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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +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 almost 2 years 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 2 years ago | Rated: -1
  • +5

    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? — Bryan R. Your son should start searching for scholarships as soon as possible. There are scholarships with deadlines in every month of the year (more in the fall and spring ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +6

    Does Consolidating Student Loans Save Money Like a Refinance?

    I have a question concerning consolidating my federal loans. I have some that are subsidized and some that are unsubsidized. Can I combine these at a lower interest rate? I have graduated from college and will soon be starting to pay back my loans. My unsubsidized loans are at 6.8% and subsidized are at 5.5%. I also have many DEAL loans, ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +3

    Should Married Borrowers File Joint or Separate Federal Income Tax Returns with Income-Based Repayment?

    I have a question about a joint consolidation loan and income-based repayment (IBR). My wife and I consolidated our loans jointly about 10 years ago (when such things were allowed). My name is at the top of the loan. My wife and I both individually had about $70,000 in loans and our joint loan was $140,000. It is currently at about ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +7

    Impact of Tax Filing Status on Income-Based Repayment for Married Borrowers

    We married in January of last year, after my husband graduated with a Master's degree in December. His loans total $65,000 and he earned $20,000 last year. I graduated in May with a doctorate in physical therapy and $175,000 in debt. My income last year was $33,000. Our combined AGI was $53,000. For our federal loans we want income-based repayment. But ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +5

    How Do I Roll Over US Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan?

    I have several thousands of dollars in Series EE savings bonds (issued from 1988 through 1992). I know that you can use the bonds relatively tax free if cashed and used for qualified educational expenses, which includes contributions to a qualified tuition program such as a 529 college savings plan. If so, what is the process for doing this? — A.J.K. ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +24

    Is an Emancipated Child Considered an Independent Student?

    I am a single parent of three children. One is a junior in college, the middle child will be attending college next year. I have always completed the FAFSA for my oldest daughter, claiming her as my dependent. Her father and and I have split the cost of out-of-pocket expenses. This past year, however, her father took me back to court ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +24
  • +11

    Are "Dual Enrollment" Students Considered College Students on the FAFSA?

    Families should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov as soon as possible after January 1. While the federal government accepts the FAFSA as late as June 30 of the following year, several states have deadlines as early as February or March. Some state funding is awarded on a first come, first served basis, with state grants ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +7

    Options for a Student Whose Parents Refuse to Complete the FAFSA

    I have been financially independent from my parents since I was 19. I'm 23 now. I've been working two jobs and taking 12 hours in school. My school says that I cannot file a FAFSA without my parents' information. My parents will not give me their tax information or even fill it out online. I don't have the stamina to work ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +6

    When Can a Student's Grandparents Substitute for the Parents on Financial Aid Forms?

    If a student lives with a grandparent, is there any way the student can use the grandparent's income tax information on her FAFSA? I have lived with my grandmother for all 17 years of my life. My parents currently pay a small amount of child support to her, but that is the only financial support that I receive from them. My ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +13

    How Do Parent Financial Problems Affect a Student's Eligibility for Financial Aid?

    We the parents screwed up financially and had to file for bankruptcy and are in a Chapter 13 repayment program. The FAFSA thinks according to their estimator that we can afford to pay $10,000 a year (parent contribution) but there is no way. There is no provision for us to show that $1,500 a month goes to courts. (That's $18,000 a ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +13

    If I Stop Paying My Student Loans, Will the Default Yield a Reasonable Settlement?

    I would like to know what will happen if I stop paying my student loans. I have never been unemployed and don't plan to be, but my loan payments are over $700 a month and that is unreasonable (that's over half of my monthly salary). I have tried three different jobs since graduating in the hopes of making more money, but ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +2

    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 my outstanding debt thereby potentially increasing my aid package? — Linda H. Most forms of consumer debt, including auto loans and credit card debt, are ignored by the Free Application ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +8

    Can You Appeal for More Student Financial Aid in the Middle of the Academic Year?

    My husband lost his job recently. My oldest son did not qualify for student aid for college this year except for federal loans. Is there any way my son could now receive financial aid until my husband finds a new job? — Sonja R. Ask the college for a professional judgment review. Some colleges call it a special circumstances review or ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Help for Retired Parents Repaying Parent PLUS Loans on Fixed Income

    Help!!! My Parent PLUS loans are presently in a forbearance that will end in a few months. My expected installment payments are more than my monthly income. I am retired and my husband is on disability retirement. We have another son presently attending college. What options are available to me (if any)? Do I ask for an extended repayment, or continue ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +26

    The Best Schools for Financial Aid

    The Best Schools for Financial Aid
    You know that most schools offer financial aid assistance to students who need it, but have you ever wondered if some colleges offer more than others? Some do. These schools prove that it is possible to make educational funding readily available to their students. Here are the country’s top ten colleges for students looking for financial aid, according to The Princeton ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +26
  • +9

    Financial Aid without Filing the FAFSA?

    Financial Aid without Filing the FAFSA?
    I tried to apply for federal student aid last year, and was told that I needed to include my parents tax information to receive aid. I've been living on my own since I was 17, claim myself on my taxes, and support myself with the help of my fiance. I can't afford to go to school without financial aid, and my ...
    Published 4 months ago | Rated: +9
  • +1

    What Income is Listed on the FAFSA when Separated Parents File a Joint Tax Return?

    I am praying that you may be able to advise me on the FAFSA application. I am a senior in high school and will file the FAFSA in January. I live with my mom. My dad moved out almost 2 years ago. As part of my parents' agreement, my dad is paying for our rent and utilities. My mom and dad ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +1
  • Rate

    Reporting of Untaxed Social Security Benefits on the FAFSA and the Impact of IRS Filing Extensions on FAFSA Verification

    I am a college student with a severe congenital physical disability. If I apply for and am granted SSI benefits, will receiving these benefits cause my family's EFC to increase? I am not employed and am a full-time student, living in my parents' home. Would we end up paying more for my college expenses if I were to receive SSI benefits? ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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