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How Much Can You Contribute to a 529?

That title was a trick. I’m actually going to write about how much you should contribute to a 529 first. Lately I’ve heard versions of the same question again and again: After a year of no travel, eating out or other activities, people are sitting on extra cash that they want to direct towards college. Many are wondering what’s the…

College Financial Literacy

Lew De Luca is the immensely helpful Student Financial Literacy and Advising coordinator at the University of Southern Connecticut. In that role, he helps students and families understand college costs and develop workable plans to minimize debt. In my latest podcast episode, he walked me through some of the key pieces of college financial literacy. His wisdom is available here…

When do you pay college costs?

I’d put this question on my top 10 list of frequently-asked questions. When are college costs actually due, and how do you pay them? Is that actually two questions? Your first college payment is the deposit which is paid when you accept admission on or before May 1. Usually this is a nominal (relative to college costs) amount, typically ranging…

Choosing a College, Sight Unseen

I would imagine that for many graduating seniors, one of the trickiest aspects of deciding which college to attend is that students have few, if any, opportunities to set foot on campus to get a feel for the school before they need to decide. And even if you are off doing spring break tours, what you’re seeing is not exactly…

Comparing Financial Aid Awards

We’re almost there: acceptance letters are arriving and the May 1 decision day is right around the corner. For most families, how much schools cost is part of the decision making process. But comparing award letters from different schools might seem like comparing apples to taco salad. The good news is, all offers need to show total cost of attendance,…