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Families putting together their financial plan to pay for college may be forced to rely on their own bank accounts to cover tuition costs. According to a survey commissioned by Discover Student Loans, when asked to choose from a list of options, 36% of parents said most of the money to pay for their children’s educations will come from savings accounts, 24% from family savings and 12% from 529 savings plans. The survey shows that in addition to savings, parents rely on student loans (28%), income from a second job (5%), retirement funds (4%), and a second mortgage or refinance […]

Parents want what’s best for their children and while it’s normal to help students navigate the college application process, but there’s a fine line between aiding a child and taking over completely. Kaplan Test Prep’s 2010 Test Prep and Admission Survey, which includes admission officers at 387 of the nation’s top colleges and universities, found that 77% of officers believe parental involvement is on the rise in the college admissions process. (http://www.kaptest.com/) As a result, 61% admitted to developing new initiatives to keep parents informed, including social media outreach, separate tours of the school for students only and students with parents, and […]

Students waiting until their senior year to start their job hunt are putting themselves at a disadvantage in the current frail job market. A recent study by Millennial Branding and StudentAdvisor.com shows that students are not aggressively preparing for their post-college careers during their time on campus making their job search even more difficult after graduation.   The study results show that although 85% of students surveyed consider internships important to their future career prospects, only one-third have a presence on LinkedIn, a key networking tool for connecting with internship opportunities. Only one in nine student respondents have an online […]

Applying to college can be an intimidating and challenging process. Students worry about how they will measure up against their peers and if they will stand out from the crowd of thousands of other applicants. Yet, they often forget one of the most basic truths: We are all individuals with unique experiences, personalities and education goals. College admissions officials want students to express this individuality and authenticity because it helps them identify the best candidates for their schools. While SAT/ACT test scores and GPAs are a baseline measurement of academic aptitude, there are other ways students can showcase their talents, […]

After donning cap and gown, you’ll need employment and, possibly, a new ride. That college degree may have put you in some undesired debt — so how will you afford that new car now? Fortunately, you may be able to use the “recent college grad” title attached to your name as an advantage. There are several automakers that have car incentives and programs for graduating college students and recent college grads, including BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Infiniti, Kia, Nissan and Toyota, among others. “(Graduates) have all sorts of start-up expenses,” says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of the FastWeb and FinAid […]

Voters went to the polls in the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday but the Electoral College, not the popular vote, actually elects the president of the United States. There are 538 members of the Electoral College, allotted to each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Two hundred seventy votes are needed to win the election. Following is a tally of the likely Electoral College votes won by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, based on states where at least two television networks have projected a winner, as well as those in which little contest was expected: LIKELY TOTAL […]

Dear Dr. Don, I am 50 years old, and I want to cash out and close my regular individual retirement account of $ 8,000 to use on educational expenses for my twin children who started college in September. Can I remove all the money now, or do I estimate what I think I may use and only make an IRA withdrawal for what’s needed for the current academic year? Most of both children’s tuition and college expenses are being paid through merit- and need-based personal scholarships and grants. We do have an unsubsidized loan of $ 3,400 this year and […]

NEW YORK When is it worth switching to a better 529 college savings plan, and when isn’t it? These 529 savings plans work like state-sponsored educational piggy banks, using a variety of funds and asset classes to help cover educational expenses. Plans can be targeted for long or short-term savings, depending on how many years there are until college tuition bills start to arrive. They typically have low mininum contribution amounts and offer significant tax advantages. Though investors feed the accounts with after-tax money, the investment income they earn in the account is tax free if it is used to […]

Dear Bankruptcy Adviser, It’s been more than seven years since my college credit card mistakes were made, and most of the bad marks on my credit report are gone. The statute of limitations in my state has passed, so I can’t be sued for those debts anymore. I was considering filing bankruptcy to try to start over, but now that I’ve done the research and realized these things, I’m wondering if I should bother. Realistically, I still can’t afford to repay those debts, but morally I am still bound to repay them. I’m struggling with deciding if it’s worth the […]

Dear Dave, I’m in college with a full scholarship. I work part time and should be able to graduate with no debt. What can I do now to best utilize the money I make? Tyler Dear Tyler, You’re in a fantastic position right now. First, I think your main goal is to study hard and be 100% certain you’re graduating on time with no money issues. The next thing is to make sure you have plenty of cash on hand to make the transition to the real world. In a case like this, transition can mean anything from moving to […]

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