Archives by Month

March 2014

Student Debt and Wealth Gap

A recent AP article that ran in today’s Oregonian highlights how growing student loan debt increases income inequality in the US. Helping your student to make informed decisions about how much to spend and how much to borrow for college is one of the best things you as a parent can do to ensure that your child is on the path to…

Coverdell ESAs

Given the lower contribution limit—$2000 annually per beneficiary—many people wonder why anyone would bother with a Coverdell ESA, compared with a 529 plan. Here’s a quick overview; maybe you’ll find that a Coverdell ESA should be part of your college savings planning as well. Coverdell ESAs work a lot like Roth IRAs and 529 plans: You contribute after-tax money to…

Funded and Unfunded Aid

Congratulations! You got accepted into several schools, and each offered you some financial aid. When you compare the offers, it’s important to make apples-to-apples comparisons. The first thing to figure out is, did you get funded aid or unfunded aid? Funded aid consists of grants and scholarships. Funded aid reduces the cost of going to college. Unfunded aid is loans…

Divorced Parents and Aid Applications

Divorced parents tend to have a number of questions about aid issues and college applications in general. Let’s start with the basics: Do both parents’ incomes count? And what about new spouses’? As is so often the case, the answer is different depending on the aid form. The FAFSA is simple so let’s start there. The FAFSA only counts the…