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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 25, 2012
Congress Passes One-Year Interest Rate Freeze

Congress Passes One-Year Interest Rate Freeze

Congress passed legislation on Friday, June 29, 2012 to prevent the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans to undergraduate students from doubling July 1, 2012. The last-minute legislation, which passed with ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 29, 2012
Why Does a Parent Qualify for More Financial Aid than Her Dependent Student Child When Both are in College?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 25, 2013
5 Myths about Financial Aid

5 Myths about Financial Aid

Don't fall for these myths when it comes to financial aid.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published October 28, 2014
Is a Student Who is Enrolled Simultaneously in High School and College Eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 2, 2011
Student Loans: What to Know Before You Borrow & Repayment Planning

Student Loans: What to Know Before You Borrow & Repayment Planning

If you take the time to research and develop a plan, you can have your student loan under control sooner than later and avoid being the dreaded senior citizen with student loan payments.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published August 27, 2015
How is a Life Estate Treated on the FAFSA? Do the Restrictions Matter?

How is a Life Estate Treated on the FAFSA? Do the Restrictions Matter?

How is a life estate reflected on the FAFSA? A student's parent has a deed with student's grandparent having life use of the property through a life estate. Please be New ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 4, 2013
When A "Free" College Education Isn't Really Free

When A "Free" College Education Isn't Really Free

Some of the protesters at Occupy Wall Street are demanding that a college education be provided for free. But even if their request is granted, which is unlikely, it might not ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 13, 2011
Impact of a Gift Trust Account on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 10, 2012
Financial Aid and Scholarships for Foster Care and Adopted Children

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Foster Care and Adopted Children

I adopted a special needs foster child when he was 11 years old. I have been told he does not qualify for any aid. I recently learned that if I would ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 17, 2012
A Prospective Student is Ineligible for Financial Aid Because of a Student Loan Default

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 1, 2011
How Do I Roll Over US Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 13, 2012
If a Student's Parents Do Not Claim Him as a Dependent on their Income Tax Returns, Will the Student Get More Financial Aid?

If a Student's Parents Do Not Claim Him as a Dependent on their Income Tax Returns, Will the Student Get More Financial Aid?

How beneficial is it to have our college attending son file his taxes on his own versus us claiming him as a dependent? Does it make a huge difference in the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 20, 2012
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.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published August 14, 2013
What Documentation can a College Financial Aid Administrator Request?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 10, 2012
Crowdfunding for College

Crowdfunding for College

Utilize these resources to repay your student loans or to manage your current financial situation.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published September 1, 2014
A Primer on the Doubling of the Subsidized Stafford Loan Interest Rate

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 24, 2012
Does the Cash from a Cash-Out Refinance Count as an Asset on the FAFSA?

Does the Cash from a Cash-Out Refinance Count as an Asset on the FAFSA?

My daughter is a high school junior. I have just refinanced with cash out for a home remodel to accommodate my aging parents. However the remodel is delayed and the money ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 17, 2012
Can a Student be Cut Off from Financial Aid After Taking Too Many Credits?

Can a Student be Cut Off from Financial Aid After Taking Too Many Credits?

I am currently in community college, hoping to transfer to a traditional 4-year college and then proceed to get my masters in teaching. Where my frustration lies is this: I had ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 30, 2012
Pros and Cons of Using Retirement Funds to Pay for College Costs

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 3, 2011