Review Category : College

How To Get That College Graduate Out Of The House

Now that your baby is all grown up and has an official college degree, your responsibilities have ended, right?  Wrong!  Your son or daughter has informed you that that they will be moving home after college while they prepare themselves for their next phase in life. According to The Guardian, almost a third of Italian adults (31%) live with their parents.  The highest proportion was amongst 18 to 29 year olds for whom unemployment is particularly high with 60.7% reported living at home.  Are we taking over the Italians?   Last year, NPR reported that a whopping 32.1% of kids aged 18 to 34 were living at home with Mom and Dad. Here are four tips to get that college graduate off the couch and launching into real life. Use Social Media…Yes, Social Media – In order to get your college graduate up and working in a real job, you have to make them treat getting a job like a job. ...

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One BIG 2017 Georgia 529 Plan Change For College

As the cost continues to rise for college education, the state of Georgia is stepping up for the residents of Georgia and offering a new increased tax deduction that can really help Georgia taxpayers. All Georgia single taxpayers may deduct up to $2,000 each year on behalf of any beneficiary regardless of their annual income. Beginning with returns filed in 2017, all Georgia joint taxpayers may now deduct up to $4,000 each year on behalf of any beneficiary regardless of their annual income. Please note that a transfer of funds from another state’s 529 plan is not eligible for the Georgia income tax deduction. Georgia tax forms refer to the Path2College 529 Plan as the “Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan” (GHESP); the Path2College 529 Plan is established by the GHESP. Contributions made during the tax year, or before the following year’s federal tax filing deadline are eligible for the deduction. State tax benefits offered in connection with the Path2College 529 ...

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VIDEO: What To Do With FAFSA?

Most people relish the idea of figuring out how to get some free aid to help their families when it comes to taking care of college education. However, year in and year out, families make multiple mistakes when it comes to filling out the Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA). This year, FAFSA has made multiple changes that need your attention to ensure your family has the best opportunity to reach your goal of getting some cash. Here are the smart money moves you need to know… Read Full Article at: http://bit.ly/2f1M7jN ...

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Five Important Things You NEED To Know About FAFSA

Most people relish the idea of figuring out how to get some free aid to help their families when it comes to taking care of college education.  However, year in and year out, families make multiple mistakes when it comes to filling out the Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA).  This year, FAFSA has made multiple changes that need your attention to ensure your family has the best opportunity to reach your goal of getting some cash.  Here are the smart money moves you need to know: The Start Date Is Much Earlier Applications officially can be filed October 1st – January 1st This is a permanent change within the FAFSA system. It Will Much More Simple For Pulling Tax Information FAFSA will now use a ‘prior-prior’ method. This means that they will really be using two years prior to give everyone a chance to fully complete their tax extension. Students applying for 2017-2018 tax year which would be the ...

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Why Do College Education Costs Defy Gravity?

In the homes of parents today in their 40’s and 50’s, the debate about how to pay for the rising cost of college has become the topic of conversation.  It isn’t just the fact that while the Government says inflation remains really low, most parents are experiencing that cash flow management is becoming more of a problem than asset management.   So, why do college education costs continue to defy gravity in this low inflation environment. More Non-Teaching Jobs – Higher education payrolls have also been rapidly adding more non-teaching jobs in recent years. Public and private colleges and universities expanded their payrolls by 28 percent between 2000 and 2012, more than 50 percent faster than the previous decade, according to an analysis of higher education staffing by the Delta Cost Project. There are more student programs offered on big campuses, continuing to increase the necessity of these non-teaching positions. Competition For Talent – Ultimately, price is dictated by the law ...

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Six Gifts Under $100 For The College Graduate

With high school and college graduation right around the corner, one of the big questions you may be asking to what to buy your graduate on their special day.  You can certainly splurge on a fancy dinner, but there are some really cool ideas out there for less than a $100.  Here is my short smart money moves guide to graduation day. Get Them A Budget- www.youneedabudget.com (YNAB) will only cost you $60, but could help your graduate save thousands for the years to come.  Think about whether or not you want them to me moving home.  The sooner they learn good budgeting habits, the better of you will be. Netflix Subscription- There are all kinds of different subscriptions you can get including Amazon Prime, but if since many young adults are skipping TV altogether, this can be an excellent low cost idea to give them for their first real year on their own. The Dollar Shave Club- For just ...

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How To Survive Planning For Retirement and College At The Same Time

For Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers the quandary that faces them smack in the face is the juggling act of planning to pay for their kids’ college education while also socking money away for retirement.   Was it that 25 years ago this was an easy task or has the never ending spike in college education costs officially pressured parents in the corner of their financial house?  While these waters are tricky to navigate, here are my four smart money moves to stay on the balancing beam of this difficult financial routine. Set Realistic Goals- This is probably the single most important step in the routine.  You must sit your children down and be absolutely transparent around what is and what is not possible for your financial situation.  Don’t get their hopes up to attend an out of state private college institution if you know that you cannot afford it or it will cost them an arm and leg for debt.   ...

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What Is The Best College To Go To In The Future?

Overview I have been asking for years in my ‘your smart money moves’ column if we could really put a monetary value on a college education.  The great debate over public school vs. private school on the high school level will continue because there isn’t a ton of empirical data, but thanks to our friends at PayScale (www.payscale.com), there is beginning to be a lot more evidence around what school really delivers a bang for your buck.   We all know that past performance cannot be a guarantee for the future, but there is a set of trending data that makes it interesting to see what schools in the future will deliver you return on your investment if you choose to take out student debt or your parent’s fork over the cash for a college education. PayScale provides a forecast for the financial return on investment (College ROI) for a bachelor’s degree at public and private colleges through the year 2025. ...

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What Every Student Needs To Know About Student Loans As They Graduate

Now that the graduation speeches have commenced, many college graduates will be embarking on their 1st job in the official workforce.   According to the USA Today, student loan debt has increased a whopping 84% since the 2008 recession and has now exceeded more than 1.2 trillion dollars.   With the average student debt payment around $280 a month, here are some facts and figures all students should know about their student loans as they graduate. Know Your Grace Period This is how long you can wait for repayment although you can start repaying automatically Six months for Stafford Loans Nine months for Federal Perkins Loans Other loans such as PLUS loans will vary loan to loan Understand Your Loans National Student Loan Data System (www.nslds.ed.gov) will be the central place to look at all of your loans Determine your federal loan balance Track down all private loans so you can compile one master loan spreadsheet At some point, you might consider ...

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I Took A College Course In My Car

Living in Atlanta almost my whole life, I have seen the traffic get worse each year.  After the 1996 Olympics, the city just seemed to get really big and really spread out.  The amount of time Atlanta drivers have to spend in their cars is on the rise.  The metro Atlanta average commute is 28.7 minutes, with some areas over 40 mins.  A study by Harvard Health Watch found that the average American spends 37,935 hours driving a car in their lifetime. Cranking Radar Love by Golden Earring on the stereo can be fun on occasion, but I thought I should take advantage of this wasted car time.  Why not feed my brain on the way to my next appointment or commute.  There are a number of online programs that you can pay for, or you can chose to get some free podcasts from Open Education Database: http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/skip-the-tuition-100-free-podcasts-from-the-best-colleges-in-the-world/ What do you do during your wasted car time? Written by: Van Pappas ...

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FREE Always Comes With A Significant Cost

The President recently announced his intention to get a proposal through Congress that would make two years of community college ‘free’ for students.  Of course, the plan doesn’t have an actual price tag attached to it yet.  I guess it may not matter because all we do know is that it would be ‘significant’ if some 9 million students across all 50 states would benefit with an average bill of close to $4,000 per child. I am personally not for this proposal, but here are some potential thoughts on some pros and cons of creating this new type of free schooling proposition: CONS: Doesn’t solve the real problem:  The real issue is the runaway freight train of college costs.  We already have well over 50 colleges and universities that more than a 1 billion dollar endowment.   And, these are supposed to be non-profit organizations, right?  There’s an oxymoron if I have ever heard one. Will needy children actually benefit?:  Most ...

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Do You Know About The Academic Common Market?

College education is clearly one of the largest financial challenges amongst families in their financial plan today. Parents unfortunately often don’t devise a quality game plan or research all of their options until the 11th hour when their first child goes to college. In fact, many parents inaccurately fill out their FAFSA forms because they don’t research the questions and the actual underlying answers that FAFSA is actually asking for when you fill out the forms. More and more, parents are encouraging children to attend an in state school in an effort to make college costs reasonable. However, one way parents can potentially cut their college tuition costs and have their children attend out of state school is to research the academic common market. Consider this for a moment. The states surrounding you have a similar issue as the state you live in now. They are getting more and more in state applications, and that creates considerable risk to have ...

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The Rising Cost Of A College Application

We see so much in the news today about the rising cost of college education and the crushing statistics around student debt.   These sobering figures are giving much cause for consternation around whether the cost of an elite college education is really worth the price of admission.  Just the other day, I shared with a young couple that to put their newborn through a fully funded elite private school education would require them to save almost $1,000 per month!   Although there is much debate about college education, hardly at all does anyone discuss the costs of just applying to get to that college education.   With application fees being another boon for colleges, here are some smart money moves figures you need to plan for within your family budget as your child prepares for the application process. Application Fees– With a school like Harvard that received over 35,000 applications @ $75 a pop, it represented over 2 million in application fees ...

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Why Wouldn’t Student Loans Be Forgiven?

Last week I was invited on to NBC 11 Alive news in Atlanta to discuss this recent article (http://cnb.cx/1ubs042) that shared a study where it was discovered that 24% of all Millennials expect that their student loans will ultimately be forgiven.   That’s a downright scary statistic.  One in four of the kids who are borrowing money to pay for their current college education expect that they won’t have to repay the very debt that they borrow.   How can this be?  Isn’t this generation the most educated of all time?   What is going on in America?   Here is my smart money moves take on the details and where this is headed. First things first, I’m not really sure at all why we are surprised by this sentiment.   Back in the real estate crash of 2007 & 2008, how many people simply handed over the keys to their properties, walked away from their homes, and came out unscathed by never fulfilling their ...

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Do Ivy Leaguers Get Better Rates For Loans

As most of know, student debt is becoming the new silent killer for generation Y.   People in their 20’s and 30’s may need to find different alternatives on how to pay off their student debt or even how to refinance the debt.   Programs seem to be popping up all over the internet and I recently had the chance to interview Mike Cagney, CEO and Chairman of SoFi which is a company who can help with figuring out your student debt and more. If you need to refinance your student loans, SoFI (www.sofi.com) has some really cool programs: Fixed rates can start as low as 3.63% and variable rates even lower.  SoFi has its own specific underwriting process that allows them to be more selective with the types of students it loans to currently.   Think about it.  Better school, consistent job, etc. might mean you have a much better ability to pay back the lender. Unemployment protection is an excellent feature ...

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Selling Jewelry to Help Pay for College

Over the years I have met people who have sold their jewelry for hundreds of different reasons from saving the rain forests and donating to charities, to paying medical bills and forming a new business. We have helped clients pay for weddings and divorces, debt relief, retirement and to help family members in financial need. I can relate to all of these life events, but as a father, the one I relate to most easily is paying for my children’s education. We have helped many graduates pay off the debt that they have acquired while getting an education. We have also helped many parents and grandparents contribute to 529 plans – a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to help save for future college costs. Jewelry proceeds that are invested early have the time to grow tax free within a 529 plan and jewelry sold today, to pay down debt that could’ve accrued over the years, presents a much better financial footing ...

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Social Media May Be Your Best Freshman Class

It’s likely that students starting college in September have spent the past four years of their lives become experts at social media mediums including Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr. Without ever taking a class on social media, these platforms are indelibly integrated in the way an 18 year old communicates with their friends and family. In 1987, I didn’t even have a computer to bring to Boston College with me. Rather than give advice on student loans, budgeting, and other financial topics, I’d like to encourage the upcoming freshmen going to college to expand their social media networks and learn how to use these platforms to build their future. You see, it’s simple that life teaches you it’s not what you know but who you know that will ultimately get you further in life. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to become an excellent student, but rather leverage your expertise and begin to build your networks out today so when you ...

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Learn The Term ‘Delayed Gratification’

With the average recent graduate in 2014 accumulating almost $30,000 in student debt, now is not the time to spend money on purchases you do not need. The moment a new college graduate starts earning an income, it will generally be more net cash flow coming into their household than they have ever seen before in their lives. Often, this new found cash flow can burn a hole in the pocket of new college graduate. Spending a ton of cash to take a huge car loan on a nice sports car, taking too fancy a vacation, or even buying a new home when you aren’t ready for all the ancillary expenses can pile debt higher and deeper before student loans are paid off. Incurring more debt after your enormous student debt is a very bad idea. Now is the time to take stock of exactly where you are with each and every loan. You should access the National Student Loan ...

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Can Your Student Loans Be Forgiven?

Last week, I did an interview with Lynn Berry about how new college graduates should handle student debt.   With the average debt approaching $30,000 per college graduate, many students are wondering about the best methodologies to deal with this issue as they begin their careers.   Saying “I Forgive You” is never easy and here are my smart money moves on how some of your student loan debt can be forgiven. Public Loan Service Forgiveness Program- The PSLF Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after they have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full time by certain public service employers. (source: studentaid.ed.gov)   The idea under this program is similar to what some public employer’s do with an MBA program.  You work for us for a period of time (generally a minimum ...

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Five Things To Buy At Five Below

My oldest daughter absolutely loves Five Below.   This is the store where essentially everything is five dollars or less and is really geared for that tweener group as a base consumer.   Often, when we bring our kids to a flea market, dollar store, or places like Five Below, you still have teach them about how to be a smart shopper and find the really good deals.   Here are five of my favorite smart money move purchases to make if you go to Five Below. Candy- Yes, I said candy.   You are going to need to buy candy somewhere, and there are plenty of $1 per box candy deals available at Five Below.   More of the drugstore chains, Wal Mart, and other stores are recognizing that people have home movie theaters and that has really driven down the price of a box of candy.  Never, never pay full price for Milk Duds againJ Case Protectors- These are amongst the best deals ...

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How Do You Get In State Tuition At An Out Of State School?

The cost for college education continues to rise at a blistering pace.  Although tuition and fees can vary widely amongst colleges and universities, the cost for tuition and fees for the 2013-2014 school year was $30,094 at private colleges.    For in state schools it was $8,893 and $22,203 for out of state students at public schools.   That doesn’t include housing and meals which ran another $10,000 on average and books and school supplies that were about $1,200.   Considering these factors, is the only answer to send your child to an in state school?   Not necessarily.   Here are some ideas on how to get your child in state tuition to an out of state school. By the way, the answer we aren’t searching for is to change your children’s address to a relative that lives in the state where you want your child to go to school.  What the real smart money moves are about, is gaining a better understanding of ...

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