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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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How to Minimize Student Loan Debt

How to Minimize Student Loan Debt

More students graduate each year with excessive student loan debt.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 11, 2011
Economy Causes Panic over Paying for School

Economy Causes Panic over Paying for School

This year more than ever, the economy is making it more difficult for families to pay for college. The number of financial aid applications is up more than 10% over last ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 21, 2009
Can a Student Receive a Pell Grant for a Second College Degree?

Can a Student Receive a Pell Grant for a Second College Degree?

I am a 25-year-old woman looking to go back to school for a second degree in a different field of study than my original degree. I am married to an enlisted ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 1, 2012
Does Dependency Status on Income Tax Returns Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?

Does Dependency Status on Income Tax Returns Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?

My daughter graduated from undergraduate school in May of this year. As far as student loans were concerned she was considered a dependent for the 4 years she attended there and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 11, 2013
President Obama Proposes Capping Student Loan Payments at 10% of Discretionary Income

President Obama Proposes Capping Student Loan Payments at 10% of Discretionary Income

President Obama proposes to cap student loan payments at 10% of discretionary income as part of a package of proposals outlined by the White House Task Force on Middle Class Families ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 25, 2010
Scholarship and Grant Tips for Nontraditional Students

Scholarship and Grant Tips for Nontraditional Students

Returning students can qualify for plenty of scholarship and grant opportunities.

By Jose Vasquez, author of Free Cash for College: The Everyday Students' Guide to Financial Aid
Published April 21, 2009
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
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
Can Parent PLUS Loans Get Income-Based Repayment and Loan Forgiveness?

Can Parent PLUS Loans Get Income-Based Repayment and Loan Forgiveness?

You've mentioned previously that while Parent PLUS loans are nominally eligible for public service loan forgiveness, they are not eligible for IBR or ICR, which leaves nothing left to forgive. Is ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 8, 2013
February is Financial Aid Awareness Month

February is Financial Aid Awareness Month

There's one very important celebration that takes place all month long that you may have overlooked...Financial Aid Awareness Month!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published January 21, 2015
Does Financial Aid Cover Room and Board in Addition to Tuition and Fees?

Does Financial Aid Cover Room and Board in Addition to Tuition and Fees?

Are room and board covered under financial aid? Find out.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 4, 2010
What Happens If You Deliberately Don't Report Assets on the FAFSA?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 28, 2011
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes a Big Boost in Student Aid Funding

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes a Big Boost in Student Aid Funding

The stimulus package increases federal student aid funding

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 21, 2009
How Does Bankruptcy Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

How Does Bankruptcy Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

How does a chapter 13 bankruptcy affect financial aid? Would it be difficult to get financial aid for my child because my husband and I filed chapter 13 about 2 years ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 6, 2011
Which Assets and Debts are Reported on the FAFSA?

Which Assets and Debts are Reported on the FAFSA?

Last year my family had low income ($40,000) but high assets. The assets include $1 million in properties, other investments, the primary home, car, 401(k), IRA and pension plan. How are ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 24, 2011
Consequences for Student Financial Aid If Congress Doesn't Raise the Debt Ceiling

Consequences for Student Financial Aid If Congress Doesn't Raise the Debt Ceiling

The game of chicken being played out in Washington, DC, may have serious consequences for student financial aid as well as the rest of the economy. Congress and the White House ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 14, 2011
Can a Dependent Student File the FAFSA as Independent if the Student's Parents Don't File Federal Income Tax Returns?

Can a Dependent Student File the FAFSA as Independent if the Student's Parents Don't File Federal Income Tax Returns?

The next several Ask Kantro columns will answer questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA may be filed starting on January 1. The FAFSA is used ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 2, 2012
Best Strategies for Paying off Debt Quicker

Best Strategies for Paying off Debt Quicker

Suppose you've made the required payments on all your loans and want to use some extra money to pay off your debt quicker. How do you choose which loan to pay ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 11, 2010
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
FAFSA Information for DACA Students

FAFSA Information for DACA Students

DACA students are defined as a subgroup of these undocumented students who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 10, 2014