How to Pay for College: Tax Savvy Tips for Parents

Posted by Joseph B. Darby III on Oct 16, 2018 3:50:11 PM

Once upon a time, a college degree was a true bargain: Four years of tuition cost about the same amount as a fancy new automobile, and pretty much set you up for life. Today, the price of that same college degree has sky-rocketed: The full-in cost of a college degree is now closer to the cost of a new house, and the size of the student loan has grown from a car loan to a mortgage. Every parent still wants to send a child to college, but the affordability factor is daunting and getting worse. Fortunately, there are smart, savvy ways to manage the looming costs of college – but they are not necessarily intuitive or easy to identify.


In my outline below, which I presented at a recent Tax Briefing, I discuss:

  • Gaining entry to elite colleges — statistics on recent admission rates, differences between early admission versus early decision programs, a discussion on the importance of SAT subject tests, a review of essay submissions and strategies, and a discussion of how parental legacy can play a positive role
  • Putting together a strategy for admissions
  • Athletic Scholarships — points of emphasis on how to prepare and then apply for this important form of college aid
  • Projecting college costs and corresponding saving patterns
  • How to use college as a springboard to develop financial literacy for your teenager
  • The effective use of student loans for children when post-graduate work is likely and the loans are not necessarily needed
  • The importance of creating a Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy for your college student.

Read outline

Topics: Saving for College, Tax Planning


About the Blog

Sullivan's Tax & Sports Update provides timely updates and cutting-edge commentary on all issues affecting U.S. taxation, and, of course, an always humorous take on sports! Edited by Joseph B. Darby III, a partner in Sullivan's Tax Department.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

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