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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +7

    Options for a Student Whose Parents Refuse to Complete the FAFSA

    I have been financially independent from my parents since I was 19. I'm 23 now. I've been working two jobs and taking 12 hours in school. My school says that I cannot file a FAFSA without my parents' information. My parents will not give me their tax information or even fill it out online. I don't have the stamina to work ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +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 about 4 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +6

    Are There Any Loan Forgiveness Programs for Social Workers, Teachers and Other Public Service Jobs?

    Are you familiar with any programs that could assist a low-income social worker who has used up his hardship deferments? Any assistance would be appreciated. I'm in a low-paying county, being paid a low income to assist disabled persons, and need help with my student loans. — Dave W. If your loans are federal student loans, such as Federal Stafford or ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +13

    How Do Parent Financial Problems Affect a Student's Eligibility for Financial Aid?

    We the parents screwed up financially and had to file for bankruptcy and are in a Chapter 13 repayment program. The FAFSA thinks according to their estimator that we can afford to pay $10,000 a year (parent contribution) but there is no way. There is no provision for us to show that $1,500 a month goes to courts. (That's $18,000 a ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +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 almost 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +24

    Is an Emancipated Child Considered an Independent Student?

    I am a single parent of three children. One is a junior in college, the middle child will be attending college next year. I have always completed the FAFSA for my oldest daughter, claiming her as my dependent. Her father and and I have split the cost of out-of-pocket expenses. This past year, however, her father took me back to court ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +24
  • +32

    Making Smarter Student Loan Decisions

    Making Smarter Student Loan Decisions
    It’s no secret that college is getting more expensive by the minute. For instance, the cost of education at a university rose from 23 to 38 percent between 2001 and 2010. That’s a huge climb! In attempts to make college possible, many students take out student loans in pursuit of their higher education. While an investment in education is one of ...
    Published 6 months ago | Rated: +32
  • +21

    Is college worth the cost?

    Is college worth the cost?
    Some people have argued that the high cost of a college education is a bubble waiting to burst. They draw superficial comparisons with the housing market, pointing out the high cost, heavy financing with no down payment, federal subsidies and tax deductible interest. But unlike a house, a college degree is an asset that enables the production of income. In a ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +21
  • +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 about 5 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +7

    Impact of Tax Filing Status on Income-Based Repayment for Married Borrowers

    We married in January of last year, after my husband graduated with a Master's degree in December. His loans total $65,000 and he earned $20,000 last year. I graduated in May with a doctorate in physical therapy and $175,000 in debt. My income last year was $33,000. Our combined AGI was $53,000. For our federal loans we want income-based repayment. But ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • -243

    Congress Proposes Big Cuts in Pell Grants

    The Republican leadership of the US House of Representatives released a proposal to cut the maximum Pell Grant to $4,015 late on Friday, February 11, 2011. This proposal is part of a larger package of budget cuts that seek to cut spending by $100 billion for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Congress has not yet passed the fiscal year ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: -243
  • +8

    Help for Retired Parents Repaying Parent PLUS Loans on Fixed Income

    Help!!! My Parent PLUS loans are presently in a forbearance that will end in a few months. My expected installment payments are more than my monthly income. I am retired and my husband is on disability retirement. We have another son presently attending college. What options are available to me (if any)? Do I ask for an extended repayment, or continue ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +13

    Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

    The Lifetime Learning provides a federal income tax credit of up to $2,000 per taxpayer based on the first $10,000 in postsecondary tuition and fees paid by the taxpayer during the tax year. The Lifetime learning tax credit is 20% of the first $10,000. The tax credit may be received for an unlimited number of years. Amount of Credit The Lifetime ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +14

    President Obama Proposes Student Aid Increases in State of the Union Address

    President Obama Proposes Student Aid Increases in State of the Union Address
    In the state of the union address on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, President Obama proposed several increases in student aid spending. The first two proposals call for Congress to extend existing student aid programs that are scheduled to expire this year. Stop the pending increase in student loan interest rates. The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 enacted a ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +14
  • Rate

    Reporting of Untaxed Social Security Benefits on the FAFSA and the Impact of IRS Filing Extensions on FAFSA Verification

    I am a college student with a severe congenital physical disability. If I apply for and am granted SSI benefits, will receiving these benefits cause my family's EFC to increase? I am not employed and am a full-time student, living in my parents' home. Would we end up paying more for my college expenses if I were to receive SSI benefits? ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rate This
  • +14

    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 over 4 years ago | Rated: +14
  • +11

    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 30 of the following year, several states have deadlines as early as February or March. Some state funding is awarded on a first come, first served basis, with state grants ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +5

    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 for qualified educational expenses, which includes contributions to a qualified tuition program such as a 529 college savings plan. If so, what is the process for doing this? — A.J.K. ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +33

    9 Ways to Pay Off Student Debt

    9 Ways to Pay Off Student Debt
    Do you feel like you’re drowning in debt? Many students feel like they’re never going to get out of the debt cycle. In fact, according to an annual Project on Student Debt report just released from the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), “Seven in 10 college seniors (71%) who graduated last year had student loan debt, with an average ...
    Published 7 months ago | Rated: +33
  • +17

    Employer Tuition Assistance

    Employer Tuition Assistance
    Your employer may provide you with up to $5,250 in employer education assistance benefits for undergraduate or graduate courses tax-free each year. The benefits must have been paid for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment. In certain circumstances payments above $5,250 may also be tax-free. About one-twelfth of undergraduate students and one-fifth of graduate students (two-fifths of MBA students) receive employer ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +17
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