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  • +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
  • +7

    Why Does a Parent Qualify for More Financial Aid than Her Dependent Student Child When Both are in College?

    I am a 38-year-old wife and mother who decided to go to college 20 years out of high school. I am a student at an online college and receive financial aid myself. My son is a high school senior with a very small part time job at the local Burger King. He plans to attend an out-of-state college, however those plans ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +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
  • +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 about 1 month ago | Rated: +23
  • +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 about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +4

    Must a Trust Fund be Reported on the FAFSA Even If Access to the Trust is Restricted?

    I have a friend whose mother passed away two years ago, and left her some money from an insurance policy. The money is currently in trust for her with her grandmother as the trustee. Does she need to claim this as an asset on her FAFSA? She is unable to touch it until she turns 21. — Karen A. In most ...
    Published over 1 year 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
  • +16

    Making Sense of Your EFC

    Making Sense of Your EFC
    Everyone has an idea of what their EFC (Expected Family Contribution) should be, but it typically never matches with what the FAFSA declares, leaving a lot of students and families clambering for more options to pay for school. Understanding how the EFC is determined and what happens after might lead to greater transparency into the process, helping you and your family ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +16
  • +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
  • +9

    Completing the FAFSA When the Student's Parents Have a Legal Separation

    My parents aren't divorced but are legally separated and have been for about ten years. My mother is unable to remember where the papers for their separation are. I was wondering if I have to put my father's information on the FAFSA even though my mother is my primary care-giver. (I spend all 365 days a year with her.) I don't ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +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
  • +8

    Timing of an Appeal for More Aid and Appealing the Asset Value of Unsold Real Estate

    How soon after filing the FAFSA can I request a professional judgement review (without seeming overanxious)? We tried to sell our previous home last year without success. The home is vacant and not used for rental. Naturally we have to list this as an asset which makes our total assets look like more than they are. Furthermore, the value we used ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +8