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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Have You Considered Consolidating?

Have You Considered Consolidating?

Keeping track of all your student loans can be confusing - is consolidation the answer?

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published May 10, 2016
Congress Passes Fiscal Cliff Legislation, Extending American Opportunity Tax Credit

Congress Passes Fiscal Cliff Legislation, Extending American Opportunity Tax Credit

Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) late on Tuesday, January 1, 2013. The measure passed with bipartisan support in the Senate by a vote of 89 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 1, 2013
LoanGifting: New, Easy Way to Pay Off Student Loans

LoanGifting: New, Easy Way to Pay Off Student Loans

When you have student loan debt up to your ears, turn to a new type of direct crowdfunding as a source for help.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published February 2, 2016
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
It’s In Your Best Interest to Act on FAFSA Changes, Even If Your College Isn’t Changing Deadlines

It’s In Your Best Interest to Act on FAFSA Changes, Even If Your College Isn’t Changing Deadlines

Take advantage of this year's FAFSA changes, regardless of whether or not the school you're applying to or attending is updating their financial aid deadlines.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published August 2, 2016
How to Pay for College After a Recent Bankruptcy Discharge

How to Pay for College After a Recent Bankruptcy Discharge

Find out how bankruptcy affects paying for college.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 18, 2012
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
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
Bridge the Financial Aid Gap

Bridge the Financial Aid Gap

Make your financial aid package work for you.

By The Fastweb Team
Published May 14, 2016
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
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
Is the Pell Grant Reduced When the Student Wins a Private Scholarship?

Is the Pell Grant Reduced When the Student Wins a Private Scholarship?

My daughter has been approved for a Pell Grant. She recently received notification that she has won a $1,000 scholarship. Will the scholarship reduce her Pell Grant? — Virginia M. The ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 27, 2012
Student Loan Interest Deduction

Student Loan Interest Deduction

Borrowers of federal and private education loans may deduct up to $2,500 in interest as an above-the-line exclusion from income. This deduction may be taken even if the taxpayer does not ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 18, 2009
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
Impact of a Government Shutdown on Student Financial Aid

Impact of a Government Shutdown on Student Financial Aid

If Congress fails to pass legislation funding the federal government, the federal government will shut down and more than 800,000 government employees will be furloughed. The impact on federal student aid, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 8, 2011
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
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
Will Financial Aid Cover a Double Major?

Will Financial Aid Cover a Double Major?

You may be able to handle a double major, but can your financial aid?

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 16, 2013
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
After the FAFSA: What to Do Once You’ve Submitted Yours

After the FAFSA: What to Do Once You’ve Submitted Yours

Once you've submitted your FAFSA, you may have questions or changes to the document. Here's what you should expect and how to make edits.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 5, 2016