Category Archives: Financial Aid

SAT Test Dates

Generally you are better off waiting to take the SAT until you’ve done enough test preparation to do the absolutely best you can. That’s because by the time junior or senior year rolls around, it can be tough to change your GPA by much, but even a little prep can make a big difference in test scores.

This year, however, many schools are asking students applying for early decision or early action to take the October or November test. That’s because SAT results have been coming out more slowly since the test changed, and later test dates are not likely to have scores available in time for ED or EA.

If you are thinking of applying ED or EA, now is a great time to check with the school about the latest SAT test date. And to get on some test prep before school hits full gear. You don’t want to find out that you don’t have time left to prepare.

Getting Money out of Your 529

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

Summer Jobs and FAFSA

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

Don’t be a Stealth Applicant

Stealth applicants are a buzzword in college admissions these days. What is a stealth applicant? It’s someone who applies to a school without ever having interacted with that school prior to the application. It’s become increasingly common as it’s become easier to get information about schools without interacting with them. But if you’re really Continue reading Don’t be a Stealth Applicant

Can You Use a Roth IRA for College? Should You?

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?

Colleges Still Have Openings for Fall ’17

Further confirming that college can be a buyer’s market, the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s annual College Openings Update: Options for Qualified Students (a list of schools still accepting applications after May 1) shows an increase in the number of schools still accepting applications compared with last year. In fact, the number has gone up every year since 2013; it increased by about 20% from 2016 to 2017. Continue reading Colleges Still Have Openings for Fall ’17

Dear Tyler & Isabella, Let’s Pick a College

Today’s post is written by a fellow fee-only advisor, Richard Freight, CFP®, EA, of IAM Financial, who is a father of two who will hopefully be college-bound. 

tyler and isabella

Dear Tyler & Isabella,

These are some of the things I want you to consider when choosing what and where to study in college…..

When the time comes for my son Tyler, and my daughter Isabella, to go to college, I image us having this wise and thoughtful conversation around the pros and cons of this Continue reading Dear Tyler & Isabella, Let’s Pick a College

Planning for College Cash Flow

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