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When Will the Financial Aid Award Letter Arrive?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 14, 2011
Timing of an Appeal for More Aid and Appealing the Asset Value of Unsold Real Estate

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 7, 2011
How Do You Calculate Individual Income From a Joint Return for the FAFSA When the Parents Are Separated?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 28, 2011
Can You Get a Pell Grant Even If You Don't Qualify for the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program?

Can You Get a Pell Grant Even If You Don't Qualify for the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program?

If a child does not qualify for the free or reduced-price school lunch program, can they still qualify for federal student aid? —Y.P. Yes. Students who don't qualify for the free ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 21, 2011
President Obama Proposes Cuts in Aid Programs to Preserve Pell Grant

President Obama Proposes Cuts in Aid Programs to Preserve Pell Grant

President Obama is proposing to cut some student aid programs to maintain the maximum Pell Grant at $5,550 in 2011-12 as part of the FY2012 federal budget request. This comes after ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 14, 2011
Is an Emancipated Child Considered an Independent Student?

Is an Emancipated Child Considered an Independent Student?

I am a single parent of three children. One is a junior in college, the middle child will be attending college next year. I have always completed the FAFSA for my ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 14, 2011
When is a Stepparent or Adoptive Parent's Income Reported on the FAFSA?

When is a Stepparent or Adoptive Parent's Income Reported on the FAFSA?

My daughter's father and I are divorced and I have remarried. Neither my previous nor my new husband are contributing toward my daughter's education, so I am paying all of the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 7, 2011
Does Applying for Financial Aid Affect Your Chances of Admission?

Does Applying for Financial Aid Affect Your Chances of Admission?

Does applying for financial aid ever limit one's chances of acceptance to a college? Do colleges give any subtle preference to students who state on their application that they do not ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 31, 2011
Which Assets and Debts are Reported on the FAFSA?

Which Assets and Debts are Reported on the FAFSA?

Last year my family had low income ($40,000) but high assets. The assets include $1 million in properties, other investments, the primary home, car, 401(k), IRA and pension plan. How are ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 24, 2011
Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for Job Loss or Other Changes in Income

Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for Job Loss or Other Changes in Income

I lost my teaching job last June and got a half year's salary instead of a full year. I did not get a job in the fall, so our household income ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 17, 2011
How Do I File the FAFSA in January When Tax Returns Can't Be Filed That Early?

How Do I File the FAFSA in January When Tax Returns Can't Be Filed That Early?

Several universities that we have visited have stressed the importance of getting you FAFSA completed in January. If we don't have all of our financial and tax information yet, how can ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 10, 2011
Are "Dual Enrollment" Students Considered College Students on the FAFSA?

Are "Dual Enrollment" Students Considered College Students on the FAFSA?

Families should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov as soon as possible after January 1. While the federal government accepts the FAFSA as late as June ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 3, 2011
Financial Aid without Filing the FAFSA?

Financial Aid without Filing the FAFSA?

I tried to apply for federal student aid last year, and was told that I needed to include my parents tax information to receive aid. I've been living on my own ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 6, 2010
Changes to the 2011-2012 FAFSA

Changes to the 2011-2012 FAFSA

It’s December 1st, which has us thinking about the FAFSA already. The FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is made available every January 1st to potential and ...

By Kathryn Knight
Published December 1, 2010
Answers to Introductory Questions about Financial Aid for College

Answers to Introductory Questions about Financial Aid for College

Get the answers to the financial aid basics.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 21, 2010
How to Complete the FAFSA when a Parent Didn't File her Federal Income Tax Return

How to Complete the FAFSA when a Parent Didn't File her Federal Income Tax Return

I have a problem with my FAFSA. My mom didn't file her income tax returns last year. What do I use when I fill out my FAFSA form? — Erica H. ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 8, 2010
Questions about How to Handle an Inheritance and Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

Questions about How to Handle an Inheritance and Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

Our son is a sophomore in college. He receives both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. My husband and I have been paying the remaining balance for his education. I recently inherited approximately ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 1, 2010
Which of a Student's Divorced Parents Must Complete the FAFSA? Is the Stepparent's Information Reported on the FAFSA?

Which of a Student's Divorced Parents Must Complete the FAFSA? Is the Stepparent's Information Reported on the FAFSA?

I will be filling out the FAFSA soon for my daughter who will be attending college next fall. My question is regarding her father, who is my ex-husband. Her father does ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 25, 2010
Should Parents Transfer College Savings from an UTMA Account to a 529 Plan?

Should Parents Transfer College Savings from an UTMA Account to a 529 Plan?

My twin daughters will be entering college in the fall. We have saved for their college education over the last 17 years. Presently the savings are held in two accounts each: ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 18, 2010
Emergency Dental Care for an International Student; Reporting a New Spouse's Income and Assets on the FAFSA

Emergency Dental Care for an International Student; Reporting a New Spouse's Income and Assets on the FAFSA

I am not a US citizen. I came to the United States a month ago to begin graduate school. Unfortunately I got a severe toothache a week ago. As a teaching ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 27, 2010