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  • +8

    When must a Non-Custodial Parent Count a Child in Household Size?

    I am remarried and my husband pays child support for his two children that live with their mother. They pass the support test. Do we include his children in our household size as well as report the amount he pays for child support for them? If it's only one or the other, which is more financial beneficial from a FAFSA standpoint? ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    How Does a Pending Foreclosure or Short Sale Affect Financial Aid?

    How do we answer the question "Do you own your home" on financial aid forms when we are in pre-foreclosure? We are not yet in active foreclosure, but are several years in arrears on our mortgage as we are significantly underwater on our loans and have been unsuccessful so far in getting a satisfactory modification. To that end, we just retained ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +5
  • +7

    Does Parental Support Affect Independent Student Status?

    I am 19 and have a baby (1 month old) and I am living with my boyfriend and his mother. I am confused about whose tax information to use on the FAFSA. My boyfriend's mother is in Section 8 housing and put me in it and in her food stamps. — J.F. A student who has one or more dependent children ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +8

    Does Cash from the Sale of the Family Home Count as an Asset on the FAFSA?

    We just sold our house and have not yet found our new house and have a lot of cash on hand. We will use the cash to buy a home in the next couple of months. The cash is a false representation of our savings, but since we don't have a mortgage, it looks like we do. We need to keep ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +8
  • +26

    Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?

    Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?
    Let’s start with a little bit about what the FAFSA actually is. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid; translation: it determines a student's eligibility for need-based federal financial aid for college, which may include grants, scholarships, work-study and loans. If eligible, it can really help you pay for school! The FAFSA for the 2014-2015 academic year is now ...
    Published 4 months ago | Rated: +26
  • +21

    Finding Funding on Campus

    Finding Funding on Campus
    By now, you’re probably fully geared up for second semester. But, are you fully prepared to pay for this – not to mention future semesters – as well? Probably not. In fact, most students shudder at hearing “financial aid” and why wouldn't you? It’s confusing, intimidating and, as a result, you likely avoid the topic at all costs. However, avoiding the ...
    Published 3 months ago | Rated: +21
  • +7

    Impact of a Gift Trust Account on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

    My daughter turned 18 recently, and received a $25,000 mutual fund statement with her name on it. Her aunt had put $10,000 away in 1995 in a gift trust account for a minor. This was a mutual fund account in which the interest was reinvested each year and therefore no IRS interest statements were generated. We were unaware that her aunt ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +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 2 months ago | Rated: +23
  • +19

    Changes to the 2012 - 2013 FAFSA

    Changes to the 2012 - 2013 FAFSA
    For many students, January 1 is doomsday. It’s the day the FAFSA application becomes available, triggering an overwhelming sense of dread as students either fill out the FAFSA alone or with their parents. Fortunately, the FAFSA gets easier each year as the Department of Education continues to make improvements to the application system and the designation of federal aid. Before we ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +8

    Financial Aid and Scholarships for Foster Care and Adopted Children

    I adopted a special needs foster child when he was 11 years old. I have been told he does not qualify for any aid. I recently learned that if I would have adopted him at age 13 he would of received a full scholarship. My son wants to attend a private college at approximately $43,000 per year. Do you have any ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +8
  • +4

    Paying the College Directly to Avoid Gift Taxes

    Under current IRS rules, a payment made directly to an educational institution to pay for the tuition of a student does not count as a gift to the student for gift tax purposes. For example, a grandparent can avoid gift taxes by writing a check to the college for their grandchild's tuition instead of giving the money to the student or ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +3

    Can a Dependent Student File the FAFSA as Independent if the Student's Parents Don't File Federal Income Tax Returns?

    The next several Ask Kantro columns will answer questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA may be filed starting on January 1. The FAFSA is used to apply for student financial aid from the federal and state governments and from most colleges and universities for the award year that runs from July 1 to June 30. ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +4

    Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students

    What advice would you give on financial aid to undocumented students? — T.T. Before discussing financial aid for undocumented students, it is best for students who believe that they are undocumented to first confirm with their parents that they are indeed undocumented. A student who was born in the United States or certain territories or outlying possessions is a US citizen ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +4

    Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for One-Time Events

    In our base year, my spouse will have a one-time job that will significantly raise our income for one year only. We have significant credit card debt and no savings for our child's college education. We plan to use the extra income to pay down our debt and to have money available to help with college costs. But will this one ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +6

    What Do You Do When Income or an Asset Isn't Really Your Money?

    I am a disabled parent who hasn't worked since 2007. I am currently on long term disability and have been ruled disabled by the Social Security Administration. My child is heading off to college in the fall and we are working on his FAFSA. My Social Security came through in late November in a large lump sum due to back dating. ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +8

    Can a Stepdaughter be Counted in the Household If She Lives with the Other Parent?

    My stepdaughter used my husband's tax return to file her FAFSA because her mother had said that his taxes needed to be used because he claims her on his income tax return. From what I know, the parent that the child lives with most of the time should be used. Am I right or wrong? She got denied financial aid when ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    Impact of Capital Gains on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

    Families often sell investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds to pay college bills. If these investments are not held within a 529 college savings plan or other qualified tuition plan, however, the capital gains from selling the investments can hurt the student's eligibility for need-based financial aid. Capital gains occur when you sell an asset that has appreciated in ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +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 about 3 years ago | Rated: +13