Getting In Is Only Half The Battle

Archive for the ‘Paying For College’ Category

As parents are scrambling to figure out some way — any way to afford to send their kids to college, one idea that keeps popping up is the prepaid tuition savings plan.

Basically these plans let you snapshot today’s tuition rate and pay that tuition for your child’s college education down the road.

I found this nifty little how-to article about pre-paid tuition plans on Yahoo Finance.

From a parent’s perspective I always kind of shied away from the idea of pre-paid tuition because I have no idea where my elementary-aged children will want to go.

The Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal has an article about some shall we say different ideas for college financing.

The article covers the standard stuff about how parents should start early, but also has a few new suggestions that I haven’t seen much of before.

Such as:

  • Buying a house (let the student rent it out)
  • Business owners hiring their kids (just read the article)

The full text of the article can be found here.

Got any “out of the box” ideas for financing college yourself? Why not post them below?

The Chicago Tribute has an article about how the stimulus package has affected not only some of the rules for 529 college savings plans, but federal tax credits for college costs.

Basically, money from your 529 account can be used for a few more “college related” things, and some of the college tax credits have been expanded.

The full article can be found here.

Make sure you check the IRS website before you decide that a new car is a college related expense.

A high school senior wrote an article for the Great Falls Tribune about trying to bag some of that (mostly) free college money early. One of the biggest hints for landing some of that free college money? Getting off your butt early and trying to land some.

Among her other suggestions

  • Communicate with your counselors during your senior year
  • Once you have chosen a school, contact the financial aid department there.
  • Use online resources.
  • Fill out the FASFA. (It’s actually your parents who fill this one out)

The full article can be found here.


Reuters has an article(I actually think’s a press release) about “The State Of College Savings” survey which was released a few weeks ago. The conclusions are a little depressing, but not all that surprising. But on the plus side, 529 accounts are still the best savings vehicle for college around.


Forty-four percent of parents are “not very confident” that they will reach
their college savings goals, up from 31 percent in 2008; while the number of
parents who are “very confident” has plunged to 12 percent from 20 percent
last year.

The 2009 report doesn’t seem to be posted online yet.
But here’s the 2008 and 2007 versions.

The Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation has an article laying out the tax benefits of paying for college. Given how expensive tuition is and keeps getting it’s probably worth it to examine every possible tax break.

Some topics covered include:

  • Student Loan Interest Deduction
  • Tuition and Fees Deduction
  • Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits

I ran across this graphic on this morning. Hopefully you don’t have to run some calculation to see that there’s some value in going to college, but if you do this graphic is for you.

BONUS: The Pabst Blue Ribbon reference towards the bottom.

The full sized version is too big to post here
(I tried and didn’t like how it looked).

Click the picture to go to the full version.

Student Loans by the Numbers. published an article that talks about some pitfalls of relying too heavily on technology when trying to get accepted to a school, or more importantly when trying to figure out your EFC(Expected Family Contribution)


“Having a personal connection with a student, I’m more willing to go out on a limb for them,” said Wise, who is responsible for handling applications from youths in the City of Baltimore, including those involved with the city’s CollegeBound program. has a plethora of college finance related information.

You can start your research here.

Or maybe just read their first article.

The U.S. Department of Education has a whole site just for providing information about funding post high school education.

The guide is offered in both English and Spanish.

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