Back to School

With school back in session in most of the country, many parents are likely thinking about how best to prepare for their children’s future college expenses. Now is a good time to sharpen one’s pencil for a few important lessons before heading back into the investing classroom to tackle the issue. THE CALCULUS OF PLANNING FOR FUTURE COLLEGE EXPENSES According to recent data published by The College Board, the annual cost of attending college in 2015–2016 averaged $19,548 at public schools, plus an additional $14,483 if one is attending from out of state. At private schools, tuition and fees averaged…

New Rules for College Campus-Sponsored Debit and Prepaid Credit Cards

The Department of Education has issued new rules for campus-sponsored debit and prepaid credit cards that are directly linked to financial aid disbursements. While many financial institutions have partnerships with colleges to market these products as financial aid tools, consumer groups argue that they sometimes come at a high cost to students. As a result, the Department of Education issued rules to take effect in July that offer protections to students using these types of products. What are college campus-sponsored debit and prepaid credit cards? Once tuition and fees are paid, many students receive the remainder of their financial aid…

ABCs of Financial Aid

It’s hard to talk about college without mentioning financial aid. Yet this pairing isn’t a marriage of love, but one of necessity. In many cases, financial aid may be the deciding factor in whether your child attends the college of his or her choice or even attends college at all. That’s why it’s important to develop a basic understanding of financial aid before your child applies to college. Without such knowledge, you may have trouble understanding the process of aid determination, filling out the proper aid applications, and comparing the financial aid awards that your child receives. But let’s face…

Saving for College

Almost daily, I read articles and internet posts warning that our children will be a generation crippled by the soaring cost of attending college. Nearly 70% of 2013 graduating seniors had student loans with an average of $28,400. From 2004/05 – 2014/15 college tuition and fees for a public four-year university rose on average, 3.50% above inflation. It is likely that your child will have to borrow some funds for college. Hopefully, with the aid of the right long term plan, there is a way to minimize this burden so our children will not be hobbled by student debt as they start…