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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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What are Your Options When Your Parents Refuse to File the FAFSA?

What are Your Options When Your Parents Refuse to File the FAFSA?

I am hoping you can help me with my FAFSA issue. I am 16 and a senior this year in high school, so I plan on attending a university in the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 26, 2010
Total College Debt Now Exceeds Total Credit Card Debt

Total College Debt Now Exceeds Total Credit Card Debt

Total student loan and credit card debt outstanding as of June of each year.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 11, 2010
Which of a Student's Divorced Parents Must Complete the FAFSA? Is the Stepparent's Information Reported on the FAFSA?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 25, 2010
Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?

Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid; translation: free government money to help you pay for school!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 5, 2016
Financial Aid Glossary

Financial Aid Glossary

Academic Year: The period in which school is in session - typically September through May. Accrual Date: The date on which interest charges on an educational loan begin to accrue. Adjusted ...

By Kay Peterson, Ph. D.
Published May 13, 2016
Free Money for College Savings

Free Money for College Savings

There are a variety of national, state and local programs that encourage families to save for college by providing families with free money. There are two main types of such programs: ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 4, 2011
When should you apply for scholarships and financial aid?

When should you apply for scholarships and financial aid?

My son will be applying to colleges this fall since he is a high school senior. Should he wait until he is accepted into a college before applying for scholarships? — ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 13, 2009
White House Releases Model Financial Aid Award Letter "Shopping Sheet"

White House Releases Model Financial Aid Award Letter "Shopping Sheet"

Photo courtesy of Department of Education.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 24, 2012
Seeking Clarification of Income-Based Repayment for Married Student Loan Borrowers

Seeking Clarification of Income-Based Repayment for Married Student Loan Borrowers

Advice for married couples seeking to repay debt and maintain tax benefits.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 25, 2012
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
How does divorce affect eligibility for student financial aid?

How does divorce affect eligibility for student financial aid?

I am currently a single parent with a daughter receiving financial aid. However, I plan to marry and am curious how that affects my child’s financial aid. Will his income be ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 15, 2009
How Will The Student Loan Bill Affect Students?

How Will The Student Loan Bill Affect Students?

The US House of Representatives approved the student loan and health care reform legislation on Sunday night, March 21, 2010, by a vote of 220 to 211. No Republicans voted in ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 23, 2010
How Does a Parent Enrolling in College Affect the Child's Financial Aid?

How Does a Parent Enrolling in College Affect the Child's Financial Aid?

My daughter is hoping to attend a private college next year. Of course, we will be applying for financial aid and as many scholarships as we can find! My husband works ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 9, 2011
How Does Income Tax Filing Status Affect Student Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 22, 2010
Hope Scholarship Tax Credit

Hope Scholarship Tax Credit

The Hope Scholarship provides a federal income tax credit of up to $2,500 (40% refundable) per student based on the first $4,000 in postsecondary tuition, fees and course materials paid by ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 17, 2009
Solutions for Borrowers Who are Having Trouble Repaying Education Loans

Solutions for Borrowers Who are Having Trouble Repaying Education Loans

There are many options for repayment relief for borrowers who are having trouble repaying their education loans. These include deferments and forbearances that suspend the monthly payment obligation, alternate repayment plans ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 21, 2009
Confusion about Reporting Custodial 529 College Savings Plan Accounts on the FAFSA

Confusion about Reporting Custodial 529 College Savings Plan Accounts on the FAFSA

My daughter is a freshman (in college) and lives more than 50% of the time with her mother who is the custodial parent. Her mom and I have been divorced for ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 31, 2012
Financial Aid for Graduate School: Your Credit History Affect and Types of Aid

Financial Aid for Graduate School: Your Credit History Affect and Types of Aid

Paying for graduate school with undergraduate and credit card debt.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 9, 2012
Should Parents Transfer College Savings from an UTMA Account to a 529 Plan?

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: ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 18, 2010
Do Outstanding Loans Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid?

Do Outstanding Loans Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid?

How do outstanding loans affect future financial aid awards for my children? Is there any advantage to trying to pay them back early (other than less interest)? Are they counted towards ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 10, 2010