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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +7

    Seeking Clarification of Income-Based Repayment for Married Student Loan Borrowers

    I will begin to pay back my student loans in January. My loan debt is about $134,000 and I'm going to pay it back via income-based repayment (IBR). My husband also has student loan debt and is currently in repayment but not through IBR. I understand that if we continue to file our tax returns under Married Filing Jointly status my ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +6

    Will Financial Aid Cover a Double Major?

    Will Financial Aid Cover a Double Major?
    Please help me out with a question. I am majoring in finance. I am thinking about pursuing a double-major in finance and real estate. I will have to take only 6 more classes than what I am supposed to take for my finance major. Will my financial aid cover the extra classes? — Jeffrey P. As noted in a previous Ask ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +12

    Should I Work My Way Through College or Quit My Job to Enroll Full-Time?

    I am 26 and looking to start attending school full time this fall. I am also taking some summer classes at a community college to get all the credits I can before starting. I am also a transfer student with 37 credits from another school I went to right out of high school. I am currently married and am considering quitting ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +6

    Why Does a Parent Qualify for More Financial Aid than Her Dependent Student Child When Both are in College?

    I am a 38-year-old wife and mother who decided to go to college 20 years out of high school. I am a student at an online college and receive financial aid myself. My son is a high school senior with a very small part time job at the local Burger King. He plans to attend an out-of-state college, however those plans ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +13

    Is a Student Who is Enrolled Simultaneously in High School and College Eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid?

    My 16-year-old son has passed an ability-to-benefit (ATB) test at a community college. He has been accepted has a regular student in a qualifying program but has not graduated from high school. The college is denying him the Federal Pell Grant because they are stating that he is enrolled in high school. My position is that in Florida he has passed ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +2

    Excerpts from the Democratic and Republican Party Platforms on Student Financial Aid

    This article provides excerpts of the proposals concerning student financial aid for college that appear in the 2012 Democratic National Platform and the 2012 Republican Platform. Neither platform, however, contains a lot of detail about student financial aid. Some of the key differences between the two parties include the role of banks in making new federal education loans, changes in funding ...
    Published almost 3 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 over 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +7

    Impact of a Gift Trust Account on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

    My daughter turned 18 recently, and received a $25,000 mutual fund statement with her name on it. Her aunt had put $10,000 away in 1995 in a gift trust account for a minor. This was a mutual fund account in which the interest was reinvested each year and therefore no IRS interest statements were generated. We were unaware that her aunt ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +8

    Can a Stepdaughter be Counted in the Household If She Lives with the Other Parent?

    My stepdaughter used my husband's tax return to file her FAFSA because her mother had said that his taxes needed to be used because he claims her on his income tax return. From what I know, the parent that the child lives with most of the time should be used. Am I right or wrong? She got denied financial aid when ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    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 with them ever since. Now at age 24 I finally feel that I am healthy enough to give school a second try. I thought I had every detail worked out ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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 over 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +28

    How America Pays for College

    How America Pays for College
    Sallie Mae, the nation’s number one financial services company specializing in education, in conjunction with Ipsos, has released a new national study, "How America Pays for College 2013." The study’s findings were based on survey results from around 800 undergraduate students, between the ages of 18 and 24 years old and the parents of undergraduate students. According to the study, families ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +28
  • +22

    Guidelines for Financial Freedom

    Guidelines for Financial Freedom
    When you’re a student trying to pay for school, one of the greatest challenges can be managing your finances in the best way possible. With so many options out there, it’s difficult to decipher right from wrong and what will be best for you in the future. Following these guidelines will help you understand how to determine what’s best for you, ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +22
  • +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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +5

    What Documentation can a College Financial Aid Administrator Request?

    I'm an independent student who filed a 1040A last year so I was not required to answer questions about assets on the FAFSA application. I had very little income last year and have a zero EFC. I reported taxes on capital gains and now my school is asking for information about my investment assets (which are about $40,000). Can they use ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +3

    A Primer on the Doubling of the Subsidized Stafford Loan Interest Rate

    This article summarizes the background concerning the doubling of the interest rate on new subsidized Stafford loans to undergraduate students from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1, 2012. It also discusses the impact of the pending change. [Congress passed a one-year extension to the 3.4% interest rate on June 29, 2012.] Background The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +30

    Money Saving Advice for College Students

    Money Saving Advice for College Students
    Saving money as a college student is critical. The more you save, the better off you'll be. And, while plenty of expenses arise, there are also plenty of overlooked opportunities for students to save. Don't allow yourself to overlook these opportunities! If there's ever a time to live frugally, college is it. You're currently in a very unique situation where frugality ...
    Published 11 months ago | Rated: +30
  • +9

    7 Resources for Returning Students Paying for College

    7 Resources for Returning Students Paying for College
    As a returning student, you may feel that the scholarship search will be fruitless, financial aid will be nonexistent and that there are more inconveniences rather than benefits to going back to school. But that’s not the case at all. In fact, there are more than a few resources at your disposal to help you pay for school too. Independent Student ...
    Published 11 months ago | Rated: +9
  • +8

    Congress Proposes Cutting Student Financial Aid in FY2012 Federal Education Budget

    The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are considering proposals to cut student financial aid in the FY2012 federal education budget. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee with oversight over education spending, released draft legislation (H.R. 3070) on Friday, September 30, 2011, which includes several changes to student financial aid for college. The legislation was referred ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +11

    Pros and Cons of Using Retirement Funds to Pay for College Costs

    Why should one NOT use retirement funds to pay for a child's college costs? — Diane H. There are two main reasons why families shouldn't use retirement plan funds to pay for college. The first reason is the financial impact of taking a distribution from a retirement plan to pay for college. The financial impact includes both the tax liability and ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +11
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