Education

Thinking About College After High School? Four Points of Advice That You Probably Won’t Hear From Your Guidance Counselor

When I think back to my high school years, I realize that I didn’t have the faintest idea of what I wanted to do with my life, nor many of the options really available to me. I had a sense that I needed a significant change of scenery for a while because I did not …

The Five College Classes I Took That Were Actually Worth My Time And Money

When I look back at my college experience, I realize that almost all of the classes directly tied to my major had almost nothing to do with what I ended up doing with my life. Instead, they mostly served to show that I was adaptable and could repeatedly apply basic ideas – which is fine, …

Categories: Education

What College Students Can Do To Prepare For Success

At the start of the last college semester, I provided ten tips for personal finance management for college students: Get some free money. Make it automatic. Look for cheaper entertainment. Don’t get any credit cards. Eat in the cafeteria. Look for free stuff. Empty out your pockets at the end of each day. When you …

Freshly Graduated And About To Get A New Job? Here Are Seven Things To Do To Get Started On The Right Financial Path

In the last few days, a bevy of recent college graduates about to enter the workforce have written to me and asked what they should be doing with their finances at this point in their life. These are the smart ones – they realize that taking a few steps in the right direction now are …

New Student Loan Benefits & Low-Cost Careers

For many people going to college, they’re scared to get involved with a major that won’t pay a lot. I know I was – after strongly considering stints as both an English major and a math major, I instead got into a major with significantly higher earning potential because I didn’t want to face huge …

A Prenatal College Fund?

My daughter will not be born until September, but a few days ago, I opened a 529 college savings plan in her name. Just as with my son, I’m contributing $75 a month to it, plus any cash gifts they receive until their sixth birthday, plus a small birthday gift for each one until their …

Categories: Education

All The Opportunity In The World

I received an email from a college student today, who I will call Erica. She told me the following: I’m a 19 year-old university student. I have no debts and all my university fees are covered by scholarships. I live at home, so I have no rent or household related expenses. Since I have had …

The Simple Dollar Convinces Someone To Quit Their Job

This is a really interesting story that I thought I would share with all of you. I do have a few comments below, but I thought I would let Kelly tell her story (I edited this email a bit to eliminate some privacy concerns and polish a few tiny grammar issues): I wanted to write …

Defining The Middle Class Through Statistics: Upward And Downward Mobility

Today, I stumbled across a very interesting tool at the New York Times website that attempts to place you in one of five socioeconomic groups (upper fifth, upper middle class, middle class, lower middle class, bottom fifth) based on a number of factors (occupation, education, income, and wealth). I’m quite happy to share my results …

Student Loans 101: What To Look For To Pay For College

I recently received this email from a reader: I need some Buyer Beware advice on how to choose a lender for a student loan with a parent as co-signer. My 19 year old will be attending university and he has to take out 100% loans. The annual amount is a hefty 50K. When I review …

How Iowa’s 529 Plan Can Help You Save for College

I’m very happy to be living in Iowa, where things are quiet, we have very strong public education, and we’re also home to one of the best investment opportunities in the country for parents of future college students. That doesn’t apply to me, you might be thinking. Wrong! Iowa’s stellar 529 plan is open to …

Categories: Education, Family

Why Johnny Can Read

Earlier this week, I read an article that really made me reconsider my tentative decision to send my child to private school. More Parents Uproot Their Lives In Search of a Perfect Education tells the story of the O’Gorman family, who basically sacrificed the home their children had grown up in and their lifelong social …

Categories: Education, Family

Student Loan Consolidation 101

If you have more than one student loan after college, chances are you’ve been approached by more than one group seeking to consolidate your student loans (if you haven’t graduated yet and have multiple loans… just wait). These groups promise all sorts of things, from a percent reduction in your balance to a low interest …

Why You Should NOT Pay For Your Child’s Education

This topic was requested by a reader who wanted to see reasons why a parent might choose not to pay for their child’s post-secondary education. This article intentionally provides only one side of a complex issue; please, do your own thinking and research before deciding whether to pay for your child’s education or not. You’re …

Categories: Education, Family

Financial Independence Week: Paying For Your Own Education

College-age readers (and younger), this post is directly aimed at you. Paying for college isn’t easy, whether it’s you doing it or your parents covering it for you. Unless you were very lucky in the scholarship department, someone is facing a financial hardship from this: your parents, you, your future self, or maybe even someone …

Financial Independence Week: Paying For Your Child’s Education

As a parent of a young child, I’m already struggling with the question of whether or not I should pay for my child’s post-secondary education, and how much I should pay for if I do. To put it simply, there is no easy answer to the question; if you were hoping to be told what …

Personal Finance For College Students

A well-known writeup on software development stated the following: Your “use case” should be, there’s a 22 year old college student living in the dorms. How will this software get him laid? This frank statement hides some amazing truths inside of it, many of which relate to things far beyond software. The key principle, though, …

Private School or College Savings?

As a parent of a young boy, I’m very concerned about the best educational path for him. As we sock money away for his college fund, I’ve been considering the concept of private school for him in the back of my mind. I recently stumbled across an article entitled Private School vs. College Savings: Which …

Categories: Education, Family

#14: Paying for College

This is part of a series in which we re-evaluate Money Magazine’s “25 Rules To Grow Rich By”. One “rule” will be re-evaluated each weekday until the series concludes; you can keep tabs on the action at the 25 Rules index. How Much College Should I pay for? Rule #14: Aim to accumulate enough money …

Categories: Education, Money