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  • +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
  • +8

    Rolling Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan for Tax-Free Treatment

    My son is heading to college this fall and I would like to use his savings bonds tax free, although the way I read the rules I think I cannot do it. Here is the story: All of the bonds were bought from 1994 through 2001 by various family members. All of the bonds have my son's name on the "TO" ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +8
  • +19

    Money Saving New Year's Resolutions

    Money Saving New Year's Resolutions
    It's 2014 - the year of the horse has arrived! In the Chinese zodiac, the spirit of the horse represents a constant effort to better oneself, which means that this year could not be more perfect to spend focusing on your education and, of course, a way to pay for it! Here are some suggestions of resolutions you can take on ...
    Published 3 months ago | Rated: +19
  • +5

    Rolling US Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan for Tax-Free Treatment

    I read your article on rolling savings bonds into a 529 plan but I am still not sure of one thing. If we are over the income threshold for tax-free redemption, can we roll the bonds into the 529 and avoid paying taxes on the bonds? Then when we take deductions from the 529 to pay for qualified expenses do we ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +5
  • +26

    Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?

    Why Should I Complete the FAFSA?
    Let’s start with a little bit about what the FAFSA actually is. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid; translation: it determines a student's eligibility for need-based federal financial aid for college, which may include grants, scholarships, work-study and loans. If eligible, it can really help you pay for school! The FAFSA for the 2014-2015 academic year is now ...
    Published 3 months ago | Rated: +26
  • +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

    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
  • +4

    Paying the College Directly to Avoid Gift Taxes

    Under current IRS rules, a payment made directly to an educational institution to pay for the tuition of a student does not count as a gift to the student for gift tax purposes. For example, a grandparent can avoid gift taxes by writing a check to the college for their grandchild's tuition instead of giving the money to the student or ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +22

    FAFSA Updated to Accommodate Same-Sex Parentage

    FAFSA Updated to Accommodate Same-Sex Parentage
    Progression has reached federal student aid as news that the FAFSA form will now recognize parents that are also same-sex couples. Currently, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid referred to “mother/stepmother” and “father/stepfather” in reference to obtaining information about an applicant’s parents. As a result, applicants with same-sex parents had no choice but to either choose to classify parents at ...
    Published 11 months ago | Rated: +22
  • +18

    Prepare to Pay Even More for School

    Prepare to Pay Even More for School
    Student Loan Interest Rates Set to Skyrocket for 7 Million Students & Counting If Congressional action isn't taken, the interest rates on government subsidized student loans will double to 6.8 percent on July 1st of this year. This change will affect one third of undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Direct Stafford Loans. The high interest rates aren't news to undergraduates ...
    Published 11 months ago | Rated: +18
  • +27

    30 Money Saving Tips for Students

    30 Money Saving Tips for Students
    Do you have fine wine tastes on a cheap beer budget? It’s ok – most college students are living on a budget. If not, they’re likely students getting themselves into a cycle of debt. While neither is fun or easy, you can become smarter about the way you spend your money. Keep in mind that the key to financial success is ...
    Published 10 months ago | Rated: +27
  • +20

    Making Smarter Student Loan Decisions

    Making Smarter Student Loan Decisions
    It’s no secret that college is getting more expensive by the minute. For instance, the cost of education at a university rose from 23 to 38 percent between 2001 and 2010. That’s a huge climb! In attempts to make college possible, many students take out student loans in pursuit of their higher education. While an investment in education is one of ...
    Published 10 months ago | Rated: +20
  • +8

    Student Credit Cards

    Student Credit Cards
    You see the offers everywhere, free duffel bag for signing up for this credit card, free water bottle, campus gear and sometimes even free money. Before you go signing on the dotted line, find out what you’re really signing up for. If you’re serious about considering a credit card, find out what kind of card it is. Not all plastics are ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +21

    Are You a College Drop-Out Risk?

    Are You a College Drop-Out Risk?
    Yep, it happened. Congress couldn't get their act together, so now you’re going to have to pay more. But, before you borrow, make sure it will pay off in the future. What do we mean by this? Investing in your education is a good thing; it’s even often referred to as “good” debt. As long as you get a degree to ...
    Published 10 months ago | Rated: +21
  • +28

    The “Free” Tuition Experiment

    The “Free” Tuition Experiment
    No matter where you attend college today, costs have skyrocketed, leaving students with the impending doom of student debt for years to come. Meanwhile, public funding for education has been declining to the point of nonexistence, as far as many students are concerned. So, what can be done to combat the issue? It seems as though many are considering the recent ...
    Published 9 months ago | Rated: +28
  • +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
  • +26

    How America Pays for College

    How America Pays for College
    Sallie Mae, the nation’s number one financial services company specializing in education, in conjunction with Ipsos, has released a new national study, "How America Pays for College 2013." The study’s findings were based on survey results from around 800 undergraduate students, between the ages of 18 and 24 years old and the parents of undergraduate students. According to the study, families ...
    Published 9 months ago | Rated: +26
  • +6

    Family Incorrectly Reported 529 Plan as a Student Asset on the FAFSA

    I have two questions which I assume you've been asked a million times and I just want to make sure I'm understanding the write-ups about them correctly. We have a regular UGMA/UTMA savings account for our daughter where we are the custodian. In the FAFSA application, should this be entered under the student or the parent? Am I assuming correctly that ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +9

    Free Money for College Savings

    There are a variety of national, state and local programs that encourage families to save for college by providing families with free money. There are two main types of such programs: 1. Birthday Present. Such programs provide contributions of $100 to $1,000 as seed money in the college savings plan when the parents open a new 529 college savings plan before ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +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