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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +9

    Dad Died, Mom Remarried; Grandma Moved In. How do These Changes Affect My FAFSA?

    We recently had an addition in the family. Not a new sibling, but my mother's mom is now living with us. She's great and we love having her, but she's not free. Should I change any info on my FAFSA because of this? — Sana B. If your grandmother lives with and receives more than half her support from your parents, ...
    Published almost 6 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +5

    Questions about Net Assets and Changes in Marital Status

    On the asset section of the FAFSA form if you have $100,000 in stocks but also have a $75,000 margin loan balance would you net this out and put down $25,000 in stock assets? — Rob A. Yes. You report the net asset value, namely the current market value of the assets minus any debts secured by the assets. Since a ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +8

    Tips for Evaluating Financial Aid Award Letters

    Financial aid award letters provide college students with information about college costs and the types and amount of financial aid the student will receive. Families rely on the financial aid award letters to help them understand college costs and compare costs among different colleges. But financial aid award letters can sometimes be confusing. Fastweb surveyed about 580,000 college freshmen and sophomores ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    Wells Fargo Adds Death and Disability Discharges to Private Student Loans

    Wells Fargo announced on December 17, 2010 that it is adding death and disability discharges to its private student loan products. When the student borrower dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled, the remaining debt will be discharged. This new policy applies to all Wells Fargo private student loans, including loans with a cosigner. Total and permanent disability is defined as ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +4

    How does bankruptcy affect PLUS loan eligibility?

    I applied for a Parent PLUS loan for my son's education starting this fall. I was turned down due to filing chapter 7 four years ago this October. They said I would not be able to get funds until October of 2010. My lawyer, who helped me file chapter 7 said that he believed this was discrimination and not allowed. Is ...
    Published almost 6 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +9

    Questions about How to Handle an Inheritance and Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

    Our son is a sophomore in college. He receives both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. My husband and I have been paying the remaining balance for his education. I recently inherited approximately $100,000. I am aware that we should pay off high interest debt with this money. However, we want to save enough to pay for the rest of his college education ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    What Counts as Child Support on the FAFSA?

    I am very grateful to Fastweb for providing all that you do. I am especially grateful for your answers to questions. I agreed (outside of the courts) to pay my daughter's car payment and some additional spending money for internet access. This increased my costs by $100 per month beyond the child support obligation. Can I exclude this amount from the ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +7

    Ask the Expert: Why Not Borrow from My 401(k) for My Daughter's College Tuition?

    QUESTION: Why not borrow from my 401(k) for my daughter's college tuition, as there will be less to lose in this economic crisis? -- Betsy Thomas ANSWER: Borrowing from your 401(k) is almost always a big mistake. It may seem innocuous, since instead of paying back a bank loan, you're paying yourself. But you've lost the opportunity to earn further returns ...
    Published over 6 years ago | Rated: +7
  • -1

    Is tuition refund insurance worthwhile?

    College is a big investment, as expensive as buying an automobile or a house. You insure your car and your home, why not insure your child's college education? Tuition refund insurance provides a full or partial refund of college costs -- including tuition, fees, room and board -- in the event your child is forced to withdraw midway through the school ...
    Published about 6 years ago | Rated: -1
  • +6

    Why Your Grandparents Could be Your Meal Ticket to College

    Why Your Grandparents Could be Your Meal Ticket to College
    There are many ways in which grandparents can help their grandchildren pay for a college education. These include legacy scholarships and tuition assistance programs, educational awards for volunteering and community service, college savings plans and direct gifts. Scholarships for Grandchildren Very few scholarships are based on a grandparent's affiliations. There are many more awards based on a parent's affiliations. However, sometimes ...
    Published over 6 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +250

    Would Forgiving Student Loans Stimulate the Economy?

    Would Forgiving Student Loans Stimulate the Economy?
    Several grass-roots groups were established on Facebook in early 2009 calling for the cancellation of all student loan debt under the theory that this will stimulate the economy. Most noteworthy is the group Cancel Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy (see also www.forgivestudentloandebt.com) founded by Robert Applebaum, a New York attorney. This group has grown to have more than 220,000 ...
    Published about 6 years ago | Rated: +250
  • +5

    How can a Student Pay for College after Losing Student Aid Eligibility due to Unsatisfactory Academic Progress?

    I am not eligible for federal funding at this time because of unsatisfactory academic progress. My appeal was denied and I was told I would again be eligible for federal funding after "the satisfactory completion" of 6 non-federally funded credit hours in an semester. I could easily accomplish this if it weren't for the fact that I don't have the money ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +10

    Questions about Obtaining and Repaying Student Loans

    How will my credit score effect my ability to get the funding I need for graduate school? If my credit is not great, will I be able to get the loans I need to cover my college costs? — Katy C. The federal Stafford loan does not depend on your credit history. As a graduate student you will be able to ...
    Published almost 6 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +9

    Reporting Prepaid Tuition Plans and 529 Plans on the FAFSA for Independent Students

    I'm confused as to how to treat a prepaid tuition plan when applying for financial aid. I'm an independent student but I have a small prepaid tuition account which is held by a parent as account owner with me as the beneficiary. Since I don't list parent assets when filling out the FAFSA, do I need to list the prepaid tuition ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    Questions about Assets and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    There are many college financial planners in my area who claim to be able to help us "legally and ethically" reposition our assets to lower our expected family contribution (EFC) and save us thousands of dollars per year in college costs. Are there really such secrets out there that will help us that much? — Larry C. Less than 4% of ...
    Published almost 6 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +3

    Education Lender Agrees to Pay Borrowers $9.75 Million in Class-Action Lawsuit Settlement

    Education Lender Agrees to Pay Borrowers $9.75 Million in Class-Action Lawsuit Settlement
    If you borrowed federal student loans from NorthStar Education Finance, you may get a small refund as part of a class action settlement concerning NorthStar Education Finance's suspension of its T.H.E. Repayment Bonus loan discount program. As a non-profit education lender, NorthStar Education Finance had one of the best loan discount programs, which provided a 1% interest rate reduction for undergraduate ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +28

    Congress Proposes Allowing Private Student Loans to be Discharged in Bankruptcy

    Congress Proposes Allowing Private Student Loans to be Discharged in Bankruptcy
    Congress is proposing to allow borrowers to discharge private student loans in bankruptcy. Under current law, education loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy except in extreme circumstances. The US Bankruptcy Code at 11 USC 523(a)(8) requires borrowers who want to get a bankruptcy discharge for their student loans to demonstrate in an adversary proceeding that repaying their student loans "would impose ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +28
  • +6

    When Grandma Moves In, Does It Help or Hurt Financial Aid Eligibility?

    Grandma is moving in with her Social Security check. Does this help or hurt my FAFSA results? Does her Social Security check count towards my parents' income on the FAFSA? — Doreen Y. The answer is complicated and depends on whether Grandma receives the Social Security benefits in her own name or whether they are received by your parents on her ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +13

    Which of a Student's Divorced Parents Must Complete the FAFSA? Is the Stepparent's Information Reported on the FAFSA?

    I will be filling out the FAFSA soon for my daughter who will be attending college next fall. My question is regarding her father, who is my ex-husband. Her father does not pay child support and has not supported her financially since our divorce 5 years ago. Do I have to include his financial information, or any of his information, on ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +10

    How Do You Complete the FAFSA When a Parent is Undocumented?

    I live with my mother and my brothers. My mother is undocumented and does not work. However, I am a permanent resident and my brothers were born here in the United States. We are receiving help from welfare as food stamps and cash for needy families. We are also living in a shelter. My question is: What kind of financial aid ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +10
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