FAQs about Financial Aid (page 3)

— FinAid
Updated on Jun 2, 2009

Divorce and Financial Aid

An entire section of FinAid is devoted to the topic of Divorce and Financial Aid. It discusses which parent is responsible for completing the FAFSA, the obligations of non-custodial parents to pay for college, college support agreements, the obligations of step-parents, and the ability of non-custodial parents to take advantage of the various tax benefits for education.

Bankruptcy and Financial Aid

An entire section of FinAid is devoted to the topic of Bankruptcy and Financial Aid. It discusses both whether student loans can be discharged by bankruptcy, as well as the impact of a bankruptcy on eligibility for student aid.

Misc. and Unusual Questions

  1. I have heard about a scholarship for left-handed students. Can you tell me more information about it?

    This question comes up frequently, because the popular press and scholarship matching services like to use it as an example of unusual scholarships.

    The only scholarship for left-handed students is the Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship of up to $1,000. This scholarship is awarded to left-handed students who will be attending Juniata College. This scholarship is not available to students who aren't enrolled at Juniata College. For more information, write to Office of Student Financial Planning, Juniata College, 1700 Moore Street, Huntington, PA 16652.

    To find other scholarships for students with specific interests or abilities, see the profile-based aid section. FinAid also has a page devoted to unusual scholarships.

  2. What colleges have cut their tuition rates instead of increasing them?

    A handful of schools have instituted one-time tuition rate cuts, temporary tuition freezes, or level tuition rates (same tuition rate all four years). A list of these colleges can be found in the Tuition Freezes, Tuition Cuts and Level Tuition section of FinAid.

  3. Which colleges have committed to providing free tuition or no loans in the aid package for low income students?

    A handful of schools have instituted policies that ensure that low income students have no loans in their financial aid packages. See No Loans for Low Income Students for additional information.

  4. Is financial aid available for illegal aliens and undocumented students?

    See Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students.

  5. Why doesn't the FAFSA include line 58 of IRS Form 1040 (self employment tax) with taxes paid?


    Line 27 of IRS Form 1040 subtracts one-half of self-employment taxes from AGI, corresponding to the employer's share of FICA taxes. The employee share of FICA taxes is calculated automatically by the need analysis formula based on income earned from work. If you include line 58 in the total for taxes paid, contrary to the FAFSA instructions, you are double counting the self-employment taxes.

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