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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Avoiding the Average...

Avoiding the Average...

Stop being a statistic and start getting smart about student debt.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 6, 2013
Financial Aid for Graduate School: Your Credit History Affect and Types of Aid

Financial Aid for Graduate School: Your Credit History Affect and Types of Aid

I recently decided to go back to school for a degree in software engineering. My short terms goal after school is to apply for a job with one of the top ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 9, 2012
Is a 3.75% Cash-Out Refinance on a Mortgage Better than Federal Student Loans?

Is a 3.75% Cash-Out Refinance on a Mortgage Better than Federal Student Loans?

I have daughter who will be attending college in the fall of 2013 (and a son in 2017). For various reasons, our savings are not sufficient to pay for college given ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 16, 2012
Does Dependency Status on Income Tax Returns Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?

Does Dependency Status on Income Tax Returns Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?

My daughter graduated from undergraduate school in May of this year. As far as student loans were concerned she was considered a dependent for the 4 years she attended there and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 11, 2013
Does Consolidating Student Loans Save Money Like a Refinance?

Does Consolidating Student Loans Save Money Like a Refinance?

I have a question concerning consolidating my federal loans. I have some that are subsidized and some that are unsubsidized. Can I combine these at a lower interest rate? I have ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 16, 2011
Ayuda Financiera del Estudiante en Español

Ayuda Financiera del Estudiante en Español

Ayuda financiera del estudiante en Español.

Published September 9, 2015
Questions about Qualifying for the Federal Parent PLUS Loan

Questions about Qualifying for the Federal Parent PLUS Loan

My son has been accepted to an expensive private non-profit college for the fall. We have been awarded a pretty generous financial aid package from the school (approximately $30,000) which leaves ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 18, 2013
First Lady Michelle Obama's FAFSA Completion Challenge

First Lady Michelle Obama's FAFSA Completion Challenge

In addition to encouraging students to complete the FAFSA, the First Lady could send your school a special video message or speak at your commencement ceremony!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 10, 2014
Does a "Safety Net" Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

Does a "Safety Net" Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

We are parents of a high school junior looking to learn about the best places to put our money for when we fill out that first FAFSA in two years. My ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 26, 2011
Does Joint Repayment Obligate Spouses for Each Other's Student Loans?

Does Joint Repayment Obligate Spouses for Each Other's Student Loans?

I applied to have both my husband's and my student loan debt considered in determining our payments under income-based repayment. This reduced our payments significantly. My concern is that the repayment ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 24, 2012
Paying the College Directly to Avoid Gift Taxes

Paying the College Directly to Avoid Gift Taxes

Under current IRS rules, a payment made directly to an educational institution to pay for the tuition of a student does not count as a gift to the student for gift ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 27, 2012
Money Matters to Tackle While You're Still a Student

Money Matters to Tackle While You're Still a Student

Take on these money moves while you’re still a student so that you’re fully prepared once you enter the real world.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published February 11, 2015
When Can a Student's Grandparents Substitute for the Parents on Financial Aid Forms?

When Can a Student's Grandparents Substitute for the Parents on Financial Aid Forms?

If a student lives with a grandparent, is there any way the student can use the grandparent's income tax information on her FAFSA? I have lived with my grandmother for all ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 8, 2011
How to Deal with a Defaulted But Paid-Off Student Loan that Reappears

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 5, 2012
An Early Look at the New Income-Based Repayment Plan

An Early Look at the New Income-Based Repayment Plan

A new version of income-based repayment (IBR) was enacted by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, but will be effective only for new borrowers on or after July ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 3, 2012
Why is Parental Information Required on the FAFSA for a Self-Sufficient Student?

Why is Parental Information Required on the FAFSA for a Self-Sufficient Student?

Why do we have to file the FAFSA when my daughter supports herself? My daughter has not lived with me or my husband for a year and a half while she’s ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 24, 2012
How will a Parent's Financial Troubles Affect the Student's Eligibility for Student Loans?

How will a Parent's Financial Troubles Affect the Student's Eligibility for Student Loans?

My 17-year-old daughter is eager to begin college. We have some difficult financial situations to contend with and could use your advice and direction. Her dad and I are divorced. I ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 7, 2012
Confusion about Reporting Custodial 529 College Savings Plan Accounts on the FAFSA

Confusion about Reporting Custodial 529 College Savings Plan Accounts on the FAFSA

My daughter is a freshman (in college) and lives more than 50% of the time with her mother who is the custodial parent. Her mom and I have been divorced for ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 31, 2012
Have You Considered Consolidating?

Have You Considered Consolidating?

Keeping track of all your student loans can be confusing - is consolidation the answer?

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published October 15, 2013
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?

Expert financial aid answers to all of your questions.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 23, 2011