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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Answers to Common Questions about Dependency Status and Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 14, 2011
New Husband Refuses to Help with College Costs

New Husband Refuses to Help with College Costs

I have been a single mother raising twin daughters pretty much all their life but recently (2 years ago) remarried a fairly successful man who has from day one said he ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 7, 2011
To Convert or Not To Convert; How Does a Roth IRA Conversion Affect Student Aid?

To Convert or Not To Convert; How Does a Roth IRA Conversion Affect Student Aid?

I am retired with no income from employment and a moderate amount of investment income, $20,000 to $30,000 a year. I am contemplating a partial conversion from my traditional IRA to ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 31, 2011
Trick or Treat: President Obama's Plan for Cutting Federal Student Loan Payments

Trick or Treat: President Obama's Plan for Cutting Federal Student Loan Payments

Income-based Repayment Who: 1.6 million borrowers since 2008 with at least one loan in 2012 or later, generally borrowers whose total federal student loans exceeds their annual income What: Reduces ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 26, 2011
Repayment Begins for Students Who Graduated in May and June

Repayment Begins for Students Who Graduated in May and June

Students who graduated in May or June are nearing the end of the six-month grace period. The first monthly loan payment is usually due in November or December. Don't Be Delinquent ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 26, 2011
What Do You Do If Your Application for a FAFSA PIN is Rejected?

What Do You Do If Your Application for a FAFSA PIN is Rejected?

Expert financial aid answers to all of your questions.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 23, 2011
How Accurate are the Net Price Figures from Colleges and College Navigator?

How Accurate are the Net Price Figures from Colleges and College Navigator?

How believeable and reliable are the net price values quoted on the College Navigator web site? My granddaughter is interested in two public universities, one in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota. ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 17, 2011
Can a Parent Count a Child in Household Size and Also Report Amounts Paid in Child Support on the FAFSA?

Can a Parent Count a Child in Household Size and Also Report Amounts Paid in Child Support on the FAFSA?

I am the custodial parent for my son and college-bound daughter. It seems like the form assumes that only non-custodial parents pay child support! However, I still pay their mother child ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 10, 2011
Congress Proposes Cutting Student Financial Aid in FY2012 Federal Education Budget

Congress Proposes Cutting Student Financial Aid in FY2012 Federal Education Budget

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are considering proposals to cut student financial aid in the FY2012 federal education budget. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), chairman of the House Appropriations ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 3, 2011
Pros and Cons of Using Retirement Funds to Pay for College Costs

Pros and Cons of Using Retirement Funds to Pay for College Costs

Why should one NOT use retirement funds to pay for a child's college costs? — Diane H. There are two main reasons why families shouldn't use retirement plan funds to pay ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 3, 2011
Top Ten Myths About Scholarships

Top Ten Myths About Scholarships

There are many myths about who wins private scholarships and the benefits of winning scholarships. These myths can be harmful if they give students and their families unrealistic expectations about their ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 2, 2011
Can You Appeal for More Student Financial Aid in the Middle of the Academic Year?

Can You Appeal for More Student Financial Aid in the Middle of the Academic Year?

My husband lost his job recently. My oldest son did not qualify for student aid for college this year except for federal loans. Is there any way my son could now ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 26, 2011
Will Filing Income Tax Returns as Married Filing Separately Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

Will Filing Income Tax Returns as Married Filing Separately Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

My husband and I separated last year and are living at separate addresses. We have not filed for divorce yet or a formal separation. We are considering filing our taxes as ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 19, 2011
Completing the FAFSA When the Student's Parents Have a Legal Separation

Completing the FAFSA When the Student's Parents Have a Legal Separation

My parents aren't divorced but are legally separated and have been for about ten years. My mother is unable to remember where the papers for their separation are. I was wondering ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 12, 2011
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
U.S. Department of Education Seeks Ideas from Students, Parents and Educators on How To Improve Financial Aid Award Letters

U.S. Department of Education Seeks Ideas from Students, Parents and Educators on How To Improve Financial Aid Award Letters

Public Meeting The U.S. Department of Education is holding a public meeting on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, to discuss ways to improve financial aid award letters. The goal is to ...

Published September 1, 2011
Students Lose Financial Aid for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 29, 2011
PSST! Want to Graduate from College with an Undergraduate Degree and No Debt?

PSST! Want to Graduate from College with an Undergraduate Degree and No Debt?

A recent research report analyzes the characteristics of the 1.7 million undergraduate students who were able to graduate in 2007-08 without any student loan debt. About two fifths of undergraduate students ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 24, 2011
Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home?

Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home?

Ask Kantro: Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home? Is home equity considered an asset when determining eligibility for aid? — Steve ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 22, 2011
When Does Repayment Begin on a Subsidized Loan?

When Does Repayment Begin on a Subsidized Loan?

When does a student have to start paying back a subsidized loan? — A.A. If the loan is a subsidized Stafford loan, repayment begins 6 months after graduating from college or ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 15, 2011