College Financing On-Line

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    How will you finance your child’s college education?

    There are numerous options available, including various college savings vehicles, such as the popular 529 plans, as well as financial aid programs, loans and scholarships. But where do you start?

    Fortunately, there are several Web sites that can help you navigate the maze of savings plans and aid programs. Listed below are the most useful sites, divided into two groups:

    • Web sites that can direct you to specific college savings plans, financial aid programs, scholarships, grants and student loans; and
    • Comprehensive financial Web sites that include helpful articles on how to apply for aid and scholarships, college guides, tips on picking the right loan, and college expense calculators.

    Savings Plans and Financial Aid Sites

    College Savings Plans Network (CSPN)
    The Network is a clearinghouse for information among existing college savings plans. Provides a brief description of all state college savings plans (listed by state) and includes links to state plan Web sites.

    Federal Student Aid
    Complete information on Federal Student Aid, as well as student aid from the other federal government agencies, and links to state education agencies.

    This site provides information and guidance on all aspects of college financing, including aid programs, scholarships, grants, student loans, military aid, as well as a guide to all state 529 plans and prepaid tuition plans for private colleges.

    Internal Revenue Service Publication 970
    This publication, Tax Benefits for Education, is the official IRS word on the tax rules regarding 529 plans and all of the various tax breaks for education expenses.

    Go to Personal Finance, then to 529 Data in the listings under Personal Finance. Provides information on 529 plans listed by state, including a basic plan “snapshot” (summary), fees and expenses, purchase information, and state tax information. The snapshot summary description includes Morningstar ratings for the underlying funds.
    Comprehensive commercial site for college savings plans and financing a higher education. Provides details on each state’s plans and also allows you to search for plans by state, investment manager and plan type (broker-sold or direct). Also provides details on other ways of saving and paying for education, including financial aid resources.

    Comprehensive Web Sites—Personal Finance, Your Money, College

    CNN Money—Personal Finance, College