Category - College

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PLUS College Loan Program Improves
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Education Loans Jeopardized by Auction-Rate Securities Market Meltdown
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Extreme College Planning
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What You Didn’t Know About 529 Plans

PLUS College Loan Program Improves

Recent changes to the PLUS federal student aid program should provide last-minute help for families seeking to fund college or graduate school expense this fall. In light of the failure of the Massachusetts Educational Finance Authority to secure funding for a new round of college loans, students who were counting on MEFA loans are scrambling to find an alternative. With many banks withdrawing from the education loan marketplace, options for loan funding have been shrinking this year.

Some important changes have been made to the PLUS educational loan program (formerly known as Parent Loans For Undergraduate Students). Until …

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Education Loans Jeopardized by Auction-Rate Securities Market Meltdown

Education Loans Jeopoardized by Auction Rate SecuritiesThe Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) announced late last month that it’s unable to raise funds needed to provide fixed-rate private education loans, as it has in the past. Families counting on MEFA loans will be scrambling to find other funds in the next few weeks unless a plan proposed by Governor Deval Patrick succeeds. At the end of the post I offer some last-minute ideas for families who will be facing a funding crunch if MEFA loans do not come through this fall.

MEFA provided loans to 40,000 Bay State residents last year, but its revenue-raising ability has …

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Extreme College Planning

Most parents aren’t looking forward to the cost of sending their kids through college. For those of you who really want to get a head start, here’s a scheme that will help maximize your college savings, albeit via rather quirky means.

Some time ago, a friend approached me with a question that no one had ever asked me before:  Is there a way to establish a tax-favored college savings plan for a child who hasn’t been born yet?  As it happened, he and his wife were planning to have a child within a year or so.  They had some cash …

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What You Didn’t Know About 529 Plans

Saving for CollegeRecently someone said to me that the only reason she invested in a 529 savings plan for her child was that everyone she knew had done the same thing. Often people have at best a vague understanding of how these plans work, why they are a desirable way to save for college, or how to select a plan that suits their needs.

I’ve found that most people don’t understand that there are actually two types of 529 plan.  There are “prepaid” 529 plans and 529 “savings” plans; they differ significantly in some respects.  In both types, state tax deductions may …

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