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Browse Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

  • +5

    Questions about Net Assets and Changes in Marital Status

    On the asset section of the FAFSA form if you have $100,000 in stocks but also have a $75,000 margin loan balance would you net this out and put down $25,000 in stock assets? — Rob A. Yes. You report the net asset value, namely the current market value of the assets minus any debts secured by the assets. Since a ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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
  • +17

    How to Include Yourself on Your Teen's FAFSA if You're Enrolled Too

    How should a FAFSA be filled out if I have two children going to college and I am enrolling in a graduate program? When it asks how many are attending college it says do not include parents. How do they know that I am also attending college? — Vicki Y. I am a single parent in college and my daughter is ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +17
  • +20

    College Credit Cards Cut by Credit CARD Act

    College Credit Cards Cut by Credit CARD Act
    Need a credit card? It will soon become a lot more difficult to get one. College students who want a credit card but are under age 21 will need to have a cosigner, such as a parent or other adult who is at least 21 years old. College students can also get a credit card without a cosigner if they can ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +20
  • +150

    President Obama Proposes Capping Student Loan Payments at 10% of Discretionary Income

    President Obama Proposes Capping Student Loan Payments at 10% of Discretionary Income
    President Obama proposes to cap student loan payments at 10% of discretionary income as part of a package of proposals outlined by the White House Task Force on Middle Class Families on January 25, 2010. Debt would also be forgiven after 20 years in repayment. This proposal would enhance the income-based repayment plan which was enacted by Congress as part of ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +150
  • +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 almost 5 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +3

    How can a student on academic probation pay for college with no aid?

    My son has brain damage along with seizures and a reading learning disability. With all the doctors appointments, hospital stays and seizures he is on academic probation this semester. So that means, well you know what that means, he will not be allowed to apply for FAFSA this semester. My question to you all is how can I afford to pay ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +6

    How is retirement income and past due child support reported on the FAFSA?

    I am trying to fill out my FAFSA. My father retired last year and I am confused as to what to put for his financial answers, for example, gross income, taxes, etc. Do I fill out a separate form because he is retired? Will they know that he is retired? I am so lost and getting frustrated. Please help! — Alexa ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +7

    Which parent is responsible for completing the financial aid application?

    I am confused about which parent's information to include on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). My ex-husband paid child support for 7 months this year from a settlement agreement but has been unemployed for nearly two years. He is re-married. My son is 18, lives with me, and starts college next fall. This year my ex-husband gets to ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +22

    How does child support affect eligibility for student aid?

    I have been divorced for more than 10 years and receive a small amount of child support from my ex-husband. At the time of the divorce, I agreed to let my him claim my daughter on his income tax return during the odd years. He does not cooperate with any other expenses, so the bulk falls on me. He is anxiously ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +22
  • +8

    Should a custodial account held by a grandparent be reported on the grandchild's FAFSA?

    Does a parent need to disclose (on the FAFSA) funds in an UGMA or UTMA account in the student's name with a grandparent as custodian? If so, how does this affect a student's eligibility for financial aid? Are there penalties for not reporting such an account, even if the parent and student have no knowledge of its existence? Would it be ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +12

    Why Do Students Drop Out of College?

    A study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that the main reason why students drop out of college is the conflict between school and work and family commitments. The study, With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them, was conducted by Public Agenda, a nonprofit and nonpartisan public policy research organization. Many students who drop out of college have ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +9

    Pay Down Mortgage or Contribute to Son's 529?

    I just sold my house and moved in with my new husband. We have three children between us (two are his) and are looking for a bigger house. Would it make sense to save the $30,000 from the house sale in my son's 529 college savings plan account (he is 13 now), or use this money to buy a house and ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +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 almost 5 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +8

    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 almost 5 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +9

    Questions about Maintaining and Regaining Eligibility for Federal Education Loans

    I have a sophomore in college right now and will have another child starting her freshman year in college next year. We were approved for a Stafford Loan and a Parent PLUS loan for our son this year. We will need to have student loans to finance the entire amount of both kids' education. Will we be able to continue to ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +11

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

    Having grown up with depression era parents, I've never been someone that liked to have debt. I'm told that avoiding debt will not work in my favor when applying for financial aid for my son's education. What should I know and is there something I should do to improve my odds of getting what other typically debt-ridden families in our tax ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +9

    Dad Died, Mom Remarried; Grandma Moved In. How do These Changes Affect My FAFSA?

    We recently had an addition in the family. Not a new sibling, but my mother's mom is now living with us. She's great and we love having her, but she's not free. Should I change any info on my FAFSA because of this? — Sana B. If your grandmother lives with and receives more than half her support from your parents, ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +19

    The Horrors of Defaulting on Education Debt

    The Horrors of Defaulting on Education Debt
    This is a cautionary tale of the consequences of defaulting on education debt, based on the experiences of seven borrowers of federal and private student loans. The stories are all true, but names and inconsequential details have been changed to protect the borrowers. Education debt is a necessary evil. Most students graduate from college with debt. For example, seven out of ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +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 almost 5 years ago | Rated: +21
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