Research & Advocacy
Paying for College
A Reminder to Celebrate Student Success
Many of these weekly columns are about how you, as loving parents, can play a valuable role in your student’s development. We’ve encouraged you to help your son or daughter to:
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529 Plans: the facts and factors of these saving plans
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report regarding 529 Plans. 529 Plans are widely-accessible savings plans that parents can use to contribute to future college expenses. Citing difficulty for many to pay for college (largely due to rapid increases in college costs), the GAO decided to look at the value and use of 529 Plans, which receive certain tax preferences--$1.6 Billion in 2011 alone.
Required Reading Topics for Recent Graduates, Topic 1: Commencement Speeches
You have (or, your student has) just finished a college degree. Congrats! It's a huge accomplishment. And, perhaps best of all, no more assigned homework. However, just because no one is assigning more reading to be done at home doesn't mean you shouldn't devour writings on important topics. Today, we're suggesting the first of five critical topics for recent graduate readings. We may not be your professor, but these readings still count for pass/fail--in real life. Consider these required readings.
10 ATTRIBUTES OF A STRONG PARENT PROGRAM
At College Parents of America, one of our goals is to encourage colleges and universities to develop strong programs in support of the current parents at their institutions. Many of you have asked me over the past 14 months what the hallmarks are of such a program. Following is my take on the "Top Ten" attributes of a supportive parent program:
Tufts’ new strategy for encouraging students to take a gap year
Approximately 55,000 students took a gap year before their freshman college year to volunteer, intern, travel and work. For those who would like to supplement their collegiate academic experience with a cross-cultural experience, this is a welcome statistic. And gap years seem to pay off in the long run, as gap years seem to correlate with increased employability, higher GPA, higher wages, higher motivation and much more (see the American Gap Association's list here). For some families, though, the reaction to a gap year is likely to be: that sounds great, but who has the extra money for that? And that’s what makes what Tufts has recently announced so appealing.