Most students and families don’t go into the college process intending to graduate with debt in the high five figures. So how does it happen? Here is a great article explaining common mistakes families make in the college planning process that lead to increased borrowing and debt loads.
Does your mailbox look like this each day?
If you have a college student, you (or they) probably received a form 1098-T. Schools are required to send this to any student who paid qualified higher education expenses. Here’s what you need to know about your 1098-T: Continue reading What’s a 1098-T?
The recent tax bill that went into effect this year included a change allowing parents to use up to $10,000 annually from a 529 account to pay for private high school expenses. Parents considering taking advantage of this provision should weigh another consideration besides whether or not they have saved enough in their 529 to pay for high school in addition to college: Does your state offer the same benefit? Continue reading 529s and Private High School Tuition
When it comes to negotiating and aid award, it’s helpful to understand both how the Professional Judgment (PJ) process works and how negotiating in general works.
With the PJ process, the school has a specific set of constraints and you must work within them. The Department of Education allows schools to make adjustments “on a case-by-case basis only to adjust the student’s cost of attendance or the data used to calculate her Continue reading Negotiating an Aid Award
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a nifty tool for comparing school costs or financial aid offers, here. As you get acceptance and financial aid offers, enter them into the site to get apples-to-apples comparisons of what you’ll pay and what you will owe upon graduation.
Those with some time left before college can use each school’s net price calculator or College Navigator to get estimates of schools’ financial aid offers. The calculator provides estimated costs for each school, and it allows you to enter your own resources including savings and cash flow, scholarships and work study. As you enter that data, it keeps a tab of how much you have left to pay (if the resources you’ve entered don’t cover the cost of attendance). When you add loans to meet that difference, it also calculates what you’ll owe upon graduation and your monthly payment on those loans.
Still haven’t filled out the FAFSA? There are plenty of reasons unrelated to your financial aid eligibility why you should. One of the big ones, from a parent perspective, is having some leverage over your student. I’ll call it the “Tattoo Rule” in honor of a friend and her college freshman daughter, who shall remain unnamed. Continue reading Tattoos and the FAFSA
Did you make a New Year’s resolution to save (or save more) for college? If so, you may be increasing the odds that your student will attend and graduate. Research shows that, across income levels, students who have savings designated for college are more likely to attend and graduate. Overall, the study showed that children who were “expected” to Continue reading College Savings and Education Outcomes
The final version of the tax bill has some changes to the education-related items that caused a bit of an uproar in previous versions. Here is a quick summary: Continue reading College and the Tax Bill
A financial aid package often includes work-study as one component. Typically the package includes a dollar sum of work-study income to be used for education costs. It’s up to the student to find a qualifying work-study job once they arrive on campus, and there is no guarantee that such a job is available. Continue reading Work Study