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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +8

    How to Pay for College After a Recent Bankruptcy Discharge

    My daughter will be starting college in the fall (hopefully). The full cost for each year is approximately $50,000. She received a scholarship for $35,000 and she has enough saved for books ($1,000), leaving her needing $14,000. When we filled out the FAFSA it said her family contribution would be too high. Unfortunately my husband and I filed for bankruptcy in ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +10

    Student Loan Over $1 Trillion: What to Know Before You Borrow

    Student Loan Over $1 Trillion: What to Know Before You Borrow
    With National Decision Day looming, students and their parents are taking a close look at top college choices and assessing academic offerings and campus body fit. But most importantly, families are taking a look at each school’s affordability. On Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched its latest tool to help educate students and their families on the costs of borrowing ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +4

    Government Report Reviews Private Student Loans and Recommends Statutory Changes

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the US Department of Education released a report to Congress about private student loans on July 20, 2012 as mandated by section 1077 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203, 7/21/2010). The report discusses the growth and changes in the private student loan marketplace, the use of private student ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +6

    Family Incorrectly Reported 529 Plan as a Student Asset on the FAFSA

    I have two questions which I assume you've been asked a million times and I just want to make sure I'm understanding the write-ups about them correctly. We have a regular UGMA/UTMA savings account for our daughter where we are the custodian. In the FAFSA application, should this be entered under the student or the parent? Am I assuming correctly that ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +4

    Does Moving a 529 College Savings Plan into a Roth IRA Make Sense?

    Does it make sense to move our $40,000 529 college savings plan into a Roth IRA for our children who are both in college to shield the money from our asset consideration? We have a gross income of about $100,000 and no debt. They have some merit scholarships, but we have not qualified for need on the FAFSA. — Carolyn W. ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +19

    Bridge the Financial Aid Gap

    Bridge the Financial Aid Gap
    For many college-bound students the anticipation of higher education is overshadowed by financial anxieties. With tuition rising faster than financial aid dollars, more students are finding gaps in their financial aid packages. The gap appears when the student’s expected family contribution (EFC) plus the school’s financial aid package don’t equal the cost of attendance. This gap appears as unmet need on ...
    Published 4 months ago | Rated: +19
  • +5

    Are There Any Fees for Filing the FAFSA?

    Is there a fee to complete the FAFSA and if so, how much? — T. Smith There is no fee to file the FAFSA. As the name suggests, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a free application. You can file the FAFSA online for free at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Section 483(a)(6) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 bans the ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +4

    Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home?

    Ask Kantro: Does Home Equity Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid? What If You Sell the Family Home? Is home equity considered an asset when determining eligibility for aid? — Steve The net home equity of the family's principal place of residence (the family home) is not reported as an asset on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +13

    How to Handle a Tuition Hike

    How to Handle a Tuition Hike
    Colleges and universities hit by state and federal funding cuts are shocking students with mid-year tuition hikes. How can students, already squeezed for money, cope with such unexpected sticker shock? Don't Panic Don’t panic, experts say. Students should discuss the situation with their families first, said Seamus Harreys, dean of student financial services at Northeastern University in Boston. “Many families have ...
    Published almost 7 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +6

    Which 529 College Savings Plans are Reported on the FAFSA?

    On the FAFSA we listed the value of all three of our children's 529 plan accounts, not just our oldest son's 529 plan. There was no way to differentiate the amounts among the three children. Can we change this and enter only the amount of the oldest son's account since we won't be using the other two children's accounts to pay ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +12

    To Cosign or Not To Cosign, That is the Question

    My nephew has asked me to cosign a private student loan for college. He's on his own since he lives independently from his mother, his parents are divorced, and his father is completely out of the picture. He's made it through 2 years of college with great success. I'd like to help him. I have very good credit. What would be ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +6

    How to Deal with a Defaulted But Paid-Off Student Loan that Reappears

    Years ago, I went to a two-year school and obtained my Associate's degree. I defaulted on the loan. However, my taxes were taken years later (twice) to take care of the loan. In 1995, I enrolled at a different college and was awarded the Pell Grant. I didn't take out any more loans. I paid the difference with a scholarship from ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +11

    5 Myths about Financial Aid

    5 Myths about Financial Aid
    Let’s be honest about something: financial aid is tricky, confusing and overwhelming. As is with all things complicated, it’s easy to see why students and parents alike believe everything they’re told about the process. Unfortunately, that means students are told a lot of “falsehoods.” One of the best things students and parents can do for their financial aid chances is to ...
    Published 10 months ago | Rated: +11
  • +4

    Answers to Common Questions about Dependency Status and Financial Aid

    Will my daughter's chances for receiving financial aid be higher if we don't claim her on our taxes? Household income is about $85,000 and she did not qualify for financial aid through the FAFSA. She is in a community college and is 20 years old. She recently moved out of our home but we are paying her college tuition. She has ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +5

    Why is Parental Information Required on the FAFSA for a Self-Sufficient Student?

    Why do we have to file the FAFSA when my daughter supports herself? My daughter has not lived with me or my husband for a year and a half while she’s been attending college. We do not support her financially, we do not pay for her education nor do we even send her money. She is completely self-sufficient, a fact of ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +23

    Have You Considered Consolidating?

    Have You Considered Consolidating?
    No matter what type of loan you take out, it comes with its own interest rate. It can seem like a riddle when trying to keep track of your loans and payments. When it comes to loans, consolidation can be a great option. In consolidating your loans, it can become easier to handle because, essentially, your multiple loans will become one ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +23
  • +9

    College Board Simplifies CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Form

    College Board Simplifies CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Form
    While the US Department of Education is working on simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the College Board has already been taking similar steps toward simplifying the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE form. The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE form tries to calculate a more precise measurement of ability to pay. This necessarily involves asking more questions than on the FAFSA. However, ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +8

    Why Do Financial Aid Application Forms Use Last Year's Income?

    Why do the government and colleges use last year's income to determine financial aid for the current year? Our financial situation has changed, my husband was laid off last year but our FAFSA looks okay because of his severance pay. We need financial aid help in order to help our daughter who wants to attend college in the fall. How can ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +18

    How Can I Fill the Gap Between Financial Aid and My Ability to Pay?

    How Can I Fill the Gap Between Financial Aid and My Ability to Pay?
    I’m a soon-to-be college freshman. My tuition is close to $40,000 but financial aid only covers $19,000. My mother is a single parent making only $18,000 a year and I was wondering if there are any other options I can get besides loans that financial aid can help me with. — D.V. Something doesn’t add up. The amount of financial aid ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +18
  • +13

    How Do You Calculate Individual Income From a Joint Return for the FAFSA When the Parents Are Separated?

    In your answer to How Does Income Tax Filing Status Affect Student Aid?, you address the question of which parent is responsible for completing the FAFSA. However, I'm very curious as to how the filing status of separated parents affects how the FAFSA is processed, once the primary/custodial parent has completed it. That is, is it more advantageous for separated parents ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +13
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