Questions tagged [college]

Questions related to saving and paying for a college education

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47
votes
8answers
16k views

Paying off debt and living within means vs. long term planning

My husband and I are divided as to the best way to handle our current financial situation. First, a little background. We are in our high 20’s, have been married for six years and have three kids. ...
46
votes
25answers
20k views

My parents claim they cannot pay for my college education; what are my options?

I have divorced parents, one makes a lot more money than the other, but that one (who makes more money) claims due to court rulings he pays a lot of money to the other parent and that they are wasting ...
37
votes
10answers
9k views

Should a high-school student invest their (relative meager) savings?

I am a high school student, I don't really have much money, between one and two grand in my savings account. However, I have friends who are investing in both penny stocks and stocks. I do not really ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

How will I pay for college?

The SAT is coming up soon for me and, with it, everything college. I had held the impression that I was just going to rack up student loans, go to college, and then pay them off with whatever job I ...
18
votes
4answers
820 views

529 College Savings Worth It?

Is the 529 college savings plan a good idea, or are there better ways to save for my child's college tuition? My children are 5 and 3.
16
votes
5answers
6k views

When paying for college, should I take out (interest-free) loans and pay them off with saved money, or use the saved money directly?

If I have money in various mutual funds / 529s / other college savings plans, would it be wise to take out interest-free loans for the duration of my education (in order to allow the money saved to ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

Does it make sense to “save” for college by paying off my mortgage?

Assumptions (using round numbers): Two children start college in 12 and 15 years. Currently saving $400/month in a college savings fund earning ~2%. (Some in a taxable account, some in a Coverdell.) $...
10
votes
1answer
713 views

How to create a college savings account for a kid without his mom being able to tap into it?

I am divorced with 2 kids. My mom wants to setup a college savings account of some type for my older kid. Last time she did this, she used my kid's SSN and deposited some money. I do not know what ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Do I still need to pay college I owe money to even when they are no longer operating/shutdown?

Few years ago I attended this college in NH, USA. I owed them about $5,000 for courses and housing. Since I couldn't afford to pay for the next semester, I stopped going to that school. About 4 ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Would it be beneficial to not claim my daughter as a dependent so that she can qualify for a Pell Grant?

I am in the position of making enough money so that my daughter does not qualify for a Pell Grant. However, due to financial issues (primarily stemming from past medical expenses) I am not able to ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Using a Roth IRA instead of a college savings account

This might be a foolish idea, and if it is please tell me why. Last night I got the idea that it might be a good idea to invest the money that I'm saving for my children in a Roth IRA in their name. ...
9
votes
2answers
812 views

How do Roth IRAs compare to Traditional IRAs for college savings?

I have seen some web pages and blog posts about using a Roth IRA instead of a 529 savings account to save for college costs as a way to have more flexibility with the investment and its returns. With ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How should I save for college if I have 10 years and a lump sum of money?

I have roughly 10 years until my kids go to college. How should I save for them if I have a lump sum of money (say $10K for discussion). I ask because I've heard good things about an ESA (I think ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the child responsible for the Parent PLUS Loan when the parent has passed away?

Is the child responsible for the Direct Parent PLUS Loan when the loan is under the parent that has passed away? Specifically by the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.
8
votes
2answers
269 views

How much is college / university projected to cost in the U.S. in 18 years?

[Moderator note: A similar question was recently asked with respect to Canada. This is an important enough question warranting treatment for the U.S. as well.] How much is college / university ...
8
votes
2answers
286 views

How should I go about investing/saving for my children's college education?

I have 2 kids (10 and 6) and I was thinking about putting money away for them (for college, for instance). I've looked at various options and the more I look, the more I am confused with the array of ...
8
votes
1answer
662 views

What is a good strategy for an over-funded 529 account?

Given a situation where there is an abundance of funds in a 529 account for the current educational situation, what is a clean strategy for getting the money out with minimal taxation? This over-...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

College student - I'm a 'dependent' and my parents won't apply for the Parent PLUS loan or cosign a private loan

This is currently happening to a friend. She is 19 years old and doesn't qualify as an 'independent' on the FAFSA. Her parents refuse to apply for the Parent PLUS loan and also refuse to cosign for a ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

New or Used Car Advice for Recent College Grad

I am a recent college grad living in Los Angeles with a current salary of $35,000 at one job and an internship at the other. I used to drive a great 93 Honda Accord, but after 365,000 miles (my dad ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How to prevent college financial aid from being affected by my internship salary

I'm a student at Cornell University, which has a fairly good financial aid policy that provides me with free tuition. The yearly fees are prohibitively high for my family, essentially more that what ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

What is a good 5-year plan for a college student with $15k in the bank?

I have 15K in a USA Midwest bank called TCF. I am a college student, and after working at some internships I saved up some cash. I currently have the money in a savings account called "TCF® Premier ...
7
votes
2answers
145 views

College Planning specialists

I went to a 'free' seminar tonight regarding college planning, how to get the most financial aid possible, etc. It turned out to be a financial planner who specializes in college financial planning. ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

Can I pay $20 on my credit card daily?

Here's the scenario, I'm new to credit card and I'm a college student. I need to buy laptop for Fall Semester and my credit card limit is $800. The laptop that I want to buy is $700. If I purchase the ...
6
votes
4answers
532 views

Best way to repay parents for college

I am at a point where I can start repaying my parents for college. Is there any financially beneficial/smart way I can/should go about doing this? Or is using taxed income and mailing a check to them ...
6
votes
2answers
336 views

How can a 529 plan help me save for my child's college education?

How can a 529 plan help me save for my kid's college education? Who offers 529 plans? Are there any special restrictions or conditions on these plans that I should know about?
6
votes
1answer
1k views

My parent claimed me as a dependent on their 2012 taxes. Do I have to claim their income on my FAFSA?

I'm 24 and I'm now living on my own and working. However, my parent claimed me for 2012 as a dependent. How will this affect my FAFSA? Will I have to claim my parent's income?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

529 Plans vs Coverdell ESA

I was recently introduced to ESAs (did not know they even existed), and am trying to decide if I want to open an ESA or a 529 account. I was attracted to the ESA initially because it looks like you ...
6
votes
1answer
603 views

Long term investing on behalf of newborn

I have some gifts from friends and family for my newborn daughter. I would like to invest these but I don't know what is the best way. 529 plans spring to mind but I don't know what the educational ...
5
votes
4answers
367 views

What are some ways to save for a child's education?

My brother just asked me this question: he currently has a son that is three years old. What are some ways to save for his son's education? What are the pros and cons of each way? How much should ...
5
votes
2answers
131 views

In state 529 plan, out of state college?

Do you have to open a 529 plan for the state that you live in? and if you do, can your child go to college in any state and still use the money saved?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do (United States) 529 college savings plans work for attending college in another country?

I've been looking into 529 plans for my son (3 yrs old) but he has dual citizenship (US and Canadian). It is possible that he might attend college in Canada. I've look around for information on ...
5
votes
1answer
203 views

Saving money in college while paying for college

I am currently attending college. I am working internships while not in school and making good money compared to a typical minimum wage job while at college. I am going for my bachelor's in ...
5
votes
1answer
403 views

Can I roll a College 529 education savings plan into a prepaid tuition plan?

I currently have college savings in a 529 plan (New Hampshire). Recently, Texas started the Texas Tuition Promise Fund which is a prepaid college savings plan. I would like to roll the money I have ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

Can I personally start and use a 529 college savings account?

I am still a college student, and I am currently working. I am taking out loans for my tuition costs and paying for the rest of my expenses out of pocket (from my job). Yet I was wondering if I could ...
5
votes
2answers
406 views

How much money from a 529 college savings plan can be applied towards rent when a university offers several tiers of accommodation?

I attend university in the United Kingdom but have a 529 college savings plan in the United States. As I understand it, money from this plan can be used to cover my off-campus housing expenses. ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I leave my full time job to finish school quicker? [closed]

I currently have a well paying full time job as a web developer, I am also currently going to college part time taking about 6 credits per semester. At this rate it will take me much longer to finish ...
4
votes
2answers
256 views

Do I have to tell the IRS that I was a student?

I know this question seems backwards, because most people obviously want to tell the IRS that they were students so that they can get a bigger tax refund. However, my wife and I were very fortunate ...
4
votes
2answers
739 views

What are the rules on overfunding a 529 college savings account?

I read somewhere that overfunding a 529 account could be subject to taxes and a 10% penalty. Does anyone know how this works? Obviously, it is very difficult to predict the tuition costs 10 or 15 ...
4
votes
2answers
548 views

Do adult student's retirement accounts affect financial aid?

Does anybody know whether, for financial aid purposes, colleges (2 or 4 year) will look at an adult student's 401(k)/IRA/pension or other retirement assets when determining financial aid? Please ...
4
votes
2answers
235 views

Will having savings and investments count against my kids' college financial aid?

I have a fairly modest income (closer to the poverty line than median income), but because we live abroad, we're able to live comfortably and save responsibly. We max out our IRA contributions every ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Saving for College via Upromise, ideal 529 plan?

So I have a upromise account, had one for quite a while. I have some money sitting there now and I need to get it transferred out. I'm thinking a 529 plan, and when I go to set it up, theres a long ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Is it possible to defer income for a child's education

I have a 16 year old who will be going to college soon. I received a job offer that I have not accepted yet and it includes an annual bonus. Before accepting the offer I wanted to find out what ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

How do I account for federal and state (NE) taxes to cash out a UTMA for a minor for college?

My son has lived with my mom for about 15 years as a guardian. She setup an UTMA account in Nebraska. She and her husband owned a farm and have done their taxes every year. My step dad passed away in ...
4
votes
1answer
618 views

Can I use 529 plan funds to pay for a CLEP test? How about CLEP test preparation materials?

Can I use 529 funds to pay for a CLEP test? How about CLEP test preparation materials? Title pretty much says it all.
4
votes
1answer
128 views

How to determine if a school is 529 eligible

How can I determine if a particular educational institution is eligible for 529 college savings plans? I found a tool which claims to tell whether schools are eligible but I am not sure if this site ...
4
votes
2answers
86 views

What are some sites that offer decent deals on college textbooks?

Textbooks are quite expensive these days. I know of half.com, but I don't know of anything else.
3
votes
3answers
278 views

How can I minimize the costs of using paper checks?

I'm a college student, and much as I prefer doing my banking online, I often need to use paper checks for things like paying the rent, splitting bills with roommates, random university fees not ...
3
votes
2answers
260 views

Paying Off Student Debt Quickly

I'm 19 and transferred to a university. I left my community college with no debt. At my university due to my living situations I need to work full time. With that being said I have to have the vast ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

Military Separation

I am 22 years old and in the midst of separating from the Marines. I need some advice on how to manage my assets and best prepare for my future. In the last year I began playing around with ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Is there a standard or best practice way to handle money from an expiring UTMA account?

I have recently turned 21, and the UTMA account that held my college fund is being turned over to me. I have no serious experience with personal finance or investing, and I just don't know what to do ...