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Saving & Paying

Ask the Experts: 529s

ICYMI, here is my conversation with Richard Ellis of my529. Some key takeaways: When looking for the “best” 529, start by checking if your state offers a tax benefit for contributions to its plan. If not, look for a plan that offers low-cost, diversified portfolios and low plan fees. Research has shown that students whose families have any amount of…

The FAFSA’s Asset Protection Allowance

If I were the betting type, I’d bet that the Asset Protection Allowance is the part of the FAFSA that gets the most attention. For this fall’s FAFSA, there’s a little bit of good news: It’s finally going up! This should be tempered by: Not by much! The Asset Protection Allowance is probably the strangest calculation in all of FAFSA…

Work-Study Cancellations

Lately I’ve heard from several families whose students have received revised financial aid awards that canceled or reduced their work-study. What does that mean? What should you do if this happens to you? Let’s start with what work-study is: an on-campus (generally, though some are private sector) job that is partially subsidized by the Department of Education. Schools love work-study…

What to do Right Now

I keep hearing variations on the theme of, “When things are uncertain, it’s helpful to have specific tasks to do.” So here is a to do list for you, sorted by your student’s age. Current College Student Check your course schedule to confirm if your in-person and online courses align such that you can get to both. Make sure you…