college http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1489/all en-US 8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/african_woman_sitting_at_an_exam_in_college.jpg" alt="African woman sitting at an exam in college" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you have never been to college, have some college credits from many years ago, or simply need to retool your education for a career change, there is much to be gained from going back to school. However, adult learners face a lot of risk factors that lead to dropping out before finishing a degree; things such as family obligations, financial shortcomings, and a tendency to attend school part time.</p> <p>With college costs steadily growing, the stakes are high; attending school without finishing a degree program could mean dealing with a mountain of debt and no job to help pay it off. Before diving into a degree or certificate program, do your homework to give yourself the best chance of success as an adult learner.</p> <h2>1. Choose a school that accommodates adult learners</h2> <p>One challenge adult learners face is feeling like they don't fit in with the much younger students on campus. Some find that the counseling services the school offers do not make sense for their situation in life. To avoid this problem, seek out a school that actively recruits older students.</p> <p>LendEdu ranks the <a href="https://lendedu.com/blog/colleges-for-adult-learners/" target="_blank">25 best colleges for adult learners</a>, taking into account factors such as on-campus child care, weekend classes and flexibility, and affordability. Its most recent list gives the top-ranking position to Delaware's Wilmington University, a private college that offers a wide range of professional certificate programs in addition to degrees.</p> <h2>2. Consider credit transferability when choosing a school</h2> <p>Another way the best schools accommodate nontraditional students is by accepting credits from other institutions. If you have earned prior credits from an educational institution, get an idea of how many would be accepted toward your new degree. Figure this out before enrolling, because the more credits that will transfer, the faster and cheaper your degree will be.</p> <h2>3. Choose a major that will help you reach your goals</h2> <p>Some 18-year-olds are OK with spending a couple of years in college finding themselves before focusing on a major that will lead to a specific career. Adults, not so much.</p> <p>A recent report from the University of Texas showed that the choice of academic major was the biggest factor in determining how much graduates from UT earned. In fact, your major appears to matter more than how good a school you get into, the report says.</p> <p>&quot;[G]raduates who majored in architecture and engineering at a UT System open-access college have median earnings that are higher than 61 percent of all UT System graduates at selective colleges,&quot; the report reads. After architecture and engineering, the highest earning major categories for UT students were computers, statistics, and mathematics; followed by health, then business. The lowest-earning majors were in the arts, psychology and social work, and biology and life sciences.</p> <p>Of course, you can't just blindly choose a major based on how much money graduates make. It also has to be a good match for you. Take an online assessment or work with a career consultant to figure out what field best matches your strengths.</p> <h2>4. Tap a range of funding sources</h2> <p>Don't assume that because you're an adult, you won't qualify for aid. In fact, there is no age limit for receiving federal student aid in the form of grants, loans, and work-study programs. There are also scholarships for adult learners, such as the Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarship, reserved for students age 35 or older. If you are or have been in the military, there are a host of <a href="https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/military" target="_blank">student financial aid programs for veterans and military personnel</a>. Also, find out if your employer pays for continuing education; many workplaces will fund entire degrees for employees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-17-companies-will-help-you-repay-your-student-loan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 17 Companies Will Help You Repay Your Student Loan</a>)</p> <p>Once you have exhausted every avenue for funds you don't have to pay back, look into using your own assets for school as well. Although you should always proceed with caution when tapping into retirement accounts, it is possible in some circumstances to withdraw money from retirement accounts to pay educational expenses penalty free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA</a>)</p> <h2>5. Investigate online or hybrid programs</h2> <p>Going to school around a busy schedule of work and family makes online college a popular choice. You can often watch lectures on your own schedule and avoid wasting time traveling to and from a campus. You can try many online courses for free &mdash; usually without credit &mdash; to see if online learning works for you. Check the <a href="https://www.edx.org/" target="_blank">courses listed at edX</a>, for example.</p> <p>A growing program type that appeals to many nontraditional students is the hybrid model, which combines online lectures with some classroom time for discussion. For instance, Northwestern University offers hybrid graduate programs aimed at professionals, which combines online lectures with a limited number of on-campus seminars.</p> <h2>6. Take your exams early</h2> <p>If you need to take the LSAT for law school, the GRE for graduate school, the GMAT for business school, or even the SAT, sit for it well in advance of school application deadlines. This takes a bit of the pressure off; when you know you have time to retake the test if necessary, you can relax and do your best.</p> <h2>7. Make a plan to balance life, work, and school</h2> <p>It could be that many adult learners end up dropping out because they mistakenly assumed they would somehow &quot;find time&quot; for coursework. Even if you start slow, going to school is like a part-time job, and you must allocate the hours to make it happen. Finding the hours might mean cutting back on work, eliminating a pleasurable activity such as watching TV, or dropping out of organized activities such as a sports team. One activity you cannot borrow hours from without negative consequences is sleep.</p> <p>It's also important to make sure family members, friends, and even coworkers and bosses know and respect that you need time and space to complete your coursework. You may have to say no when someone asks you to work overtime or pass up on volunteering for organizations you may have helped in the past.</p> <p>Research shows that when we work with interruptions, not only does it take time to get back on task, but we feel more stressed and frustrated. To avoid wanting to quit, it's important to carve out space for yourself to work uninterrupted. Build child care costs into your college budget if necessary, and make sure you have a quiet place to work away from the bustle of household life.</p> <h2>8. Know the tax benefits</h2> <p>Make sure you don't miss out on tax breaks available for returning students, such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit, and tax deductions on interest on student loans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Tips%2520for%2520Going%2520Back%2520to%2520School%2520as%2520an%2520Adult.jpg&amp;description=8%20Tips%20for%20Going%20Back%20to%20School%20as%20an%20Adult"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Tips%20for%20Going%20Back%20to%20School%20as%20an%20Adult.jpg" alt="8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field">Are You Pursuing an Overcrowded Career Field?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-dont-need-a-college-degree-to-succeed">Why You Don&#039;t Need a College Degree to Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Education & Training adult learners college continuing education credits majors online courses student aid taxes tuition Mon, 27 Nov 2017 09:30:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2057597 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_saving_for_education.jpg" alt="Woman saving for education" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most parents with college-bound kids know about the traditional 529 college savings plan. It allows parents or grandparents to put money into a tax-advantaged savings or investment account that can later be cashed in to pay for college expenses. But did you know that some states &mdash; and a large consortium of private schools &mdash; offer another kind of 529 plan as well?</p> <p>It's called a <em>529 prepaid tuition plan</em>. With this kind of plan, you use your college savings dollars to buy tuition credits, locking in today's tuition prices. Considering how much news there is about the skyrocketing cost of college, this seems attractive in many ways. Parents can pay for college now and not worry that price increases will outpace their earnings. Better yet, a prepaid tuition plan is an investment that shouldn't ever go down in value &mdash; if you buy a credit worth a year of college now and the stock market crashes next week, you still own a year of college as long as the program delivers on its promise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <p>However, there are a number of factors to consider before committing to this lesser-known type of college savings plan. Here are some questions you need to ask.</p> <h2>What if my student doesn't go to the selected college?</h2> <p>Plans can change: Maybe you've been gung ho about your child attending your alma mater or the local state college, but your child isn't interested in either. Or, maybe your kid wants to follow in your footsteps and attend MIT, but doesn't get accepted. What happens to your prepaid tuition savings?</p> <p>You'll have to read the fine print to find out what you will walk away with if the student doesn't use the credits you purchased at the intended university. Any plan will likely allow you to change the beneficiary. For example, if Sally doesn't want to go to the University of Illinois, you can use her credit for her little sister instead. The Private College 529 Plan, which has nearly 300 participating schools including Stanford and Boston University, will also allow participants to roll their balance over into a traditional 529 college savings plan.</p> <p>In addition, various states' plans have provisions for using purchased credits toward other schools. For instance, Florida's prepaid tuition program is designed to be used at state universities and colleges, but funds can also be used for out-of-state or private schools.</p> <h2>What if my child gets a scholarship or doesn't go to college?</h2> <p>Again, provisions for refunds vary by plan. Some will refund the amount of tuition the plan would have covered. Under certain circumstances, some plans will pay you only what you put in &mdash; which would be a major loss of investment growth if the money sat in the account for years.</p> <h2>Will prepaid tuition be a better investment than stocks and bonds?</h2> <p>No one can predict what the markets will do. On the other hand, prepaid tuition programs typically offer participants a predictable outcome: Pay in X amount and you will receive a certificate for a semester of college. As long as the plan does what it promises, prepaid tuition plans won't lose value. However, this is no guarantee that you will end up with more value than you would have if you'd invested in the market.</p> <p>By way of comparison, private college tuition rates increased 2.4 percent per year in the past 10 years, and the cost of public four-year colleges increased 3.5 percent per year, according to the College Board. During the same decade, the S&amp;P 500 increased an average 7 percent &mdash; even taking the 2008 crash into account. So if you invested in a prepaid college fund a decade ago, your discount on present-day tuition will only equal half as much as the gains you would have gotten if you'd put the money in a traditional 529 savings plan that matched the S&amp;P 500's performance.</p> <p>A prepaid plan will probably decrease your risk and ease your worries about market fluctuations, but it could cause you to miss out on investment gains when the market is doing well.</p> <h2>What if the plan runs out of money?</h2> <p>When you put money into a prepaid college plan, the plan administrators take your money and invest it, along with the money from other plan participants. When your kid is ready for college, the plan is supposed to pay the school the cost of tuition &mdash; even if its investment growth falls short of the tuition cost. This could happen in a down market.</p> <p>Plans can also fail to meet their goals if not enough new investors buy into the plan. If this happens too many years in a row, plans can fall short of their promises and leave families in the lurch. This risk attracts a lot of criticism to prepaid plans, and has pushed some states to end their programs. Before investing in a plan, find out what it guarantees and what it doesn't.</p> <h2>The bottom line: hedging market risk</h2> <p>All the 529 prepaid plans out there are different. Participating in one could help you hedge market risk that you'd otherwise face with a college savings plan, especially if you only invest part of your savings in the prepaid plan while investing the rest in the market. Be sure to read all the fine print to learn what will happen if things don't go as expected.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fshould-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FShould%2520You%2520Save%2520for%2520College%2520Using%2520a%2520529%2520Prepaid%2520Tuition%2520Plan-.jpg&amp;description=Should%20You%20Save%20for%20College%20Using%20a%20529%20Prepaid%20Tuition%20Plan%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Should%20You%20Save%20for%20College%20Using%20a%20529%20Prepaid%20Tuition%20Plan-.jpg" alt="Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans">6 Questions to Ask Before Taking Out Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training 529 plans college higher education prepaid tuition saving money scholarships school tuition Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2037240 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You Pursuing an Overcrowded Career Field? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/row_of_business_people_waiting_for_an_interview.jpg" alt="Row of business people waiting for an interview" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to a career, knowing what you want to do is half the battle. The other half is actually finding a job in your chosen field. In some job markets, an influx of eager candidates has rendered certain fields completely overcrowded with qualified workers.</p> <p>If you're ready to earn a degree or certification and pursue a set career path, you may want to do some research first. Ensuring that you'll actually be able to find a job in your desired field can prevent you from feeling like you &quot;wasted&quot; the time and expense of your education or training.</p> <p>Here's how to discover if you might be pursuing an overcrowded career field.</p> <h2>Look into national and regional statistics</h2> <p>The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles an <a href="https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/home.htm" target="_blank">Occupational Outlook Handbook</a> that lists the projected outlook and employment changes for specific jobs over a 10-year period. If the projected growth of jobs in your desired field is low or nonexistent, you might want to pursue another career.</p> <p>Some job markets are more saturated in certain areas than others. If you're looking for more localized information, each state has a department of labor that collects state level stats about career prospects. The Idaho Department of Labor, for example, created a Jobscape Career Search Tool that allows citizens to check out the demand for specific jobs each year. The stats can be filtered by region using a ZIP code or city name. That can really help residents get a sense of job prospects. Here is a resource for finding each individual state's <a href="http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/ProjectionSites" target="_blank">labor statistics site</a>.</p> <p>When stats are projected over a longer period, it can be difficult to determine if the major growth has already happened. You may want to find stats that project shorter term growth (typically over a two-year period) for the occupation. <a href="http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/ShortTerm" target="_blank">Projections Central</a> is a solid place to start. It lists short-term projections of occupations by state. If the change in employment prospects is either negative or low, it might be a sign to move or pursue a different career.</p> <h2>Check job search sites</h2> <p>Another way to get a feel for a crowded career field is to browse common job listing sites and see what the current listings are. If there doesn't seem to be a lot of job openings for your chosen profession on a local, state, or national level, the career field might be overcrowded. If there are tons of jobs available, you might be safe.</p> <p>Continue to keep an eye on the job listings as you prepare to enroll in a college or certificate program. If anything changes or doesn't change, it could give you some valuable insight on the state of the job market. If job listings for the career never seem to crop up, that's a very bad sign. If the same job listings remain month after month, that can be a good sign that companies are struggling to find candidates.</p> <p>Note this method is far more useful for careers with shorter educational requirements. The state of the job market today won't necessarily tell you what it will be like a few years down the line for careers requiring advanced degrees.</p> <h2>Seek advice from a college career counselor</h2> <p>Students can seek career advice from on-campus resources. A college career adviser, depending on the school and the individual's experience, can be a valuable source of information.</p> <p>If the adviser isn't any help on career-specific questions, students can stop by the career services office. The professionals employed in career services may be slightly better equipped to help you determine if your first career choice is a lucrative one. If they don't have specific information about your intended job prospects, they can at least help point you in the right direction to find the information you need.</p> <h2>Ask professionals in your desired field</h2> <p>Networking can be helpful in determining if a specific degree is lucrative or not. Ask around to see if any family or friends might know someone who pursued the same degree or job field in the past. If you find someone, politely ask if they'd be willing to meet up and answer some of your questions. Consider asking how easy it was for them to find a job, what the competition was like, and if they've seen an influx of new graduates suddenly flood their market.</p> <p>If you need ideas for alternate career paths, many state government websites list the hottest jobs in their state for individuals to pursue. Indiana, for example, has a <a href="https://netsolutions.dwd.in.gov/hh50/jobList.aspx" target="_blank">Hot 50 Jobs list</a>.</p> <p>If your heart is still set on pursuing a career in a crowded field, take steps to ensure that you can outshine every other recent graduate during your job search. It may also be worthwhile to research which regions and states offer a more lucrative job market in that specific field.</p> <p>And as a final note, remember that different states have different certificate and education requirements to work in certain jobs. Make sure when you pursue an education that you will meet those requirements.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fare-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FAre%2520You%2520Pursuing%2520an%2520Overcrowded%2520Career%2520Field-.jpg&amp;description=Are%20You%20Pursuing%20an%20Overcrowded%20Career%20Field%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Are%20You%20Pursuing%20an%20Overcrowded%20Career%20Field-.jpg" alt="Are You Pursuing an Overcrowded Career Field?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult">8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-dont-need-a-college-degree-to-succeed">Why You Don&#039;t Need a College Degree to Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-jobs-for-the-next-10-years">8 Great Jobs for the Next 10 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-my-career-clueless-college-self">5 Tips for My Career-Clueless College Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-colleges-with-the-best-programs-to-get-you-jobs">8 Colleges With the Best Programs to Get You Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Education & Training career counseling career fields college job markets oversaturated prospects shadowing statistics Mon, 09 Oct 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Samantha Stauf 2032526 at http://www.wisebread.com Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/education_fund_coins_652348714.jpg" alt="Education fund in jar" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When most people think of saving for a college education, they usually think of 529 savings plans or Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESA). These accounts allow you to grow your money by investing in select mutual funds, much like a typical retirement account does. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <p>While both of these accounts are great investment tools to pay for a college education, there's another option you may not have considered. A Roth IRA can also be used for educational expenses. There are pros and cons for each way to save for college. Here's a brief rundown:</p> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><strong>Coverdell ESA</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>529 savings plans</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Roth IRA</strong></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>No tax deduction from contributions.</p> </td> <td> <p>No tax deduction from contributions.</p> </td> <td> <p>No tax deduction from contributions.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Withdraw your contributions tax free.</p> </td> <td> <p>Withdraw your contributions tax free.</p> </td> <td> <p>Withdraw your contributions tax free. (If you withdraw interest, it will be taxed.)</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Annual contribution limit: $2,000 per beneficiary.</p> </td> <td> <p>No annual contribution limit but most states limit total contributions to $300,000.</p> </td> <td> <p>Annual contribution limit: $5,500, or $6,500 if age 50 or over.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Anyone can contribute but the amount they can contribute is limited by their modified adjusted gross income. Ability to contribute phases out once modified AGI reaches $220,000.</p> </td> <td> <p>&nbsp; Anyone can&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; contribute.</p> </td> <td> <p>Must have income in order to contribute. People with high incomes ($181,000 for married couple) are prohibited from contributing.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Can be used for higher education and qualified K-12 expenses. Beneficiary must use account by age 30.</p> </td> <td> <p>Can only be used for higher education expenses.</p> </td> <td> <p>Can be used for higher education, first home purchase, qualified medical expenses, and retirement.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Account under guardian's name won't impact beneficiary's FAFSA.</p> </td> <td> <p>Account under guardian's name won't impact beneficiary's FAFSA.</p> </td> <td> <p>Withdrawals will increase your earned income and can affect beneficiary's FAFSA.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <h2>Roth IRAs</h2> <p>A Roth IRA differs from a traditional IRA in that the income you contribute is already taxed. The beauty of a Roth IRA is that the distribution you take from your contributions is <em>not </em>taxable (as long as the use is approved).</p> <p>Let's say your child is a college freshman. You withdraw $15,000 from your Roth IRA for their first year of school. None of this money will be taxed, as long as it is from your own contributions and not from the interest earned. Withdrawals are considered returns of contributions initially, for tax purposes. They are considered interest earnings second.</p> <p>Now, you are likely thinking, &quot;But aren't IRA withdrawals subject to penalties if you withdraw them early?&quot; Generally, yes. Normally, you must be age 59 &frac12; or older, and have had the account for at least five years to withdraw without incurring a 10 percent tax penalty. Why? Well, all IRAs are retirement funds, primarily. They are designed to be withdrawn only as folks approach retirement.</p> <p>But no penalty applies if the withdrawal is for qualified educational purposes (or a first home purchase, or qualified medical bills). Even if your child or grandchild has a scholarship for full tuition, it's no problem. Roth IRAs can be used for any qualified educational expense, including room, board, books, and supplies.</p> <p>If your child or grandchild ends up not going to college, or not needing all the money, you can simply keep the money to continue funding your retirement. Note that to place money back into a Roth IRA, it will be subject to annual contribution limits ($5,500 if under age 50, and $6,500 if age 50 or older).</p> <h2>Traditional IRAs</h2> <p>You can also use traditional IRAs to pay for college. Essentially, traditional IRAs reverse the tax advantage of a Roth. You get a tax deduction upfront for all money contributed to a traditional IRA &mdash; but all withdrawals will be taxed at the federal and state level.</p> <p>As with a Roth IRA, if traditional IRA distributions before age 59 &frac12; are used for qualified educational expenses, they are not subject to the 10 percent penalty. However, they will be subject to tax. The IRS will get its money whenever you withdraw from a traditional IRA, regardless of what you withdraw it for.</p> <p>Because of the tax implications, while it is <em>possible </em>to use a traditional IRA for educational expenses, it may not be the most prudent move. If you want to tap into IRAs for college expenses, a Roth IRA is the better bet financially.</p> <h2>An important caveat</h2> <p>Realistically, tapping your IRA to pay for your child's education should rarely be your first choice. It can be a smart move if you have a considerable amount saved and a lot of time left before retirement to pay it back. Otherwise, you'll be draining the account of funds you very much need. It may be wiser to use an educational savings account to save for your child's education instead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a>)</p> <p>However, there are still benefits of using an IRA over an educational savings account if you know your retirement will still be secure. For example, by combining the funds into one account, you will have more flexibility in choosing whether to spend your savings on education &mdash; and how much &mdash; or to continue to hold it for your retirement.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fyes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520To%2520Pay%2520For%2520Your%2520College%2520Education.png&amp;description=Yes%2C%20You%20Can%20Pay%20for%20Education%20With%20an%20IRA"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20To%20Pay%20For%20Your%20College%20Education.png" alt="Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anum-yoon">Anum Yoon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed">How to Save for Retirement When You Are Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid&#039;s College Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-retirement-account-is-right-for-you">Which Retirement Account Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-moves-for-retirement">8 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Moves for Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Retirement college contributions distributions higher education qualified expenses Roth IRA saving money traditional ira Wed, 04 Oct 2017 08:00:07 +0000 Anum Yoon 2029157 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cute_college_student_walking_around_campus_on_sunny_day.jpg" alt="Cute college student walking around campus on sunny day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College is about more than just getting a degree. For many new college students, starting this phase of education is also a time to learn any number of important life skills, from proper laundry care to time management.</p> <p>However, many college students often overlook one important life skill: money management. As a college student, you might assume that money management isn't important, since you've got so little money to manage.</p> <p>Unfortunately, neglecting your money skills in college could have lasting negative repercussions throughout your adult life. Rather than assuming you'll sort out the money stuff &quot;later,&quot; get off on the right financial foot by following these money moves when you start your college career.</p> <h2>1. Open a student checking account</h2> <p>Your brand-new university ID makes you eligible for student checking accounts. This gives you a good home for your money while you're in school, and helps you develop good banking habits.</p> <p>Student checking accounts often have low or no minimum opening deposits, and they also generally do not require you to carry a minimum balance each month. In addition, some student accounts offer perks like a limited number of free out-of-network ATM transactions per month, free checks, and some overdraft forgiveness.</p> <h2>2. Start automating your bills</h2> <p>Once you have a checking account in place, you can take advantage of your bank's online bill paying services to set up automatic payments of your regular expenses. Automatic bill payment allows you to keep your focus on your studies, where it belongs.</p> <p>Of course, the caveat is that you need to periodically make sure your account has enough money to cover your automatically paid bills. One good way to do this is to set up a weekly reminder to check your finances. This will help you establish the habit of keeping an eye on your finances even as they are taken care of automatically.</p> <h2>3. Create a spending plan for your financial aid</h2> <p>Receiving a big chunk of money from your university's financial aid office can be pretty exciting &mdash; whether you're receiving loans you'll have to pay back, or grants that you won't. It's tempting to live it up when you receive your financial aid, but that's a good way to run out of money before the semester is over.</p> <p>Instead, take the time to create a spending plan for your financial aid disbursement before the money hits your bank account. Determine how much of your financial aid will need to go toward tuition, textbooks, lab fees, and living expenses. Having such a plan in place will help you keep your spending in check when you feel the urge to splurge some of your aid money.</p> <h2>5. Keep track of your student loans</h2> <p>Many college students &mdash; including yours truly! &mdash; make the mistake of paying no attention to their student loans until they have graduated. In general, the amount of money you are borrowing can seem unreal, so it's very easy to just ignore the problem until you reach your student loan exit interview just before graduation.</p> <p>However, knowing early how much you owe and how much it will cost you to pay it off is both good for your financial health and can help you remain motivated in your studies. It's much easier to get up for that 8 a.m. chemistry lab when you understand just how much you're paying for the privilege of going to it.</p> <p>If you have federal student loans, you can keep track of how much you have borrowed and what your repayment options will be through the <a href="https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/" target="_blank">National Student Loan Data System</a>. Just select &quot;Financial Aid Review,&quot; log in, and you can view all of your federal student loans in one place. If you have any private student loans, you will need to contact your lender for information regarding your loans.</p> <h2>6. Build up an emergency fund</h2> <p>When I was in college, a classmate's financial aid package was re-evaluated at the end of her first year. The school's financial aid office decided that she could count on an additional $1,500 from her family for her second year, even though she knew that it would be impossible to ask for that additional money. By working some serious overtime that summer and living off tuna fish and ramen, my classmate was able to scrape together the additional money. But this situation could have potentially meant the difference between her returning to school and her dropping out.</p> <p>An emergency fund can make this kind of unanticipated financial change much less stressful than it was for my classmate, especially when you are already living on a shoestring.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund" target="_blank">Building an emergency fund</a> might feel impossible when you're in college, but don't forget that small amounts can add up to something really helpful. Start with an automatic transfer of $5 &mdash;$10 per week into a savings account. Add in whatever excess money you come across &mdash; including the cash you get for selling back textbooks or some of the birthday money Nana sends every year.</p> <p>Though your fund will grow slowly, working steadily on it will ensure that a financial aid (or other emergency) does not jeopardize your education.</p> <h2>7. Learn from your financial fumbles</h2> <p>Every time you make a financial decision as a college student, you have the opportunity to learn from your choices. The trick to learning from financial mistakes rather than repeating them, is to look back on the choices you made with curiosity and compassion for yourself. You're a college student, after all, and learning is the entire job description.</p> <p>Take each moment of money regret as an opportunity to figure out where your financial weaknesses are. You'll finish college with a much better understand of yourself and your money temptations, as well as potential solutions for avoiding those temptations.</p> <h2>Learn about finances before you enter the real world</h2> <p>It may feel like adding financial responsibility on top of your educational requirements will be too much to handle, but college is actually a great time to work on your money management skills. Taking good care of your finances as you are engaging in higher learning sets you up for financial success after graduation.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Money%2520Moves%2520Every%2520New%2520College%2520Student%2520Should%2520Make.jpg&amp;description=7%20Money%20Moves%20Every%20New%20College%20Student%20Should%20Make"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Money%20Moves%20Every%20New%20College%20Student%20Should%20Make.jpg" alt="7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can&#039;t Afford to Overlook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover">6 Things Financial Aid Might Not Cover</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes — And How To Avoid Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training automatic payments bills checking accounts college emergency funds financial aid money moves savings student loans students Tue, 29 Aug 2017 09:00:05 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2009181 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/parents_carrying_son_on_shoulders_as_they_walk_in_park.jpg" alt="Parents Carrying Son On Shoulders As They Walk In Park" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Raising kids is expensive. The numbers bear this out: The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that in 2015 a middle-income family spent an average $12,980 each year on each child. To raise a child from birth through age 17, it would cost married parents an average $233,610. And these figures don't include the cost of a college education.</p> <p>Because raising children &mdash; not to mention buying cars and homes to accommodate them &mdash; is an expensive task, it makes sense to set certain financial goals for yourself before you start a family. Being financially prepared for children can make raising them, and paying for this process, a far easier task.</p> <p>Here are a few money goals to set before you start having children.</p> <h2>1. An emergency fund with six months of daily living expenses</h2> <p>Children come with unexpected expenses; everything from $200 for an emergency room visit to a surprise $500 bill from the dentist. You can prepare for these expenses by creating an emergency fund.</p> <p>As its name suggests, an emergency fund is an account that you only tap to cover unanticipated necessities. With an emergency fund, you won't have to resort to paying for unexpected expenses with a high-interest credit card.</p> <p>Most financial experts recommend that you have at least six months' worth of daily living expenses saved in your emergency fund. That might seem like a daunting goal, but you can get there by steadily putting away even just $100 every month.</p> <h2>2. A credit score of 740 or higher</h2> <p>Your credit score is an important number. Lenders use it to determine if you qualify for mortgage, auto, personal, and student loans. They also rely on it to set your interest rate, with a high score usually equaling lower interest rates.</p> <p>Most lenders today consider a credit score of 740 or higher to be very good. Getting your score to this level, then, should be one of your goals before you start having children. Having a strong credit score means you'll pay less for a mortgage or car loan. That can reduce your living expenses significantly, something that can help ease the financial stresses that come with raising children. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a>)</p> <h2>3. A work history</h2> <p>You'll need a steady income to pay for the expenses involved in raising children. The best way to get this income is to build a stable career in your field. Make sure you have several years logged in your field before you begin having children. While there are no guarantees that you'll never lose your job, the odds will be lower if you've already established yourself in your field. And if you do lose your job, you'll have an easier time finding new work.</p> <h2>4. Saving for retirement</h2> <p>Retirement might seem far off, especially when you're thinking of starting a family. But it's never too early to start saving for retirement. The earlier you start, the more dollars you have once you leave the workforce.</p> <p>Before you have children, start socking away money each month for retirement. The easiest way to do this is to sign up for the 401(k) plan that your employer offers. This way, your retirement funds will be deposited automatically with each paycheck.</p> <p>If you don't have access to a 401(k) fund, open a traditional or Roth IRA. Deposit as much as you can each year to get into the habit of saving for retirement. If you do this, it'll be easier to continue saving for retirement after your children are born. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a>)</p> <h2>5. A plan for your children's college education</h2> <p>College might seem far away, too. After all, your children aren't even born yet. You're focused more on paying for preschool than on picking a college.</p> <p>But you should start planning for your children's college education before you even begin building your family. The average class of 2016 graduate took home $37,172 in student loan debt, a number 6 percent higher than the year before. That amount continues to rise each year. You don't want your children to be burdened with student loan debt as they become young adults.</p> <p>Consider opening a 529 college savings plan to help you start stowing away money for your soon-to-be-born children's secondary education. You might be surprised at how quickly college costs sneak up on you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDont%2520Start%2520a%2520Family%2520Before%2520Reaching%2520These%25205%2520Money%2520Goals.jpg&amp;description=Dont%20Start%20a%20Family%20Before%20Reaching%20These%205%20Money%20Goals"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Dont%20Start%20a%20Family%20Before%20Reaching%20These%205%20Money%20Goals.jpg" alt="Don't Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-a-mess-try-this-personal-finance-starter-kit">Money a Mess? Try This Personal Finance Starter Kit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves">6 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Money Moves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-money-milestones-anyone-can-hit">6 Simple Money Milestones Anyone Can Hit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family career college credit score emergency funds expenses goals kids money moves raising children retirement saving money Tue, 29 Aug 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2009180 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_514475258.jpg" alt="Woman building credit in college" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a college student, your credit score probably isn't a priority. You're too busy worrying about exams, homework, and scraping together enough money for a pizza on Friday night. But building good credit when you're in college is important. It can make it easier to rent an apartment, apply for a good credit card, and buy a car once you graduate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Credit Cards for College Students</a>)</p> <p>Many college students graduate with no credit score at all. That's because they've never used a credit card or paid off an installment loan, such as for a car or mortgage. They haven't even started paying off their student loans yet.</p> <p>Graduating with no credit makes life after college more challenging. Here are five big reasons why you should start building good credit when you're still in school.</p> <h2>1. Renting an apartment</h2> <p>In a recent survey by national credit bureau TransUnion, 48 percent of apartment landlords said that the results of a credit check rank among the top three factors they consider when deciding to lease an apartment to a potential renter.</p> <p>If your credit is bad, or if you don't have any credit at all, you'll struggle to rent an apartment on your own. You might have to rely on a co-signer, usually a parent, to sign the lease with you. If you can't find a co-signer, and you haven't built any credit while in college, finding your dream apartment, or even just a starter apartment, can get difficult.</p> <h2>2. Buying a car</h2> <p>Unless you buy a car with cash, you'll probably have to apply for an auto loan to finance the purchase of a new vehicle. Auto lenders study your credit, too. If they find that you don't have any history behind you, they'll be far less likely to approve you for the loan you need to buy that new car.</p> <p>Again, you might have to rely on finding a co-signer. This can be even more difficult for an auto loan. Not only are co-signers on an auto loan responsible for any payments you don't make, the loan will also be counted as their debt. This can make it more difficult for your co-signer to apply for new loans of their own.</p> <p>Overall, it's much easier to walk into an auto dealership knowing that you already have a credit history of your own.</p> <h2>3. Applying for student loans</h2> <p>You'll want a good credit history if you'll need to apply for private loans to help finance the cost of graduate or professional school. It's easier to get federal PLUS loans for graduate and professional schools with a lower credit score. However, you are limited in how much you can borrow through these federal sources.</p> <p>If you must borrow more, you might have to rely on private loans. And private lenders will take a close look at your credit. If you don't have a credit history, qualifying for one of these loans will be more challenging.</p> <h2>4. Being approved for credit cards</h2> <p>There are plenty of credit cards out there with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">low interest rates</a> and valuable rewards programs. They can give you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back on purchases</a> or let you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">earn travel rewards</a> when you use your card.</p> <p>Without a credit history, and the credit score that comes with one, you'll struggle to qualify for one of these good cards. You might instead have to settle for a basic card with a higher interest rate.</p> <h2>5. Getting car insurance</h2> <p>Not having a credit history can even make qualifying for car insurance more of a challenge. If you do want to drive, and you can no longer stay on your parents' auto insurance policy, you'll have to apply for car insurance on your own. And many insurance companies today look at their own version of a credit score when determining who qualifies for insurance and at what rates.</p> <p>The lower your credit-based insurance score, the less likely you'll qualify for auto insurance &mdash; and the more likely you'll have to pay a higher premium if you do qualify.</p> <h2>Building a credit history</h2> <p>The best way to build a credit history while in college is to apply for a student credit card. These cards often come with lower limits. Some might even be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-secured-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">secured cards</a>, meaning that you have to make a deposit into a bank account associated with the card. This deposit makes up your credit limit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>Once you get a card, use it, but use it wisely. Only buy what you can afford to pay off in full each month. Then pay off your entire balance by every due date. As you generate a record of on-time credit card payments, you'll steadily build a credit history. At the same time, you'll start building a solid credit score, too.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Reasons%2520Building%2520Credit%2520in%2520College%2520Helps%2520You%2520Win%2520at%2520Life.jpg&amp;description=5%20Reasons%20Building%20Credit%20in%20College%20Helps%20You%20Win%20at%20Life"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Reasons%20Building%20Credit%20in%20College%20Helps%20You%20Win%20at%20Life.jpg" alt="5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debunking-8-common-credit-score-myths">Debunking 8 Common Credit Score Myths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprising-ways-bad-credit-can-hurt-you">15 Surprising Ways Bad Credit Can Hurt You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-shouldnt-panic-if-your-credit-score-drops">Why You Shouldn&#039;t Panic If Your Credit Score Drops</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training building credit co-signers college credit history credit score loans payment history renting students Mon, 28 Aug 2017 08:30:14 +0000 Dan Rafter 2010394 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Surprising Ways to Get More College Financial Aid http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-ways-to-get-more-college-financial-aid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-surprising-ways-to-get-more-college-financial-aid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_thoughtful_graduate_student_girl_young_woman_in_cap.jpg" alt="Beautiful thoughtful graduate student girl young woman in cap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The cost of college has risen so high that even middle and higher-income parents may qualify for some financial aid. Beyond how much money you earn, how a family structures college savings and general finances in the years leading up to and during college can have an impact on how much aid you're offered.</p> <p>It wasn't always like this. Once upon a time, students could pay their tuition at a public university with the money they earned working during summer. Now, students would have to work full-time all year to pay the average public school tuition, which has skyrocketed to $10,000 for in-state students and $25,000 for out-of-state students for the 2016-2017 school year, according to the College Board. Private colleges and universities are charging an average of more than $33,000 per year. And don't forget, you still need to set aside money for room, board, books, and Albert Einstein posters.</p> <p>All this means that most American families have a gap between what they can pay toward college and what college costs. Fortunately, a university's published &quot;sticker price&quot; is not what most families pay, especially for private colleges. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, even students with household incomes of $110,000 or more received an average of $15,240 in the 2013-14 school year to defray the cost of private nonprofit colleges, and $1,860 for public schools.</p> <p>And that's just the federal grants, loans, and work study jobs. Many schools also offer institutional aid consisting of grants, scholarships, and loans. Some well-endowed schools even promise to cover the entire difference between the family's resources and the price (usually incorporating a combination of loans and other aid types). These financial aid packages can be so large that some families pay less for the most expensive colleges than they would have paid for their local state school.</p> <p>How much aid a student is offered depends on a lot of things. Much of it has to do with how a family's finances are organized and how they fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from the year before their kid starts college. Let's look at strategies for students to maximize available college funds.</p> <h2>1. Be strategic with college savings accounts</h2> <p>First of all, parents should make <em>retirement </em>their top savings priority, not education, because you can get loans for education, but there are no loans to fund retirement.</p> <p>&quot;It's just like being on an airplane: Help yourself first before assisting others,&quot; says Carol Stack, author of <a href="http://amzn.to/2vQaOq7" target="_blank">The Financial Aid Handbook: Getting the Education You Want for the Price You Can Afford</a><em>.</em></p> <p>Second, parents should keep any money they do save in their own names, not in a joint account or a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account in the student's name. Your assets count against you even more than your parents' assets do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a>)</p> <p>For the same reason, grandparents or other well-wishers outside the immediate household should avoid directly giving students money for college. If your grandma wants to help with college, great! She should hold onto that money in her own account, not gift it to you. As long as it's in grandma's name, those assets don't get reported on the FAFSA.</p> <p>Some college-savvy financial planners even advise against taking out 529 accounts, those state plans that allow money to grow tax-free but can only be spent on qualified educational expenses, because 529s opened by parents will count on the FAFSA as parental assets and increase the expected family contribution (EFC). Gary Sipos, founder of College Cash Solutions, a for-profit company that offers advice on choosing a college and getting financial aid, always warns clients against them.</p> <p>&quot;In no case in the decade or so I've been doing this, have I ever seen a case where a 529 plan was a good idea,&quot; Sipos says.</p> <p>In Sipos' experience, even though these plans offer tax benefits, the harm to students' chances of getting financial aid can cost the family as much or more than they saved in taxes.</p> <p>However, most college savings experts stand by 529 plans.</p> <p>&quot;The 529 is probably going to be one of your best options,&quot; says Joseph Orsolini, a certified financial planner with Illinois' College Aid Planners.</p> <p>If a grandparent wants to save for college in a 529 plan, they should open their own account, not contribute to one set up by the parents. This way, it's not counted as a parental or child asset. Even then, Orsolini warns, caution is needed to avoid having the account hurt the student's aid chances. If your grandma owns the plan and pays the first year tuition out of it, that payment is counted as your income, and could decrease the amount of aid you qualify for the next year.</p> <p>&quot;You want to withdraw starting the second half of sophomore year,&quot; Orsolini advised. Because the FAFSA looks backward to past years' tax returns, at this point, you'll be in the clear and the student income from Grandma's 529 plan won't affect financial aid.</p> <p>If you're a student who already has money in your own name, you might consider spending that on things you'll need for college &mdash; like test prep classes, or a new computer &mdash; before the period reported on the FAFSA. Once you start paying tuition, spend your own money before your parents spend any of theirs. If your parents want to pay your tuition, they can instead make up for it with a gift later or by helping you pay off any loans you take out.</p> <h2>2. Fill out the FAFSA, even if you think your family makes too much money</h2> <p>The FAFSA is the first step in getting need-based aid, and it's a pain in the butt to fill out. Among other things, it asks for tax returns, your household income, and assets. High income, say over $200,000 a year, lowers your odds of receiving grants and loans, so if your household falls in that category, you may think there's no point in going through the agony. <em>Fill it out anyway.</em></p> <p>There are so many factors affecting whether you will get aid &mdash; like how many people are in your family and whether any of them will be in college at the same time as you &mdash; that you might qualify for at least subsidized loans, despite high income. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes &mdash; And How To Avoid Them</a>)</p> <h2>3. File early, and accurately</h2> <p>The opening date for turning in the FAFSA has been moved up, and it's important to get that thing in within about a month of opening day. If you plan to start college in the fall of 2018, that means turning in the FAFSA starting Oct. 1, 2017.</p> <p>Financial aid is first come, first served, Sipos explains. If you wait until spring, financial aid officers may be running low on funds to distribute. &quot;They might give you half the award they would have given you if you had applied a few months earlier,&quot; he says.</p> <p>In addition, if your FAFSA has errors, it can get kicked back to you for corrections and then you have to go to the back of the line.</p> <h2>4. Spend more time with your poorer parent</h2> <p>If your parents are divorced and live separately, you only have to put the income and assets from <em>one </em>of those households on your FAFSA. So do you put down your mother's income or your father's income? The rules simply say that you submit the information about the <a href="https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/parent-info#who-is-parent" target="_blank">household you spent the most time in</a> during the preceding year &mdash; even if it was only one day more.</p> <p>For example, say your parents are divorced and you split your time evenly between their houses. Your mother and her new husband make $300,000 a year and have a million bucks in the bank. Your father is on disability, and has no assets beyond his house and car. If you are presented as his child, your chances of getting financial aid are greater. While you're in high school, make sure you spend more than half the year living with your dad.</p> <h2>5. If you work, watch your earnings</h2> <p>If you, the high school or college student, earn more than $6,400 in a year, colleges will consider that as money you could be paying in tuition, and reduce need-based awards accordingly. Of course, most student jobs don't pay much, but even at minimum wage, working 20 hours a week all year would put you over the threshold. There are many reasons you may want to work, including wanting to be self-sufficient or gaining valuable job experience. Just remember that once you pass the $6,400 per year threshold, increased tuition costs may eat up 50 cents of every dollar you earn.</p> <p>Instead of working more than 15 hours a week for pay during the last year of high school, when your income must be reported on the FAFSA for your first year of college, consider spending your time doing something that will boost your college application, from studying for the SAT or ACT to doing volunteer work.</p> <p>This is also a warning to parents: Paying your kids a good salary to work for you might help you taxwise, but the penalty in the financial aid application could eclipse any tax savings.</p> <h2>6. Don't dismiss more expensive colleges</h2> <p>School aid offers can vary, based both on how much the school wants you and also how much the institution is. Once you have the financial aid promises in hand, you may be surprised at how much you're expected to pay differs from the sticker price.</p> <p>&quot;[D]epending on a family's income and a college's available aid funds, the cost paid by the family for attending even the most expensive Ivy League schools may be less than the cost of attending an in-state public university,&quot; reads <a href="http://amzn.to/2vLp9Wj" target="_blank">Paying for College Without Going Broke</a> by Kalman Chany, a popular primer on navigating the financial aid process.</p> <p>Don't make a final decision until you have all the aid letters in hand, because the sticker price is not an apples-to-apples comparison.</p> <h2>7. Don't automatically choose the best college you got into</h2> <p>Many schools reserve their best merit aid offers for the top 25 percent of applicants, based on test scores, Sipos explains. That means if you barely squeak into a great school, but would be one of the top students at a good school, you'll probably get a better aid offer from the good school. Sipos counsels families on this strategy when applying for colleges, using information schools publish about their students' median college entrance test scores.</p> <h2>8. Look into whether you have to report your family's small business income</h2> <p>Sipos used to be a general financial planner, but he was inspired to specialize in college financial planning when he met a couple who was drowning in debt despite having run a successful business for years. They'd sent three daughters to Ivy League schools, and because they earned a good income, and their business was worth a lot, they'd never bothered to fill out a FAFSA.</p> <p>What the family didn't know was their business met the legal description of a <a href="http://www.finaid.org/fafsa/smallbusiness.phtml" target="_blank">small business that does not count</a> against students for financial aid purposes. Family farms fall into this category, as well. The family would have qualified for financial aid if they'd applied, Sipos says, leaving them ready to retire after their kids graduated, instead of running double time to dig out of debt.</p> <p>&quot;They could have saved $30,000 a year if they had exempted their business. The financial aid officer didn't mention anything,&quot; he says.</p> <h2>9. Put money into non-reportable assets</h2> <p>If your parents have car loans, credit card debt, or a mortgage, it makes good sense to pay them off as much as possible, not only to reduce their debt but also to increase the amount of aid you might be eligible for. You have to report how much money and other liquid investments your family has on the FAFSA. That means your parents' bank accounts are considered money they could be putting toward your education. But the <a href="https://www.cappex.com/hq/articles-and-advice/financial-aid/fafsa/How-to-Shelter-Assets-on-the-FAFSA" target="_blank">value of your family's primary home</a> and personal possessions such as cars don't count against you in assessing your need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <h2>10. Make sure the school knows about all special circumstances</h2> <p>Besides the volumes of information the FAFSA asks for, you can also include a letter explaining the family's circumstances &mdash; and in many cases, you should. For instance, if you have a disabled sibling who needs expensive care, or another challenging circumstance, let the school know so it can take that into account when calculating your family's ability to pay.</p> <h2>11. Negotiate with the financial aid office</h2> <p>When you get your aid letter, it's not necessarily a &quot;take it or leave it&quot; proposition. You can let the school know if other schools offered you a better deal, and urge them to take another look.</p> <p>If you haven't already written a letter about special circumstances, now is the time to do that. Finally, if the year reported on the FAFSA was an unusually good year financially for your family &mdash; your mother got a huge bonus, for example, or your parents sold an investment property &mdash; you can provide previous and subsequent tax returns to support your case, Sipos advises.</p> <h2>12. Join the military or a public service program</h2> <p>Two members of my family became the first in their respective lines to go to college, thanks to the GI Bill, a program that helps service members and veterans cover education costs. That's just one of the college benefits available to veterans and service members. It's worth looking into.</p> <p>Outside of the military, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, the Peace Corps, and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program are all avenues for paying off student loans or financing college.</p> <p>Some people might look at the above tactics as gaming the system. It's certainly possible to pass beyond optimizing into the shady territory of trying to hide income and assets.</p> <p>&quot;I lose my patience with people who are affluent &mdash; and they want to hide that affluence? Come on,&quot; Stack says.</p> <p>While it's up to the individual to decide which legal financial aid optimization tactics are appropriate, reputable college financial planners see no problem in making a financial plan that maximizes the chance of getting aid.</p> <p>&quot;You're just following the rules,&quot; Orsolini says<strong> &quot;</strong>It's no different from putting money in a 401(k) to minimize your tax burden.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F12-surprising-ways-to-get-more-college-financial-aid&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Surprising%2520Ways%2520to%2520Get%2520More%2520College%2520Financial%2520Aid.jpg&amp;description=12%20Surprising%20Ways%20to%20Get%20More%20College%20Financial%20Aid"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Surprising%20Ways%20to%20Get%20More%20College%20Financial%20Aid.jpg" alt="12 Surprising Ways to Get More College Financial Aid" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-ways-to-get-more-college-financial-aid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult">8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira">Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid&#039;s College Savings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Education & Training affording college college college expenses college savings continuing education saving money saving money for college Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2007138 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's What You Need to Know Before Buying a College Meal Plan http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-a-college-meal-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-a-college-meal-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smiling_student_on_lunch_break_in_cafeteria_looking_at_camera.jpg" alt="Smiling student on lunch break in cafeteria looking at camera" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before heading off to college, you need to budget for its many expenses. On top of tuition, course materials, and room and board, many people also forget about one important line item: food! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 College Expenses You Aren't Saving For</a>)</p> <p>The unfortunate news is you often don't have a lot of options for combating the high cost of college campus meals. But at least you can go into the situation informed, so you can make appropriate budget allowances. Here are six things every student should know about college meal plans:</p> <h2>1. Residential students are often required to buy one</h2> <p>First of all, you may think that you have the option of whether or not to buy a meal plan. Turns out that if you're a student living in university quarters, your school will likely require you to buy one. Make sure to read the fine print, because freshmen can be required to pay up for a &quot;platinum&quot; plan. For example, for the 2017-2018 school year, the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey required its freshmen living on campus to purchase an unlimited $3,200 per semester meal plan.</p> <p>Even students living in dormitories with kitchens can be required a minimum buy-in for food costs, according to The New York Times.</p> <h2>2. &quot;Lighter&quot; meal plans are often only available to upperclassmen</h2> <p>If you find that a top-tier meal plan is excessive and you want to downgrade, you may have to wait a few semesters (or years). It's not uncommon that lighter versions, such as a 10-meal per week plan, are only available to students with a certain number of semesters under their belts. Freshmen may be required to buy plans with 15 to 19 meals per week.</p> <h2>3. Rollovers may not be allowed</h2> <p>Some schools allow you to apply unused meals from one week to the next, and others don't. To help you make the most out of your meal plan, check the applicable rules regarding rollovers. Tight rules may make skipping meals at participating cafeterias and vendors a big financial waste. You don't want to skip a meal you've paid for, only to have to pay for off-plan food later when you're hungry.</p> <h2>4. Cost per &quot;swipe&quot; can be higher</h2> <p>Some college dining plans provide cards with a preloaded number of swipes that students can use at participating on-campus eateries. Sound good? Well, the problem is, that convenience comes at a cost: Cardholders often end up paying more &quot;per swipe&quot; than somebody paying for the same meal with cash.</p> <p>If you're looking for variety, going the DIY route is more budget-friendly. Instead of swiping for overpriced coffee at the on-campus coffee shop, invest in a small coffee pot for your dorm room. By buying your own ground coffee and milk, you should be able to crank out two Americanos with milk per day for a total cost of about 60 cents. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a>)</p> <h2>5. Meal plan expenses aren't eligible for tax credits</h2> <p>Many college students are eligible for two great tax credits:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Lifetime Learning Credit: This credit allows you to deduct up to 20 percent of your first $10,000 in qualified education expenses, up to $2,000 per taxpayer.</p> </li> <li> <p>American Opportunity Credit: This credit enables you to cover up to $2,500 of undergraduate college costs.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Unlike expenses for course-related supplies or tuition, meal plan fees aren't eligible toward either one of these tax credits. Even when required as a condition for enrollment or attendance, meal plan fees aren't considered qualified education expenses. This is especially frustrating, because up to 40 percent of the American Opportunity Credit is refundable, even if you don't owe any federal taxes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</a>)</p> <h2>6. Higher costs contribute to higher student loans</h2> <p>According to Student Loan Hero, the average 2016 graduate took home $37,172 in student loan debt, up 6 percent from 2015. With their average student loan burden going up, students have to look for ways to drive down costs. And increasingly expensive college meal plans aren't helping.</p> <p>According to U.S. Department of Education data, the average college charged about $4,300 for a 19-meal per week contract for the 2015 academic year, or $7.50 per meal. In the same year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found the average American spent just $4,000 eating at home for a 12-month period (that's just $4 a meal!). That means the average college student with a meal plan pays 87.5 percent more per meal.</p> <p>It turns out that cutting back on that pricey college meal plan doesn't just help you ward off the extra pounds, but it also helps keep the student debt monster in check.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-a-college-meal-plan&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHeres%2520What%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Know%2520Before%2520Buying%2520a%2520College%2520Meal%2520Plan.jpg&amp;description=Heres%20What%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20Before%20Buying%20a%20College%20Meal%20Plan"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Heres%20What%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20Before%20Buying%20a%20College%20Meal%20Plan.jpg" alt="Here's What You Need to Know Before Buying a College Meal Plan" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-a-college-meal-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life">5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for">9 College Expenses You Aren&#039;t Saving For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can&#039;t Afford to Overlook</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training college food costs meal plans requirements students tax credits Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Damian Davila 2001478 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Dorm Essentials That Make Student Life Easier http://www.wisebread.com/14-dorm-essentials-that-make-student-life-easier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-dorm-essentials-that-make-student-life-easier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-501795383.jpg" alt="College student bringing dorm essentials that make life easier" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dorms are designed to be no-frills living spaces that house students who are more focused on learning than luxury. But dorm life doesn't mean you have to sacrifice every creature comfort. Here are 14 dorm room essentials that will make life easier, safer, and healthier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a>)</p> <h2>1. Oscillating fan</h2> <p>Dormitories aren't known for their elaborate climate control options. A compact but powerful <a href="http://amzn.to/2vAoBn6" target="_blank">oscillating fan</a> will not only help keep you cool; it'll generate a bit of valuable white noise to mask any late night revelry.</p> <h2>2. Earplugs</h2> <p>And while we're on the topic of noise, stock up on disposable <a href="http://amzn.to/2viPwkx" target="_blank">foam earplugs</a>. If you're a light sleeper or used to the uninterrupted silence of a private bedroom, the adjustment to dorm life can be rough. Though earplugs won't block out noise completely, they'll dampen it enough that you can get some sleep. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fall-asleep-when-you-cant?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Fall Asleep When You Can't</a>)</p> <h2>3. Blackout curtains</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2vBfvpS" target="_blank">Blackout curtains</a> promote sleep by keeping out early morning sunlight. They're especially useful in rooms with east-facing windows or in urban settings where blinking traffic signals and bright security lights are hard to escape.</p> <h2>4. Microwave and mini-fridge</h2> <p>This kitchen duo will make food preparation and storage a snap &mdash; helping you avoid spendy trips to off-campus restaurants. But before you buy, check with the university housing staff or student handbook to determine which in-room appliances are allowed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-small-appliances-for-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Small Appliances for Students</a>)</p> <h2>5. Stainless steel flatware</h2> <p>Rather than throw away money on disposable utensils, invest in a <a href="http://amzn.to/2vg5dul" target="_blank">set of flatware</a> for dorm room dining. No need to buy new; you can easily assemble a mismatched collection from yard sales or thrift stores.</p> <h2>6. Shower caddy</h2> <p>Since most dorms feature communal bathrooms, you'll need a handy way to transport your personal care items. Grab-and-go <a href="http://amzn.to/2fqH9zI" target="_blank">shower caddies</a> have a place for all the hygiene goods that keep you looking great.</p> <h2>7. Antimicrobial flip-flops</h2> <p>No matter how clean they may be, those communal showers have a distinct &quot;ick factor.&quot; Protect your feet and stop the spread of germs by investing in a pair of slip-resistant <a href="http://amzn.to/2vBQdIo" target="_blank">antimicrobial shower sandals</a>.</p> <h2>8. First aid kit</h2> <p>Headaches and colds are a fact of life (especially during finals week). Keep a small supply of pain relievers, cough drops, and cold medicine on-hand to make dorm life easier during trying times. And when emergencies happen, make sure your first aid kit includes rubbing alcohol, antibiotic ointment, bandages, and aloe vera gel for burns. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-first-aid-kits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best First Aid Kits</a>)</p> <h2>9. Clip-on light</h2> <p>All-night study sessions are a time-honored tradition among college students. Use a <a href="http://amzn.to/2wESqPU" target="_blank">clip-on light</a> to illuminate your textbook and not your snoozing roomie. With a flexible &quot;gooseneck&quot; design and durable clip, they're perfect for bunk bed rails and headboards.</p> <h2>10. Desktop organizer</h2> <p>No matter how virtual our workspaces become, everyone needs a <a href="http://amzn.to/2vBwubU" target="_blank">desktop organizer</a> to hold highlighters, pens, sticky notes, and assorted chargers and cables. And when your course load gets heavier, at least your desk won't be a total mess.</p> <h2>11. Bed risers</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2vg3vct" target="_blank">Bed risers</a> are an inexpensive way to reclaim precious square footage for seasonal clothes, luggage, and sports equipment. Some risers even come with built-in electrical outlets and USB ports for easy bedside charging.</p> <h2>12. Over-the-door shoe organizer</h2> <p>To maximize limited space in your dorm room, think vertically. <a href="http://amzn.to/2fqd7Mx" target="_blank">Over-the-door shoe organizers</a> aren't just for footwear. Use the pockets to hold scarves and gloves, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, utensils, and packaged snacks.</p> <h2>13. Flexible furniture</h2> <p>In tight spaces, every item needs to pull double duty. Keep an eye out for small-scale multiuse furniture (an ottoman with a built-in storage compartment or a shelf that can also serve as a room divider). Also, consider items like folding chairs and <a href="http://amzn.to/2vBJRc5" target="_blank">TV trays</a> that can be easily stored when not in use.</p> <h2>14. Cleaning kit</h2> <p>Spills, stains and other minor mishaps need quick attention. Assemble a small cleaning kit with stain removers, laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaner, and a microfiber cloth. It'll definitely come in handy when those inevitable &quot;oops!&quot; moments happen.</p> <p>Let me wrap things up with one final, but crucial, tip: Before investing in any item that can be shared, check with your soon-to-be roommate. Together, you can coordinate shopping lists to avoid duplication or split the cost of big-ticket purchases.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F14-dorm-essentials-that-make-student-life-easier&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F14%2520Dorm%2520Essentials%2520That%2520Make%2520Student%2520Life%2520Easier.jpg&amp;description=14%20Dorm%20Essentials%20That%20Make%20Student%20Life%20Easier"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/14%20Dorm%20Essentials%20That%20Make%20Student%20Life%20Easier.jpg" alt="14 Dorm Essentials That Make Student Life Easier" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-dorm-essentials-that-make-student-life-easier">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now">The 8 Best Ways to Save on Back-to-School Supplies Right NOW</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-stock-up-on-school-supplies">6 Genius Ways to Stock Up on School Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-back-to-school-items-you-can-sell-for-extra-cash">6 Back-to-School Items You Can Sell For Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping back-to-school back-to-school shopping college college freshman dorm essentials dorm room school supplies shopping for college Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Kentin Waits 1999315 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Questions to Ask Before Taking Out Student Loans http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_saving_education_coins.jpg" alt="Woman saving education coins" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans are more burdened by student loan debt than ever, with the average graduate in their 20s making $351 a month in student loan payments. Suggested changes to the federal student loan program could have even more college students questioning just how much student loan debt they want or can afford.</p> <p>As part of its overall budget plan, the Trump administration would like to eliminate current provisions in which the government pays the interest on student loans taken out by low-income students while the borrower is still in school and for six months after graduation.</p> <p>The Trump administration is also proposing to end the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. This program allows borrowers who go on to work for the government or for nonprofits to have the remainder of their federal student loans forgiven after they make 10 years of payments.</p> <p>Even though these potential changes might never be signed into law, just the possibility of such changes makes it even more important for students to ask the right questions before they take out federal or private student loans.</p> <p>Here are six questions you should ask before signing up for any student loan.</p> <h2>1. Have you considered all education options?</h2> <p>Your first-choice school might be the most expensive university on your list. You might be able to reduce the amount of money you borrow each year by choosing a less costly option.</p> <p>Instead of attending a private college, you might investigate a public university. Instead of going to an out-of-state school, you might consider going to school in-state, which comes with lower tuition. You could also attend a community college for two years before transferring to a private or public university for the remainder of your college years. These choices could reduce the amount of student loan debt you'll have to take on.</p> <h2>2. Can you cut out room and board?</h2> <p>The College Board reported that the average yearly cost of room and board at a public four-year university stood at $10,440 during the 2016&ndash;2017 academic year. You can save that expense if you attend a college that allows you to live at home while taking classes.</p> <p>Yes, you will lose out on some of the traditional college experience. But taking on less student loan debt might be an acceptable trade-off.</p> <h2>3. Are you borrowing too much for your potential future income?</h2> <p>Certain careers pay more than others. You need to remember this when applying for student loans. You don't want to take on huge debts if you expect to make $40,000 a year when you graduate. But taking on larger amounts of debt might be a solid financial choice if you are working toward a higher-paying degree.</p> <h2>4. How big of a student loan payment are you willing to make once you're working?</h2> <p>Borrowing money might seem easy when you're still in school. After all, you're probably not making payments on these loans yet. But once you're out in the working world, that student loan debt won't seem so benign.</p> <p>You will have to make payments each month. And these payments will come in addition to rent, car payments and, eventually, mortgage payments. Student loan payments become a huge financial burden to many. Before borrowing today, you need to consider how comfortable you'll be making those payments in the future.</p> <h2>5. Are there other types of financial aid available?</h2> <p>Before applying for a student loan, make sure you explore all financial aid options with your high school counselor, or the university you plan to attend. Many universities offer merit scholarships to incoming students. You usually don't have to apply for these scholarships. Schools automatically provide them, usually based on your academic performance. Even if you've been offered one, you might be able to persuade your university to provide you with a larger merit scholarship, especially if you are worried that you won't be able to afford the yearly tuition without financial help.</p> <p>There are other types of scholarships, too, that you should investigate. The U.S. Department of Education says that there are several ways for college students to search for scholarships and grants. They should first speak with the financial aid office at the college they are attending. These professionals often have tips for hunting down scholarship and grant money.</p> <p>They can also use the free online <a href="http://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-scholarships.aspx" target="_blank">scholarship finder</a> offered by the Department of Education. The department also offers an online list of <a href="https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html" target="_blank">state grant agencies</a> that students can search to find scholarships and grants in their states.</p> <p>Call your school's financial aid office to discuss options such as work-study programs and possible additional financial help.</p> <h2>6. Can you get by without private loans?</h2> <p>Even if you get grants and scholarships, you may still need student loans. There are two types of student loans to consider: Federal loans offered through the federal government or private loans offered by private lenders. Federal loans are preferable because they usually come with lower interest rates and more flexible repayment programs. Federal loans also provide more options if, after graduating, you find yourself struggling to make payments, including deferment and eventual forgiveness programs.</p> <p>It's far better to rely as much as possible on federal subsidized or unsubsidized student loans. The challenge is that these federal loans have limits; you can only borrow so much each school year.</p> <p>Your school might also offer its own lower-interest loans that would be cheaper than private loans. But if these options still aren't enough, you'll have to determine whether taking out less attractive private student loans to attend college is worthwhile. It might be the only option.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Questions%2520to%2520Ask%2520Before%2520Taking%2520Out%2520Student%2520Loans.jpg&amp;description=6%20Questions%20to%20Ask%20Before%20Taking%20Out%20Student%20Loans"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Questions%20to%20Ask%20Before%20Taking%20Out%20Student%20Loans.jpg" alt="6 Questions to Ask Before Taking Out Student Loans" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover">6 Things Financial Aid Might Not Cover</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training college debt repayment federal loans higher education private loans scholarships student debt student loans trump tuition Tue, 18 Jul 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Dan Rafter 1983760 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Good Financial Deeds that Can Backfire http://www.wisebread.com/6-good-financial-deeds-that-can-backfire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-good-financial-deeds-that-can-backfire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/silly_young_woman_slapping_hand_on_head_having_duh_moment.jpg" alt="Silly young woman, slapping hand on head having duh moment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The saying goes that no good deed goes unpunished. Perhaps there are actually some good deeds that don't backfire, but there are many financial good deeds that can come back to haunt a generous soul if they're not careful. These favors can cost you more money than you expected, or hurt your credit. Before you embark on an expedition of financial kindness, consider these examples of good deeds that can backfire.</p> <h2>1. Co-signing a lease or loan</h2> <p>You may hope to do a friend or family member a favor by helping them buy a new car or land a new apartment. But even if you are assisting someone you know and trust, you are putting your own finances at risk. If the other person fails to make a loan payment or doesn't pay the rent, you will be on the hook for whatever is owed. If you can't make the payments, it will show up on your credit report and hurt your credit score. Even if the other party pays on time, you are increasing your debt-to-income ratio by being a co-signer to any loans, and that can hurt your own ability to get a loan.</p> <p>If you feel strongly about helping someone out with a lease or loan, it's better to protect your own credit by making them a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-16-cardinal-rules-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family" target="_blank">personal loan</a>, preferably one that won't sink you financially if they don't pay you back.</p> <h2>2. Adding an authorized user to your credit card</h2> <p>It's hard to build credit when you're first starting out. That's why some parents choose to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-to-add-your-teen-as-an-authorized-user-on-your-credit-card" target="_blank">make their child an authorized user</a> on their credit card. This is often a great way for your teen to start building credit.</p> <p>But there are right and wrong ways to do it. This strategy can backfire financially, especially if you're not keeping an eye on their spending. Missed payments and high debt levels could impact <em>both </em>of your credit scores.</p> <p>It's best to add your child as an authorized user only if you can closely track their spending. Once they've established that they can be financially responsible, let them get their own credit card if they qualify for one.</p> <h2>3. Donating to a bad charity</h2> <p>It's unfortunate, but every once in awhile you'll hear a story about a nonprofit group that either failed to live up to its mission or was a complete scam from the start. Hopefully, if you've donated to a bad charity, you've walked away with nothing more than a few lost dollars. But in a worst-case scenario, you may have unwittingly contributed to illegal activity.</p> <p>Before you donate to a charity, take some time to research the organization. Read their annual report and any public financial documents. Ask for their tax ID number and tax forms. Giving money is great, but it's worth taking the time to make sure it's going to a good and honest cause.</p> <h2>4. Lending money to your kids</h2> <p>There's nothing philosophically wrong with helping your kids out with money if you're in a position to do so. But if you're constantly giving them money or bailing them out of situations, you may be throwing good money after bad. Moreover, you're failing to teach them how to be financially responsible on their own.</p> <p>Even young children should learn the basics of budgeting and saving, and the consequences that come from, say, spending all their allowance on candy and then not having enough money to go to the movies with their friends. Teens should be encouraged to get part-time jobs if possible to help pay for vehicles or college. These lessons give them the skills to be financially independent, making them much better off financially in the long run than if you simply give them cash whenever they need it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a>)</p> <h2>5. Paying for your kid's college</h2> <p>With college costs rising to outlandish heights, many parents are making an effort to save for all or part of a child's education. This is a generous deed that could result in a child avoiding costly student loans.</p> <p>It's important, however, to avoid taking away too much from your own savings goals. If you save for your children's college education instead of saving for your own retirement, this may impact the lifestyle you can afford after you stop working. It's always possible to borrow for college, if necessary. But no one's handing out loans to cover your 30-plus years of retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea" target="_blank">Why Saving Too Much for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a>)</p> <h2>6. Socially responsible investing</h2> <p>There are many investors who want to make money in the stock market but don't want to go against some of their core beliefs. They may choose not to invest in energy companies that have gotten in trouble for polluting, for example. Or they stay away from investing in casinos for religious reasons. There's nothing wrong with this, and it's definitely possible to invest well without violating your principles.</p> <p>But it's important to know how these choices impact your investment returns. For one thing, there are many well-performing stocks that you may find objectionable, so you need to be comfortable with the notion of giving up some potentially big returns. It's also not easy to find an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-warren-buffett-says-you-should-invest-in-index-funds" target="_blank">index fund</a> (an often-recommended type of fund that mirrors a particular stock index or market segment) that doesn't own shares of at least one company you might object to, though socially responsible index funds have become more plentiful. Just make your decision to abstain from certain investments with full knowledge of how it might cost you.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-good-financial-deeds-that-can-backfire&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Good%2520Financial%2520Deeds%2520that%2520Can%2520Backfire%2520%25281%2529.jpg&amp;description=6%20Good%20Financial%20Deeds%20that%20Can%20Backfire"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Good%20Financial%20Deeds%20that%20Can%20Backfire%20%281%29.jpg" alt="6 Good Financial Deeds that Can Backfire" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-good-financial-deeds-that-can-backfire">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-you-should-set-for-the-holidays">10 Money Goals You Should Set for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-still-stuck-in-a-financial-hole">8 Reasons You&#039;re Still Stuck in a Financial Hole</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-excuses-we-need-to-stop-making-about-overspending">5 Excuses We Need to Stop Making About Overspending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance college gifts good deeds loans saving money socially responsible investing Spending Money Thu, 06 Jul 2017 09:00:12 +0000 Tim Lemke 1977971 at http://www.wisebread.com These 17 Companies Will Help You Repay Your Student Loan http://www.wisebread.com/these-17-companies-will-help-you-repay-your-student-loan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-17-companies-will-help-you-repay-your-student-loan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_for_education.jpg" alt="Saving for education" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Student loans can dampen the ability of new grads to get on their feet financially, causing stress at home and at work. According to Student Loan Hero, the graduating class of 2016 had an average student loan balance of $37,172 &mdash; up six percent from the year before.</p> <p>While it's daunting to see that number rise, the good news is that, in an effort to recruit and retain the best hires, a growing number of employers have started programs to help employees pay back those hefty student loans. Here are a few of those companies helping workers get out of debt.</p> <h2>1. Chegg</h2> <p>In April 2015, tutoring and study services company Chegg announced its college loan reduction plan for full-time employees in partnership with Tuition.IO, a company that provides a web-based platform for tracking and managing student loan payments. This benefit has an annual cap of $1,000 (less taxes), but has no cap on the total amount an employee can receive.</p> <h2>2. ChowNow</h2> <p>ChowNow has found this perk so useful in hiring talent that the company decided to double it from when it first started offering it to employees. The Los Angeles-based online food ordering company has an employer-paid student loan assistance program that matches up to $1,000 a year of employee payments.</p> <h2>3. CommonBond</h2> <p>Since December 2016, this lending marketplace platform has been granting $100 per month to its employees to pay down student loans. While CommonBond limits the perk at $1,200 per year, the company continues helping its employees until they fully pay off their student loans. Employees also have the option to refinance their student loans with CommonBond. On average, student borrowers save over $14,000 when refinancing through CommonBond, according to the company.</p> <h2>4. Credit Suisse</h2> <p>The financial services company doesn't offer a lump sum benefit to its employees, but instead provides a 0.25 percent discount on interest rates to workers that refinance their student loans with online lender SoFi.</p> <h2>5. Connelly Partners</h2> <p>Boston-based ad agency Connelly Partners works with Gradifi to offer a student loan repayment plan that improves the longer the employee stays with the company. Like a 401(k) plan, the agency matches up to $100 per month of its employees' debt payments. Employees who stick around for at least six months receive a $1,000 student loan payment bonus. Those who work for the company for five years receive another $1,000 bonus for the sixth year.</p> <h2>6. Fidelity Investments</h2> <p>The financial services firm makes an annual $2,000 direct payment to employees' student loan servicers, up to a total of $10,000. If your career with Fidelity requires you to continue your education, then Fidelity will reimburse you 90 percent of qualifying costs (up to $10,000 per year) of a work-related degree or certification program. You must have worked for the company for at least six months to qualify.</p> <h2>7. Kronos</h2> <p>Based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, the workforce management software provider has partnered with solutions provider Student Loan Genius to pay up to $500 per year to help employees pay down student debt.</p> <h2>8. LendEDU</h2> <p>Since February 2016, the online marketplace for student loan financing has paid $2,400 per year ($200 per month) to employees with student loan debt.</p> <h2>9. Martin Health System</h2> <p>Employees working in the nursing field at Martin Health System in Florida can receive up to $2,000 per year to help pay down their student loans. In addition to this benefit from Martin Health System, Florida nurses can also work in areas with staff shortages to qualify for the state's Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program or the federal Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses and Medical Technicians.</p> <h2>10. Moonlite Bunny Ranch</h2> <p>In 2015, Dennis Hof, the owner of the legal brothel Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Nevada, promised to match 100 percent of his employees' student loan payments for two months, up to the full amount that they made during that period.</p> <h2>11. Natixis Global Asset Management</h2> <p>All Natixis employees receive an annual $1,000 student loan repayment benefit, up to $10,000 over a 10-year period. The company used to require that workers reached five years of employment in order to receive a lump sum benefit of $5,000, but did away with the requirement in July 2016.</p> <h2>12. Nvidia</h2> <p>This computing giant offers comprehensive student loan repayment options. First, employees working at least 20 hours per week who graduated within the previous three years can apply for a reimbursement of $6,000 a year for qualifying student loan payments, up to $30,000. Second, employees who successfully refinance their student loans with SoFi receive a bonus ranging from $200 to $500 and pay no loan origination fees. Third, employees who need to go back to college can receive a reimbursement of up to $5,250 each year for qualified job-related educational expenses, including tuition and books, as long as they earn at least a B average.</p> <h2>13. Powertex</h2> <p>The clothing design company was among the first businesses in Wisconsin to partner with Gradifi to offer a student loan repayment assistance program. Powertex gives eligible employees $100 per month for student loan payments for up to six years.</p> <h2>14. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC)</h2> <p>Associates and senior associates at the consulting firm receive $100 per month ($1,200 a year) toward student loan payments for up to six years.</p> <h2>15. SoFi</h2> <p>Many employers partner with SoFi to offer a student loan repayment assistance program. The online lender also offers its own eligible employees $200 per month to help them fully pay back student loans.</p> <h2>16. Staples</h2> <p>The office supply retailer offers top-performing full-time employees $100 a month for three years, for a total of $3,600 in student loan assistance. To maintain their eligibility, employees must meet set criteria throughout the entire three years.</p> <h2>17. Aetna</h2> <p>As of January 2017, the health care company matches employees' student loan payments of up to $2,000 per year, with a lifetime maximum of $10,000. The program is available to employees who have graduated within the previous three years from an accredited institution.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthese-17-companies-will-help-you-repay-your-student-loan&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThese%252017%2520Companies%2520Will%2520Help%2520You%2520Repay%2520Your%2520Student%2520Loan_0.jpg&amp;description=These%2017%20Companies%20Will%20Help%20You%20Repay%20Your%20Student%20Loan"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/These%2017%20Companies%20Will%20Help%20You%20Repay%20Your%20Student%20Loan_0.jpg" alt="These 17 Companies Will Help You Repay Your Student Loan" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-17-companies-will-help-you-repay-your-student-loan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didn-t-learn-in-college-but-you-should-have">10 Things You Didn’t Learn in College (but You Should Have)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life">How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Job Hunting college companies contributions education employee benefits jobs loan repayment plans student loans Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1968233 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 College Expenses You Aren't Saving For http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-517076077.jpg" alt="Parent finding college expenses she didn&#039;t save for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Worried that tuition and room and board will bleed you dry when your kid goes off to college? Pfft. Wait till you get a load of all the expenses you didn't account for! You'll want to sit down for this.</p> <h2>1. College prep items</h2> <p>You'll want to send your kid off to college well prepared &mdash; with things. Things like study and work supplies, dorm room necessities, snack foods, toiletries, a new computer, maybe a new phone. It's amazing how easily items pile up when you're shopping for college.</p> <h2>2. Traveling home and back</h2> <p>No loving parent can go too long without seeing their kid &mdash; especially their freshman year in college. So, you'll need to account for travel costs to get your child back and forth to your home if they attend a school that requires more than a few hours' travel.</p> <p>&quot;Create a travel budget by researching typical costs for airfare, train, or bus, whichever mode of transportation is available to you, and estimate the number of times your child will head home throughout the year,&quot; suggests money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. &quot;If they have a car and are driving [a long] distance away from home, propose that they carpool to save on gas and tolls if applicable.&quot;</p> <p>They can also use a site like <a href="https://www.zimride.com/" target="_blank">Zimride</a>, which will connect them with other college students looking to share a ride.</p> <h2>3. Local transportation costs</h2> <p>If your child has a car on campus, you're looking at the cost of a parking pass plus insurance and gas. If they don't have a car, you'll need to consider a new bike and investigate the cost of public transportation passes. These costs can add up, as well. College students don't tend to be holed up in their tiny dorm rooms while not in class.</p> <h2>4. Food outside the meal plan</h2> <p>College meal plans are expensive enough by themselves, but don't count on those being your child's only source of food. Many campus dining halls close earlier than you probably think, and late night study sessions require energy. Plan on having to send them some extra dollars for groceries, snacks, and late-night diner runs.</p> <h2>5. Greek life</h2> <p>I was interested in joining a fraternity when I went to college. It signified the quintessential coming-of-age experience to me, and I liked the idea of having &quot;brothers,&quot; as I wasn't close with my own growing up.</p> <p>Nice sentiment, but it got expensive real quick.</p> <p>My dues were about $400 per semester, I wanted to buy new clothes every time we had a formal or theme party, and if something went wrong in the house &mdash; like the one time a drunk alumni brother smashed up our soda machine &mdash; we had to collectively cover the cost. By the end of four years, I had spent thousands of dollars to be part of this exclusive club &mdash; which, in hindsight, was worth every penny considering the memories I made. So, I guess what I'm saying here is &hellip; grab your checkbook.</p> <h2>6. Sports and extracurriculars</h2> <p>If you're the parent of a child whose athletic skills have earned them a college scholarship, congrats; consider yourself lucky. On the other hand, if your child is perfectly average but still wants to play sports or join extracurriculars, you'll need to cough up the cash.</p> <p>&quot;Sometimes participating in extracurricular activities on campus can cost extra money,&quot; says Johan Zhang, co-founder of CollegeVine. &quot;Whether it's paying for club dues, schoolwide participation fees, or even apparel, at many colleges there exists a hidden cost to joining and being an active member in extracurricular activities..&quot;</p> <p>Be sure to consider this and save up in advance.</p> <h2>7. Your trips to see your child</h2> <p>Bringing your kid home is going to cost you, and so is traveling to visit your child. You may also want to attend things like orientation weekend, parents' weekend, and other events hosted by the college. You'll need to factor in transportation, lodging, and food, so budget wisely.</p> <h2>8. Off-campus living</h2> <p>Eventually your kid will outgrow the dorm and want to live off-campus. This usually happens around junior year, but sometimes you can hold it off until senior year. With that comes the expense of monthly rent, renter's insurance, furniture, utility bills, and a security deposit that you're never going to see again. Make amends with that right now; it's already spent.</p> <h2>9. The extended plan</h2> <p>Listen, I'm rooting for you to get your kid in and out of college in four years, but, well... the odds aren't in your favor.</p> <p>&quot;At most public universities, over 80 percent of students will take more than four years to graduate due to overcrowded or unavailable classes,&quot; say Adrian Ridner, CEO and co-founder of Study.com. &quot;That means if you are planning on four years of college expenses, you could be under budgeting by 25 percent to 50 percent. Taking low cost college courses online can be a great way to stay on track and graduate on time. Another factor that can extend your child's time in school is lack of college readiness. This may mean completing remedial courses that do not count toward graduation.&quot;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover">6 Things Financial Aid Might Not Cover</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-a-college-meal-plan">Here&#039;s What You Need to Know Before Buying a College Meal Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-expenses-of-a-new-baby">15 Unexpected Expenses of a New Baby</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Education & Training college dining plans dorm rooms expenses food costs fraternities hidden costs kids sororities students transportation travel Tue, 11 Apr 2017 08:00:16 +0000 Mikey Rox 1923858 at http://www.wisebread.com What Does "Free" College Tuition Really Pay For? http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-free-college-tuition-really-pay-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-does-free-college-tuition-really-pay-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-493478404.jpg" alt="College students learning if free tuition is free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Free college tuition was a rallying cry for some candidates in the 2016 presidential election, and it's become a reality in several states (or soon will be). But is free tuition truly free?</p> <p>Here's our rundown of who pays, along with a look at some of the hidden, unintended costs &mdash; monetary, societal, and otherwise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-on-college-tuition?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Save on College Tuition</a>)</p> <h2>1. Taxpayers Pick Up the Tab</h2> <p>Just three states &mdash; Minnesota, Oregon, and Kentucky &mdash; have free tuition programs in place, while the notion is being hotly debated by lawmakers in nearly a dozen other states. (The City of San Francisco recently announced free tuition at its community college.) All of these programs have small differences, but there's lots of commonality. First, all of the &quot;free&quot; tuition programs that have been proposed or are currently in place seek to shift the burden of payment from the student to the taxpayer. The idea is that the cost of an education is often prohibitive for individual students to bear, while state and federal taxpayers can collectively foot the bill without emptying their wallets.</p> <p>Rhode Island's free tuition program proposal, for example, has an estimated price tag of $30 million &mdash; or less than half of 1% of the <a href="http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20160616/ri-house-approves-89b-budget" target="_blank">Rhode Island state budget</a>. The program would annually benefit an estimated 8,000 resident students who enroll in a two-year program at any of the state's public colleges. Every Rhode Island resident would be eligible, regardless of income or academic ability.</p> <p>Cost estimates to institute free tuition programs such as the one being shopped around by Rhode Island lawmakers are relatively low, proponents say, because most of them are &quot;last dollar&quot; scholarships. This means that the program covers the gap a student has in his or her tuition and mandatory fees bill after subtracting federal funding and other financial aid grants. Such is the case for programs in place in Oregon and Minnesota, as well as those proposed in Rhode Island and New York.</p> <h2>2. Many Programs Are Limited to Community College or Trade School</h2> <p>Free tuition programs only apply to public schools, and many of them &mdash; including programs implemented or under consideration in Oregon, Maryland, Minnesota, and Massachusetts &mdash; further limit eligibility to students who plan to enroll in community colleges or trade schools.</p> <p>Minnesota's <a href="https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=SF0005&amp;session=ls89&amp;version=latest&amp;session_number=0&amp;session_year=2015" target="_blank">free tuition pilot program</a>, for example, covers tuition for students who plan to complete their schooling or training in a high-demand field within one or two years. The $5 million scholarship program applies to about 1,200 fields, ranging from cosmetology to poultry production, at the state's 30 community and technical colleges. It targets middle class students whose families earn $90,000 or less annually and who are not eligible for already existing federal and state grants that aim to help lower income students.</p> <p>For students whose sights are set on a four-year degree from a four-year school, very few of the free tuition programs offer much help. Rhode Island will cover tuition at any public school, including four-year institutions &mdash; but only for up to two years. New York's free tuition proposal, on the other hand, is fairly unique in that it would fund four-year programs at the 64 State University of New York (SUNY) and 23 City University of New York (CUNY) colleges.</p> <h2>3. Tuition Is Only a Fraction of the Cost of Going to College<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Free tuition is a wonderful benefit, but it certainly doesn't cancel out the cost of college attendance. In fact, it's only a fraction of the larger price tag attached to any college education.</p> <p>At Maryland's <a href="http://college-tuition.startclass.com/l/1706/Howard-Community-College" target="_blank">Howard Community College</a>, where a free tuition program for students at community colleges or trade schools is under consideration, the average cost of in-state tuition and fees is $5,626. That's less than a quarter of the total cost of attendance. In addition to tuition, students pay an average of $12,195 for room and board, $1,800 for books and supplies, and $2,532 for other expenses, such as transportation.</p> <p>In New York, students would similarly be responsible for covering their own room and board, books, and other living expenses. According to a TIME magazine analysis, even if the state of New York covers the $6,470 SUNY tuition, a student would still need to come up with about $14,500 a year for other college expenses.</p> <p>A rare exception is Washington State, where lawmakers are considering a program that would provide a tuition and mandatory fee waiver to resident students attending in-state community and technical colleges, plus one other perk: All students from families with an income less than 70% of the state median family income would also receive a stipend of up to $1,500 for books and other education-related expenses.</p> <h2>4. Free Tuition Programs Only Aid Resident Students</h2> <p>If your state doesn't have a free tuition program, you won't be able to mooch off one that does. All of the free tuition programs thus far apply only to in-state residents who choose to further their education within that state's borders.</p> <h2>5. Where Academic Eligibility Bars Are in Place, Minority, Low-Income Students Could Get Left Behind</h2> <p>Some free tuition programs, such as the one launched in Oregon in 2016, require students to achieve certain academic standards in order to be eligible for scholarship money. But there is evidence that reserving scholarship money for students of higher aptitudes can serve to &quot;<a href="http://www.nber.org/papers/w7756" target="_blank">widen the gap in college attendance</a> between blacks and whites and between those from low- and high-income families,&quot; according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.</p> <p>For example, a program launched in Georgia in 1993 with the aim of offering college scholarships to high school graduates who met certain academic requirements succeeded in increasing the state's college attendance rate by at least 7%. But researchers later found that most of that increase was represented by white, middle-class students. That's because when college becomes free or more affordable to students who meet and maintain certain academic markers, research shows that more <a href="https://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/college-access/financing/state-merit-scholarship-programs-and-racial-inequality/heller-marin-state-merit-scholarship-2004.pdf" target="_blank">white, middle-class students benefit</a> because they are proportionately better able to meet those standards. It's an inconvenient truth: Sometimes scholarship money aimed at aiding low-income and minority students instead leaves them even farther behind.</p> <h2>6. Some Experts Wonder if Free Tuition Actually Leads to More College Degrees</h2> <p>Free tuition for high school graduates, regardless of income or aptitude, is the product of the Tennessee Promise, a program that covers community college or technical school tuition, but leaves more than one-third of students saddled with $5,000 to $10,000 in fees for <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/free-tuition/410626/" target="_blank">books, rent, and living expenses</a>. For taxpayers, the net cost of the program for the 2015&ndash;2016 school year was $10.6 million.</p> <p>The Tennessee Promise has so far been successful in boosting college enrollment by 10%, but some experts wonder whether that boost will translate to higher college graduation rates. &quot;What you see is a lot of students enrolling who might not otherwise enroll. But you see really low success rates, and things like students going part-time because they can't afford the books,&quot; Debbie Cochrane, the research director at The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), told The Atlantic.</p> <p>If more students aren't attaining college degrees, will the Tennessee Promise be worth the strain on the state budget? That's the question academics and researchers are working to uncover.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-free-college-tuition-really-pay-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult">8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life">5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-17-companies-will-help-you-repay-your-student-loan">These 17 Companies Will Help You Repay Your Student Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training college cuny free tuition new york oregon public schools rhode island suny taxpayers Tennessee Mon, 06 Mar 2017 10:30:31 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1901332 at http://www.wisebread.com