The Post 9-11 GI Bill extends educational benefits to your military children, based on your length of military service. Their costs for books, educational supplies and housing can also be covered by your GI Bill.
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College Financial Planning for Military Parents and Kids

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As soon as your kids enter high school, excitement, pressure, and educational preparations for college begin - but actually, you've been planning financially for this moment since day one. Financial planning for your kids' college education starts when they are born; you knew from the start that paying for college could be a financial burden, if not properly planned.

Fortunately, military families have access to educational support that civilians don't: military scholarships and the Dependents' Educational Assistance which offers up to 45 months of support for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships, on-the-job trainings, and correspondence courses, are just two support programs for your military child's higher education.

Sometimes, military educational support can be even better than financial aid. The Post 9-11 GI Bill extends educational benefits to your military children, based on your length of military service. Their costs for books, educational supplies and housing can also be covered by your GI Bill.

And if you're still in need of college financial aid, relax. There's just no reason to let financial pressures get in the way of this exciting time in your child's life. Take a deep breath, relax, and read more about boosting your military college tuition IQ.

GET AND GIVE MILITARY FINANCIAL ADVICE

Consult a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or your local on-base financial advisor for guidance in reviewing your assets and options for college financial planning. Teach your children to have a military attitude about budgeting and spending before they enter college. In this way, you give your military child an education with an edge: teaching them financial acumen to become good money managers.

Warn your child about bad debt. Once they are in college, credit card companies may send unsolicited offers to your child for credit cards with low introductory interest rates and high spending limits, to entice your student to spend without thinking.

Set a good example by seeking military credit counseling if you are in too much debt, and let your child be part of your revised financial plan; you will be contributing something priceless to your child's higher education. Along with a college diploma, a financial education will serve your child throughout his life.

Now prepare to manage your income for college aid qualification.

CREATE INCOME TO ENHANCE YOUR MILITARY PAY

Consider shifting your income from existing investment and savings funds, bonuses and capital gains, to the years prior to and after your military child attends college. Also, if one parent is a business owner, think about perhaps hiring the military spouse, if appropriate to the business needs, to create extra income and gain the legal employment expense allowance.

BENEFIT FROM APPRECIATION AND DEPRECIATION

Selling appreciated assets that are in your child's name can create a good source of additional money for college costs, if that asset has appreciated to its desired peak and it is the right time to sell it for maximum gain. But consider also that selling capital assets that have generated losses during the year before filing the student financial aid form known as FAFSA, is a viable way to reduce your income, and perhaps better qualify for financial aid. You can reduce your income up to $3,000 by selling any capital assets that will generate losses in the year before you file the FAFSA application.

PAY OFF CONSUMER DEBT NOW

Consumer debt is not tax deductible from your assets, so work toward paying off your credit cards, auto loans, computers, and home renovations the year before filing out FAFSA applications. This may reduce your available cash for college, but it will also pay off your debts while perhaps making your child more qualified for financial aid.

USING STUDENT'S ASSETS TO PAY FOR COLLEGE?

Make any new investments in your name rather than the student's name. On the same note, it is beneficial to pay educational costs by spending assets in your child's name before spending the parent's assets. Spending for your child's education includes private high school, SAT review courses, a computer, or an educational summer program. Talk to your child honestly about college costs and loans. This will help both of you understand the need to budget before, during and even after college.



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