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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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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
Can the FAFSA be Completed with Information from the Previous Year's Tax Returns?

Can the FAFSA be Completed with Information from the Previous Year's Tax Returns?

Heads up: This article is out of date! Find current financial aid information here. My daughter got accepted to her first-choice school, a private university, as an early-decision candidate. The school ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 7, 2013
What are the Downsides to Using Home Equity to Refinance Student Loan Debt?

What are the Downsides to Using Home Equity to Refinance Student Loan Debt?

Home equity and student loan payments.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 22, 2012
Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students

Heads up: This article is out of date! Find current financial aid information here. What advice would you give on financial aid to undocumented students? — T.T. Before discussing financial aid ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 8, 2012
Can a Student Receive a Pell Grant for a Second College Degree?

Can a Student Receive a Pell Grant for a Second College Degree?

I am a 25-year-old woman looking to go back to school for a second degree in a different field of study than my original degree. I am married to an enlisted ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 1, 2012
Does Joint Repayment Obligate Spouses for Each Other's Student Loans?

Does Joint Repayment Obligate Spouses for Each Other's Student Loans?

Are you accountable for your spouse's student loans?

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 24, 2012
Potential Impact of the Fiscal Cliff on Federal Student Financial Aid

Potential Impact of the Fiscal Cliff on Federal Student Financial Aid

The Budget Control Act of 2011 enacted automatic across-the-board spending cuts in the federal budget if Congress in unable to achieve specified reductions in overall spending on its own. This process ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 16, 2012
Is the Pell Grant Reduced When the Student Wins a Private Scholarship?

Is the Pell Grant Reduced When the Student Wins a Private Scholarship?

My daughter has been approved for a Pell Grant. She recently received notification that she has won a $1,000 scholarship. Will the scholarship reduce her Pell Grant? — Virginia M. The ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 27, 2012
Paying for Tuition with a Credit Card or an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

Paying for Tuition with a Credit Card or an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

The pros and cons of paying college tuition with a credit card.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 20, 2012
Will a Parent PLUS Loan be Denied When Applying for Two Loans for Two Children?

Will a Parent PLUS Loan be Denied When Applying for Two Loans for Two Children?

Breaking down Parent PLUS loans when more than one child is in college.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 13, 2012
Which are Better, US Savings Bonds or 529 College Savings Plans?

Which are Better, US Savings Bonds or 529 College Savings Plans?

We have a son who is going to be in the 10th grade this year. We also have twins who are 3.5 years old. I am trying to understand where to ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 6, 2012
Who Really Graduates with $100,000 or More in Student Loans?

Who Really Graduates with $100,000 or More in Student Loans?

Expert insights into who leaves college with the most debt.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 5, 2012
Rolling US Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan for Tax-Free Treatment

Rolling US Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan for Tax-Free Treatment

I read your article on rolling savings bonds into a 529 plan but I am still not sure of one thing. If we are over the income threshold for tax-free redemption, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 30, 2012
White House Releases Model Financial Aid Award Letter "Shopping Sheet"

White House Releases Model Financial Aid Award Letter "Shopping Sheet"

Photo courtesy of Department of Education.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 24, 2012
Rolling Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan for Tax-Free Treatment

Rolling Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan for Tax-Free Treatment

My son is heading to college this fall and I would like to use his savings bonds tax free, although the way I read the rules I think I cannot do ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 23, 2012
Government Report Reviews Private Student Loans and Recommends Statutory Changes

Government Report Reviews Private Student Loans and Recommends Statutory Changes

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the US Department of Education released a report to Congress about private student loans on July 20, 2012 as mandated by section 1077 of ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 19, 2012
Is a 3.75% Cash-Out Refinance on a Mortgage Better than Federal Student Loans?

Is a 3.75% Cash-Out Refinance on a Mortgage Better than Federal Student Loans?

Expert advice on refinancing your mortgage to pay for college.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 16, 2012
Financial Aid for Graduate School: Your Credit History Affect and Types of Aid

Financial Aid for Graduate School: Your Credit History Affect and Types of Aid

Paying for graduate school with undergraduate and credit card debt.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 9, 2012
Vietnam Era Veteran Needs Help Paying for Graduate School

Vietnam Era Veteran Needs Help Paying for Graduate School

Advice for older veterans returning to college.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 2, 2012