You may have seen news this year about Operation Game of Loans, a crackdown by the Federal Trade Commission and 11 state attorneys general on student debt relief scams. Dozens of bad actors are accused of having collected close to $100 million in bogus fees that were marketed to student loan debtors as debt relief programs. In addition, they often falsely promised to help reduce or eliminate student loan debt and misrepresented themselves as affiliated with the Department of Education or other government agencies. Continue reading Operation “Game of Loans”
The change in the FAFSA’s timing from winter to fall has some potentially unforeseen consequences. One is student summer jobs. Even at minimum wage, a student who worked full-time for the summer may have earned $3,000 or more. Students who saved their summer income with the intent to spend it over the course of the school year may Continue reading What to do with Summer Job Money?
This article from Ron Lieber at the New York Times highlights some recent bipartisan efforts to help students and families better understand the cost of college. (As he points out towards the end, even if these come to no avail, the information is available to those who seek it.)
A recent survey by T Rowe Price seems to indicate that that is the case. The 2017 Parents, Kids & Money Survey, a national sample of parents of 8- to 14-year-olds, showed stronger financial support for college among families with all boys than families with all girls. Specifically: Continue reading Do Parents Support Boys’ College More than Girls’?
Friends are having a FAFSA nightmare: their daughter’s EFC came back as 60% of their income. They suspect the reason for this is that he consolidated his retirement accounts, rolling several over into a single larger account, and that some or all of that rollover is showing as an IRA distribution. Fortunately they have the records to show that this was Continue reading FAFSA Income Surprises
I don’t know that stats are kept or shared, but I’d venture a guess that one of, if not the, most common FAFSA mistakes people make is putting the parents’ info into the student section. This then causes parental income and assets to be assessed at student rates, leading to grotesque distortions of the EFC. Continue reading One of the Biggest FAFSA Mistakes
A short break from the FAFSA… In late September, the Fed released data from its most recent Survey of Consumer Finances. This survey is completed every 3 years with the goal of helping “the government and, ultimately, the public at large understand the financial condition of families in the United States and to study the effects of changes in the economy.” The survey covers a range of financial topics including savings, borrowing, business ownership, investment, use of financial institutions, pension coverage and more. Continue reading Fed Survey of Consumer Finances
Q: I won’t qualify for financial aid. Do I need to fill out the FAFSA?
A: Yes! Regardless of whether you think you’re eligible for aid, you should complete the FAFSA. You have to complete it if you (or your student) intends to take out federal student loans, which are available to anyone regardless of need. If you have any intention of borrowing, the Direct Student Loan should be your starting point. Plus, some Continue reading FAFSA FAQs 2
The FAFSA for the 2018-2019 school year is here. Here are some FAFSA FAQs:
Q: What does FAFSA mean by “income?” Gross, taxable, AGI? Something else?
A: All of it. FAFSA wants to know each parent’s gross income, including tax-deferred retirement plan contributions. The easiest way to take care of the income is to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to directly transfer income information to the FAFSA. After Continue reading FAFSA FAQs