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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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Have You Considered Consolidating?

Have You Considered Consolidating?

Keeping track of all your student loans can be confusing - is consolidation the answer?

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published May 10, 2017
After the FAFSA: What to Do Once You’ve Submitted Yours

After the FAFSA: What to Do Once You’ve Submitted Yours

Once you've submitted your FAFSA, you may have questions or changes to the document. Here's what you should expect and how to make edits.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published December 5, 2016
Congress Proposes Allowing Private Student Loans to be Discharged in Bankruptcy

Congress Proposes Allowing Private Student Loans to be Discharged in Bankruptcy

Congress is proposing to allow borrowers to discharge private student loans in bankruptcy. Under current law, education loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy except in extreme circumstances. The US Bankruptcy Code ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 22, 2010
How to Pay for College After a Recent Bankruptcy Discharge

How to Pay for College After a Recent Bankruptcy Discharge

Find out how bankruptcy affects paying for college.

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 18, 2012
Which 529 College Savings Plans are Reported on the FAFSA?

Which 529 College Savings Plans are Reported on the FAFSA?

On the FAFSA we listed the value of all three of our children's 529 plan accounts, not just our oldest son's 529 plan. There was no way to differentiate the amounts ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published June 7, 2010
It’s In Your Best Interest to Act on FAFSA Changes, Even If Your College Isn’t Changing Deadlines

It’s In Your Best Interest to Act on FAFSA Changes, Even If Your College Isn’t Changing Deadlines

Take advantage of this year's FAFSA changes, regardless of whether or not the school you're applying to or attending is updating their financial aid deadlines.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published August 2, 2016
Tuition and Fees Deduction

Tuition and Fees Deduction

The Tuition and Fees Deduction allows taxpayers to deduct up to $4,000 in tuition expenses as an above-the-line exclusion from income. This tax benefit is also known as the Limited Deduction ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 18, 2009
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
Congress Passes Fiscal Cliff Legislation, Extending American Opportunity Tax Credit

Congress Passes Fiscal Cliff Legislation, Extending American Opportunity Tax Credit

Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) late on Tuesday, January 1, 2013. The measure passed with bipartisan support in the Senate by a vote of 89 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 1, 2013
Does Moving a 529 College Savings Plan into a Roth IRA Make Sense?

Does Moving a 529 College Savings Plan into a Roth IRA Make Sense?

Does it make sense to move our $40,000 529 college savings plan into a Roth IRA for our children who are both in college to shield the money from our asset ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 12, 2011
Bridge the Financial Aid Gap

Bridge the Financial Aid Gap

Make your financial aid package work for you.

By The Fastweb Team
Published May 3, 2017
Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students

What advice would you give on financial aid to undocumented students? — T.T. Before discussing financial aid for undocumented students, it is best for students who believe that they are undocumented ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 8, 2012
Can a Student Receive Both Need-Based Grants and Merit-Based Scholarships?

Can a Student Receive Both Need-Based Grants and Merit-Based Scholarships?

If a child does receive FAFSA can they still receive scholarships and grants? — Y.P. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for need-based financial aid ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 14, 2012
Will Financial Aid Cover a Double Major?

Will Financial Aid Cover a Double Major?

You may be able to handle a double major, but can your financial aid?

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 16, 2013
Who is Considered an Independent Student? What if you are not yet 24 years old?

Who is Considered an Independent Student? What if you are not yet 24 years old?

I'm having problems with my financial aid. I'm a single mother of one. My daughter is almost three years old and will be attending daycare this semester. I've been going to ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 9, 2010
Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

The Lifetime Learning provides a federal income tax credit of up to $2,000 per taxpayer based on the first $10,000 in postsecondary tuition and fees paid by the taxpayer during the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 18, 2009
When is Real Estate Reported as a Business Asset on the FAFSA?

When is Real Estate Reported as a Business Asset on the FAFSA?

For parents who are self-employed and own real estate as one of their businesses, should they list the real estate assets as their assets (since they are self-employed) or as business ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 3, 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
Student Loan Interest Deduction

Student Loan Interest Deduction

Borrowers of federal and private education loans may deduct up to $2,500 in interest as an above-the-line exclusion from income. This deduction may be taken even if the taxpayer does not ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 18, 2009
Why Do Financial Aid Application Forms Use Last Year's Income?

Why Do Financial Aid Application Forms Use Last Year's Income?

Why do the government and colleges use last year's income to determine financial aid for the current year? Our financial situation has changed, my husband was laid off last year but ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 29, 2013