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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Is a 3.75% Cash-Out Refinance on a Mortgage Better than Federal Student Loans?

Is a 3.75% Cash-Out Refinance on a Mortgage Better than Federal Student Loans?

Expert advice on refinancing your mortgage to pay for college.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 16, 2012
Financial Aid for Graduate School: Your Credit History Affect and Types of Aid

Financial Aid for Graduate School: Your Credit History Affect and Types of Aid

Paying for graduate school with undergraduate and credit card debt.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 9, 2012
Vietnam Era Veteran Needs Help Paying for Graduate School

Vietnam Era Veteran Needs Help Paying for Graduate School

Advice for older veterans returning to college.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 2, 2012
Congress Passes One-Year Interest Rate Freeze

Congress Passes One-Year Interest Rate Freeze

Congress passed legislation on Friday, June 29, 2012 to prevent the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans to undergraduate students from doubling July 1, 2012. The last-minute legislation, which passed with ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 29, 2012
Seeking Clarification of Income-Based Repayment for Married Student Loan Borrowers

Seeking Clarification of Income-Based Repayment for Married Student Loan Borrowers

Advice for married couples seeking to repay debt and maintain tax benefits.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 25, 2012
How to Pay for College After a Recent Bankruptcy Discharge

How to Pay for College After a Recent Bankruptcy Discharge

Find out how bankruptcy affects paying for college.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 18, 2012
Public College Tuition Increased by 15% Last Year from Two Years Ago

Public College Tuition Increased by 15% Last Year from Two Years Ago

Nationwide, in-state tuition at 4-year public colleges increased by 15.0% from 2008-09 to 2010-11, according to updated college affordability data released by the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday, June 12, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 13, 2012
Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

Which Student Loans are the Best Ones to Borrow?

Advice on federal and private student loans.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 11, 2012
White House Calls on Colleges to Adopt Clear College Cost and Financial Aid Disclosures

White House Calls on Colleges to Adopt Clear College Cost and Financial Aid Disclosures

The White House is calling on all college and university presidents to provide incoming students with clear and easy-to-understand college cost and financial aid disclosures. On June 5, 2012, Vice President ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 5, 2012
Which Parents are Responsible for Completing the Financial Aid Application Forms?

Which Parents are Responsible for Completing the Financial Aid Application Forms?

Both of my daughters' parents have re-married. Whose income is counted for financial aid? Just biological parents or their spouses too? Does primary parent fill out the paperwork or the parent ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 4, 2012
ProPublica and the Chronicle of Higher Education Seek Copies of Financial Aid Award Letters

ProPublica and the Chronicle of Higher Education Seek Copies of Financial Aid Award Letters

Two leading newspapers, ProPublica and the Chronicle of Higher Education, are seeking copies of actual financial aid award letters received by students. They are interested in receiving award letters from all ...

Published May 29, 2012
Senator Al Franken Introduces Legislation to Standardize Financial Aid Award Letters

Senator Al Franken Introduces Legislation to Standardize Financial Aid Award Letters

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) introduced the Understanding the True Cost of College Act (S.3244) on Thursday, May 24, 2012 with bipartisan support. This legislation will standardize college financial aid award letters ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 28, 2012
Are UGMA and UTMA Accounts Reported as Investments on the FAFSA?

Are UGMA and UTMA Accounts Reported as Investments on the FAFSA?

Tuesday, May 29 is National College Savings Day (i.e., May 29 is 5/29, a cute reference to 529 college savings plans). To commemorate the occasion, Mark Kantrowitz answers a question about ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 28, 2012
Private Student Loans Add Fixed Rate Options

Private Student Loans Add Fixed Rate Options

How do fixed loan rates stack up against other student loans?

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 21, 2012
Is There Any Way to Shelter Retirement Plan Distributions on the FAFSA?

Is There Any Way to Shelter Retirement Plan Distributions on the FAFSA?

My question is simple: is there a way to withdraw money from my 401(K), at age 59 1/2, that will not be counted as income for FAFSA purposes? Although I receive ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 21, 2012
Should Married Borrowers File Joint or Separate Federal Income Tax Returns with Income-Based Repayment?

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

Expert advice for married borrowers and their loan repayment.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 16, 2012
Can a Student Receive Both Need-Based Grants and Merit-Based Scholarships?

Can a Student Receive Both Need-Based Grants and Merit-Based Scholarships?

If a child does receive FAFSA can they still receive scholarships and grants? — Y.P. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for need-based financial aid ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 14, 2012
Student Loan Debt Clock Reaches $1 Trillion

Student Loan Debt Clock Reaches $1 Trillion

The student loan debt clock reached the $1 trillion milestone at about 6:40 am ET on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Although the student loan debt clock is for entertainment purposes only, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 8, 2012
How will a Parent's Financial Troubles Affect the Student's Eligibility for Student Loans?

How will a Parent's Financial Troubles Affect the Student's Eligibility for Student Loans?

My 17-year-old daughter is eager to begin college. We have some difficult financial situations to contend with and could use your advice and direction. Her dad and I are divorced. I ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 7, 2012
An Early Look at the New Income-Based Repayment Plan

An Early Look at the New Income-Based Repayment Plan

A new version of income-based repayment (IBR) was enacted by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, but will be effective only for new borrowers on or after July ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 3, 2012