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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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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
10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders

10 Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Avoid Financial Aid Blunders

Don’t rush the process – any mistakes can cause serious delays in the process or, worse, disqualify you all together.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published February 18, 2014
How To Ask Friends and Family for Money for a Child's College Savings Plan

How To Ask Friends and Family for Money for a Child's College Savings Plan

In a Fastweb survey of high school and college students about preferred holiday gifts, more than half of the respondents said that they were hoping for money for college. But asking ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 12, 2011
How Do You Complete the FAFSA When a Parent is Undocumented?

How Do You Complete the FAFSA When a Parent is Undocumented?

I live with my mother and my brothers. My mother is undocumented and does not work. However, I am a permanent resident and my brothers were born here in the United ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 2, 2010
Limit Total Student Loan Debt to Less Than $10,000 per Year to Avoid Overborrowing

Limit Total Student Loan Debt to Less Than $10,000 per Year to Avoid Overborrowing

I have twin daughters going to college in the fall. The annual tab (for both girls) after scholarships will be $58,000 in loans per year for four years. We have saved ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 14, 2010
Does Consolidating Student Loans Save Money Like a Refinance?

Does Consolidating Student Loans Save Money Like a Refinance?

I have a question concerning consolidating my federal loans. I have some that are subsidized and some that are unsubsidized. Can I combine these at a lower interest rate? I have ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 16, 2011
Options for a Student Whose Parents Refuse to Complete the FAFSA

Options for a Student Whose Parents Refuse to Complete the FAFSA

I have been financially independent from my parents since I was 19. I'm 23 now. I've been working two jobs and taking 12 hours in school. My school says that I ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 1, 2010
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
First Lady Michelle Obama's FAFSA Completion Challenge

First Lady Michelle Obama's FAFSA Completion Challenge

In addition to encouraging students to complete the FAFSA, the First Lady could send your school a special video message or speak at your commencement ceremony!

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 10, 2014
Financial Aid Insider Secrets

Financial Aid Insider Secrets

Financial aid is a complicated topic with an alphabet soup of acronyms like FAFSA and EFC, rolling deadlines and (seemingly) endless forms, rules and regulations. But with the state of ...

Published December 9, 2009
Questions about Income and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Questions about Income and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

My husband earns about $125,000 in salary and I am a stay at home mom. My husband just changed jobs and got his deferred salary and his retirement from 25 years ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 9, 2009
Help for Retired Parents Repaying Parent PLUS Loans on Fixed Income

Help for Retired Parents Repaying Parent PLUS Loans on Fixed Income

Help!!! My Parent PLUS loans are presently in a forbearance that will end in a few months. My expected installment payments are more than my monthly income. I am retired and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 13, 2010
A Prospective Student is Ineligible for Financial Aid Because of a Student Loan Default

A Prospective Student is Ineligible for Financial Aid Because of a Student Loan Default

I gave college a shot when I was 18 and dropped out due to major health problems. Student loans obviously did not disappear because of this and I have been struggling ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 1, 2011
Congressman Hansen Clarke Proposes Student Loan Relief Legislation

Congressman Hansen Clarke Proposes Student Loan Relief Legislation

Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI-13) introduced the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 4170) on March 8, 2012. If enacted, this legislation will provide student loan forgiveness for federal education loans, ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 12, 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
Why is Parental Information Required on the FAFSA for a Self-Sufficient Student?

Why is Parental Information Required on the FAFSA for a Self-Sufficient Student?

Why do we have to file the FAFSA when my daughter supports herself? My daughter has not lived with me or my husband for a year and a half while she’s ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 24, 2012
Ask the Expert: Why Not Borrow from My 401(k) for My Daughter's College Tuition?

Ask the Expert: Why Not Borrow from My 401(k) for My Daughter's College Tuition?

Why borrowing tuition money from your 401(k) is a bad idea.

By Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 21, 2009
What Do You Do If Your Application for a FAFSA PIN is Rejected?

What Do You Do If Your Application for a FAFSA PIN is Rejected?

Expert financial aid answers to all of your questions.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 23, 2011
7 Resources for Returning Students Paying for College

7 Resources for Returning Students Paying for College

Find financial aid and scholarships for returning adult students.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published August 22, 2014
How Do Parent Financial Problems Affect a Student's Eligibility for Financial Aid?

How Do Parent Financial Problems Affect a Student's Eligibility for Financial Aid?

We the parents screwed up financially and had to file for bankruptcy and are in a Chapter 13 repayment program. The FAFSA thinks according to their estimator that we can afford ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 13, 2010