Student Loan Assistance Employees Facing up to Five Years of Jail

The Department of Education has just announced a new policy that subjects third parties to up to “criminal penalties that include a fine of not more than $20,000, imprisonment for not more than five years, or both, beginning one day after the date of publication of this notice.” It does appear that nonprofits get a … Read more

Important FAFSA Deadlines to Know

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA®, is a form students can fill out each school year to apply for grants, work-study, or federal student loans from the government for higher education pursuits. By not filling it out, or missing the FAFSA deadline, students may not receive financial aid that could help them … Read more

Important Information about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) provides tax data that automatically fills in information for part of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), as well as the income-driven repayment plan application for federal student loan borrowers. To protect sensitive taxpayer data, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on fafsa.gov and StudentLoans.gov will be unavailable … Read more

Student Loan Financial Aid FAFSA-IRS Data Breach

I had previously reported a curious statement by the Department of Education and the suspension of the online Data Retrieval Tool when applying for student loan financial aid using the online FAFSA form. At the time the concern was the “issue” was “relatively isolated,” but a Washington Post report says 100,000 people are impacted. The … Read more

IRS Doesn’t Seem to Trust the Department of Education at the Moment

It looks as if there is a little “concern” from the Internal Revenue Service about their data sharing arrangement with the Department of Education. The Department of Education said, “As part of a wider, ongoing effort at the IRS to protect the security of data, the IRS decided to temporarily suspend the Data Retrieval Tool … Read more

How Smart IRA Planning Can Help You Pay Less For College

With college expenses at some of the best schools now exceeding $ 60,000 per year, education-related expenses are often one of the biggest obstacles many baby boomers face when saving for their own retirement. For many families, planning for a college education goes hand in hand with IRA’s and retirement planning. Retirement Assets are Exempt … Read more

A Modern Family’s Guide to the FAFSA

One of my guilty pleasures is the TV show “Modern Family.” This “mockumentary” style comedy pokes fun at what one TV critic described as “the evolving nature of what constitutes ‘family’.” When I do my college planning workshops, I always get asked which parent’s assets to use when filling out the FAFSA form. Considering the … Read more

Where’s The Best Place To Get Information To Scam Financial Aid? Jail Of Course!

Student Loan Fraud Is Stupid A former inmate at Leath, Correctional Institution in South Carolina, Michelle Owens, was sentenced on September 28, 2011 for violations of federal student financial aid and mail fraud. Let me start this article off with a small tidbit of information for all of you scamming or thinking about scamming federal … Read more

FAFSA Student Loan Scam to Avoid

This just out of Tennessee: The state deadline for college financial aid is quickly approaching, and state officials are asking parents and students to beware of official-looking letters promising student financial aid information for a fee. Attorney General Bob Cooper and Division of Consumer Affairs Director Mary Clement are urging Tennesseans to be wary of … Read more