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  • +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
  • +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
  • +7

    How To Ask Friends and Family for Money for a Child's College Savings Plan

    In a Fastweb survey of high school and college students about preferred holiday gifts, more than half of the respondents said that they were hoping for money for college. But asking for money is awkward. It feels like begging. Most people are uncomfortable asking for money, even for a good purpose. Asking for gifts of money is taboo in the United ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +18

    Top Twelve Tips for Asking for College Savings Cash

    Top Twelve Tips for Asking for College Savings Cash
    This article lists a dozen tips for asking for college savings cash as an alternative to traditional material gifts. It is a summary of the longer article, How To Ask Friends and Family for Money for a Child's College Savings Plan. 1. The only way to get a cash gift to a child's college savings plan is to ask. If you ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +18
  • +8

    How Do I Fix an Non-Qualified Distribution from a College Savings Plan?

    I had a CollegeSure CD for my son who started college last fall. After the CD matured in August, I cashed it out and put the money in a savings account thinking I had to do that. He didn't have enough college expenses for the first semester to equal the gross distribution, so now I think we're in a terrible tax ...
    Published about 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +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
  • +19

    Should Parents Transfer College Savings from an UTMA Account to a 529 Plan?

    My twin daughters will be entering college in the fall. We have saved for their college education over the last 17 years. Presently the savings are held in two accounts each: a custodial account under the Uniform Transfer to Minor Act (UTMA) and in a Coverdell Education IRA account. I recently read that in connection with evaluating any possible financial aid ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +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
  • +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 over 3 years ago | Rated: +9
  • +6

    Which 529 College Savings Plans are Reported on the FAFSA?

    On the FAFSA we listed the value of all three of our children's 529 plan accounts, not just our oldest son's 529 plan. There was no way to differentiate the amounts among the three children. Can we change this and enter only the amount of the oldest son's account since we won't be using the other two children's accounts to pay ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +1

    Cost of Raising Children from Birth to High School Graduation Up 0.5% to $222,360

    The US Department of Agriculture estimates that middle-income two-parent families will spend $222,360 in 2009 dollars to raise a child born in 2009 from birth to high school graduation. The cost per child for low income families (earning less than $56,670) is $160,410 and the cost per child for upper income families (earning more than $98,120) is $369,360. These estimates do ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +1
  • +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
  • +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
  • +54

    Congress Passes Legislation Ending the Federally-Guaranteed Student Loan Program

    Congress Passes Legislation Ending the Federally-Guaranteed Student Loan Program
    The US House of Representatives passed the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 (SAFRA) on September 17, 2009 by a party-line vote of 253 to 171. This legislation eliminates the federally-guaranteed student loan program and replaces it with 100% direct lending from the federal government. SAFRA uses the savings to fund an increase in the Pell Grant program among ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +54
  • +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
  • +6

    Cost of Raising Children from Birth to High School Graduation Up 4.4% to $221,190

    The US Department of Agriculture estimates that middle-income two-parent families will spend $221,190 in 2008 dollars to raise a child born in 2008 from birth to high school graduation. The cost per child for low income families (earning less than $56,870) is $159,870 and the cost per child for upper income families (earning more than $98,470) is $366,660. These estimates do ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +22

    Introduction to Saving for College

    Introduction to Saving for College
    You're about to have a baby and you're already worrying about how to pay for their college education. Or your son or daughter just started high school and you read about some private colleges costing more than $50,000 a year. How are you going to be able to afford four years of a college education? Don't panic! The solution is to ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +22
  • +10

    First Steps Toward Simplifying the FAFSA

    First Steps Toward Simplifying the FAFSA
    Student aid policy experts have argued for years that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is too long and too complicated. The FAFSA form is a source of confusion and frustration for many families. The policy experts have proven that the current process of applying for financial aid is itself a problem that prevents millions of students from applying ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +10
  • +18

    When Student Loans Aren't Enough

    When Student Loans Aren't Enough
    Though federal student loans (such as the Federal Stafford Loan) help many students to attend college, families often find that even the maximum loan amounts are not enough to pay for their education. For instance, the average cost of attendance at a four-year public school for the 2012-2013 academic year is $22,261 and at a four-year private school, it’s $43,289— yet ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +18
  • +22

    Survey Says: Parents Still Saving for College Despite Economy

    Sallie Mae and Gallup just released the results of a survey of how American families save for college. The survey found that most parents are continuing to save for college despite the economy and that saving for college slightly trails saving for retirement. More than 9 in 10 of the parents (92%) think that it is likely or very likely that ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rated: +22