Ask Terry Questions Paying for College

Paying for College

By Terry Savage on July 05, 2024 | College Savings / Student Loans

I have a step-daughter that will be 18 next month and graduating from HS in June ’25. We never set-up a 529 account and wondered if it made any sense (for tax purposes) to set one up this late in the game?(We live in WI) She’ll be paying some of her college in Fall ’25. Other than applying for scholarships and saving her money, are there any tips for her other than loans for the remaining amount?

Terry Says

Too late to set up a 529 plan — no use trying to speculate for tax-free growth at this point!  And I assume you’ve gone to review Federal Student loan options at Home | Federal Student Aid

You should also register and search for scholarships at and   And check with your employer to see if there are any tuition reimbursement plans.

Also ask the guidance counselor — now, over the summer — at the high school if they know of any schools actively recruiting students with your child’s talents.  Some schools are giving non-financial aid to fill their classes!  It might even be cheaper than an in-state school.  Those advisors, when they are not swamped, can really be helpful.

If you borrow on a Parent Plus loan, you should be aware that the rates are exorbitant.  And the low-income parent should sign separately, not both parents jointly, to maximize chances of loan forgiveness if that opportunity ever comes around again.

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