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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +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 over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 about 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +4

    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 the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203, 7/21/2010). The report discusses the growth and changes in the private student loan marketplace, the use of private student ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +13

    How to Handle a Tuition Hike

    How to Handle a Tuition Hike
    Colleges and universities hit by state and federal funding cuts are shocking students with mid-year tuition hikes. How can students, already squeezed for money, cope with such unexpected sticker shock? Don't Panic Don’t panic, experts say. Students should discuss the situation with their families first, said Seamus Harreys, dean of student financial services at Northeastern University in Boston. “Many families have ...
    Published over 6 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +12

    To Cosign or Not To Cosign, That is the Question

    My nephew has asked me to cosign a private student loan for college. He's on his own since he lives independently from his mother, his parents are divorced, and his father is completely out of the picture. He's made it through 2 years of college with great success. I'd like to help him. I have very good credit. What would be ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +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 almost 5 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +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 almost 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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
  • +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 over 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +5

    What Do You Do If Your Application for a FAFSA PIN is Rejected?

    What Do You Do If Your Application for a FAFSA PIN is Rejected?
    If you get an email message that says "Your request for a Federal Student Aid PIN cannot be processed because the Social Security Number (SSN), name, or date of birth that you provided on your PIN application does not match your information on file at the Social Security Administration (SSA)... If you are sure that the SSN, name, and date of ...
    Published 4 months ago | Rated: +5
  • +9

    College Board Simplifies CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Form

    College Board Simplifies CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Form
    While the US Department of Education is working on simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the College Board has already been taking similar steps toward simplifying the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE form. The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE form tries to calculate a more precise measurement of ability to pay. This necessarily involves asking more questions than on the FAFSA. However, ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +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 about 5 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +5

    Are There Any Fees for Filing the FAFSA?

    Is there a fee to complete the FAFSA and if so, how much? — T. Smith There is no fee to file the FAFSA. As the name suggests, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a free application. You can file the FAFSA online for free at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Section 483(a)(6) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 bans the ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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 over 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +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 over 5 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +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 over 5 years ago | Rated: +17
  • +19

    Bridge the Financial Aid Gap

    Bridge the Financial Aid Gap
    For many college-bound students the anticipation of higher education is overshadowed by financial anxieties. With tuition rising faster than financial aid dollars, more students are finding gaps in their financial aid packages. The gap appears when the student’s expected family contribution (EFC) plus the school’s financial aid package don’t equal the cost of attendance. This gap appears as unmet need on ...
    Published 8 days ago | Rated: +19
  • +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 over 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +13

    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 to how the filing status of separated parents affects how the FAFSA is processed, once the primary/custodial parent has completed it. That is, is it more advantageous for separated parents ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +6

    How to Deal with a Defaulted But Paid-Off Student Loan that Reappears

    Years ago, I went to a two-year school and obtained my Associate's degree. I defaulted on the loan. However, my taxes were taken years later (twice) to take care of the loan. In 1995, I enrolled at a different college and was awarded the Pell Grant. I didn't take out any more loans. I paid the difference with a scholarship from ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +6
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