College Savings Plans: What Parents Need To Know
This post is sponsored by College Savings Plans Network, but the opinions are our own.
Hands down, a college degree is the single best investment a parent can make in their childs future. But its also expensive. The tension between the need for a college degree and its cost is at the core of the anxiety parents experience over the college search process. Even when parents educate themselves to find colleges that offer generous financial aid packages, the financial burden can be more than families can afford from income alone.
So, what should parents do?
The most effective way for parents to prepare for anticipated higher education costs is to save. Period.
Heres whyevery dollar of parent savings will be penalized in the needs analysis by only five cents. That means that saving $10,000 will raise your expected family contribution by about $500, leaving you with $9,500 towards education costs. Its a no-brainer.
In 1996, Section 529 was added to the Internal Revenue Code as an incentive to help parents save for college. Since then, 529 plans have become even more advantageous for families.
What You Won’t Need
A trip to IKEA won’t be necessary, as most essential furniture will be provided in halls.
Aim to travel as light as possible. With most smartphones bursting with apps and organisational tools, items such as a diary or calculator may not be needed. You can also get away without:
- kitchen equipment such as a fridge, freezer and kettle
- a printer – if you need one it’s likely you’ll be able to use those in your university department or library
- a car – as parking spaces may be limited, and this is a cost you can usually do without
- large suitcases – these are hard to keep and boxes work better for storing your stuff
- your old study books – reading lists will be handed out at the start of term
- pets – most student accommodation forbid pets of any kind, so you’ll need to leave them at home.
Remember to treat these ‘what to take’ lists as a general guide, and use them to check off the things most relevant and applicable to you.
Enroll In A Student Health Plan
A lot of colleges and universities provide access to student health plans. In some cases, schools automatically put students in their health plans unless a student or their parents prove that coverage already is in place.
The out-of-pocket copays and deductibles for these plans can be lower than similar plans that parents have through their employers.
If you decide to go ahead with a student health plan, review it to see how much the premiums are and how much coverage is provided.
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A Good College List Is A Mix
Students should apply to about five to eight colleges in their senior year of high school, and it should be a good mix of reach, target, and safety schools. Your list of schools that fall under each of these categories will likely be vastly different than other students, especially if you have different grades or standardized test results. Its essential when looking at things like majors, campuses, and other factors of a college to also determine just how good of a chance you have of actually being accepted.
Toiletries + Getting Ready
Just because youre sharing a bathroom with 40 other people doesnt mean you dont still need all of your own toiletries. Keep in mind that while youll be able to stock up as needed, its a good idea to bring large sizes of toiletries with you in the beginning of the year so that they last as long as possible.
- Shower caddy
- Shower shoes
- Body towels
- Hand towels
- Cotton pads and/or cotton balls
- Cotton swabs
- Hair clips
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Does Your Student Need Renters Insurance
A students belongings normally fall under a parents homeowners insurance policy if theyre staying in on-campus housing, such as a dorm. But your coverage often doesnt cover those belongings if a student lives in off-campus housing like an apartment or house. To cover belongings in an off-campus setting, look into renters insurance.
Renters insurance not only covers belongings in situations like theft, fires and tornadoes, but it also covers items when theyre not in a students residence. For instance, renters insurance may pay for a students laptop computer if its stolen from a classroom.
If you would be financially strapped if you had to replace all your childs belongings after, say, a fire, renters insurance is a smart bet.
What You Need To Know About Coming To Campus
As the fall semester begins, we are excited to welcome more of our Durham College community to campus. For those accessing a DC building this semester, the below information will help make your visit seamless.
We also encourage you to explore our COVID-19 webpage at www.durhamcollege.ca/COVID for additional information, frequently asked questions and resources.
Coming to Campus Safely videoEmployees and students are required to watch the Coming to Campus Safely video before accessing campus. The video can be accessed online for students, or through MyCampus for employees by signing in with your network password and ID.
Vaccination and pre-screeningAnyone visiting DC campuses and locations including employees, students and visitors, must complete the COVID-19 screening questionnaire.
The questionnaire asks all those coming to campus, college-operated property or college-sanctioned events to self-declare and upload proof of their vaccination status to gain entry. Between September 13 and October 17, partially-vaccinated individuals, or those with an approved exemption will also be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test. Those with approved exemptions may continue to access the campus after October 17 with proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test result. More details regarding on-site COVID-19 rapid testing will be provided in the coming days.
More information about this process can be found in our most recent vaccination policy update.
Things College Freshmen Really Need
You’re off to college. One of the challenges of starting life as a freshman is packing up your whole life and then trying to fit it all into a small dorm room. How do you prepare for everything you need while you start the adventure of living away from home and your parents?
You might be surprised to find out that you can make do without a lot of the pricey items that appear on many checklists.
Here are five things you really need as you start college.
The Ultimate College Packing List: 110 Must
College is an exciting and challenging time for many young adults. Whether you’re going far away or staying nearby, having the right supplies can make a huge difference in making college feel like home. Plus, remembering everything will save you those rushed last-minute trips to the store or waiting for your trash can to be delivered along with your month-long supply of popcorn and ramen.
Check out this college packing list to find out what to bring to college. Make sure to also get the ! But first, what is dorm life really like?
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Tuition Insurance For Your Big Investment
With tuition often costing more than a really nice car, why not have a safety net for the money youre plunking down every semester?
Tuition insurance can reimburse you for tuition, fees and living expenses if a student leaves school because of a problem covered by the policy. This list typically includes injury or illness, and some include mental health health reasons. Coverage in case your child gets Covid and has to drop out isnt standard, so check the policys fine print if you want that feature.
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Keeping Your Valuables Safe
When you first move to university you’ll be focusing on all the positive aspects of the change, such as making new friends, exploring new places and gaining new experiences. However, you need to be mindful about the safety of your belongings, especially if you’re living in shared accommodation.
Security tips include:
- avoid leaving your room unlocked, even for a short time
- don’t allow people you don’t know into your room, and don’t leave them unaccompanied
- never leave windows open when you’re out
- if your room faces a public area, keep your curtains closed when out
- don’t leave expensive items on view – put them away in a draw or cupboard
- keep your access cards safe, don’t lend them to anyone else and don’t keep your address with them
- take out necessary insurance for your possessions – for this, you can use a price comparison site such as Comparethemarket.com.
Your university accommodation may include the cost of basic insurance for your belongings. However, if this is the case and you have some hi-tech or expensive equipment you’ll need to check the level of cover provided.
Other steps you can take to keep your things safe include:
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A Good Laptop Computer
I promise you, this will rarely leave your side. A good quality laptop is absolutely essential. Macbooks are extremely popular choices. But, if a Macbook is outside of your budget, I have owned Acer laptops for years, without ever having any problems. Whatever choice you go with, look for something portable.
You Might Not Like Your First Roommate
For your first semester of college, odds are you’ll have either a randomly picked roommate or a roommate who was selected based on your responses to a brief questionnaire. And while it’s completely possible that you will be the best of friends, it’s also possible that you might not get along. This can be uncomfortable, but remember that with classes, clubs, and other campus events, you probably won’t be in your room very much anyway. By the time the semester is over, you’ll most likely have found a friend to room with for the next term. However, if your roommate is a bit more than you can handle, Residential Advisors and Residential Directors can often help. Here’s a guide for what to do if you don’t like your roommate.
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Stay On A Parents Plan
Through the Affordable Care Act, a dependent can stay on a parents health insurance plan until age 26. This coverage can be particularly beneficial if a parents health plan has a provider network where the student attends school.
If your health plan doesnt have a provider network where your child goes to college, check the deductibles for out-of-network coverage so youre not caught by surprise if your student visits the doctor.
An Extra Set Of Sheets
One of the college must haves is an extra set of sheets. You never know when someone is going to show up and want to stay the night. An extra set of sheets just might save your futon . And theres always a chance that you might spill your SpaghettiOs while doing homework in bedno one wants to do late-night laundry when theyre tired.
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At Least One Big Microwaveable Bowl
What youve heard is truecollege kids eat a lot of Ramen and soup. I even had nights where there would be 5 of us hanging out in one dorm, each with our own large bowl of noodles. Thus, another college must have is at least one large microwaveable bowl.
Fun fact: You can also make macaroni and cheese in the microwave, but make sure you sneak some milk from the cafeteria if thats the plan.
Train Your Brain To Support Your Professional Journey
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What You Need For College
ByConnor R Sullivan | Submitted On September 18, 2009
All too often college freshmen will end up packing too much of their stuff to bring along with them to school. Sometimes problems arise at the end of the year when it’s time to go home and they can’t fit everything they’ve acquired into one car load. They’ll need more than paper, computers, laser toner cartridge, and bulk ink. Here are some helpful guidelines to get new college students and their parents on the right track.
What college student doesn’t stay up late at night while crashing for exams and find themselves in need of something to eat? A good way to keep non-perishable food out of the way and hidden from hungry roommates is to utilize some plastic storage containers that fit easily under the bed. Plastic storage bins are great because they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to store virtually everything from peanut butter to sweaters.
Students don’t need everything in their closet so investigate the weather conditions for the next several months and make sure to bring only the clothing that will be needed to get through. Plus, there won’t be much room to store dirty clothes so laundry will have to be done regularly anyway. Don’t forget to leave some room in the closet for new items such as college sweatshirts and bring along plenty of your own hangers since most colleges don’t provide them.
College Packing List Things To Take To College Freshman Year
Heading off to college for the first time can be overwhelming. What do you bring with you? What cant you bring with you? How are you going to get all of your stuff there? If you live close to your school, youll more than likely need a car or two to help you move. If you live out of state, it can get a bit tricky. No worries, we got your College Packing List below! These are the things to take to college freshman year!
Most schools provide a list of approved and prohibited dorm items on their websites in the housing section. Youll want to print that list while youre packing to make sure youre in line with the given restrictions before you get to campus. If you show up with restricted items you may be asked to take them back home. Because weve been there, we can give you some tips on exactly what to pack for college.
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Definitively Necessary Things You Need For College
What should I bring to college freshman year?
Thats a great question to ask yourself ahead of time, and in this post Im going to answer it. College move-in day prep can be chaotic, and weve all been known to have a brain fart from time to time.
Thats why I made this list to help you avoid missing something important. Some of its no-brainer stuff, and some of its not-so-obvious stuff.
But all of it are things that youll be glad to have once youre at school.
Go To Graduate School
Graduate school is an excellent option for those who need a post-graduate education to meet their career goals. Sometimes, the career youre aiming at needs more education. You can get a masters degree and increase your chances of getting a job. Remember to research for graduate programs and schools before applying. This is to make sure that you complete a degree that will add value to your intended career.
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Insurance Checklist For Parents Of College Students: What You Need To Know
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College students and their parents have recently endured a rocky periodlockdowns, remote learning, vaccinations and other pandemic-related circumstances. With more than a year of pandemic education behind them, students and parents alike are entering the first full academic year of the pandemic era.
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Aside from paying tuition, buying books, adding wardrobe items and picking out dorm room furnishings, college students and parents should gain some know-how regarding the types of insurance that might be wise to consider. In these times, having the right protection is important.
Here Are Some Useful Tips To Make The Most Of Your Suitcase Space:
1. Roll your wrinkle resistant clothes instead of folding them. Youll be able to fit more this way.
2. For clothing that is prone to wrinkles , fold them in half and drape them on top of the rolled clothes.
3. Wear your bulkier clothing on the plane so that they dont take up too much space in your luggage.
4. Look for the nooks and crannies of your luggage to stuff undergarments like bras, socks, and underwear.
5. Use the 5,4,3,2,1 rule. Five shirts, four bottoms, three hoodies or zip up jackets, two pairs of shoes, and one suit or dress. Adjust the list to suit your needs. Dont forget to throw in at least one bathing suit.
6. Get rid of the if I need it or just in case mentality. If and when you need something, you can buy it when you get there.
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What Qualifies A Student To Graduate
It is not a guarantee that you would graduate after the 4-year course. To be eligible for college graduation, you have to meet certain degree requirements. These requirements include a minimum number of hours, required GPA, essential and elective courses within the specified major and/or minor fields of study.
Degrees are higher education qualifications to help you develop a deeper understanding of a subject. For you to graduate, you should:
- Complete 4 years of full-time study
- Complete 120-semester credits or around 40 college courses. This, however, depends on your college. If it uses a quarter system, youll need to complete at least 180 quarter credits.
- Complete a 3 type course requirements. They include general education, a college major, and an elective course.
- Have a minimum GPA of 2.0