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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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How to Handle a Tuition Hike

How to Handle a Tuition Hike

How would you cope with a hike in tuition?

By Sandra Guy
Published September 4, 2008
First Steps Toward Simplifying the FAFSA

First Steps Toward Simplifying the FAFSA

Student aid policy experts have argued for years that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is too long and too complicated. The FAFSA form is a source of confusion ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 5, 2009
Can I Get a New Financial Aid Package if My Mom Lost Her Job?

Can I Get a New Financial Aid Package if My Mom Lost Her Job?

I am in my third semester and have already received my financial aid for this semester; however, our financial circumstances have dramatically changed. My mother was laid off as of the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 29, 2009
To Cosign or Not To Cosign, That is the Question

To Cosign or Not To Cosign, That is the Question

My nephew has asked me to cosign a private student loan for college. He's on his own since he lives independently from his mother, his parents are divorced, and his father ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 28, 2010
Help for Retired Parents Repaying Parent PLUS Loans on Fixed Income

Help for Retired Parents Repaying Parent PLUS Loans on Fixed Income

Help!!! My Parent PLUS loans are presently in a forbearance that will end in a few months. My expected installment payments are more than my monthly income. I am retired and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 13, 2010
How to Report Stocks on the FAFSA

How to Report Stocks on the FAFSA

I am a single mom and my son will be entering his freshman year in college this fall. The FAFSA application asks for the gross income from last year's tax return. ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 15, 2010
Do Twins Get More Aid? If a Student Gets Married, Does the Financial Aid Change?

Do Twins Get More Aid? If a Student Gets Married, Does the Financial Aid Change?

My boyfriend and I are afraid that if we marry my annual gross income ($47,000) will prevent him from getting federal grants and loans for college. He has no income at ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 20, 2010
Time to panic about prepaid tuition plans?

Time to panic about prepaid tuition plans?

The New York Times reported on October 5, 2009 that 16 of the 18 state prepaid tuition plans are facing funding shortfalls because of a combination of stock market losses and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 5, 2009
How do retirement funds affect student aid eligibility?

How do retirement funds affect student aid eligibility?

How do parent contributions to 401(k) or IRA retirement plans affect financial aid eligibility? — Stephen C. The federal need analysis methodology considers both income (taxable and untaxed) and assets that ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 6, 2009
Emergency Dental Care for an International Student; Reporting a New Spouse's Income and Assets on the FAFSA

Emergency Dental Care for an International Student; Reporting a New Spouse's Income and Assets on the FAFSA

I am not a US citizen. I came to the United States a month ago to begin graduate school. Unfortunately I got a severe toothache a week ago. As a teaching ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 27, 2010
College Choices in a Down Economy

College Choices in a Down Economy

Fastweb partnered with Maguire Associates, a firm that specializes in market research, analysis and predictive modeling for colleges and universities, to evaluate the impact of the economy on college choices by ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 7, 2009
Secrets to Settling Defaulted Federal Student Loan Debts for Less than What You Owe

Secrets to Settling Defaulted Federal Student Loan Debts for Less than What You Owe

Your federal student loans are in default and collection agencies are calling you dozens of times a day. They are threatening to garnish your wages, offset your income tax refunds and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 30, 2010
When should you apply for scholarships and financial aid?

When should you apply for scholarships and financial aid?

My son will be applying to colleges this fall since he is a high school senior. Should he wait until he is accepted into a college before applying for scholarships? — ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 13, 2009
If the Financial Aid Package Does Not Fit, A Request for More Aid You Should Submit

If the Financial Aid Package Does Not Fit, A Request for More Aid You Should Submit

I'm 16 years old and I'm the valedictorian of my senior graduating class in New York City. This year was a very difficult one finding the right college to go; fortunately ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 5, 2010
Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size

Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size

Get the FAQs on the FAFSA.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 25, 2010
Should a custodial account held by a grandparent be reported on the grandchild's FAFSA?

Should a custodial account held by a grandparent be reported on the grandchild's FAFSA?

Does a parent need to disclose (on the FAFSA) funds in an UGMA or UTMA account in the student's name with a grandparent as custodian? If so, how does this affect ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 21, 2009
Treatment of Grandparent Assets Held by a Parent on the FAFSA

Treatment of Grandparent Assets Held by a Parent on the FAFSA

I am completing the FAFSA for my son and daughter. My Mom is elderly and has put my name as secondary on her accounts. Do I have to report the money ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 5, 2010
How does child support affect eligibility for student aid?

How does child support affect eligibility for student aid?

I have been divorced for more than 10 years and receive a small amount of child support from my ex-husband. At the time of the divorce, I agreed to let my ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 28, 2009
How is retirement income and past due child support reported on the FAFSA?

How is retirement income and past due child support reported on the FAFSA?

I am trying to fill out my FAFSA. My father retired last year and I am confused as to what to put for his financial answers, for example, gross income, taxes, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 11, 2010
How can a student on academic probation pay for college with no aid?

How can a student on academic probation pay for college with no aid?

My son has brain damage along with seizures and a reading learning disability. With all the doctors appointments, hospital stays and seizures he is on academic probation this semester. So that ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 18, 2010