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College in the Fall? A few things to consider

Planning for the upcoming college year is an interesting topic to say the least.  We know that with the level of uncertainty, many families are trying to figure out how best to handle school.  While it’s unlikely that college students will be presented with a clear path for the upcoming school year, we are hoping to provide information that will help families make a decision that is a good fit for their family.  

We will keep you updated in future newsletters, also please see our note at the end of the article to sign up for the upcoming webinar.   

If you’ve received a refund for tuition, here are the basics:

  • If you use the money for approved expenses before January 1, 2021, you do not need to reinstate into your 529.
  • If you’re unsure as to whether you’ll use the money by the deadline, your best bet is to re-instate.  The requirement is re-instate the refund on the latter of the following - before July 15th or within 60 days of the refund.
    • The amount re-deposited needs to be equal to the refund.  (For example if you took out $10,000 for tuition and other college-related expenses and the refund is $6000, you can only re-deposit that $6000 refund.)

 Which colleges will be open?

 Will the coming academic year be a good use of my tuition dollars?

  • There is always a good argument for making minor adjustments and sticking with the plan when life throws you a curve ball.
  • With that, keep in mind that colleges are making cuts.  Your student will want to ask questions related to their goals and preferences.  They may want to learn more about class size, course availability, availability of professors and quality of online instruction should campuses close mid semester.   
  • Stay informed just to be sure you know what you’re investing in.   Always be sure you’re getting a return for your tuition dollars.  

 If a student takes time off, what are their options?

  • Can your student concentrate on meeting core requirements online or through a local community college, so they are ready to tackle their program content when their school returns to consistent in person classes.
  • If your student is undecided, has the current economic environment presented new opportunities for an unpaid internship? Can a journalism student do more for their career on the ground than in the classroom at this time?   Can an engineering student help create PPE?  
  • While these times are unprecedented in terms of change for our students, there are also many opportunities for those willing to step outside of the box.
  • So far, 1 in 6 students who had planned to start college in the fall have already decided to delay:  https://www.chronicle.com/article/Some-Colleges-Plan-to-Open-in/248673

 Financial Aid and Scholarships

I you would like to be kept up-to-date about the upcoming college webinar, please email:  patti@welchfp.com 

For more information:

https://www.collegeinvest.org/covid-19-college-refunds/

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/25/your-money/college-financial-aid-coronavirus.html