Choosing a college requires looking at the entire four-year plan for your family. It is not enough to just “get to” JCU. We want to help you graduate and look at the four-year path to your degree. A lot of unexpected changes can happen, so treating the investment in John Carroll as part of a detailed strategy will help you immensely. Some things to consider follow here.
Tuition and room and meal plan rates change over time. They may go up each year; however, we have had some programs in the last few years that have either frozen rates or made modest increases sensitive to your planning for each year’s costs. In considering which school to attend, you should compare the four-year costs between John Carroll and other schools.
Saving for College
College is an investment in your future. Saving early is a way to maximize your options when you are ready to finance a college education. Contrary to the belief that families are penalized for savings, the federal formula provides an allowance for your savings and assets and doesn’t expect all your savings to go toward your child. The bottom line is: The more money you save, the more options you’ll have. To encourage family savings, JCU has partnered with SAGE Scholars. This program allows families to earn Tuition Rewards by saving for college with a variety of financial partners. To learn more about this program visit www.tuitionrewards.com.
You may start JCU with only one child in college, but if in future years you will have two attending college (let alone two at JCU), please contact Student Enrollment and Financial Services. Know that your financial aid award and eligibility may change considerably with two in college versus one – your family income does not change, but your costs, ability to contribute, and expenses will!
Your financial aid forms are a snapshot and only capture one point in time in your financial life. If you face changes in medical expenses, parental income, or other key income/expenses, be sure to contact us through the appeals process.
Don’t forget the earning potential of students through the summers of the undergraduate years. Many students may not have held a job throughout high school, but summer earnings of a student are an important contribution toward tuition for the upcoming year. Or, at the least, summer earnings can be set aside to help with books, supplies, and outside spending costs.
Believe it or not, if you file a federal tax return and owe taxes, you can enjoy tax breaks when paying for education. In any year, you can take advantage of one of the following:
- Hope Scholarship Tax Credit – This is a credit that can be subtracted from your federal tax bill. You can claim the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit two times for one student – but only for the freshman and sophomore years.
- Lifetime Learning Tax Credit – A maximum tax credit of 20 percent of the first $10,000 of a student’s qualified educational expenses may be applied over an unlimited number of tax years.
- Tuition and Fees Tax Deduction – For taxpayers who don’t qualify for the Hope or Lifetime Learning tax credits, this deduction reduces taxable income.
Make sure you check with your tax preparer with regards to these educational programs.