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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 9, 2011
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
2016-2017 Financial Aid Deadlines

2016-2017 Financial Aid Deadlines

We've got you covered with a complete list of financial aid deadlines, state-by-state, for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published March 6, 2016
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
He's the Financial Aid Guru.  Only on Fastweb.

He's the Financial Aid Guru. Only on Fastweb.

Is your financial aid advice featured in The New York Times? Didn’t think so. Mark Kantrowitz, is nationally recognized as an often quoted leading financial aid expert. With degrees from M.I.T., ...

Published April 22, 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
Ask the Expert: Why Not Borrow from My 401(k) for My Daughter's College Tuition?

Ask the Expert: Why Not Borrow from My 401(k) for My Daughter's College Tuition?

Why borrowing tuition money from your 401(k) is a bad idea.

By Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 21, 2009
How Do I Roll Over US Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan?

How Do I Roll Over US Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan?

I have several thousands of dollars in Series EE savings bonds (issued from 1988 through 1992). I know that you can use the bonds relatively tax free if cashed and used ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 13, 2012