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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Options for a Family Denied Education Loans Due to Insufficient Income

Options for a Family Denied Education Loans Due to Insufficient Income

My daughter received some financial aid for her freshman year of college but we still had to take out a sizable loan for the rest. She applied for a loan her ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 4, 2010
Best Money Books for New College Graduates

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 7, 2010
FAFSA Questions Concerning Assets and Legal Guardianships

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 20, 2009
Why Do Some Merit-Based Scholarships Require the FAFSA?

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, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 12, 2010
Questions about the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

Questions about the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

If you have already graduated from college, will you be affected by the new changes to student loans in the health care bill? — Lauren A. No. None of the changes ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 12, 2010
Clearing Up Confusion. What are Parents Responsible for on FAFSA?

Clearing Up Confusion. What are Parents Responsible for on FAFSA?

There seems to be a lot of confusion about which parent is responsible for completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so I'm answering a few more questions on ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 25, 2010
When must a Non-Custodial Parent Count a Child in Household Size?

When must a Non-Custodial Parent Count a Child in Household Size?

I am remarried and my husband pays child support for his two children that live with their mother. They pass the support test. Do we include his children in our household ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 21, 2013
How Do I Fix an Non-Qualified Distribution from a College Savings Plan?

How Do I Fix an Non-Qualified Distribution from a College Savings Plan?

I had a CollegeSure CD for my son who started college last fall. After the CD matured in August, I cashed it out and put the money in a savings account ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 4, 2011
Impact of a Government Shutdown on Student Financial Aid

Impact of a Government Shutdown on Student Financial Aid

If Congress fails to pass legislation funding the federal government, the federal government will shut down and more than 800,000 government employees will be furloughed. The impact on federal student aid, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 8, 2011
Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities

Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities

Discover financial aid opportunities for students with disabilities.

Published August 14, 2015
That Free Financial Aid Seminar May be Just a Worthless Sales Pitch

That Free Financial Aid Seminar May be Just a Worthless Sales Pitch

From time to time I receive solicitations for free financial aid seminars that are really sales pitches for a product or service. I attend these seminars to monitor the information (and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 18, 2011
Will a Parent PLUS Loan be Denied When Applying for Two Loans for Two Children?

Will a Parent PLUS Loan be Denied When Applying for Two Loans for Two Children?

I am applying for two Parent PLUS loans because I have twins going to school at the same time. Is it possible one loan will be denied because we are applying ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 13, 2012
Programs and Scholarships to Pay Off Student Loans

Programs and Scholarships to Pay Off Student Loans

Looking for a bailout? Good news! The only catch is you'll have to do some good...

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published March 3, 2014
Why Do Financial Aid Application Forms Use Last Year's Income?

Why Do Financial Aid Application Forms Use Last Year's Income?

Why do the government and colleges use last year's income to determine financial aid for the current year? Our financial situation has changed, my husband was laid off last year but ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 29, 2013
US Department of Education Publishes College Cost and Net Price Rankings

US Department of Education Publishes College Cost and Net Price Rankings

As required by Congress, the US Department of Education is now publishing lists that rank the most and least expensive colleges. Colleges are ranked according to tuition and fees as well ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 1, 2011
Is a Student with Children But No Income Considered to be Independent?

Is a Student with Children But No Income Considered to be Independent?

I am under 24 years of age. I did not have any income the year before last. I have 2 children and live with a partner of 6 years. He is ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 30, 2012
How Will the Election Results Affect Student Financial Aid?

How Will the Election Results Affect Student Financial Aid?

President Obama was reelected on November 6, 2012, but control of Congress remains split. Republicans retained control of the House and Democrats retained control of the Senate. The Democrats may have ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 8, 2012
If I Stop Paying My Student Loans, Will the Default Yield a Reasonable Settlement?

If I Stop Paying My Student Loans, Will the Default Yield a Reasonable Settlement?

I would like to know what will happen if I stop paying my student loans. I have never been unemployed and don't plan to be, but my loan payments are over ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 5, 2011
Should Wealthy Parents Cut Family Income Tenfold to Help their Children Qualify for Need-Based Student Financial Aid?

Should Wealthy Parents Cut Family Income Tenfold to Help their Children Qualify for Need-Based Student Financial Aid?

My wife and I make about $150,000 in combined income. We have probably $350,000 in home equity, $100,000 in rental property equity and $500,000 in retirement accounts. We have three kids ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 9, 2012
Which Parents are Responsible for Completing the Financial Aid Application Forms?

Which Parents are Responsible for Completing the Financial Aid Application Forms?

Both of my daughters' parents have re-married. Whose income is counted for financial aid? Just biological parents or their spouses too? Does primary parent fill out the paperwork or the parent ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 4, 2012