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Browse Financial Aid Articles

  • +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 about 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +6

    Who Completes the FAFSA When a Student Lives with his Grandparents?

    My grandson lives with his grandfather and me. His parents do not support him other than providing medical insurance. He will claim himself on his 2012 income tax and his parents financials are not available to us. How do we handle completing the FAFSA and applying for scholarships, etc.? I am more than willing to provide our information if that is ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +15

    Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money

    Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money
    Nobody ever said being an adult was easy and knowing how to save and invest properly is not exception to the rule. But, who better to advise you on saving and investing money than Mark Kantrowitz, a nationally recognized finance guru? Here are tips, right from the expert, on how to save and invest like a pro. [gate] • Save for ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +15
  • +4

    Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards

    Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards
    By now, we’re all aware that managing money can be quite difficult. Here are some surefire ways, straight from nationally recognized financial expert Mark Kantrowitz, on how to help stay on track when it comes to pinching pennies. [gate] First, exercise control over your money by increasing awareness of your spending habits. Start by preparing a descriptive budget, where you track ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +7

    Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores

    Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores
    Good credit, bad credit, credit score reports, sites and don’t even mention credit cards! It’s all too easy to get jumbled in the mix. Luckily, our financial expert Mark Kantrowitz breaks down the basic questions, like what a credit score is and why should you care.[gate] How is my credit score calculated? Lenders report whether you pay your bills on time ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +1

    Student Debt Guide: Types of Loans

    Student Debt Guide: Types of Loans
    Student loans, federal education loans, credit cards, mortgages, home equity...the list goes on and on. It's enough to drive a person mad! From the different types of debt to the different types of loans, this financial information is something any borrowing student should be aware of. Learn to decipher the definitions of debt so that you know what you're getting yourself ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +1
  • +5

    Can the FAFSA be Completed with Information from the Previous Year's Tax Returns?

    My daughter got accepted to her first-choice school, a private university, as an early-decision candidate. The school won't be able to tell us the amount of financial aid she will be offered until March. I am eager to file the FAFSA and CSS Financial Aid PROFILE forms as soon as possible, as I've heard this helps maximize the amount of aid ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +21

    Borrowing for College: How Much is Too Much?

    Borrowing for College: How Much is Too Much?
    Too much of a good thing can be bad, as Shakespeare demonstrated, and the axiom is true of student borrowing for college. Students may believe it is difficult enough worrying about the big exam next week or whom to take to the spring dance. Yet students must stretch themselves and imagine a much greater consequence, years into the future, when they ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +21
  • +25

    Financial Aid Glossary

    Academic Year: The period in which school is in session - typically September through May. Accrual Date: The date on which interest charges on an educational loan begin to accrue. Adjusted Available Income: The remaining income after taxes and a basic living allowance have been subtracted (in the Federal Methodology). Assets: Cash in checking and savings accounts, trusts, stocks, bonds, other ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +25
  • +20

    Student Loan Glossary

    Student Loan Glossary
    To fully understand your student loan options, it helps to understand some basic loan terms. You'll find them scattered throughout loan materials and in conversations with financial aid advisors. Use this glossary to get the terms straight on your loan. Accrued interest: The interest that accumulates on the unpaid balance of a loan. Annual percentage rate (APR): The interest associated with ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +20
  • +17

    Dropping Out Means Paying Back Financial Aid

    As if there weren't enough reasons not to drop out of school, the Department of Education has provided yet another. Students who drop out of college are required to pay back a portion of their federal-aid funds such as the Pell Grant. Even though many educators and college officials feel that students may be reluctant to accept financial aid and attend ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +17
  • +1

    Big FAFSA Overview

    The U.S. Department of Education provides billions in student financial aid every year. But you won't see a penny of that unless you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can simplify the process with FAFSA on the Web. Are You Still Using Paper? If you have access to the Internet, either in your home, school, local ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +1
  • -1

    Congress Passes Fiscal Cliff Legislation, Extending American Opportunity Tax Credit

    Congress Passes Fiscal Cliff Legislation, Extending American Opportunity Tax Credit
    Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) late on Tuesday, January 1, 2013. The measure passed with bipartisan support in the Senate by a vote of 89 to 8 and in the House by a vote of 257 to 167. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law. This legislation addresses some aspects of the ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: -1
  • +5

    The FAFSA - Step One for Financial Aid

    Applying for financial aid is easier than you think. Your first stop: the (FAFSA). For many schools, this is the only form you need. What is it? The FAFSA is the form the federal government uses to determine your eligibility for federal assistance (loans, grants, work-study appointments and some scholarships). Schools also base their financial aid packages on the FAFSA. And, ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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 about 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +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 about 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +7

    Year-End Financial Aid Moves

    As the year draws to a close, there are several steps families can take to get more need-based and merit-based financial aid. Prepay Next Year's Tuition Taxpayers can claim one of two education tax credits based on amounts paid for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition and fees. These are the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +6

    Does the Cash from a Cash-Out Refinance Count as an Asset on the FAFSA?

    My daughter is a high school junior. I have just refinanced with cash out for a home remodel to accommodate my aging parents. However the remodel is delayed and the money is still in our account. The remodel should be completed and the money spent by the time my daughter starts her senior year. Will this money be counted as asset ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +5

    What Documentation can a College Financial Aid Administrator Request?

    I'm an independent student who filed a 1040A last year so I was not required to answer questions about assets on the FAFSA application. I had very little income last year and have a zero EFC. I reported taxes on capital gains and now my school is asking for information about my investment assets (which are about $40,000). Can they use ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +2

    Should You Prefer Your Preferred Lender List?

    Students whose financial aid packages include loans will receive a preferred lending list with their financial aid package. Most college financial aid office have one. What is a preferred lender list? And, amid news reports of a scandal in which certain lenders did favors for a group of financial aid administrators in return for a pitch, can you trust the list? ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +2
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