Archives by Month

February 2015

College Tax Credits and Divorce

Divorced parents are probably already well aware that the financial piece of planning for college is mystifying at best. With tax season upon us, divorced parents planning to claim one of the available college tax credits– American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit– need to know that the credit is only available to the parent who claims the student…

529 Plans and AMT

Many two-income Oregon families end up owing AMT due to our two-legged tax “stool.” That’s because, absent sales tax, we pay higher income and property taxes. For most non-1%-ers who end up owing AMT, state taxes are the biggest add-back item in the AMT calculation.* That means that if you’re paying AMT, a 529 plan contribution can be doubly beneficial. Without…

Trends in College Pricing

The College Board’s 2014 Trends in College Pricing report highlights some interesting points about the cost of attending college. One item stood out in particular to me: While average published prices increased from the 2013-2014 to 2014-2015 school year in all higher ed sectors (by 2.9% for four-year public in-state, 3.3% for four-year public out-of-state, and 3.7% at four-year private non-profits), average net…

Pell Grants for 2015-2016

One of the great things about filling out the FAFSA is, you become eligible for all the federal aid that’s out there. Pell Grants are one form of aid that many people are surprised to find they’re eligible for. Pell Grants are awarded on a strict need basis. However, because of the way the aid formulas work, a middle-class family…