Education 
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College Saving Tips: Interview with Peter Mazareas Part One

Peter Mazareas, College Savings FoundationLast week, we discussed the topic of college savings with Gary Hoover and Warren Smith. Today, we also have the pleasure of speaking with Peter Mazareas, Chairman Emeritus of the College Savings Foundation. The College Savings Foundation is a not for profit organization that is helping American families achieve their education goals by working with policy makers, media, and the financial services industry in support of education savings programs. As Chairman Emeritus, Peter had unique insight into the full scope of educational savings opportunities, and this first part of our chat I had the pleasure of asking him a few questions on how families can best save for college and what families can do today to improve their chances.

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 Your Take 
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Your Take: Survey Shows Delay in Life Milestones for Recent Graduates

A few months ago, the subject of a Your Take centered around which generation had the most debt (prompted by an infographic from Experian). In looking at the infographic, and how the younger generations had much higher levels of debt, I thought about the impact of student loan debt. The results of a recent survey by the College Savings Foundation showed that recent graduates are more likely to delay milestones of independence, such as getting married, having children and buying a house. When you are burdened with a significant amount of debt, it’s hard to get ahead and on with your life.

Highlights from the survey (recent graduate refers to someone who graduated in the last year):

  • 36% of recent graduates said they had to live with parents longer than expected
  • 40% of recent graduates were delaying when they would buy a house.
  • 19% of recent graduates were delaying when get married.
  • 21% of recent graduates were delaying when they would have children.
  • 70% of recent graduates were employed.

The survey discusses how these numbers compare with older graduates and in all cases the recent graduate numbers are higher, so it shows a trend that’s worsening, but I’m not surprised by it. My alma mater costs an eye popping $60,000 a year now and I graduated a scant ten years ago.

Next week, we’ll have a two part interview with Peter Mazareas, Chairman Emeritus of the College Savings Foundation. He shares a lot of good information about saving for college that I think anyone, from students to parents, will find extremely educational.

What do you think? Is college debt to blame? Or is it more about the economy? Or both?


 Personal Finance 
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College Savings Interview: Part Two

This is part two of our discussion with Gary Hoover, Ph.D., Professor of Economics/Assistant Dean of Faculty and Graduate Student Development for Culverhouse College of Commerce at the University of Alabama, and Warren Smith, Associate Professor of Economics at Palm Beach State College in South Florida, about the rising costs of a college education and what families and students can do to prepare themselves.

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 Personal Finance 
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College Savings Interview: Part One

Yesterday, we had a discussion with Gary Hoover, Ph.D., Professor of Economics/Assistant Dean of Faculty and Graduate Student Development for Culverhouse College of Commerce at the University of Alabama. Today, we’re continuing our look into the booming costs of a college education and we’ve asked Warren Smith, Associate Professor of Economics at Palm Beach State College in South Florida, to join us to help provide a few more insights for us on smart tips to save and prepare for both kids and parents.

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 Family 
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Is Upromise a Scam?

There are a lot of programs out there, and you might be worried about which programs are legitimate, and which really will help you earn rewards and save money. One of the more popular programs out there is Upromise, acquired by Sallie Mae in August of 2006.

Upromise is a program designed to help you save up for college. The idea is that every day purchases can add up over time so that your child has enough to go to college. Upromise comes with the added benefit of allowing you invest your rewards money into a 529 college savings plan and help pay down your student loans.

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 Personal Finance 
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College Savings Tips: Interview with Gary Hoover

Gary HooverOne of the big personal finance topics of the last year has been the skyrocketing cost of higher education. It’s a big topic because we’re talking enormous sums of money. Students are graduating with an absurd level of student loan debt, very little in savings, and with the recent failure of a motion to extend low cost loans, costs are probably not coming back down anytime soon.

We reached out to some experts to try to gain greater insight into these issues. Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Gary Hoover, Professor of Economics/Assistant Dean of Faculty and Graduate Student Development, Ph. D. at the University of Alabama. He’s the William White McDonald Family Distinguished Faculty Fellow and has published papers in the American Economic Review P&P, Southern Economic Journal, Public Choice, Journal of Economic Literature, International Tax and Public Finance, Applied Economics, and the European Journal of Political Economy. We reached out to him to get a better idea of what parents can do to help their kids save for college.

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 Career 
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Best – And Worst – Paying Jobs in the United States

AnesthesiologistAs this year’s college graduates get ready to enter the ranks of those looking for jobs, it’s worth considering the highest paying (and worst paying) jobs available in the United States. Indeed, if you are wondering whether or not your degree is worth the money, this list might help you make a decision.

Most jobs, of course, fall somewhere in between the extremes of best paying and worst paying. As you consider the top paying jobs and worst paying jobs (as listed by Forbes on Yahoo! Finance), you can look at your own situation, and your own options and decide what path your career should follow.
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 Cars 
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7 Best Cars for College Students

2010 Ford FocusAs another school draws to a close, thousands of high school seniors around the country are preparing to head off to college. For many, this means that it’s time to get a car. However, taking an expensive car to college can put financial strain on a student who is already expected to live off Ramen. If you are shopping for yourself, or for your child, it helps to be smart about the car that you choose. Choose a car that’s cheap to own.

Sometimes, the cheapest option can be to buy used. When I bought a car my freshman year, I spent about $3,000 for a used Mercury Topaz. It was a five-speed (I learned to drive stick on an old Festiva), and it got great gas mileage. My car was cheap to own, and it didn’t need a lot of repairs. It was a great option for me. However, not everyone is willing to go through the used car lots in an effort to find a good deal. Here are some ideas for cheap cars from Forbes and CNN Money, with my thoughts thrown in. You just might find something that makes sense for the student in your life:
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