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FAFSA

FAFSA: Is it Income?

The FAFSA asks about income numerous ways: it collects your tax return data through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and then poses a number of additional questions about income. So let’s look at those. First, the IRS DRT pulls your 2019 tax data including adjusted gross income and actual taxes paid. However, that leaves some items out and the FAFSA…

FAFSA: Is it an Asset?

What is and isn’t an asset on the FAFSA? Here’s a quick “is it or isn’t it?” for you: The balance in your checking and savings account: YES it’s an asset! The balance in your taxable investment account: YES it’s an asset! You can subtract any debt for which this is collateral, such as a pledged asset line or margin…

Financial Aid Basics

There’s a ton of talk about the FAFSA right now, which on the one hand makes sense because it will be available next week. (Yes, all evidence to the contrary, time does continue marching forward with the result that Oct. 1 arrives next week.) But all the hoopla around the FAFSA tends to obscure the fact that the FAFSA itself…

College Planning After a Divorce

Students whose parents are divorced have some planning opportunities if the exes are willing to cooperate. The first step is of course to understand the planning areas. And the first step of that first step is to understand a key definition: “custodial parent.” Custodial parent is used in two primary places for college purposes, and in ways that are completely…