields seven practical tips on what you should do if you want ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: -22
  • +5

    How Should Divorced Parents Split a Child's College Costs?

    I am the custodial parent for my daughter who will go to college this fall. It will be her first year. My income was reported on the FAFSA. This included child support, although my ex-husband has recently stopped paying child support. Now the ex-husband wants access to half of the funds available through the FAFSA to use toward his half of ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +273

    Can You Get a Pell Grant Even If You Don't Qualify for the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program?

    If a child does not qualify for the free or reduced-price school lunch program, can they still qualify for federal student aid? —Y.P. Yes. Students who don't qualify for the free or reduced-price school lunch program can still qualify for federal student aid and should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA added a question about the ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +273
  • +14

    How Does a Parent Enrolling in College Affect the Child's Financial Aid?

    My daughter is hoping to attend a private college next year. Of course, we will be applying for financial aid and as many scholarships as we can find! My husband works full time and I have always worked full time. In late February, I was temporarily laid off from my job. I should be returning to work on a part-time basis ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +14
  • +13

    Options for a Family Denied Education Loans Due to Insufficient Income

    My daughter received some financial aid for her freshman year of college but we still had to take out a sizable loan for the rest. She applied for a loan her sophomore year and was denied because we have "insufficient income" to repay the debt. My husband is self-employed as a landscaper and it was a bad year. She was attending ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +10

    First Steps Toward Simplifying the FAFSA

    First Steps Toward Simplifying the FAFSA
    Student aid policy experts have argued for years that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is too long and too complicated. The FAFSA form is a source of confusion and frustration for many families. The policy experts have proven that the current process of applying for financial aid is itself a problem that prevents millions of students from applying ...
    Published about 6 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +5

    That Free Financial Aid Seminar May be Just a Worthless Sales Pitch

    From time to time I receive solicitations for free financial aid seminars that are really sales pitches for a product or service. I attend these seminars to monitor the information (and misinformation) that these seminars disseminate. The latest one was a bit different, in that it was affiliated with a national asset management and financial planning firm. It's not a very ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +7

    How To Ask Friends and Family for Money for a Child's College Savings Plan

    In a Fastweb survey of high school and college students about preferred holiday gifts, more than half of the respondents said that they were hoping for money for college. But asking for money is awkward. It feels like begging. Most people are uncomfortable asking for money, even for a good purpose. Asking for gifts of money is taboo in the United ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +11

    Some Scholarship Sponsors Review the Online Presence of Finalists When Selecting Winners

    Some Scholarship Sponsors Review the Online Presence of Finalists When Selecting Winners
    Your Facebook profile may cause you to lose a scholarship. It can also help you win a scholarship. According to a recent survey of scholarship-granting organizations, about a quarter of scholarship providers evaluate the online presence of finalists before selecting which students will win scholarships. These scholarship sponsors use web search sites like Google and social media web sites like Facebook, ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +7

    Which parent is responsible for completing the financial aid application?

    I am confused about which parent's information to include on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). My ex-husband paid child support for 7 months this year from a settlement agreement but has been unemployed for nearly two years. He is re-married. My son is 18, lives with me, and starts college next fall. This year my ex-husband gets to ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +3

    How Can One Shelter Parent Assets on the FAFSA?

    My daughter is going to college next year. We have to file the FAFSA in January. We have money in our savings account that we saved for emergency reasons and some for my daughter's college. Will this affect her chance in getting grants or loans? What should we do? — G.N. Money in a savings account counts as an asset on ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +30

    The “Free” Tuition Experiment

    The “Free” Tuition Experiment
    No matter where you attend college today, costs have skyrocketed, leaving students with the impending doom of student debt for years to come. Meanwhile, public funding for education has been declining to the point of nonexistence, as far as many students are concerned. So, what can be done to combat the issue? It seems as though many are considering the recent ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +30
  • +3

    How can a student on academic probation pay for college with no aid?

    My son has brain damage along with seizures and a reading learning disability. With all the doctors appointments, hospital stays and seizures he is on academic probation this semester. So that means, well you know what that means, he will not be allowed to apply for FAFSA this semester. My question to you all is how can I afford to pay ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +20

    Tuition and Fees Deduction

    The Tuition and Fees Deduction allows taxpayers to deduct up to $4,000 in tuition expenses as an above-the-line exclusion from income. This tax benefit is also known as the Limited Deduction for Tuition Expenses or as the Torricelli Deduction. This deduction may be taken even if the taxpayer does not itemize. The deduction is currently set to expire at the end ...
    Published about 6 years ago | Rated: +20
  • +5

    When should you apply for scholarships and financial aid?

    My son will be applying to colleges this fall since he is a high school senior. Should he wait until he is accepted into a college before applying for scholarships? — Bryan R. Your son should start searching for scholarships as soon as possible. There are scholarships with deadlines in every month of the year (more in the fall and spring ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +28

    Congress Proposes Allowing Private Student Loans to be Discharged in Bankruptcy

    Congress Proposes Allowing Private Student Loans to be Discharged in Bankruptcy
    Congress is proposing to allow borrowers to discharge private student loans in bankruptcy. Under current law, education loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy except in extreme circumstances. The US Bankruptcy Code at 11 USC 523(a)(8) requires borrowers who want to get a bankruptcy discharge for their student loans to demonstrate in an adversary proceeding that repaying their student loans "would impose ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +28
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