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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +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 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +19

    Money Saving New Year's Resolutions

    Money Saving New Year's Resolutions
    It's 2014 - the year of the horse has arrived! In the Chinese zodiac, the spirit of the horse represents a constant effort to better oneself, which means that this year could not be more perfect to spend focusing on your education and, of course, a way to pay for it! Here are some suggestions of resolutions you can take on ...
    Published 7 months ago | Rated: +19
  • +10

    Clearing Up Confusion. What are Parents Responsible for on FAFSA?

    There seems to be a lot of confusion about which parent is responsible for completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so I'm answering a few more questions on this topic. The references to "father's/stepfather's" on the FAFSA can be confusing for children of divorced parents. I'm 17 yrs old and I live with my mother and my stepfather. ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +12

    Should I Work My Way Through College or Quit My Job to Enroll Full-Time?

    I am 26 and looking to start attending school full time this fall. I am also taking some summer classes at a community college to get all the credits I can before starting. I am also a transfer student with 37 credits from another school I went to right out of high school. I am currently married and am considering quitting ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +8

    Year in Review: Ups and Downs for Student Financial Aid in 2011

    2011 was an eventful year for student financial aid, student loans and scholarships. This article summarizes the major events, positive and negative, for student aid in 2011. It also provides a few highlights of developments that are anticipated for 2012. The Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (P.L. 112-10, April 15, 2011) ended the year-round Pell Grant program ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +2

    Survey Says: Financial Considerations Affecting College Choices

    Sallie Mae and Gallup just released the results of a survey of how American families pay for college. The survey found that families are becoming more cost conscious in their college choices. Nevertheless, the majority of families still see college as a necessary and worthwhile investment in their children's future. Students from higher income families were more likely to enroll at ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +2
  • +9

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

    There are many college financial planners in my area who claim to be able to help us "legally and ethically" reposition our assets to lower our expected family contribution (EFC) and save us thousands of dollars per year in college costs. Are there really such secrets out there that will help us that much? — Larry C. Less than 4% of ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    What Counts as Child Support on the FAFSA?

    I am very grateful to Fastweb for providing all that you do. I am especially grateful for your answers to questions. I agreed (outside of the courts) to pay my daughter's car payment and some additional spending money for internet access. This increased my costs by $100 per month beyond the child support obligation. Can I exclude this amount from the ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +3

    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 the last 10 years. I personally had an UGMA account set up for my daughter years ago. But two years ago I converted my daughter's $25,000 UGMA account to a ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +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 1 year ago | Rated: +1
  • +9

    Short Answers to A Few Common FAFSA Questions

    Does checking the Federal Work Study box on the FAFSA affect other forms of financial aid that a college might award, such as scholarships or other government aid? Is it wise to check this box even if you have not yet received a college's financial aid offer? — S. Z. Turning down one form of need-based financial aid generally does not ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +19

    How to Evaluate Financial Aid Award Letters with Missing Tuition and Grant Information

    We have a dilemma here. My son has been accepted by five colleges: four public colleges and one private college. The private school is the only one that is showing us the "sticker price." The rest, while they have sent aid packages, are not firm on what their fees are for the upcoming fall semester or academic year. The deadline to ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +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 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    People Retiring with Student Loans May Save Money with Income-Based Repayment

    I'm 68 years old, have worked for the last thirteen years in a state psychiatric hospital and after consolidating all my loans, have never missed a payment to Direct Student Loan in the last ten years. My original paper work says that I will need to make payments until 2031, when I'll be 88. I would like to think about retiring ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +23

    10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders

    10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders
    Filling out financial aid forms is challenging and a task, to say the least. But don’t rush the process – any mistakes can cause serious delays in the process or, worse, disqualify you all together. Though these seem like common sense-covered areas, the following are errors that students frequently make when filling out financial aid forms. Before submitting any financial aid ...
    Published 5 months ago | Rated: +23
  • +3

    Social Worker with Six Figure Debt Seeks Advice Handling Student Loans

    Help! I am a 24-year-old recent college graduate who is struggling to find full-time employment. I'm currently working full-time hours on a three-month contract that is going to expire at the end of the month. I received my Master's degree in Social Work and do not expect a high starting salary based upon the current market. My student loans from undergrad ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +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 almost 3 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +16

    What is a Reasonable and Affordable Monthly Payment for a Defaulted Borrower to Regain Federal Student Aid Eligibility?

    I am 26 years old and would like to go back to college. I have $12,000 in student loans which are currently in administrative wage garnishment. I make $27,000 a year and would like to get my loans back in good standing. I have called the collection agency in charge of my loan and they insist on me paying $120 extra ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +16
  • +8

    FAFSA Questions Concerning Assets and Legal Guardianships

    I am an incoming freshman in college and my single mom is worried about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We recently sold our house and are currently living in a rented apartment. The money from selling the house is in her savings account. We are currently looking for a new house. My mom is worried that if we ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +22

    Survey Says: Parents Still Saving for College Despite Economy

    Sallie Mae and Gallup just released the results of a survey of how American families save for college. The survey found that most parents are continuing to save for college despite the economy and that saving for college slightly trails saving for retirement. More than 9 in 10 of the parents (92%) think that it is likely or very likely that ...
    Published about 5 years ago | Rated: +22
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