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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Crowdfunding for College

Crowdfunding for College

Utilize these resources to repay your student loans or to manage your current financial situation.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published May 9, 2016
Should Parents Transfer College Savings from an UTMA Account to a 529 Plan?

Should Parents Transfer College Savings from an UTMA Account to a 529 Plan?

My twin daughters will be entering college in the fall. We have saved for their college education over the last 17 years. Presently the savings are held in two accounts each: ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 18, 2010
How Should Divorced Parents Split a Child's College Costs?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 23, 2011
When Can a Student's Grandparents Substitute for the Parents on Financial Aid Forms?

When Can a Student's Grandparents Substitute for the Parents on Financial Aid Forms?

If a student lives with a grandparent, is there any way the student can use the grandparent's income tax information on her FAFSA? I have lived with my grandmother for all ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 8, 2011
10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders

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

Don’t rush the process – any mistakes can cause serious delays in the process or, worse, disqualify you all together.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published February 18, 2014
Does Applying for Financial Aid Affect Your Chances of Admission?

Does Applying for Financial Aid Affect Your Chances of Admission?

Does applying for financial aid ever limit one's chances of acceptance to a college? Do colleges give any subtle preference to students who state on their application that they do not ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 31, 2011
Do Outstanding Loans Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid?

Do Outstanding Loans Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid?

How do outstanding loans affect future financial aid awards for my children? Is there any advantage to trying to pay them back early (other than less interest)? Are they counted towards ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 10, 2010
What Income is Listed on the FAFSA when Separated Parents File a Joint Tax Return?

What Income is Listed on the FAFSA when Separated Parents File a Joint Tax Return?

I am praying that you may be able to advise me on the FAFSA application. I am a senior in high school and will file the FAFSA in January. I live ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 12, 2012
Are "Dual Enrollment" Students Considered College Students on the FAFSA?

Are "Dual Enrollment" Students Considered College Students on the FAFSA?

Families should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov as soon as possible after January 1. While the federal government accepts the FAFSA as late as June ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 3, 2011
Limit Total Student Loan Debt to Less Than $10,000 per Year to Avoid Overborrowing

Limit Total Student Loan Debt to Less Than $10,000 per Year to Avoid Overborrowing

I have twin daughters going to college in the fall. The annual tab (for both girls) after scholarships will be $58,000 in loans per year for four years. We have saved ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 14, 2010
Which parent is responsible for completing the financial aid application?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 4, 2010
How Can One Shelter Parent Assets on the FAFSA?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 3, 2012
Confusion about Reporting Custodial 529 College Savings Plan Accounts on the FAFSA

Confusion about Reporting Custodial 529 College Savings Plan Accounts on the FAFSA

My daughter is a freshman (in college) and lives more than 50% of the time with her mother who is the custodial parent. Her mom and I have been divorced for ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 31, 2012
Questions about Income and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Questions about Income and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

My husband earns about $125,000 in salary and I am a stay at home mom. My husband just changed jobs and got his deferred salary and his retirement from 25 years ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 9, 2009
How can a student on academic probation pay for college with no aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 18, 2010
Should I Work My Way Through College or Quit My Job to Enroll Full-Time?

Should I Work My Way Through College or Quit My Job to Enroll Full-Time?

I am 26 and looking to start attending school full time this fall. I am also taking some summer classes at a community college to get all the credits I can ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 25, 2011
Financial Aid Insider Secrets

Financial Aid Insider Secrets

Financial aid is a complicated topic with an alphabet soup of acronyms like FAFSA and EFC, rolling deadlines and (seemingly) endless forms, rules and regulations. But with the state of ...

Published December 9, 2009
How To Ask Friends and Family for Money for a Child's College Savings Plan

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 12, 2011
Congressman Hansen Clarke Proposes Student Loan Relief Legislation

Congressman Hansen Clarke Proposes Student Loan Relief Legislation

Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI-13) introduced the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 4170) on March 8, 2012. If enacted, this legislation will provide student loan forgiveness for federal education loans, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 12, 2012
First Lady Michelle Obama's FAFSA Completion Challenge

First Lady Michelle Obama's FAFSA Completion Challenge

In addition to encouraging students to complete the FAFSA, the First Lady could send your school a special video message or speak at your commencement ceremony!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 10, 2014