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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +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 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +7

    Is the Non-Custodial Parent a Parent for Federal Student Aid Purposes?

    I am divorced and the custodial parent of two children who live with me. Both kids have Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. My soon-to-be college student daughter's Coverdell lists her father (my ex-husband) as the account owner. My son's Coverdell lists me as the account owner. How do I report my daughter's Coverdell on the FAFSA? The fund will not give me ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Options for a Student Whose Parents Refuse to Complete the FAFSA

    I have been financially independent from my parents since I was 19. I'm 23 now. I've been working two jobs and taking 12 hours in school. My school says that I cannot file a FAFSA without my parents' information. My parents will not give me their tax information or even fill it out online. I don't have the stamina to work ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +9

    Questions about Maintaining and Regaining Eligibility for Federal Education Loans

    I have a sophomore in college right now and will have another child starting her freshman year in college next year. We were approved for a Stafford Loan and a Parent PLUS loan for our son this year. We will need to have student loans to finance the entire amount of both kids' education. Will we be able to continue to ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +5

    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 5 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +13

    Best Money Books for New College Graduates

    College is a transition from a sheltered existence where your parents worried about money matters on your behalf to the real world where you are responsible for making ends meet. But there are many lessons about managing money and living on your own that aren't taught in a college classroom. According to the Council for Economic Education, 13 states require high ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +8

    Why Do Some Merit-Based Scholarships Require the FAFSA?

    I am a 38-year-old student who returned to junior college after being laid off and being unable to find a comparable job. Because I was a "good saver" in my 20's, I was able to do this while only working part-time. Approximately 60% of my expenses are paid with my savings. I am ready to transfer into a 4-year institution. However, ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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 4 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 4 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 4 years ago | Rated: +28
  • +11

    What types of student aid are available for a second Bachelor's degree?

    I am thinking about going back to school to get a second bachelors degree. Because I already have a B.A. degree, it seems that I am not able to receive any aid other than student loans. Is this true or am I missing something? — Josh S. Student with a prior Bachelor's degree are ineligible for the Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +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 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +11

    How to Choose the Best Education Loans

    With the new Obama tuition plan do you now have to go through FAFSA to get a loan? Is it better to take a loan out in my child's name or take a parent PLUS loan? — Michelle A. As of July 1, 2010, all federal education loans are now made through the Direct Loan program. This includes federal student loans, ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +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 4 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +2

    Do Outstanding Loans Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid?

    How do outstanding loans affect future financial aid awards for my children? Is there any advantage to trying to pay them back early (other than less interest)? Are they counted towards my outstanding debt thereby potentially increasing my aid package? — Linda H. Most forms of consumer debt, including auto loans and credit card debt, are ignored by the Free Application ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +21

    Is college worth the cost?

    Is college worth the cost?
    Some people have argued that the high cost of a college education is a bubble waiting to burst. They draw superficial comparisons with the housing market, pointing out the high cost, heavy financing with no down payment, federal subsidies and tax deductible interest. But unlike a house, a college degree is an asset that enables the production of income. In a ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +21
  • +10

    Hope Scholarship Tax Credit

    The Hope Scholarship provides a federal income tax credit of up to $2,500 (40% refundable) per student based on the first $4,000 in postsecondary tuition, fees and course materials paid by the taxpayer during the tax year. The Hope Scholarship tax credit is 100% of the first $2,000 and 25% of the second $2,000. The tax credit is limited to the ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +13

    Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

    The Lifetime Learning provides a federal income tax credit of up to $2,000 per taxpayer based on the first $10,000 in postsecondary tuition and fees paid by the taxpayer during the tax year. The Lifetime learning tax credit is 20% of the first $10,000. The tax credit may be received for an unlimited number of years. Amount of Credit The Lifetime ...
    Published over 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 4 years ago | Rated: +10
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