Archives by Month

April 2014

Help yourself in the “base year”

Are you the parent of a high school junior? If so, 2014 is your “base year” for financial aid purposes. What does that mean? It means that your initial financial aid applications—FAFSA and/or CSS PROFILE—will be based on your income and assets for 2014. Now is a good time to make plans or adjustments that will help you in aid…

Bill to Improve 529 Plans

Last month, a bill was introduced in Congress that would make some great changes to 529 plans. One of the best is this: it would allow account holders to roll up to $25,000 in leftover 529 plan funds into a Roth IRA with no taxes or penalty. There are some conditions, such as that the account must have been open…

Considering Different Offers

Since it’s college acceptance season, there are a lot of great articles out there about evaluating offers. Apologies for offering less original content here but reinventing the wheel doesn’t help. Here is a great article from the New York Times that will help you be a more informed consumer of your various offers.

Estimating Your EFC with the FAFSA

If college is in the near but not immediate future and you want to estimate your family’s EFC, you can use the FAFSA4caster here to do so. But if you want a more accurate estimate and you have your tax documents handy, use the actual 2014-2015 FAFSA worksheet to do it. That is available here. Make sure you use the…