Q: I won’t qualify for financial aid. Do I need to fill out the FAFSA?
A: Yes! Regardless of whether you think you’re eligible for aid, you should complete the FAFSA. You have to complete it if you (or your student) intends to take out federal student loans, which are available to anyone regardless of need. If you have any intention of borrowing, the Direct Student Loan should be your starting point. Plus, some Continue reading FAFSA FAQs 2
Here is an article I wrote for another advisor’s site on college affordability.
Should you find yourself in the fortunate situation of having more 529 dollars available than needed, there are several things you can spend those dollars on that you might not have thought of: Continue reading 7 More Uses for 529 Funds
Many of you have already made your first tuition payment; apologies if this is coming too late! If you’re getting to the point of making college payments, you need to make sure the relevant bank accounts are attached to your 529 plan. If you’ve been contributing to the plan, it’s pretty likely that yours is already. But your student’s probably isn’t, and if you want money from the 529 distributed to them (here is a previous post on why you Continue reading Getting Money out of Your 529
The FAFSA’s new timing– fall instead of spring and prior-prior income year– means that many students’ summer jobs will have a bigger impact on their EFC. That’s because any amount of money they made that is still in their bank account when they fill out the FAFSA is an asset that will be assessed at 20%. (Remember, students don’t get an asset protection allowance.) Need-eligible families may want to consider a couple of steps to Continue reading Summer Jobs and FAFSA
One problem with a phrase like “rule of thumb” is that when you type it, it’s in your mind for long enough to seem extra weird. Setting that aside, a recent New York Times article has some good suggestions for simplifying the college savings process. Among them: Continue reading College Savings “Rules of Thumb”
Today’s post is written by a fellow fee-only advisor, Greg Phelps, CFP®, CLU®, AIF®, AAMS®, of Redrock Wealth Management.
Saving for a child’s college education is perhaps one of the most noble things a parent will ever do. It’s also one of the toughest financial goals to tackle, because similar to healthcare costs, college expenses have risen across the board at 5% per year. Continue reading Can You Use a Roth IRA for College? Should You?
Before you sign up, you have to figure out how you’re going to pay for college each year. The first step in figuring that out is confirming with the school what has to happen for your aid package to be renewed. Then, consider the additional costs that aren’t included in the award letter—travel to and from school, activities your student intends to participate in, spending money. With all of those items written down, you have a good sense of what you’ll actually spend each year. This may seem really elementary, but most Continue reading Planning for College Cash Flow
Here is an article I wrote for another advisor explaining how grandparents might be most effective in helping to pay their grandchildren’s college expenses. Should you be among those fortunate enough to have relatives willing to help, you might want to take a look.
Sallie Mae’s annual How America Pays for College report has some good news: In the 2015-2016 school year, the average amount families spent on college went down slightly, to $23,688. The biggest decline came on spending for 2-year colleges; families with students in 4-year schools reported spending about the same as in the previous year. In Continue reading How America Pays for College