If you have a high school senior at home, you should be looking at strategies to help save on college costs, even though your student will be graduating soon.
There are a number of strategies that can potentially save you thousands of dollars as you prepare to send your child off to college. Here are three of the best ways to do it:
1. Maximize Tax Strategies.
Many parents don’t realize that there are excellent tax strategies you can use to help reduce your college costs.
One is a $2,500 per year tax credit from the IRS. The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) is a credit for qualified education expenses paid for an eligible student for the first four years of higher education. You can get a maximum annual credit of $2,500 per eligible student.
There are also some smart strategies for capital gains planning and moving some of your money into tax-free or virtually tax-free investments and accounts, which can help you maximize the money you contribute toward college.
There are additional tax strategies for business owners and real estate investors as well.
The right strategies can potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars on college, and the more you’re spending on college, the more likely that these strategies will pay off.
To learn more, reach out to me to schedule an online call, and I’ll help you assess your situation and potential tax savings opportunities.
2. Negotiate the Price You Pay.
Technically, colleges don’t admit to negotiating on price. But nearly all of them negotiate in one way or another. So you can appeal their financial aid offers or get them to compete with each other on price, and you can potentially get a better deal.
First you need to set yourself up for a successful negotiation. Now is the time to do your research, long before your student is accepted, before you get an official price and financial aid offer from the school.
- Are the schools on your list willing to negotiate?
- Have you applied to the right schools to give you some leverage?
- Should your student apply to competing schools to improve your negotiation chances?
Generally, any private school negotiates on price and financial aid. A lot of public colleges generally don’t negotiate. But all schools have a financial aid appeal process.
You won’t get an official price and financial aid offer until after your student is accepted, but start doing your research now.
No matter what their offer is, you should plan to appeal it and negotiate it. But you may need to add and apply to some competing schools to get competing offers and have a basis for negotiation. You might even need to add or change schools depending on what you discover through your research.
Start by doing some online searches for answers to the key questions above, or contact me to inquire about the schools on your list. I’m familiar with the financial practices of many colleges, and I can provide you with quick answers or help you find the answers you need through the right sources.
3. Conduct a Need-Based and Merit Aid Audit.
Now that your student is a senior, it’s a crucial time to conduct an audit of your potential need-based and merit-based aid.
First, you need to take a revised look at the schools on your list to see how generous they are to families in your income bracket and estimate what need-based and merit-based aid they might offer your student.
Based on your findings, you may need to change the schools on your list or apply to competing schools to keep the others honest. But there are also last-minute changes you can make to your financial assets and some mistakes you can avoid, and these can potentially help you qualify for thousands of dollars more in financial aid.
Start by scheduling a call with me to review your situation and do a quick audit of your financial aid prospects and the financial assets you might have to report on your financial aid application.
With the right moves and information, you could potentially come out way ahead and reduce your college costs dramatically.
To get started, schedule an online call with me now.
Helpful Articles and Resources
College Financial Planners: What They Do and Why Families Hire ThemLearn why it pays to work with a financial advisor to help you plan and pay for college.
The 5 Types of Federal Financial AidFind out if the 5 types of federal aid are available to your family and what they mean for you.