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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +24

    Limit Total Student Loan Debt to Less Than $10,000 per Year to Avoid Overborrowing

    I have twin daughters going to college in the fall. The annual tab (for both girls) after scholarships will be $58,000 in loans per year for four years. We have saved $47,000 for the first year and anticipate being able to save about $12,000 per year to apply towards payments over the three remaining years. This leaves us looking for loans ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +24
  • +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 about 5 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +38

    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 9 months ago | Rated: +38
  • +18

    Congressman Hansen Clarke Proposes Student Loan Relief Legislation

    Congressman Hansen Clarke Proposes Student Loan Relief Legislation
    Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI-13) introduced the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 4170) on March 8, 2012. If enacted, this legislation will provide student loan forgiveness for federal education loans, allow private student loans to be refinanced into federal direct consolidation loans and cap all federal student loan interest rates at 3.4%. This legislation would address some of the calls ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +18
  • +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 about 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +21

    Questions about Income and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    My husband earns about $125,000 in salary and I am a stay at home mom. My husband just changed jobs and got his deferred salary and his retirement from 25 years of employment, so last year's income looks huge when it really wasn't. We also have a 19-year-old child with autism who lives in a group situation with social and living ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +21
  • +17

    Does Applying for Financial Aid Affect Your Chances of Admission?

    Does applying for financial aid ever limit one's chances of acceptance to a college? Do colleges give any subtle preference to students who state on their application that they do not need financial aid? For example, would it be advantageous for a student whose parents earn $150,000 and have adequate savings to tell a college costing $30,000 that they do not ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +17
  • +37

    He's the Financial Aid Guru. Only on Fastweb.

    He's the Financial Aid Guru.  Only on Fastweb.
    Is your financial aid advice featured in The New York Times? Didn’t think so. Mark Kantrowitz, is nationally recognized as an often quoted leading financial aid expert. With degrees from M.I.T., Carnegie-Mellon and more quotes than Webster’s, he is the financial aid guy’s financial aid guy. Here’s his advice for these tough times. Kantrowitz strongly encourages families to save 1/3 of ...
    Published about 6 years ago | Rated: +37
  • +7

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

    I will begin to pay back my student loans in January. My loan debt is about $134,000 and I'm going to pay it back via income-based repayment (IBR). My husband also has student loan debt and is currently in repayment but not through IBR. I understand that if we continue to file our tax returns under Married Filing Jointly status my ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +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 about 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +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 over 4 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +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 over 4 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +35

    Making Smarter Student Loan Decisions

    Making Smarter Student Loan Decisions
    It’s no secret that college is getting more expensive by the minute. For instance, the cost of education at a university rose from 23 to 38 percent between 2001 and 2010. That’s a huge climb! In attempts to make college possible, many students take out student loans in pursuit of their higher education. While an investment in education is one of ...
    Published 17 days ago | Rated: +35
  • +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 over 4 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +5

    Financial Aid Insider Secrets

    Financial aid is a complicated topic with an alphabet soup of acronyms like FAFSA and EFC, rolling deadlines and (seemingly) endless forms, rules and regulations. But with the state of the economy, you're most likely going to have to get some sort of outside help in your pursuit of higher education. Don't panic! This video will provide you with an ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +4

    Paying the College Directly to Avoid Gift Taxes

    Under current IRS rules, a payment made directly to an educational institution to pay for the tuition of a student does not count as a gift to the student for gift tax purposes. For example, a grandparent can avoid gift taxes by writing a check to the college for their grandchild's tuition instead of giving the money to the student or ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +25

    Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?

    Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?
    Let’s start with a little bit about what the FAFSA actually is. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid; translation: it determines a student's eligibility for need-based federal financial aid for college, which may include grants, scholarships, work-study and loans. If eligible, it can really help you pay for school! The FAFSA for the 2014-2015 academic year is now ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +25
  • +205

    Congress Proposes Overhaul of Federal Student Loan and Grant Programs

    Congress Proposes Overhaul of Federal Student Loan and Grant Programs
    The US House of Representatives is considering legislation to overhaul the federal education loan and grant programs. The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, nicknamed SAFRA, will increase funding for federal student aid programs and simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. These changes will implement several of President Obama's campaign promises. Switch to 100% Direct Lending Starting ...
    Published almost 6 years ago | Rated: +205
  • +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 about 6 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +21

    First Lady Michelle Obama's FAFSA Completion Challenge

    First Lady Michelle Obama's FAFSA Completion Challenge
    The release of the 2015-2016 FAFSA – that’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (as if you didn’t know) – is right around the corner. On January 1, 2015, the financial aid form becomes available for the New Year. As part of her Reach Higher education initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama is calling on you to help increase the number ...
    Published 6 months ago | Rated: +21
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