With higher education expenses galloping far ahead of inflation, parents at all income levels are finding it difficult to help out with their kids’ college education. If you’re one of many parents whose savings is coming up short, even with a 529 Savings Plan, a Coverdell, or other education-specific plan in place, you may be considering other options to cover the expense gap, including taking out a loan or dipping into retirement accounts.
Before going either route, be sure to fully explore the options available to your family, including potential grants, financial aid, work study programs and employer-provided education assistance programs. And if it’s too late to apply or your child won’t qualify for financial aid, your family may still qualify for one of the tax credits or deductions currently available. While these education-related tax credits won’t necessarily help every family due to limitations and income level phase-outs, they are worth exploring if you’re new to the education funding process.
If you want to explore using retirement savings or private loans to help close the funding gap, here is an overview of the available options in those areas.Read more
As the 2016 presidential hopefuls announce their plans to deal with student loan debt, student loan refinancing is once again at the center of the education debt debate. The media coverage thus far has made a couple of things pretty clear. First, a lot of people are unaware that they can apply to refinance federal student loans through a number of private lenders right now – no legislation required.Read more
The “should I go to grad school?” question is a lot different today than it was just a few years ago.
Between 2000 and 2012, graduate programs were the fastest growing segment of the higher education market, with the annual production of master’s degrees increasing 63% during that timeframe, according to federal data. In particular, enrollments spiked after the 2008 global financial crisis, when many people returned to school to bolster prospects in a depressed job market.Read more
If you’re thinking about going to graduate school, you’ve probably got a lot of questions – things like which program to pursue, what schools to consider, and whether to attend full- or part-time. You’re probably also wondering how to measure whether the investment in another degree will be worth it in the end.
While there are many non-monetary things to consider, like impact on professional development and job satisfaction, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind. Given the high cost of grad school (often accompanied by student loan debt), having a sense of the financial outcome the degree will provide can help you make a more informed decision about making such a big investment.Read more