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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +1

    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 with my mom. My dad moved out almost 2 years ago. As part of my parents' agreement, my dad is paying for our rent and utilities. My mom and dad ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +1
  • +7

    Is the Non-Custodial Parent a Parent for Federal Student Aid Purposes?

    I am divorced and the custodial parent of two children who live with me. Both kids have Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. My soon-to-be college student daughter's Coverdell lists her father (my ex-husband) as the account owner. My son's Coverdell lists me as the account owner. How do I report my daughter's Coverdell on the FAFSA? The fund will not give me ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +3

    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 the last 10 years. I personally had an UGMA account set up for my daughter years ago. But two years ago I converted my daughter's $25,000 UGMA account to a ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +8

    People Retiring with Student Loans May Save Money with Income-Based Repayment

    I'm 68 years old, have worked for the last thirteen years in a state psychiatric hospital and after consolidating all my loans, have never missed a payment to Direct Student Loan in the last ten years. My original paper work says that I will need to make payments until 2031, when I'll be 88. I would like to think about retiring ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    How to Pay for College After a Recent Bankruptcy Discharge

    My daughter will be starting college in the fall (hopefully). The full cost for each year is approximately $50,000. She received a scholarship for $35,000 and she has enough saved for books ($1,000), leaving her needing $14,000. When we filled out the FAFSA it said her family contribution would be too high. Unfortunately my husband and I filed for bankruptcy in ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +20

    College Credit Cards Cut by Credit CARD Act

    College Credit Cards Cut by Credit CARD Act
    Need a credit card? It will soon become a lot more difficult to get one. College students who want a credit card but are under age 21 will need to have a cosigner, such as a parent or other adult who is at least 21 years old. College students can also get a credit card without a cosigner if they can ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +20
  • +6

    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 among the three children. Can we change this and enter only the amount of the oldest son's account since we won't be using the other two children's accounts to pay ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +17

    How to Include Yourself on Your Teen's FAFSA if You're Enrolled Too

    How should a FAFSA be filled out if I have two children going to college and I am enrolling in a graduate program? When it asks how many are attending college it says do not include parents. How do they know that I am also attending college? — Vicki Y. I am a single parent in college and my daughter is ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +17
  • +4

    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 The net home equity of the family's principal place of residence (the family home) is not reported as an asset on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +20

    Money Saving New Year's Resolutions

    Money Saving New Year's Resolutions
    It's 2014 - the year of the horse has arrived! In the Chinese zodiac, the spirit of the horse represents a constant effort to better oneself, which means that this year could not be more perfect to spend focusing on your education and, of course, a way to pay for it! Here are some suggestions of resolutions you can take on ...
    Published 11 months ago | Rated: +20
  • +10

    Clearing Up Confusion. What are Parents Responsible for on FAFSA?

    There seems to be a lot of confusion about which parent is responsible for completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so I'm answering a few more questions on this topic. The references to "father's/stepfather's" on the FAFSA can be confusing for children of divorced parents. I'm 17 yrs old and I live with my mother and my stepfather. ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +8

    Year in Review: Ups and Downs for Student Financial Aid in 2011

    2011 was an eventful year for student financial aid, student loans and scholarships. This article summarizes the major events, positive and negative, for student aid in 2011. It also provides a few highlights of developments that are anticipated for 2012. The Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (P.L. 112-10, April 15, 2011) ended the year-round Pell Grant program ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +24

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

    10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders
    Filling out financial aid forms is challenging and a task, to say the least. But don’t rush the process – any mistakes can cause serious delays in the process or, worse, disqualify you all together. Though these seem like common sense-covered areas, the following are errors that students frequently make when filling out financial aid forms. Before submitting any financial aid ...
    Published 9 months ago | Rated: +24
  • +9

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

    There are many college financial planners in my area who claim to be able to help us "legally and ethically" reposition our assets to lower our expected family contribution (EFC) and save us thousands of dollars per year in college costs. Are there really such secrets out there that will help us that much? — Larry C. Less than 4% of ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    What Counts as Child Support on the FAFSA?

    I am very grateful to Fastweb for providing all that you do. I am especially grateful for your answers to questions. I agreed (outside of the courts) to pay my daughter's car payment and some additional spending money for internet access. This increased my costs by $100 per month beyond the child support obligation. Can I exclude this amount from the ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +2

    Survey Says: Financial Considerations Affecting College Choices

    Sallie Mae and Gallup just released the results of a survey of how American families pay for college. The survey found that families are becoming more cost conscious in their college choices. Nevertheless, the majority of families still see college as a necessary and worthwhile investment in their children's future. Students from higher income families were more likely to enroll at ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +4

    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 consideration? We have a gross income of about $100,000 and no debt. They have some merit scholarships, but we have not qualified for need on the FAFSA. — Carolyn W. ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +9

    Short Answers to A Few Common FAFSA Questions

    Does checking the Federal Work Study box on the FAFSA affect other forms of financial aid that a college might award, such as scholarships or other government aid? Is it wise to check this box even if you have not yet received a college's financial aid offer? — S. Z. Turning down one form of need-based financial aid generally does not ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +3

    Student Loan Debt Clock Reaches $1 Trillion

    Student Loan Debt Clock Reaches $1 Trillion
    The student loan debt clock reached the $1 trillion milestone at about 6:40 am ET on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Although the student loan debt clock is for entertainment purposes only, reaching this milestone demonstrates that student loan debt is a macroeconomic factor, with the potential to affect the economy, albeit modestly at present. Student loan debt will not derail the ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +6

    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 UGMA/UTMA savings account for our daughter where we are the custodian. In the FAFSA application, should this be entered under the student or the parent? Am I assuming correctly that ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +6
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