by Alicia Bodine, Contributing Writer
There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid and savings. Each state has at least one 529 Plan. It is the state that decides whether they are going to offer a 529 plan and what that plan will look like. The plans offered by the State are generally savings plans. These plans can be used to pay any accredited College or University. Prepaid plans are offered by the Educational Institution itself. This is good if you know the particular College or University your child is going to attend. You can easily set up a plan with the school and begin to pre-pay your child's tuition.
There are no income or age restrictions associated with either 529 Plan. This allows you to start out small if you cannot afford to start out with a large contribution.
There are 3 Major benefits you can get from a 529 Plan:
1. The Tax Breaks: You are not required to pay taxes on your money while it is growing. Also, whatever money is dispersed to your college student often times comes out tax free (with the federal government). Each state offers different tax breaks you can check out as well.
2. You are always in control of the funds: You decide when to withdrawal money from the plan and for what reason. Most of the time you can even reclaim the money for yourself should your child decide to drop out or not attend college at all. Of course there are penalty fees and taxes you must pay if you choose this route.
3. Convenience: You can set up the plan and basically forget about it. It is as easy as 1,2, 3. 1. Complete the enrollment form, 2. Make your contribution, and 3. Set up automatic withdrawal (optional).
Finally, if you are wondering how having a 529 Plan will affect your chances of getting grants and loans, a new law was passed for the 06-07 school year. No 529's in a student's name will count against them as assets. For plans in a parent's name, however, the Federal aid will be reduced by 5.64% of the plan's value.
This article originally appeared on the Yahoo Contributor Network.
by Jennifer Caughey, Contributing Writer
In the current, extremely competitive job market, private career colleges offer many advantages over the traditional college system of higher education. However, the choice between these two paths relies to a great deal upon the long-term career goals and aspirations of individual students, as well as the resources available to them in terms of time and money. So, it’s important to learn a bit more about the potential benefits of a diploma or certificate earned from a private career college.
The Comparison: Career vs. Traditional Colleges
A private career college is an independent business whose mission is to educate and train students for particular career tracks, with an emphasis on skill development. They offer many kinds of programs, including information technology, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, administration, and other business related tracks. As such, private career colleges are most ideal for individuals seeking to enter the workforce or increase their appeal as a potential job candidate. The focus is on developing practical skills for people who are already working in their fields, with flexible schedules, enrollment, and intensive programs. Where a traditional college emphasizes a broad knowledge base, a private career college puts the emphasis on developing practical knowledge and hands-on experience in your chosen field. Like four-year colleges, though, career colleges must be registered and accredited; so, when looking at potential colleges, look for such accreditation of instructor, program, and overall institutional quality.
The Benefits of Choosing a Private Career College
While each student must choose the right fit for their specific career and life-goals, private career colleges offer some distinct advantages over more traditional schools. According to the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators, the most significant include the following five benefits.
While some believe that a student with a Bachelor’s degree will earn more than one without, the truth is that many fields, especially technical industries like information technology, will place more value on skills and training than on a degree. As more and more students attempt to gain a competitive edge, degrees from career colleges offer hands-on training and experience that a traditional college degree simply cannot offer. Still, when searching for a potential college, remember that your choice should rely on your individual goals and ambitions. Be sure to choose the best school for your desired field with the training programs best suited to your desired, future job.
Jennifer Caughey is a freelance content writer. She has most recently contributed to guest contributions for Academy of Learning College, a leading career and business college with 50 locations across Canada. Jennifer believes that education and on-going learning are essential to career success. She has contributed to such topics for over 5 years. Connect with Jennifer on Twitter.
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