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

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 21, 2013
How Does a Pending Foreclosure or Short Sale Affect Financial Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 28, 2013
The New FAFSA: What’s In It for You?

The New FAFSA: What’s In It for You?

Benefits of the new FAFSA release date -- October 1.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published September 28, 2016
It’s In Your Best Interest to Act on FAFSA Changes, Even If Your College Isn’t Changing Deadlines

It’s In Your Best Interest to Act on FAFSA Changes, Even If Your College Isn’t Changing Deadlines

Take advantage of this year's FAFSA changes, regardless of whether or not the school you're applying to or attending is updating their financial aid deadlines.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published August 2, 2016
New Bill Aims to Simplify FAFSA Even More

New Bill Aims to Simplify FAFSA Even More

Proposed bill would allow students to file the form once – and only once – to qualify for federal financial aid for college.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published August 2, 2016
Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?

Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid; translation: free government money to help you pay for school!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 2, 2015
Finding Funding on Campus

Finding Funding on Campus

Avoiding the topic of financial aid only makes it that much worse in the long run!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published January 29, 2014
When is Real Estate Reported as a Business Asset on the FAFSA?

When is Real Estate Reported as a Business Asset on the FAFSA?

For parents who are self-employed and own real estate as one of their businesses, should they list the real estate assets as their assets (since they are self-employed) or as business ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 3, 2012
Impact of a Gift Trust Account on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 10, 2012
What’s New on the 2015-16 FAFSA?

What’s New on the 2015-16 FAFSA?

What you need to know before you file your FAFSA in 2015.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published December 2, 2014
10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders

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

Don’t rush the process – any mistakes can cause serious delays in the process or, worse, disqualify you all together.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published February 18, 2014
Will Differences in Parent Assets Due to the Omission Sibling-Owned Custodial 529 Plan Accounts Cause Problems on the FAFSA?

Will Differences in Parent Assets Due to the Omission Sibling-Owned Custodial 529 Plan Accounts Cause Problems on the FAFSA?

Since siblings' UTMA 529s don't get reported on the FAFSA, but the student's UTMA 529 is counted as a parent asset, each of my kids would have a different amount listed ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 19, 2011
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 ...

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published December 19, 2011
Financial Aid and Scholarships for Foster Care and Adopted Children

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 17, 2012
Can a Dependent Student File the FAFSA as Independent if the Student's Parents Don't File Federal Income Tax Returns?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 2, 2012
Are There Any Fees for Filing the FAFSA?

Are There Any Fees for Filing the FAFSA?

Is there a fee to complete the FAFSA and if so, how much? — T. Smith There is no fee to file the FAFSA. As the name suggests, the Free Application ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 27, 2011
Can a Stepdaughter be Counted in the Household If She Lives with the Other Parent?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 25, 2011
Impact of Capital Gains on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 29, 2011
Can the FAFSA be Completed with Information from the Previous Year's Tax Returns?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 7, 2013
Who Completes the FAFSA When a Student Lives with his Grandparents?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 14, 2013