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  • +4

    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 consideration? We have a gross income of about $100,000 and no debt. They have some merit scholarships, but we have not qualified for need on the FAFSA. — Carolyn W. ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +17

    Debt Worriers

    Debt Worriers
    At this point, it’s old news that student loan rates have doubled. It’s also nothing new to hear that student debt is higher than ever, surpassing $1 trillion. Student loan debt inflicts one out of five Americans over the age of 20; two out of three college seniors (2011). The average amount is nearly $27,000 – not a small amount by ...
    Published 9 months ago | Rated: +17
  • +4

    Are UGMA and UTMA Accounts Reported as Investments on the FAFSA?

    Tuesday, May 29 is National College Savings Day (i.e., May 29 is 5/29, a cute reference to 529 college savings plans). To commemorate the occasion, Mark Kantrowitz answers a question about saving for college. After submitting our FAFSA for my son, we got back an EFC of 23207 on the SAR. I have been told by admissions that that is extremely ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +19

    The Restoration of Lower Student Loan Rates

    The Restoration of Lower Student Loan Rates
    Remember when student loan rates doubled in July after a lack of congressional action to stop it? That’s been reversed, after President Obama signed a law that restores lower interest rates for students. Republicans and democrats were finally able to come up with, what the President called a sensible, reasonable approach. The compromise came about after a series of summer negotiations. ...
    Published 8 months ago | Rated: +19
  • +9

    Reporting Prepaid Tuition Plans and 529 Plans on the FAFSA for Independent Students

    I'm confused as to how to treat a prepaid tuition plan when applying for financial aid. I'm an independent student but I have a small prepaid tuition account which is held by a parent as account owner with me as the beneficiary. Since I don't list parent assets when filling out the FAFSA, do I need to list the prepaid tuition ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +9

    Pay Down Mortgage or Contribute to Son's 529?

    I just sold my house and moved in with my new husband. We have three children between us (two are his) and are looking for a bigger house. Would it make sense to save the $30,000 from the house sale in my son's 529 college savings plan account (he is 13 now), or use this money to buy a house and ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +15

    Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money

    Student Debt Guide: Saving and Investing Money
    Nobody ever said being an adult was easy and knowing how to save and invest properly is not exception to the rule. But, who better to advise you on saving and investing money than Mark Kantrowitz, a nationally recognized finance guru? Here are tips, right from the expert, on how to save and invest like a pro. [gate] • Save for ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +15
  • +3

    When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

    I have an old UTMA account for my daughter with Janus, with approximately $5,000 in gains. I opened this before they even had 529 college savings plans. I was thinking of transferring this to a 529 account with NYSaves.com. My daughter is 13. Is it worth transferring this UTMA account to a 529 and paying capital gains now, or is it ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +1

    Student Debt Guide: Types of Loans

    Student Debt Guide: Types of Loans
    Student loans, federal education loans, credit cards, mortgages, home equity...the list goes on and on. It's enough to drive a person mad! From the different types of debt to the different types of loans, this financial information is something any borrowing student should be aware of. Learn to decipher the definitions of debt so that you know what you're getting yourself ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +1
  • +14

    Survey Says: Families Perceive College Costs as Increasing by 17% Compared with Last Year

    Sallie Mae and Gallup just released the results of their third annual survey of how American families pay for college. The survey found that families perceived college costs as increasing by more than 17% compared with last year. As a result, families are becoming more cost conscious in their college choices. Family estimates of the total cost of attendance increased 17% ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +14
  • +14

    The Elephant in the Room

    The Elephant in the Room
    Students, you and your parents are so focused on the standard college questions – what school, what degree, how to pay for it – that you overlook the elephant in the room. An Elephant in the room? Yes, the educational Elephant who can cost you and your families thousands of dollars, unnecessarily. Here’s where the elephant raises his costly tusks. You ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +14
  • +20

    Bi-Partisanship in the Name of Debt

    Bi-Partisanship in the Name of Debt
    Let’s start out with a riddle: What’s something the majority students have, but don’t want? Here’s a hint: the answer is as simple and, unfortunately, as American, as apple pie. The answer? Debt. Regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, political party (the list goes on and on), the majority of college graduates now have student debt – 58 percent, according ...
    Published 4 months ago | Rated: +20
  • +7

    Impact of a Gift Trust Account on Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

    My daughter turned 18 recently, and received a $25,000 mutual fund statement with her name on it. Her aunt had put $10,000 away in 1995 in a gift trust account for a minor. This was a mutual fund account in which the interest was reinvested each year and therefore no IRS interest statements were generated. We were unaware that her aunt ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +3

    Will Differences in Parent Assets Due to the Omission Sibling-Owned Custodial 529 Plan Accounts Cause Problems on the FAFSA?

    Since siblings' UTMA 529s don't get reported on the FAFSA, but the student's UTMA 529 is counted as a parent asset, each of my kids would have a different amount listed on the FAFSA as parent assets. The amounts would be vastly different because most of my son's money will have been used by the time my youngest starts college. We'll ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +3
  • +11

    Pros and Cons of Using Retirement Funds to Pay for College Costs

    Why should one NOT use retirement funds to pay for a child's college costs? — Diane H. There are two main reasons why families shouldn't use retirement plan funds to pay for college. The first reason is the financial impact of taking a distribution from a retirement plan to pay for college. The financial impact includes both the tax liability and ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +4

    How to Minimize the Impact of a Student's Brokerage Account on Financial Aid

    We have an UTMA mutual fund for our son who is a senior in high school (17 years old). It is approximately $19,000 and was intended to help pay for college costs. When we opened it we weren't aware of the impact it could have on financial aid. I realize it's too late to fix anything for his freshman year next ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +7

    Year-End Financial Aid Moves

    As the year draws to a close, there are several steps families can take to get more need-based and merit-based financial aid. Prepay Next Year's Tuition Taxpayers can claim one of two education tax credits based on amounts paid for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition and fees. These are the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +7
  • +19

    Avoiding the Average...

    Avoiding the Average...
    ...When It Comes to Your Student Debt So, what’s the deal with debt these days? Well, a lot actually. And, unfortunately, it’s not good news. According to a recent report released by the Institute for College Access & Success’ Project on Student Debt, which also appeared on CNNMoney, the average debt for a student in the class of 2012 was $29,400. ...
    Published 4 months ago | Rated: +19
  • +6

    Which are Better, US Savings Bonds or 529 College Savings Plans?

    We have a son who is going to be in the 10th grade this year. We also have twins who are 3.5 years old. I am trying to understand where to park my savings for elder son and the little ones. I heard if we have 529 plans, they will be included in financial aid calculations and this is not a ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +6
  • +7

    Time to panic about prepaid tuition plans?

    Time to panic about prepaid tuition plans?
    The New York Times reported on October 5, 2009 that 16 of the 18 state prepaid tuition plans are facing funding shortfalls because of a combination of stock market losses and increases in tuition at public colleges. Only five state plans are backed by the full faith and credit of the state. While the other states will be under political pressure ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +7