Posts Tagged ‘pay for college’

Book Review of Suze Orman’s Action Plan


Suze Orman’s Action Plan was on my reading list for a while and I finally got to it.  While reading, I was happy to see that Orman’s advice was right on par with White Picket College.  She even has an entire chapter called Paying for College.  Reading the chapter pretty much mirrored what we discuss here at WPC, but I was fascinated to find out her opinions on currently taking out a 529 plan and a PLUS Loan.  These two topics will be addressed in future posts.

I was most intrigued by the Retirement section–not only for myself, but for the readers here at WPC.  If you’re like me, 20 or more years away from retirement, you’ll find Orman’s stock advice to be very surprising.  Even my fiance, who is very organized in regard to his retirement fund and has a financial planner, was surprised by her advice.

In the revised from 2009 edition, Orman added a chapter entitled Kids and Money.  Quite frankly, I love this section because it shows parents how to financially educate their kids.  It may sound easy, but Orman addresses tough questions.  For example, what do you do when your brother and sister-in-law give your children extravagant gifts … but you can’t do the same thing in return?  It’s a good question, right?  As I read it to myself, I was thinking, I’m not sure what I’d do if I was a parent in this situation.  Orman answers a lot of tricky questions like this, including ones about kids in college or right out of college.

I highly recommend Suze Orman’s Action Plan.  It’s only $9.99 and very much worth the small price.  Remember to buy the “revised and updated (edition) from Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan.”  Happy reading to all of our followers!

~ the WPC team

© White Picket College, 2010 – College Funding for the Upper Middle Class

How About Students Help Pay for College?


We always discuss how it’s the parents’ job to pay for college.  But what about students contributing to their education?  How will this help upper middle class (UMC) families who are struggling to put one child through college?

An ambitious student and hard worker, Zac Bissonnette, author of Debt Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents, details how Zac, a college senior, pays for school.  He works full-time and chose a relatively inexpensive, in-state university.  His tactics worked and he will graduate completely debt free, quite a feat.  I watched Zac on CNN last week as he discussed statistics from Academically Adrift, which reports college students spend half their time socializing.  Zac said on CNN:

The average college student is drunk 10.2 hours per week. So if you think that your kids should not work during college …

He makes a good point.  Why can’t students work through college?  And why can’t they work before college even starts?

Unfortunately, the money the student makes before college will be accounted for in taxes and on the FAFSA.  And this lowers your chance of financial aid.  But if you find yourself without acceptable educational financial aid, a good solution is to have the student go to work.

Working before college and through college may seem like a punishment to some parents and students, but quite frankly, it’s what my parents did and the generations before them did.  Earning full-time money, instead of drinking or partying, will help the student receive must-needed work skills and life experience and teach them how to financially support themselves.

If a family really cannot afford to pay for college, another good solution is to have the student defer admission for a year.  S/he can use that year to work a full-time job or many part-time jobs and save up for college.

We realize these solutions may not be ideal for the UMC, but they’re practical.  Now more than ever UMC families must approach their financial decisions with pragmatism.  And students paying for their college education sounds like a good decision to us.

~ the WPC team

$3.4 Billion in Free Scholarships.

© White Picket College, 2010 – College Funding for the Upper Middle Class

Dipping into Your Retirement Fund?


It’s official.  Parents are dipping into their retirement funds to pay for their child’s college education.  According to Sallie Mae and the Gallup poling organization, a whooping 24 percent of parents plan to pay for college by dipping into their retirement funds.  This includes pension plans, IRAs and 401(k)s.

If you’re one of these parents, THINK about what you’re doing before delving into that retirement account.  Firstly, talk to a highly reputable financial adviser and accountant.  Here at White Picket College, we recommend not to dip into retirement funds.  Why not?  Here is a list of our reasons:

  • You will accrue HUGE tax penalties.  Whenever you dip into a retirement fund, the monetary penalties can be staggering.  They can literally bring a person down to their knees financially.
  • Don’t believe us?  Craig Averill, a retirement planning executive with Bank of America, says those who take cash from 401(k)s who are under 59 1/2 years old, will receive a 10 percent penalty.
  • Your financial aid will decrease by as much as 47 percent because this money will be looked at as adjusted gross income in the financial aid formula, according to Mark Kantrowitz, leading college financial aid expert.

All signs point to “no” for parents who want to take out of their retirement funds.  In fact, here at White Picket College, we have two articles on why you should use retirement savings to your advantage to receive more financial aid.  Take a look:

IRA, 401k/B

Retire Early

So, parents, make sure you know all the facts before dipping into your retirement savings.  You could be potentially setting yourself (and your child) up for financial failure.  There’s nothing wrong with having all the facts first.  Do your homework and then decide if dipping into your retirement fund is the best choice for you and your family.

~ the WPC team

$3.4 Billion in Free Scholarships.

© White Picket College, 2010 – College Funding for the Upper Middle Class

How to Pay for College in a Recession


Week of July 5, 2010:  We wanted to bring you some good news this week.  Some good news about college financial aid.  We searched long and hard, and finally came across a great article by famed educational financial aid writer Kim Clark.  We’ve seen Clark’s name everywhere in highly reputable newspapers and magazines, so we know she’s the real deal.

It’s no fun hearing the word “recession” over and over.  We know you’re sick of it (we certainly are), but there’s no denying the facts.  We’re in a recession, and most of you reading this blog post have to pay for college.  So we bring you some great news this week.  Click on the article name to read Clark’s article:

The 4 Rules of Paying for College in a Recession

We’re happy to report that Clark provides the same suggestions as White Picket College.  We also discuss:

Grades Matter

FAFSA Deadline for Fall 2010

As you’re enjoying the stifling heat (104 degrees in NYC!) and relaxing at the beach this summer, make sure to review the above articles so you’re prepared for the fall.  Even in a recession such as this, there are ways to prepare yourself and your family to pay for college.  Be certain to review White Picket College and the other reputable websites we recommend to find the best and most up-to-date information about how to pay for college in a recession.

~ the WPC team

© White Picket College, 2010