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Maximizing Aid Eligibility Articles

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The Best Schools for Financial Aid

The Best Schools for Financial Aid

These schools prove that it is possible to make educational funding readily available to their students.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published October 8, 2013
How America Pays for College

How America Pays for College

Families have adjusted to the post-recession when it comes to paying for school, using grants and scholarships to fund the rising college costs.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published July 24, 2013
The “Free” Tuition Experiment

The “Free” Tuition Experiment

It seems as though many are considering the recent doubling of student loan rates as a tipping point to the education cost issue - with more alternative payment programs resulting.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published July 10, 2013
Prepare to Pay Even More for School

Prepare to Pay Even More for School

The current interest rate is 3.4 percent and, starting the first of July, would double for more than seven million students.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published May 29, 2013
FAFSA Updated to Accommodate Same-Sex Parentage

FAFSA Updated to Accommodate Same-Sex Parentage

The changed to the 2014-2015 FAFSA is considered a step forward for the LGBTQ community.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published May 8, 2013
Does Adoption Affect an Orphan's Eligibility for Financial Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 22, 2013
Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards

Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards

Managing money can be quite a challenge. Are you up for it?

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published January 8, 2013
Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores

Student Debt Guide: Credit Scores

What's a credit score and why should you care?

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published January 8, 2013
Year-End Financial Aid Moves

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 20, 2012
How Can One Shelter Parent Assets on the FAFSA?

How Can One Shelter Parent Assets on the FAFSA?

My daughter is going to college next year. We have to file the FAFSA in January. We have money in our savings account that we saved for emergency reasons and some ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 3, 2012
How to Minimize the Impact of a Student's Brokerage Account on Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 26, 2012
Impact of a Gift Trust Account on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 10, 2012
Is There Any Way to Shelter Retirement Plan Distributions on the FAFSA?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 21, 2012
Should Wealthy Parents Cut Family Income Tenfold to Help their Children Qualify for Need-Based Student Financial Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 9, 2012
Should a Family Sell Student-Owned Stocks to Get More Financial Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 2, 2012
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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 24, 2012
If a Student's Parents Do Not Claim Him as a Dependent on their Income Tax Returns, Will the Student Get More Financial Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 20, 2012
When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 6, 2012
That Free Financial Aid Seminar May be Just a Worthless Sales Pitch

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 18, 2011
To Convert or Not To Convert; How Does a Roth IRA Conversion Affect Student Aid?

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 31, 2011