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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Family Incorrectly Reported 529 Plan as a Student Asset on the FAFSA

Family Incorrectly Reported 529 Plan as a Student Asset on the FAFSA

I have two questions which I assume you've been asked a million times and I just want to make sure I'm understanding the write-ups about them correctly. We have a regular ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 12, 2012
How America Pays for College

How America Pays for College

Families have adjusted to the post-recession when it comes to paying for school, using grants and scholarships to fund the rising college costs.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published July 24, 2013
Summary of President Obama's Budget Blueprint for Federal Student Aid

Summary of President Obama's Budget Blueprint for Federal Student Aid

This article summarizes President Obama's FY2013 budget proposals for the federal student aid programs. Most of these proposals will require Congressional approval before they can be implemented. The combined cost of ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 30, 2012
Who is Considered an Independent Student? What if you are not yet 24 years old?

Who is Considered an Independent Student? What if you are not yet 24 years old?

I'm having problems with my financial aid. I'm a single mother of one. My daughter is almost three years old and will be attending daycare this semester. I've been going to ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 9, 2010
Does Moving a 529 College Savings Plan into a Roth IRA Make Sense?

Does Moving a 529 College Savings Plan into a Roth IRA Make Sense?

Does it make sense to move our $40,000 529 college savings plan into a Roth IRA for our children who are both in college to shield the money from our asset ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 12, 2011
How Do You Calculate Individual Income From a Joint Return for the FAFSA When the Parents Are Separated?

How Do You Calculate Individual Income From a Joint Return for the FAFSA When the Parents Are Separated?

In your answer to How Does Income Tax Filing Status Affect Student Aid?, you address the question of which parent is responsible for completing the FAFSA. However, I'm very curious as ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 28, 2011
Why Do We Owe the College Money After the Student Dropped Out?

Why Do We Owe the College Money After the Student Dropped Out?

My son was awarded an amount from FAFSA and also money from the LIFE and Pell grants. We paid the remainder of his tuition out of pocket. He started his freshman ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 9, 2012
Financial Aid for Minority Students

Financial Aid for Minority Students

Check out financial aid opportunities for minority students.

Published August 24, 2015
Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students

What advice would you give on financial aid to undocumented students? — T.T. Before discussing financial aid for undocumented students, it is best for students who believe that they are undocumented ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 8, 2012
Money Saving New Year's Resolutions

Money Saving New Year's Resolutions

The New Year is a perfect chance to resolve to save money for your education.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 22, 2014
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, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 26, 2009
Congress Proposes Big Cuts in Pell Grants

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 13, 2011
A Prospective Student is Ineligible for Financial Aid Because of a Student Loan Default

A Prospective Student is Ineligible for Financial Aid Because of a Student Loan Default

I gave college a shot when I was 18 and dropped out due to major health problems. Student loans obviously did not disappear because of this and I have been struggling ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 1, 2011
Government Report Reviews Private Student Loans and Recommends Statutory Changes

Government Report Reviews Private Student Loans and Recommends Statutory Changes

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the US Department of Education released a report to Congress about private student loans on July 20, 2012 as mandated by section 1077 of ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 19, 2012
3 Tips to Appeal Financial Aid Packages

3 Tips to Appeal Financial Aid Packages

Learn the steps you can take to appeal a financial aid package.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published March 5, 2016
Which 529 College Savings Plans are Reported on the FAFSA?

Which 529 College Savings Plans are Reported on the FAFSA?

On the FAFSA we listed the value of all three of our children's 529 plan accounts, not just our oldest son's 529 plan. There was no way to differentiate the amounts ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 7, 2010
Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home?

Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home?

Ask Kantro: Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home? Is home equity considered an asset when determining eligibility for aid? — Steve ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 22, 2011
Why Do Financial Aid Application Forms Use Last Year's Income?

Why Do Financial Aid Application Forms Use Last Year's Income?

Why do the government and colleges use last year's income to determine financial aid for the current year? Our financial situation has changed, my husband was laid off last year but ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 29, 2013
Money Saving Advice for College Students

Money Saving Advice for College Students

Students often overlook opportunities to save - don't allow yourself to be one of them!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published May 15, 2016
Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 18, 2009