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”
I’ve probably said this before, but there are families staring down tuition payments for the first time right around now. Most families use a combination of savings, cash flow and borrowing to pay for college. The first two are reasonably straightforward; they’re yours, after all. Borrowing is more complicated, and chances are that if you have a high school student, you’re getting lots of mail about education loans that are available to you. Continue reading Borrowing: Where to Start
The federal Department of Education last week froze two Obama-era changes in student loan programs aimed to protect students against predatory for-profit schools. The first program allowed students to have their loan debt erased if the school acted fraudulently or otherwise cheated the student. The second program, known as the Gainful Employment Mandate, cut off federal loan funds for colleges whose graduates did not earn enough money to pay off their loans. The loan discharge rules were set to go into effect on July 1. Read more here.
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?
The AAUW recently released a report titled, “Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans.” The report points to a side effect of women’s increased educational attainment in recent decades: College-educated women hold a disproportionate share of outstanding student loan debt. While the AAUW’s report focuses on women, it points out that most historically under-served college populations have seen their share of the debt pie rise at a higher rate than their share of diplomas.
While women receive 57% of bachelor’s degrees from American colleges and universities, they hold about 2/3 of outstanding student debt. The report cites several reasons for this:
- Women take out larger loans on average than do men; the average accrued student debt upon attainment of a bachelor’s degree is $1,500 higher for women than for men.
- Women with college degrees earn an average of 26% less than do college-educated men, leaving them with less income available to repay loans.
- For-profit institutions– which tend to leave their graduates with the worst debt outcomes– enroll women and minorities at higher rates.
Anyone borrowing for college needs to keep their likely career and salary trajectory in mind when deciding how much to borrow. The report also includes some institutional and policy recommendations for helping maintain access to higher education without creating undue burdens on students and graduates. The full report is available here.
The May Treasury Note auction is done; one of its results is an increase in student loan interest rates for the coming school year. Direct student loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) disbursed between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, will carry an interest rate of 4.45%, up from 3.76% in the current year. PLUS loan interest rates went up as well: graduate student PLUS loans will be at 6% and Parent PLUS loans will be at 7%.
The interest rate increase means a student taking out the maximum direct loan for next year will pay about $3.50 per month in additional interest on a 10-year payment plan after graduation on that loan. (A number of factors might make that higher or lower, including whether a portion of the loan was subsidized and whether any payments were made during the school years.)
Parents might be wondering if they can wring a few more dollars out of the system at this year’s 6.31% rate. The answer is probably not– and the headaches of doing so would likely cost more than the interest savings. But you might inquire with your school’s financial aid office just in case.
Here is a list of all interest rates for the coming year, as well as a link to loan fees.
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.
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
In case you’re looking for any more reasons not to borrow a penny more than is necessary for college, this article from yesterday’s New York Times highlights three proposed regulatory changes that are likely to make student loans considerably riskier for borrowers.
This article in Forbes explains options the Department of Education is making available for FAFSA filers needing to get their income tax information in to schools or loan servicers.
I’m off to surgery tomorrow and wasn’t going to post anything until after that, but I thought you might need this info. See you in a week or two.
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