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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +6

    How Does Income Tax Filing Status Affect Student Aid?

    My married parents want to file their income tax returns as married filing separately. If the parent with the lower income claims me as a dependent, does that mean that I will receive more financial aid than I would if the other parent (with higher income) claimed me as a dependent? — Ilya S. Although you indicated that your parents are ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +37

    Crowdfunding for College

    Crowdfunding for College
    Crowdfunding, the latest trend in the startup craze, allows the public to view and donate to causes and projects via a public platform. Students have jumped on the bandwagon, utilizing crowdfunding resources to fund the often astronomical student loans that have accumulated. Here are some resources that students can utilize crowdfunding for debt payment, as well as manage a current financial ...
    Published 3 months ago | Rated: +37
  • +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 over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +13

    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 there are many lessons about managing money and living on your own that aren't taught in a college classroom. According to the Council for Economic Education, 13 states require high ...
    Published about 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 over 5 years ago | Rated: +7
  • -22

    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 graduate with no debt and three fifths graduate with less than $10,000 in student loan debt. This analysis yields seven practical tips on what you should do if you want ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: -22
  • +8

    Financial Aid and Scholarships for Foster Care and Adopted Children

    I adopted a special needs foster child when he was 11 years old. I have been told he does not qualify for any aid. I recently learned that if I would have adopted him at age 13 he would of received a full scholarship. My son wants to attend a private college at approximately $43,000 per year. Do you have any ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +271

    Can You Get a Pell Grant Even If You Don't Qualify for the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program?

    If a child does not qualify for the free or reduced-price school lunch program, can they still qualify for federal student aid? —Y.P. Yes. Students who don't qualify for the free or reduced-price school lunch program can still qualify for federal student aid and should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA added a question about the ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +271
  • +19

    Should Parents Transfer College Savings from an UTMA Account to a 529 Plan?

    My twin daughters will be entering college in the fall. We have saved for their college education over the last 17 years. Presently the savings are held in two accounts each: a custodial account under the Uniform Transfer to Minor Act (UTMA) and in a Coverdell Education IRA account. I recently read that in connection with evaluating any possible financial aid ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +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 over 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +10

    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 and frustration for many families. The policy experts have proven that the current process of applying for financial aid is itself a problem that prevents millions of students from applying ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +5

    Questions about Qualifying for the Federal Parent PLUS Loan

    My son has been accepted to an expensive private non-profit college for the fall. We have been awarded a pretty generous financial aid package from the school (approximately $30,000) which leaves me with about $20,000/year left to finance. I make about $50,000/year. I will be applying for the Parent PLUS loan and have several questions. I'm in the process of refinancing ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +5
  • +11

    Some Scholarship Sponsors Review the Online Presence of Finalists When Selecting Winners

    Some Scholarship Sponsors Review the Online Presence of Finalists When Selecting Winners
    Your Facebook profile may cause you to lose a scholarship. It can also help you win a scholarship. According to a recent survey of scholarship-granting organizations, about a quarter of scholarship providers evaluate the online presence of finalists before selecting which students will win scholarships. These scholarship sponsors use web search sites like Google and social media web sites like Facebook, ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +7

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

    I am currently a senior at a high school. If I want to dorm at a private university, which adds $10,000 more to the $40,000 tuition, do the universities take into account the financial aid as a whole thing with tuition and room and board, or do they just give financial aid for the tuition? To simplify this, my total costs ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +20

    Tuition and Fees Deduction

    The Tuition and Fees Deduction allows taxpayers to deduct up to $4,000 in tuition expenses as an above-the-line exclusion from income. This tax benefit is also known as the Limited Deduction for Tuition Expenses or as the Torricelli Deduction. This deduction may be taken even if the taxpayer does not itemize. The deduction is currently set to expire at the end ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +20
  • +29

    The “Free” Tuition Experiment

    The “Free” Tuition Experiment
    No matter where you attend college today, costs have skyrocketed, leaving students with the impending doom of student debt for years to come. Meanwhile, public funding for education has been declining to the point of nonexistence, as far as many students are concerned. So, what can be done to combat the issue? It seems as though many are considering the recent ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +29
  • +28

    Congress Proposes Allowing Private Student Loans to be Discharged in Bankruptcy

    Congress Proposes Allowing Private Student Loans to be Discharged in Bankruptcy
    Congress is proposing to allow borrowers to discharge private student loans in bankruptcy. Under current law, education loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy except in extreme circumstances. The US Bankruptcy Code at 11 USC 523(a)(8) requires borrowers who want to get a bankruptcy discharge for their student loans to demonstrate in an adversary proceeding that repaying their student loans "would impose ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +28
  • +5

    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 misinformation) that these seminars disseminate. The latest one was a bit different, in that it was affiliated with a national asset management and financial planning firm. It's not a very ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +4

    How will a Parent's Financial Troubles Affect the Student's Eligibility for Student Loans?

    My 17-year-old daughter is eager to begin college. We have some difficult financial situations to contend with and could use your advice and direction. Her dad and I are divorced. I have poor credit due to excessive debt, and late payments. I am considering a debt settlement plan right now on two of my debts. I have outstanding student loans, and ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +13

    Which of a Student's Divorced Parents Must Complete the FAFSA? Is the Stepparent's Information Reported on the FAFSA?

    I will be filling out the FAFSA soon for my daughter who will be attending college next fall. My question is regarding her father, who is my ex-husband. Her father does not pay child support and has not supported her financially since our divorce 5 years ago. Do I have to include his financial information, or any of his information, on ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +13
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