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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +8

    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 assistant I have health insurance provided by my school, but it doesn't cover dental care. No matter how bad it gets, the toothache will not be considered an emergency. The ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +13

    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 ruin your credit. They may even have crossed the line into harassment, calling you a worthless person and threatening you with physical harm. Are there any ways of getting out ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +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 almost 5 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +8

    FAFSA Questions Concerning Assets and Legal Guardianships

    I am an incoming freshman in college and my single mom is worried about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We recently sold our house and are currently living in a rented apartment. The money from selling the house is in her savings account. We are currently looking for a new house. My mom is worried that if we ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +4

    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 in those accounts as my assets on the FAFSA? It doesn't seem fair if I do, because the money is not mine to use. — Chris S. Grandparents sometimes transfer ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +3

    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 means, well you know what that means, he will not be allowed to apply for FAFSA this semester. My question to you all is how can I afford to pay ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +4

    Answers to Common Questions about Dependency Status and Financial Aid

    Will my daughter's chances for receiving financial aid be higher if we don't claim her on our taxes? Household income is about $85,000 and she did not qualify for financial aid through the FAFSA. She is in a community college and is 20 years old. She recently moved out of our home but we are paying her college tuition. She has ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +26

    Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?

    Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?
    Let’s start with a little bit about what the FAFSA actually is. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid; translation: it determines a student's eligibility for need-based federal financial aid for college, which may include grants, scholarships, work-study and loans. If eligible, it can really help you pay for school! The FAFSA for the 2014-2015 academic year is now ...
    Published 3 months ago | Rated: +26
  • +6

    Which are Better, US Savings Bonds or 529 College Savings Plans?

    We have a son who is going to be in the 10th grade this year. We also have twins who are 3.5 years old. I am trying to understand where to park my savings for elder son and the little ones. I heard if we have 529 plans, they will be included in financial aid calculations and this is not a ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +6
  • +7

    How to Qualify for a PLUS Loan Despite an Adverse Credit History

    I'm currently an MBA student who has a VERY adverse credit history. Part of which includes a defaulted Federal Loan. I'm halfway through my first year of business school and find myself needing more money. I've found someone who does not have an adverse credit history who is willing to cosign. I'm worried that I still won't receive the loan. What ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +5

    Does Filing a FAFSA Obligate You in Any Way? Are Parents Responsible for Repaying a Child's Student Loans?

    I have a question about filling out a FAFSA form for my child. If we fill out the form and my child is granted a loan for college, will the parents be cosigners or responsible in any way for their child's loan either now or in the future? — D.F. No. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +5

    Are There Any Fees for Filing the FAFSA?

    Is there a fee to complete the FAFSA and if so, how much? — T. Smith There is no fee to file the FAFSA. As the name suggests, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a free application. You can file the FAFSA online for free at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Section 483(a)(6) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 bans the ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +6

    What Do You Do When Income or an Asset Isn't Really Your Money?

    I am a disabled parent who hasn't worked since 2007. I am currently on long term disability and have been ruled disabled by the Social Security Administration. My child is heading off to college in the fall and we are working on his FAFSA. My Social Security came through in late November in a large lump sum due to back dating. ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +3

    Should Married Borrowers File Joint or Separate Federal Income Tax Returns with Income-Based Repayment?

    I have a question about a joint consolidation loan and income-based repayment (IBR). My wife and I consolidated our loans jointly about 10 years ago (when such things were allowed). My name is at the top of the loan. My wife and I both individually had about $70,000 in loans and our joint loan was $140,000. It is currently at about ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +7

    Advice to Parents Whose Child will be the First in the Family to Go to College

    My wife and I are looking for help in getting our son into college. He is a junior in high school. His mother and I are on disability. My wife is fighting stage four breast cancer. I was hurt at work two years ago. We would like to see our son go to college but there is no way we would ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +8

    Students Lose Financial Aid for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

    I have been attending college for some time now. Ever since my mom passed away I have been really shaking with some of my classes. Last semester I did decent: I got an A, two Cs and a D. But my appeal for financial aid got denied. I had to pay out of pocket for the spring semester and I won't ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +10

    Senator Al Franken Introduces Legislation to Standardize Financial Aid Award Letters

    Senator Al Franken (D-MN) introduced the Understanding the True Cost of College Act (S.3244) on Thursday, May 24, 2012 with bipartisan support. This legislation will standardize college financial aid award letters to help students and parents make informed decisions concerning the tradeoffs between college affordability and college quality. It will also help students and their families make smarter borrowing decisions. Students ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +15

    Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money

    Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money
    Nobody ever said being an adult was easy and knowing how to save and invest properly is not exception to the rule. But, who better to advise you on saving and investing money than Mark Kantrowitz, a nationally recognized finance guru? Here are tips, right from the expert, on how to save and invest like a pro. [gate] • Save for ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +15
  • +9

    How Do I Transfer Financial Aid from One College to Another?

    If I change schools, how do I edit my FAFSA so the money goes to my new school? And about how long would it take for the money to transfer schools? — Q.T. Student financial aid does not directly transfer between colleges. Instead, the new college will recalculate your eligibility from scratch based on the information on your FAFSA and the ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +12

    What Happens If You Deliberately Don't Report Assets on the FAFSA?

    I'm doing everything possible to lower my EFC. I have assets, UTMA, mutual funds, stocks and I know they hurt my chances of receiving free money (Federal or state grants). I was thinking of cashing in the assets and putting them in a safety deposit box. That way I won't have to claim them on the FAFSA because they are no ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +12