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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 11, 2011
How to Minimize Student Loan Debt

How to Minimize Student Loan Debt

More students graduate each year with excessive student loan debt.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 11, 2011
Does Cash from the Sale of the Family Home Count as an Asset on the FAFSA?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 11, 2013
Impact of the Super Committee Stalemate on Federal Student Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 22, 2011
Financial Aid for Older and Nontraditional Students

Financial Aid for Older and Nontraditional Students

Check out financial aid options for older, nontraditional and returning students.

Published August 25, 2015
If a Student's Parents Are Not Married, How Does the Student Complete the FAFSA?

If a Student's Parents Are Not Married, How Does the Student Complete the FAFSA?

I live with my mother and my step-father but they are not married. They keep their finances separate and, other than helping my mom to pay for the house I live ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 28, 2011
Financial Aid for Jewish Students

Financial Aid for Jewish Students

Financial aid opportunities for Jewish students.

Published August 26, 2015
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
Does a Parent's Credit History Affect the Student's Eligibility for Loans and Other Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 11, 2011
When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 6, 2012
Borrowers with a Recent Bankruptcy are Ineligible for the Federal PLUS Loan

Borrowers with a Recent Bankruptcy are Ineligible for the Federal PLUS Loan

Borrowers who have had a bankruptcy discharge in the last five years are generally not eligible for the Federal PLUS loan. They remain eligible, however, for Federal Stafford, Federal Perkins and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 16, 2012
Consequences for Student Financial Aid If Congress Doesn't Raise the Debt Ceiling

Consequences for Student Financial Aid If Congress Doesn't Raise the Debt Ceiling

The game of chicken being played out in Washington, DC, may have serious consequences for student financial aid as well as the rest of the economy. Congress and the White House ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 14, 2011
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
How to Minimize the Impact of a Student's Brokerage Account on Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 26, 2012
Should Students and Parents Who are Close to Retirement Borrow to Pay for College?

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, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 16, 2012
Fastweb Wins Award for Financial Literacy Education

Fastweb Wins Award for Financial Literacy Education

For nearly 17 years, Fastweb has worked to become the leading online resource for paying and preparing for college, and recently, our site soared to new heights with the EIFLE Award! ...

Published April 23, 2012
Will Filing Income Tax Returns as Married Filing Separately Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 19, 2011
Can You Appeal for More Student Financial Aid in the Middle of the Academic Year?

Can You Appeal for More Student Financial Aid in the Middle of the Academic Year?

My husband lost his job recently. My oldest son did not qualify for student aid for college this year except for federal loans. Is there any way my son could now ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 26, 2011
7 Resources for Returning Students Paying for College

7 Resources for Returning Students Paying for College

Find financial aid and scholarships for returning adult students.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published August 22, 2014
Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

Advice on federal and private student loans.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 11, 2012