Getting In Is Only Half The Battle

Archive for the ‘Saving For College’ Category

Paying For College Without Debt Screenshot

Click the screencap to go to the video (you have to sit through a 10 second ad).

If you just want to read the copy go here.

So you’ve scrimped and saved and finally your young one is off at the learning institution of their choice. But, when that first bill comes what’s the best way to tap into ye olde 529 account? The earning on a 529 account are supposed to accrue tax free when used for appropriate higher education expenses, so you want to be sure to do this right. Nothing will ruin that empty nest faster than a visit from the tax man.

The College Money Guru (aka Joe Hurley) over at has an article about how to tap into your 529 funds and keep the tax man happy.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the part about why it might not be such a hot idea to have your 529 funds send directly to the school (very bottom of article).

Following up on yet another article I posted a few days ago, the Wall Street Journal has published an article laying out some positive changes the Obama administration has in store for 529 accounts.

529s are working as planned, with many middle class families participating. The Obama administration, or accurately the Treasury Department is looking to increase participation in 529 plans. They plan on doing this by encouraging funds with lower fees (index funds) for starters.

Good News. I’ll take it.

So in addition to your IRA, 401K, and just about every other investment tanking, now the New York Times published an article this weekend about some of the problems that prepaid college tuition plans are feeling.

I always thought of the state sponsored prepaid tuition plans as totally safe investments. However, the NYT article is discussing some things like plans adding new fees, closing to new investors, and in one case a state is developing a “doomsday scenario” for their fund.

The entire article can be found here.

Here’s a bit of a follow-up on an article I posted a few days ago on new ideas for college financing. College is so expensive that it really dwarfs just about anything else you might buy except a house.

My first post linked to one measly little article with a couple of ideas. Well here’s a whole lot more, and I actually think that these have a whole lot better chance of paying off.

First off we have “Nine Unique Way To Pay For College”. This article outlines several way to make money ONLINE. None of this stuff is exactly easy, but requires some hustle and might very well not pay off, but if can find a niche, your odds improve greatly.

  1. Blogging (haha, I’ll let you know how this one is working)
  2. AdSense
  3. Help others find jobs
  4. Videos
  5. Freelance
  6. Games
  7. Paid Reviews
  8. Stock Photography
  9. eBay

Next, we have’s 7 alternative ways to pay for college. This article is really about reducing your expenditures than making money for college per se. These ideas are imminently doable. For example, I’ve known probably a dozen friends who did their first 2 years at California Junior Colleges and then transferred to a regular 4-year University.

  1. Accelerate your degree
  2. Be a transfer student
  3. Go where you’re wanted
  4. Choose a tuition-free school
  5. Get a sponsor
  6. Lock in tuition
  7. Work off debt with community service

And rounding out our little trifecta here we have Kiplinger’s with a article called Smart Ways To Pay For College. Some of the ideas from this article are repeats of the previous, but there are at least 2 new suggestions as well. It’s worth a quick read.

The bottom line here is that there’s some non-traditional way to make money for school as well as non-traditional (and MUCH less expensive) paths to that degree. Keep informed and come up with a plan and start executing EARLY. Nobody is going to go out of their way to do this stuff for you.

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.


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. has a plethora of college finance related information.

You can start your research here.

Or maybe just read their first article.

Subscribe to
Theme Provided By: Wordpress Themes