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  • +18

    Prepare to Pay Even More for School

    Prepare to Pay Even More for School
    Student Loan Interest Rates Set to Skyrocket for 7 Million Students & Counting If Congressional action isn't taken, the interest rates on government subsidized student loans will double to 6.8 percent on July 1st of this year. This change will affect one third of undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Direct Stafford Loans. The high interest rates aren't news to undergraduates ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +18
  • +17

    Debt Worriers

    Debt Worriers
    At this point, it’s old news that student loan rates have doubled. It’s also nothing new to hear that student debt is higher than ever, surpassing $1 trillion. Student loan debt inflicts one out of five Americans over the age of 20; two out of three college seniors (2011). The average amount is nearly $27,000 – not a small amount by ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +17
  • +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 over 3 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +11

    Top Strategies for Maximizing Aid Eligibility

    Top Strategies for Maximizing Aid Eligibility
    These strategies will have the largest impact on need-based aid eligibility. By implementing these strategies, you will be able to maximize your aid eligibility and therefore have a chance of receiving more financial aid. None of these strategies are guaranteed, but they do offer the best chance. 1. Save money in the parent's name, not the child's name. Or use a ...
    Published 6 months ago | Rated: +11
  • +11

    Some Scholarship Sponsors Review the Online Presence of Finalists When Selecting Winners

    Some Scholarship Sponsors Review the Online Presence of Finalists When Selecting Winners
    Your Facebook profile may cause you to lose a scholarship. It can also help you win a scholarship. According to a recent survey of scholarship-granting organizations, about a quarter of scholarship providers evaluate the online presence of finalists before selecting which students will win scholarships. These scholarship sponsors use web search sites like Google and social media web sites like Facebook, ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +8

    Evaluating Financial Aid Consultants

    Without a doubt, figuring out how to pay for college can be a pretty stressful experience. You might be considering a financial aid consultant to help you through the college cost maze. Financial aid consultants provide advice and services to make the financial aid process a little easier. But before you choose a consultant, there are some things you should consider. ...
    Published about 6 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +8

    Student Credit Cards

    Student Credit Cards
    You see the offers everywhere, free duffel bag for signing up for this credit card, free water bottle, campus gear and sometimes even free money. Before you go signing on the dotted line, find out what you’re really signing up for. If you’re serious about considering a credit card, find out what kind of card it is. Not all plastics are ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +7

    Impact of a Gift Trust Account on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

    My daughter turned 18 recently, and received a $25,000 mutual fund statement with her name on it. Her aunt had put $10,000 away in 1995 in a gift trust account for a minor. This was a mutual fund account in which the interest was reinvested each year and therefore no IRS interest statements were generated. We were unaware that her aunt ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +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 over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Year-End Financial Aid Moves

    As the year draws to a close, there are several steps families can take to get more need-based and merit-based financial aid. Prepay Next Year's Tuition Taxpayers can claim one of two education tax credits based on amounts paid for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition and fees. These are the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +7

    Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores

    Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores
    Good credit, bad credit, credit score reports, sites and don’t even mention credit cards! It’s all too easy to get jumbled in the mix. Luckily, our financial expert Mark Kantrowitz breaks down the basic questions, like what a credit score is and why should you care.[gate] How is my credit score calculated? Lenders report whether you pay your bills on time ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +6

    To Convert or Not To Convert; How Does a Roth IRA Conversion Affect Student Aid?

    I am retired with no income from employment and a moderate amount of investment income, $20,000 to $30,000 a year. I am contemplating a partial conversion from my traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Such conversion is included in my adjusted gross income, but is not really spendable income to support my son's education. If I make such a conversion, would ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +5

    That Free Financial Aid Seminar May be Just a Worthless Sales Pitch

    From time to time I receive solicitations for free financial aid seminars that are really sales pitches for a product or service. I attend these seminars to monitor the information (and misinformation) that these seminars disseminate. The latest one was a bit different, in that it was affiliated with a national asset management and financial planning firm. It's not a very ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +5

    Should Parents Pay Off Credit Cards Before Applying for College Loans and Other Aid?

    Why is it better for parents to pay off credit cards (if one can) before obtaining loans for a child for college? — Diane H. Most forms of consumer debt, such as credit cards and auto loans, are ignored on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even education loans are ignored. The only exception to this rule occurs when ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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 about 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +5

    Is There Any Way to Shelter Retirement Plan Distributions on the FAFSA?

    My question is simple: is there a way to withdraw money from my 401(K), at age 59 1/2, that will not be counted as income for FAFSA purposes? Although I receive an annual pension of $34,500, I fall short by about $20,000 to meet my annual expenses. Should I withdraw what I need for next year this year, so it doesn't ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +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 almost 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +4

    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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +4

    Understand Your Student Aid Report

    If you've never set eyes on a Student Aid Report (SAR) before, it can be a dizzying experience. What do all those acronyms and numbers mean? It all looks so official and important. If you've recently submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you can expect to receive a SAR in return. And while the SAR is long on ...
    Published over 6 years ago | Rated: +4
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