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Do Twins Get More Aid? If a Student Gets Married, Does the Financial Aid Change?

Do Twins Get More Aid? If a Student Gets Married, Does the Financial Aid Change?

My boyfriend and I are afraid that if we marry my annual gross income ($47,000) will prevent him from getting federal grants and loans for college. He has no income at ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 20, 2010
Can a Family on Fixed Income Afford to Pay Double for an Out-of-State Private College?

Can a Family on Fixed Income Afford to Pay Double for an Out-of-State Private College?

My husband took early retirement so we are on a fixed income. We set aside enough money in various college funds for our daughter to attend any in-state public college. However, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 16, 2010
Survey Says: Families Perceive College Costs as Increasing by 17% Compared with Last Year

Survey Says: Families Perceive College Costs as Increasing by 17% Compared with Last Year

Sallie Mae and Gallup just released the results of their third annual survey of how American families pay for college. The survey found that families perceived college costs as increasing by ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 9, 2010
Who is Considered an Independent Student? What if you are not yet 24 years old?

Who is Considered an Independent Student? What if you are not yet 24 years old?

I'm having problems with my financial aid. I'm a single mother of one. My daughter is almost three years old and will be attending daycare this semester. I've been going to ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 9, 2010
How Do You Complete the FAFSA When a Parent is Undocumented?

How Do You Complete the FAFSA When a Parent is Undocumented?

I live with my mother and my brothers. My mother is undocumented and does not work. However, I am a permanent resident and my brothers were born here in the United ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 2, 2010
What are Your Options When Your Parents Refuse to File the FAFSA?

What are Your Options When Your Parents Refuse to File the FAFSA?

I am hoping you can help me with my FAFSA issue. I am 16 and a senior this year in high school, so I plan on attending a university in the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 26, 2010
Reporting Prepaid Tuition Plans and 529 Plans on the FAFSA for Independent Students

Reporting Prepaid Tuition Plans and 529 Plans on the FAFSA for Independent Students

I'm confused as to how to treat a prepaid tuition plan when applying for financial aid. I'm an independent student but I have a small prepaid tuition account which is held ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 19, 2010
Why Do Some Merit-Based Scholarships Require the FAFSA?

Why Do Some Merit-Based Scholarships Require the FAFSA?

I am a 38-year-old student who returned to junior college after being laid off and being unable to find a comparable job. Because I was a "good saver" in my 20's, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 12, 2010
Will Refusing Loans Increase College Grants in the Financial Aid Package?

Will Refusing Loans Increase College Grants in the Financial Aid Package?

I filled out the FAFSA in March and recently received a letter that offered me a $3,500 unsubsidized Stafford loan. I did a little research and found out I would have ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 21, 2010
Which 529 College Savings Plans are Reported on the FAFSA?

Which 529 College Savings Plans are Reported on the FAFSA?

On the FAFSA we listed the value of all three of our children's 529 plan accounts, not just our oldest son's 529 plan. There was no way to differentiate the amounts ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 7, 2010
Reporting of Untaxed Social Security Benefits on the FAFSA and the Impact of IRS Filing Extensions on FAFSA Verification

Reporting of Untaxed Social Security Benefits on the FAFSA and the Impact of IRS Filing Extensions on FAFSA Verification

I am a college student with a severe congenital physical disability. If I apply for and am granted SSI benefits, will receiving these benefits cause my family's EFC to increase? I ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 31, 2010
How are Trust Funds Reported on the FAFSA?

How are Trust Funds Reported on the FAFSA?

Each of my parents left me a trust. From each trust I am entitled to the interest income and $5,000 annually. The remainder of the principal stays in the trusts until ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 24, 2010
What Can You Do If Your Parents Won't File the FAFSA or Help Pay for College?

What Can You Do If Your Parents Won't File the FAFSA or Help Pay for College?

I am in kind of a bad situation. I had a bit of personal problems and had to move out of my house and no longer live with my parents. Unfortunately ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 14, 2010
Do Outstanding Loans Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid?

Do Outstanding Loans Affect Eligibility for Financial Aid?

How do outstanding loans affect future financial aid awards for my children? Is there any advantage to trying to pay them back early (other than less interest)? Are they counted towards ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 10, 2010
When Grandma Moves In, Does It Help or Hurt Financial Aid Eligibility?

When Grandma Moves In, Does It Help or Hurt Financial Aid Eligibility?

Grandma is moving in with her Social Security check. Does this help or hurt my FAFSA results? Does her Social Security check count towards my parents' income on the FAFSA? — ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 26, 2010
Questions about retirement plan contributions and help for a student whose brother has cancer

Questions about retirement plan contributions and help for a student whose brother has cancer

We are a family of 4 with gross income of about $58,000. With IRA and 401(k) contributions and pretax health care deductions our AGI is about $47,000. Would it benefit us ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 19, 2010
Questions about the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

Questions about the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

If you have already graduated from college, will you be affected by the new changes to student loans in the health care bill? — Lauren A. No. None of the changes ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 12, 2010
Treatment of Grandparent Assets Held by a Parent on the FAFSA

Treatment of Grandparent Assets Held by a Parent on the FAFSA

I am completing the FAFSA for my son and daughter. My Mom is elderly and has put my name as secondary on her accounts. Do I have to report the money ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 5, 2010
Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size

Answers to Common FAFSA Questions about PINs and Household Size

Get the FAQs on the FAFSA.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 25, 2010
How Will The Student Loan Bill Affect Students?

How Will The Student Loan Bill Affect Students?

The US House of Representatives approved the student loan and health care reform legislation on Sunday night, March 21, 2010, by a vote of 220 to 211. No Republicans voted in ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 23, 2010