If you paid college expenses in 2017, you may be entitled to a tax break. In the latest installment of the College Coach video series, Ask the College Finance Expert, former Southern New Hampshire University financial aid officer Alex Bickford breaks down the college tax breaks to ensure that parents and students claim all credits and deductions they are eligible for. Watch Alex’s video to learn, “What are the tax breaks for paying for college?”
At this time of year, many parents of seniors may be sensing some relief. Your child has completed all of his or her admissions applications and is starting to see a few offers of admission. Additionally, you have completed the necessary financial aid applications, like the FAFSA and the CSS Profile (if required by the colleges on your list).
So, you’re thinking you have some time between now and the deadline to deposit to kick back and put up your feet. But before you shut off your mind, know that there is one more (often overlooked) step to the financial aid process that you need to complete before you send off your deposit check.
If you, like many others, are in need of additional financing for college after taking advantage of your child’s federal student loan eligibility, a private student loan may meet your needs. Before you choose a private student loan, consider the following:
1. Are you or the student able to make any payments while the student is in school?
Some lenders require payments of principal and interest, others interest-only payments, while the student is enrolled in college. If you or the student can make these payments, this is a great way to keep debt down. If you are not financially able to make payments while the student is enrolled, you should instead look for a loan that can be fully deferred—that is, one that does not require any payments while the student is enrolled in school.
Recently, my colleague, Marj Southworth, and I met with 25 residents of the Light House, a maternity home in Kansas City providing comprehensive care for young women facing unplanned pregnancies. Ranging in age from 14 to 30, the women we met were all in different stages of their educational careers.
Our goals for the trip, outside of providing individualized educational counseling sessions for program residents, were to discuss educational goals, present ways to make them work financially, and to talk about avenues for success in college.
We received many inspiring updates from several young women whom we had counseled in past visits. One past resident, we’ll call her “Joan,” received a full scholarship to a private college for nursing.