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Browse FAFSA Articles

  • +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
  • +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 over 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +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
  • +6

    Family Incorrectly Reported 529 Plan as a Student Asset on the FAFSA

    I have two questions which I assume you've been asked a million times and I just want to make sure I'm understanding the write-ups about them correctly. We have a regular UGMA/UTMA savings account for our daughter where we are the custodian. In the FAFSA application, should this be entered under the student or the parent? Am I assuming correctly that ...
    Published about 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
  • +8

    How Can I Fill the Gap Between Financial Aid and My Ability to Pay?

    I'm a soon-to-be college freshman. My tuition is close to $40,000 but financial aid only covers $19,000. My mother is a single parent making only $18,000 a year and I was wondering if there are any other options I can get besides loans that financial aid can help me with. — D.V. Something doesn't add up. The amount of financial aid ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +1

    What Income is Listed on the FAFSA when Separated Parents File a Joint Tax Return?

    I am praying that you may be able to advise me on the FAFSA application. I am a senior in high school and will file the FAFSA in January. I live with my mom. My dad moved out almost 2 years ago. As part of my parents' agreement, my dad is paying for our rent and utilities. My mom and dad ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +1
  • +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
  • +6

    How is retirement income and past due child support reported on the FAFSA?

    I am trying to fill out my FAFSA. My father retired last year and I am confused as to what to put for his financial answers, for example, gross income, taxes, etc. Do I fill out a separate form because he is retired? Will they know that he is retired? I am so lost and getting frustrated. Please help! — Alexa ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +23

    FAFSA Deadline Approaching!

    FAFSA Deadline Approaching!
    The FAFSA – a seemingly never-ending form that seems to pry into every detail of your family’s financial history and circumstances. But if you want financial aid to help you through college, it’s the price you have to pay. Just like the form, however, the deadlines for the FAFSA can be a confusing matter as well. Every student needs to be ...
    Published 17 days ago | Rated: +23
  • +3

    Should Wealthy Parents Cut Family Income Tenfold to Help their Children Qualify for Need-Based Student Financial Aid?

    My wife and I make about $150,000 in combined income. We have probably $350,000 in home equity, $100,000 in rental property equity and $500,000 in retirement accounts. We have three kids in college and a fourth starting in the fall a year from now. We hope to quit our jobs at some point and move to Nicaragua (or another Central American ...
    Published about 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

    Answers to Common Questions about Dependency Status and Financial Aid

    Will my daughter's chances for receiving financial aid be higher if we don't claim her on our taxes? Household income is about $85,000 and she did not qualify for financial aid through the FAFSA. She is in a community college and is 20 years old. She recently moved out of our home but we are paying her college tuition. She has ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +4

    Does Moving a 529 College Savings Plan into a Roth IRA Make Sense?

    Does it make sense to move our $40,000 529 college savings plan into a Roth IRA for our children who are both in college to shield the money from our asset consideration? We have a gross income of about $100,000 and no debt. They have some merit scholarships, but we have not qualified for need on the FAFSA. — Carolyn W. ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +9

    How to Report Stocks on the FAFSA

    I am a single mom and my son will be entering his freshman year in college this fall. The FAFSA application asks for the gross income from last year's tax return. My W-2 total includes not only my salary but also stock grants that were given to me by my employer. This total in no way reflects the amount I lived ...
    Published about 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +7

    Does Adoption Affect an Orphan's Eligibility for Financial Aid?

    I am trying to advise two students whose mother died four years ago and their father died last week, unfortunately. The girls' grandmother is now taking care of them (a 9th and 10th grader) and we are concerned about the possible college financial ramifications. They are in the process of determining the Social Security benefits from their father's contributions. Once that ...
    Published 12 months ago | Rated: +7
  • +9

    Why Do Financial Aid Application Forms Use Last Year's Income?

    Why do the government and colleges use last year's income to determine financial aid for the current year? Our financial situation has changed, my husband was laid off last year but our FAFSA looks okay because of his severance pay. We need financial aid help in order to help our daughter who wants to attend college in the fall. How can ...
    Published 12 months ago | Rated: +9
  • +4

    Are UGMA and UTMA Accounts Reported as Investments on the FAFSA?

    Tuesday, May 29 is National College Savings Day (i.e., May 29 is 5/29, a cute reference to 529 college savings plans). To commemorate the occasion, Mark Kantrowitz answers a question about saving for college. After submitting our FAFSA for my son, we got back an EFC of 23207 on the SAR. I have been told by admissions that that is extremely ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +9

    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 by a parent as account owner with me as the beneficiary. Since I don't list parent assets when filling out the FAFSA, do I need to list the prepaid tuition ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +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