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  • +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
  • +4

    How is a Life Estate Treated on the FAFSA? Do the Restrictions Matter?

    How is a life estate reflected on the FAFSA? A student's parent has a deed with student's grandparent having life use of the property through a life estate. Please be New York state specific with the response. — T.G. A life estate involves an irrevocable grant of a future interest in a property while reserving a present interest in the property. ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +3

    Does Dependency Status on Income Tax Returns Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?

    My daughter graduated from undergraduate school in May of this year. As far as student loans were concerned she was considered a dependent for the 4 years she attended there and we filed our income tax as such. However, she started graduate school in July of this year and in order to attend she had to apply for a student loan ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +5

    What Happens When Retirement Money isn't in a Qualified Retirement Plan?

    I am a single parent, age 56 and my daughter will be applying for college next year. I make less than $60,000, but have just over $100,000 in savings and mutual funds that I have saved towards retirement as I am self employed. (I just recently found out about other self employed retirement options.) Will my daughter receive less financial aid ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +5
  • +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
  • +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
  • +7

    Is a Student with Children But No Income Considered to be Independent?

    I am under 24 years of age. I did not have any income the year before last. I have 2 children and live with a partner of 6 years. He is the father of my children. We are not married. He supported us on his income; my mother did not. I was a stay at home mom. My school is telling ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +5

    Must the Student's Child Live with the Student for the Student to be Independent?

    I'm 23 and have a 4-year-old child. Last year I received independent status for my financial aid because I supported my child more than 51% of his needs. This year the financial aid office asked for the same documents as last year but told me that I couldn't be an independent student because I didn't have enough documented proof. I explained ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +5
  • +9

    If a Student's Parents Do Not Claim Him as a Dependent on their Income Tax Returns, Will the Student Get More Financial Aid?

    How beneficial is it to have our college attending son file his taxes on his own versus us claiming him as a dependent? Does it make a huge difference in the amount of aid and/or scholarships he would receive? — Lois H. Whether or not a student is claimed as an exemption on his parents' federal income tax returns has no ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +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
  • +8

    How Do Grandparent-Owned 529 College Savings Plans Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?

    How Do Grandparent-Owned 529 College Savings Plans Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?
    Only 529 college savings plans that are owned by the student or the student's parents are reported as assets on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). So a 529 plan owned by a grandparent or other third party will not be reported as an asset on the FAFSA. However, qualified distributions from such a 529 plan are treated as ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +4

    How to Minimize the Impact of a Student's Brokerage Account on Financial Aid

    We have an UTMA mutual fund for our son who is a senior in high school (17 years old). It is approximately $19,000 and was intended to help pay for college costs. When we opened it we weren't aware of the impact it could have on financial aid. I realize it's too late to fix anything for his freshman year next ...
    Published over 1 year 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
  • +4

    Will Filing Income Tax Returns as Married Filing Separately Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

    My husband and I separated last year and are living at separate addresses. We have not filed for divorce yet or a formal separation. We are considering filing our taxes as married filing separately. I am currently a student at an online university and will need to fill out my FAFSA soon. Although my soon to be ex-husband makes about $75,000 ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +8

    Can You Appeal for More Student Financial Aid in the Middle of the Academic Year?

    My husband lost his job recently. My oldest son did not qualify for student aid for college this year except for federal loans. Is there any way my son could now receive financial aid until my husband finds a new job? — Sonja R. Ask the college for a professional judgment review. Some colleges call it a special circumstances review or ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +11

    Pros and Cons of Using Retirement Funds to Pay for College Costs

    Why should one NOT use retirement funds to pay for a child's college costs? — Diane H. There are two main reasons why families shouldn't use retirement plan funds to pay for college. The first reason is the financial impact of taking a distribution from a retirement plan to pay for college. The financial impact includes both the tax liability and ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +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
  • +13

    When Will the Financial Aid Award Letter Arrive?

    I am new to all of this and I am wondering how soon we find out how much financial aid we will be getting. My son has been accepted at 3 colleges and each one wants money to secure his place. One is way more expensive than the others but if we get enough aid he can go there. The deposit ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +13
  • +9

    How Do I Transfer Financial Aid from One College to Another?

    If I change schools, how do I edit my FAFSA so the money goes to my new school? And about how long would it take for the money to transfer schools? — Q.T. Student financial aid does not directly transfer between colleges. Instead, the new college will recalculate your eligibility from scratch based on the information on your FAFSA and the ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +12

    What Happens If You Deliberately Don't Report Assets on the FAFSA?

    I'm doing everything possible to lower my EFC. I have assets, UTMA, mutual funds, stocks and I know they hurt my chances of receiving free money (Federal or state grants). I was thinking of cashing in the assets and putting them in a safety deposit box. That way I won't have to claim them on the FAFSA because they are no ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +12