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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +19

    How to Evaluate Financial Aid Award Letters with Missing Tuition and Grant Information

    We have a dilemma here. My son has been accepted by five colleges: four public colleges and one private college. The private school is the only one that is showing us the "sticker price." The rest, while they have sent aid packages, are not firm on what their fees are for the upcoming fall semester or academic year. The deadline to ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +7

    Does Parental Support Affect Independent Student Status?

    I am 19 and have a baby (1 month old) and I am living with my boyfriend and his mother. I am confused about whose tax information to use on the FAFSA. My boyfriend's mother is in Section 8 housing and put me in it and in her food stamps. — J.F. A student who has one or more dependent children ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Does Cash from the Sale of the Family Home Count as an Asset on the FAFSA?

    We just sold our house and have not yet found our new house and have a lot of cash on hand. We will use the cash to buy a home in the next couple of months. The cash is a false representation of our savings, but since we don't have a mortgage, it looks like we do. We need to keep ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +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
  • +4

    Impact of the Super Committee Stalemate on Federal Student Financial Aid

    On November 21, 2011 the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the super committee, announced that it had failed to reach an agreement to reduce the deficit. The super committee was charged with cutting the budget deficit at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. One side was unwilling to increase revenues while the other side was ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +1

    Paying for Tuition with a Credit Card or an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

    I am a graduate school student at a university where subsidized loans are no longer an option. Only unsubsidized. I am now faced with a decision: which would be a better option for me to use to pay for my tuition this fall, taking out unsubsidized loans or putting it on my credit card (9.9% interest)? — B.R. Subsidized Stafford loans ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +1
  • +5

    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 Pell Grant is never reduced when the recipient wins a private scholarship. Some forms of need-based financial aid are reduced when a student wins a scholarship. These include federal campus-based ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +27

    Programs and Scholarships to Pay Off Student Loans

    Programs and Scholarships to Pay Off Student Loans
    If you’re like the millions of students looking for a way out of your student loans; I've got good news for you. There are alternatives but, as with most things in life, there’s a tiny catch. What's the catch? If you’re willing to do some good for the world (gasp!) and volunteer, there are plenty of programs that will be willing ...
    Published 9 months ago | Rated: +27
  • +5

    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 the President's proposals are in excess of $10 billion per year. Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the education appendix to the FY2013 budget, as released on ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +5

    Does a Parent's Credit History Affect the Student's Eligibility for Loans and Other Aid?

    My parents have a Federal Direct PLUS Loan they got while I was an undergraduate student several years ago. Due to their current financial hardship, they haven't been keeping up with the payments. I also had some college loans which I am paying regularly without problems. I would like to know if my parents' financial situation will impact my credit, since ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +3

    When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

    I have an old UTMA account for my daughter with Janus, with approximately $5,000 in gains. I opened this before they even had 529 college savings plans. I was thinking of transferring this to a 529 account with NYSaves.com. My daughter is 13. Is it worth transferring this UTMA account to a 529 and paying capital gains now, or is it ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +22

    Are You a College Drop-Out Risk?

    Are You a College Drop-Out Risk?
    Yep, it happened. Congress couldn't get their act together, so now you’re going to have to pay more. But, before you borrow, make sure it will pay off in the future. What do we mean by this? Investing in your education is a good thing; it’s even often referred to as “good” debt. As long as you get a degree to ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +22
  • +4

    Is There a Better Option for Financing a College Education than a Parent PLUS Loan?

    I have a simple question: Is there currently a better option to help finance my sophomore daughter's college education than a 7.9% PLUS loan? That just seems a bit high given the current economic environment? — Alan S. When considering how to finance a college education, there are many options, including federal education loans, private student loans and non-education loans. It ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +4

    How to Minimize the Impact of a Student's Brokerage Account on Financial Aid

    We have an UTMA mutual fund for our son who is a senior in high school (17 years old). It is approximately $19,000 and was intended to help pay for college costs. When we opened it we weren't aware of the impact it could have on financial aid. I realize it's too late to fix anything for his freshman year next ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +10

    Student Loan Over $1 Trillion: What to Know Before You Borrow

    Student Loan Over $1 Trillion: What to Know Before You Borrow
    With National Decision Day looming, students and their parents are taking a close look at top college choices and assessing academic offerings and campus body fit. But most importantly, families are taking a look at each school’s affordability. On Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched its latest tool to help educate students and their families on the costs of borrowing ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +5

    Should Students and Parents Who are Close to Retirement Borrow to Pay for College?

    I am 47 and recently divorced single parent of two children, ages 7 and 8. I spent the last 9 years as a stay-at-home parent. As a result of the divorce, I am re-entering the job market. My last position, as a training and development specialist for a bank, earned roughly $45,000. It has been somewhat difficult obtaining full-time employment and ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +9

    Completing the FAFSA When the Student's Parents Have a Legal Separation

    My parents aren't divorced but are legally separated and have been for about ten years. My mother is unable to remember where the papers for their separation are. I was wondering if I have to put my father's information on the FAFSA even though my mother is my primary care-giver. (I spend all 365 days a year with her.) I don't ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +4

    Will Filing Income Tax Returns as Married Filing Separately Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

    My husband and I separated last year and are living at separate addresses. We have not filed for divorce yet or a formal separation. We are considering filing our taxes as married filing separately. I am currently a student at an online university and will need to fill out my FAFSA soon. Although my soon to be ex-husband makes about $75,000 ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +6

    White House Calls on Colleges to Adopt Clear College Cost and Financial Aid Disclosures

    The White House is calling on all college and university presidents to provide incoming students with clear and easy-to-understand college cost and financial aid disclosures. On June 5, 2012, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Richard Cordray and Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz hosted a roundtable with presidents of ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +5

    Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

    I'm a first year and I'm searching for student loans with my mom and I'm not sure which one is the best one I should take out. Do you have any suggestions? — Joanna P. When comparing student loans, consider both the cost of the loan and the other benefits of the loan program. The cost of a loan is based ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
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