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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +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
  • +4

    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 married filing separately. I am currently a student at an online university and will need to fill out my FAFSA soon. Although my soon to be ex-husband makes about $75,000 ...
    Published almost 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 almost 4 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +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 about 5 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +270

    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 over 3 years ago | Rated: +270
  • +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 about 5 years ago | Rated: +20
  • +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
  • +24

    Give Back to Say Goodbye to Student Loan Debt

    Give Back to Say Goodbye to Student Loan Debt
    If you’re like the millions of students looking for a way out of your student loans; I've got good news for you. There are alternatives but, as with most things in life, there’s a tiny catch. What's the catch? If you’re willing to do some good for the world (gasp!) and volunteer, there are plenty of programs that will be willing ...
    Published 5 months ago | Rated: +24
  • +28

    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 about 1 year ago | Rated: +28
  • +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
  • +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 11 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
  • +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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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 almost 4 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +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 almost 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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 about 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +8

    Choosing an Education Loan

    Choosing an Education Loan
    Most families evaluate education loans based mainly on cash flow considerations: How much money can you get to pay for college costs and/or living expenses? How much are the monthly payments? When do the payments start and when do they end? What is the total cost of the loan (total payments over the life of the loan)? Who is responsible for ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +21

    Are You a College Drop-Out Risk?

    Are You a College Drop-Out Risk?
    Yep, it happened. Congress couldn't get their act together, so now you’re going to have to pay more. But, before you borrow, make sure it will pay off in the future. What do we mean by this? Investing in your education is a good thing; it’s even often referred to as “good” debt. As long as you get a degree to ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +21
  • -1

    Congress Passes Fiscal Cliff Legislation, Extending American Opportunity Tax Credit

    Congress Passes Fiscal Cliff Legislation, Extending American Opportunity Tax Credit
    Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) late on Tuesday, January 1, 2013. The measure passed with bipartisan support in the Senate by a vote of 89 to 8 and in the House by a vote of 257 to 167. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law. This legislation addresses some aspects of the ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: -1
  • +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 almost 4 years ago | Rated: +13
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