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Old 04-07-2013, 05:44 PM   #526
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Well, my DD has had all the info for a couple of weeks now, and I've been encouraging her NOT to rush to make the decision. Normally I'm an uber-planner who hates waiting until the last minute, but this is such a big decision! So, it's killing me a bit not to know where she'll be, but right now, she needs space, not pressure. That said, BU was her reach school, they have exactly what she wants, and ultimately I think she'll end up there. We're visiting again next weekend (first visit for me--she went with her dad last time), and I told her we could pay the deposit on the spot if she was ready at that time.

That said, we did eliminate 3 of her 6 contenders early on, because she was getting so stressed about looking at everything from all the different schools.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:16 PM   #527
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Good Luck with everything, BuzznBelle'smom. This is such a stressful time for the kids and parents! I realized today that there are 23 days to May 1. We have to got to get closer to making a decision!
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:15 PM   #528
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A little PSA about taxes for college freshman 2013

I just want to relay a some info that came as a surprise to me when we were doing our taxes for 2012 and having a college freshman enrolled in the fall 2012 semester. As many of you know, the American Opportunity Fund is an awesome tax benefit which you can claim for your student. Here's the FAQ:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/American-Oppo...ns-and-Answers

What caught us off gaurd is that when you use the tuition and fee's you paid to justify receiving the tax credit, you may come up short justifying using distributions from your 529 savings plan so you don't have to pay taxes on the earnings of the 529 plan. It makes sense that you cannot double dip, but we were still scrambling this weekend to figure it out. For us we took our entire 529 plan out and had it paid directly to the college - easy - great. Since our plan funds were just over 1/3 of what we owed, we saw no reason not to use the whole thing. Well, you must show $4000 in qualifiying tuition and fees to reap the full $2500 tax benefit of the American Opportunity Act. (You must also subtract any tax free scholarships - a bit confusing - see rules). A large part of our bill for the fall included room and board. Thankfully room and board is okay under a 529 distribution but is strictly NOT allowed in qualifying for the Amer. Opp tax credit.

Two things - if we had a whole year (two semesters of college) to use to justfiy, it wouldn't have been an issue - but as a college freshman, there is that first semester usually in the fall that is the only semester in the tax year. Also, we could have taken out less of our small 529 and used some in 2013 to avoid the issue.

Just something we never thought of since our little 529 was a drop in the bucket compared to our bill. Thankfully room and board generally qualifies for 529 (see rules). IRS Publication 970 is a great resource too!

Good luck to all, and enjoy the graduation season.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:28 AM   #529
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We ran into that the first year of our other son's school too. He earned some scholarships and they applied them ALL to Fall term so we had no expenses to claim that year despite feeling like we had put out a lot of money!

I just finished helping (prodding, nagging) my son finish two scholarship applications. He wrote the essays, but getting him to do the rest of the paperwork semi-independently was dicey! I had to nag him to get the transcripts, nag him to get the letters of rec, nag him to fill out the paper work... Aye yi yi! He's a worthy student, I swear he is!
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:27 AM   #530
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Not such good news for us yesterday as we were denied any extra money through the appeals process at Point Park. I'm having a hard time letting this one go as I know it would be perfect for my daughter.

We are waiting on an update from Otterbein. Oh, and Webster says letters were mailed yesterday. Yeah, I've heard that from them before. I'm so tired of the colleges dishonesty. It's just all a big game at the kid's expense.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:28 AM   #531
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Not such good news for us yesterday as we were denied any extra money through the appeals process at Point Park. I'm having a hard time letting this one go as I know it would be perfect for my daughter.

We are waiting on an update from Otterbein. Oh, and Webster says letters were mailed yesterday. Yeah, I've heard that from them before. I'm so tired of the colleges dishonesty. It's just all a big game at the kid's expense.
I'm sorry . The money part is really disheartening. I understand!!!

Our mini update is this: our taxes were finally processed and we were able to access the ordering of our tax transcript, but we still have not received it. The private college was able to give us an estimated award offer based on our FAFSA, but is unable to give us a final offer until they receive that transcript. With college, federal and state grants/loans and work study, he received just over $25K. But, the school is $40K- leaving us with $15K to come up with. We have some saved, but not that much! And that's only for a year. I don't think it is going to happen.

The state school won't give us an estimate at all. They want to see the tax transcript. So- we wait. In the meantime, the clock is ticking. We keep getting letters from both schools to send in our deposit before it is too late, and that housing is based on when you send in your deposit. What can we do?? Obviously we are not in the position to lose $200 here!

Oh, and my DS received an email yesterday from the private school that there is something wrong with the FAFSA!!! What??? My DH tried calling but they were having a campus wide power outage- GRRRR.

I swear, this process has shown me the true meaning of jumping through hoops. It has been a HUGE headache!!
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:16 AM   #532
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Late to the the thread. DS has decided on UT know matter what. He appealed and was given more aid and work study. So at least now he will not have to work a real job while at work (I understand work study is work, but I feel it has less pressure on the child). After that added amount he will be able to bring down his loans to an amount he is comfortable with. I think he is crazy but he is happy.

He will try to get an RA position next year so that he can stay, if not he will have to move back and go to our state school. The state school is wonderful, but he is just dead set on going to UT. He is making it work and I give him credit. He still has to work out transportation to and from NY to FL. I have tried to tell him he will be too far for us to help and he says he understands.

We are going to try and get a PLUS loan for a part of his tuition. We had plans with the kids to pay off their loans after college but he will have to forfeit that deal if we take out the PLUS loan and it will be a much lower amount.

I guess my post next year at this time will tell who was more in tune with the financials. He may show his mom up after all. I will miss him dearly though, but the school is a short 1 1/2 away from Disney.

Hope everyone is coping okay and the stress is not too overwhelming.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:33 AM   #533
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Well, this should be the deciding weekend for us. DD and I are going out to BU for an open house in the education dept.--she went to one with her dad last fall, it's probably the same basic presentation, but we'll be touring the campus with a different perspective. I told her I'm willing to put down a deposit on the spot, and you guys reminded me that she filled out the housing request, which we can also hand in while we're there.

The money part is really tricky. We're fortunate that DD has trusts, but that doesn't make things a lot easier--for one thing, colleges count those when figuring need/contribution. She'll have to clean those all out, plus get loans, in order to get through her undergraduate. Other college choices, she would be loan-free and have money left for grad school. I feel like it's all monopoly money to her, and I hope she grasps that she'll be "poor college student", even though she's got trusts. I know, I know, first world problems, we're luckier than a lot of people, etc. I jsut never, ever thought I'd have to confront this.

Best of luck to everyone as we get into these final few weeks, and all the decisions and transitions we're all going through.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:42 AM   #534
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Keep after your students to apply for local scholarships!! DD17 has been knee-deep in schoolwork but has spent considerable time on writing essays/personal statements and filling out scholarship apps.

She just heard back yesterday from one she turned in last month and was awarded $1000 towards tuition for her freshman year. So many kids don't fill them out because they don't think that they have a shot at it!

Peace to everyone during this time of waiting...
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:38 AM   #535
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Well, DD made it official this weekend, she will be one of the 70 students in the BU School of Education Class of 2017. She was pretty sure going into the open house--frankly, I know they had her at "student teaching in Ecuador".

Money's going to be tight for her, but she doesn't care--heck, it's Boston! You can't get a much more urban college experience that this. I think her biggest challenge is going to be learning to navigate the campus and the city. But, it's a good place to learn--she'll get an unlimited T pass (that's Boston's subway), and most of her classes will be along the same, long street. I wasn't wildly impressed with the dorms, but if she gets lucky, she might have a view of Fenway from her room.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:04 AM   #536
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzznBelle'smom View Post
Well, DD made it official this weekend, she will be one of the 70 students in the BU School of Education Class of 2017. She was pretty sure going into the open house--frankly, I know they had her at "student teaching in Ecuador".

Money's going to be tight for her, but she doesn't care--heck, it's Boston! You can't get a much more urban college experience that this. I think her biggest challenge is going to be learning to navigate the campus and the city. But, it's a good place to learn--she'll get an unlimited T pass (that's Boston's subway), and most of her classes will be along the same, long street. I wasn't wildly impressed with the dorms, but if she gets lucky, she might have a view of Fenway from her room.
Congratulations! It must be a great feeling having the decision made! My son is very close to making his decision but we are still in a bit of a quandry about. Maybe if I can get myself together, I'll post about it and see what you all think! We were almost there yesterday to make a decision but had a sleepless night over it. Anyway, again, I know that it is a good feeling to have the decision made. You can really start getting excited over things now.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:18 AM   #537
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzznBelle'smom
Well, DD made it official this weekend, she will be one of the 70 students in the BU School of Education Class of 2017. She was pretty sure going into the open house--frankly, I know they had her at "student teaching in Ecuador".

Money's going to be tight for her, but she doesn't care--heck, it's Boston! You can't get a much more urban college experience that this. I think her biggest challenge is going to be learning to navigate the campus and the city. But, it's a good place to learn--she'll get an unlimited T pass (that's Boston's subway), and most of her classes will be along the same, long street. I wasn't wildly impressed with the dorms, but if she gets lucky, she might have a view of Fenway from her room.
Congrats on having a decision!
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:53 AM   #538
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Originally Posted by BuzznBelle'smom View Post
Well, DD made it official this weekend, she will be one of the 70 students in the BU School of Education Class of 2017. She was pretty sure going into the open house--frankly, I know they had her at "student teaching in Ecuador".

Money's going to be tight for her, but she doesn't care--heck, it's Boston! You can't get a much more urban college experience that this. I think her biggest challenge is going to be learning to navigate the campus and the city. But, it's a good place to learn--she'll get an unlimited T pass (that's Boston's subway), and most of her classes will be along the same, long street. I wasn't wildly impressed with the dorms, but if she gets lucky, she might have a view of Fenway from her room.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Decision Day is a little over 2 weeks away, and we are not a position to make the choice yet. I'm so stressed, she's stressed, I just want it done.
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:38 PM   #539
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Well, DD made it official this weekend, she will be one of the 70 students in the BU School of Education Class of 2017. She was pretty sure going into the open house--frankly, I know they had her at "student teaching in Ecuador".

Money's going to be tight for her, but she doesn't care--heck, it's Boston! You can't get a much more urban college experience that this. I think her biggest challenge is going to be learning to navigate the campus and the city. But, it's a good place to learn--she'll get an unlimited T pass (that's Boston's subway), and most of her classes will be along the same, long street. I wasn't wildly impressed with the dorms, but if she gets lucky, she might have a view of Fenway from her room.
Congrats!!! She will LOVE LOVE LOVE Boston!!! My BIL and SIL and their kids are in the area- my nephew lives in Boston and is going to med school. He absolutely loves it!
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:40 PM   #540
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Decision Day is a little over 2 weeks away, and we are not a position to make the choice yet. I'm so stressed, she's stressed, I just want it done.
Same. Still no tax transcript from the IRS- therefore, no financial aid packages. We are at the point that we think we are just going with the state school. We got an estimate of aid from the private one, but it is more than we can do. Surely, the state school will be less $$?? My DS just wants it done. He had to do his senior survey for the yearbook, and was "annoyed" that he couldn't even put a college down because he still doesn't know!!
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