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  • +22

    FAFSA Updated to Accommodate Same-Sex Parentage

    FAFSA Updated to Accommodate Same-Sex Parentage
    Progression has reached federal student aid as news that the FAFSA form will now recognize parents that are also same-sex couples. Currently, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid referred to “mother/stepmother” and “father/stepfather” in reference to obtaining information about an applicant’s parents. As a result, applicants with same-sex parents had no choice but to either choose to classify parents at ...
    Published about 1 year ago | Rated: +22
  • +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 almost 6 years ago | Rated: +8
  • -2

    What to Do If Your Financial Aid Is Not Enough

    You want to go to college, but you can't meet the costs. According to financial aid expert Gary Williams, all may not be lost: After all of the work it takes to be successful in high school and gain admission to college, it can be extremely disappointing if your family cannot afford tuition. To avoid this situation, take a few basic ...
    Published almost 6 years ago | Rated: -2
  • +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 5 months ago | Rated: +23
  • +40

    Are You Really Paying More for College?

    Are You Really Paying More for College?
    For years, the college cost inflation rate has been steadily rising by roughly 7% each year. The 2010-2011 academic year is no exception. According to College Board, who recently released their Trends in College Pricing and Trends in Student Aid, the average cost of tuition and fees at four-year public schools rose 7.9% while the average rate at private colleges and ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +40
  • +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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +22

    Guidelines for Financial Freedom

    Guidelines for Financial Freedom
    When you’re a student trying to pay for school, one of the greatest challenges can be managing your finances in the best way possible. With so many options out there, it’s difficult to decipher right from wrong and what will be best for you in the future. Following these guidelines will help you understand how to determine what’s best for you, ...
    Published 11 months ago | Rated: +22
  • +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
  • +4

    Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards

    Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards
    By now, we’re all aware that managing money can be quite difficult. Here are some surefire ways, straight from nationally recognized financial expert Mark Kantrowitz, on how to help stay on track when it comes to pinching pennies. [gate] First, exercise control over your money by increasing awareness of your spending habits. Start by preparing a descriptive budget, where you track ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +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
  • +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 about 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +3

    When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

    I have an old UTMA account for my daughter with Janus, with approximately $5,000 in gains. I opened this before they even had 529 college savings plans. I was thinking of transferring this to a 529 account with NYSaves.com. My daughter is 13. Is it worth transferring this UTMA account to a 529 and paying capital gains now, or is it ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +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 almost 2 years 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 over 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +10

    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 4 months ago | Rated: +10
  • +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
  • +4

    Should a Family Sell Student-Owned Stocks to Get More Financial Aid?

    I have two daughters. One is a junior in college. The other is a senior in high school who will be going to college this fall. They both have stocks given to them by my parents years ago, from which they get quarterly dividends of around $140 each. Every year on the FAFSA I have to put the current value of ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +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 over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +19

    Avoiding the Average...

    Avoiding the Average...
    ...When It Comes to Your Student Debt So, what’s the deal with debt these days? Well, a lot actually. And, unfortunately, it’s not good news. According to a recent report released by the Institute for College Access & Success’ Project on Student Debt, which also appeared on CNNMoney, the average debt for a student in the class of 2012 was $29,400. ...
    Published 8 months ago | Rated: +19
  • +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 about 2 years ago | Rated: +5
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