During these trying pandemic times, many divorcing couples find new challenges regarding educating their kids.  In addition to having virtual K through 12 learning, and the challenges this creates for separated or divorced couples, college planning for these parents has its own obstacles.  Consider the following as you proceed through the divorce process:

  • Not every state requires divorced parents to pay college expenses for kids.  While Pennsylvania does not require parents to pay college costs, New Jersey takes a different position. Understand what your state laws are pertaining to paying for college.
  • Will your student qualify for need based financial aid?  The parent who has primary custody of the student is the one whose finances are considered for federal financial aid.  Awarding 51% custody to the less affluent parent could result in better financial aid packages.
  • Plan on paying for more than 4 years of college costs.  Politico* reports that 56% of the time, it takes 5-6 years to receive a 4-year college degree.
  • If your property settlement agreement has a divorce clause, this could impact the student’s need-based financial aid package.
  • Are SAGE credits a good college planning asset?  They could be if the student goes to a SAGE participating college.

One of the big pitfalls is how to pay for student loans after graduation.  Knowing beforehand what the monthly loan payment will be and for how long goes a long way towards avoiding surprises in the future.  Having a conversation about who will be involved in paying for college well before applying makes sense to avoid disappointment due to how much college costs.  Mapping out where college funding will come from, (ie: parents, student, other family members) along with how much debt each party is willing to accept, is key to overcoming this large financial event. 

Disclosure: Marshall Financial Group, Inc (“Marshall Financial”) is an SEC-registered investment adviser with its principal place of business in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.   This newsletter is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to Marshall Financial Group’s investment advisory services.  Investing involves risk, including risk of loss.

This newsletter contains certain forward‐looking statements (which may be signaled by words such as “believe,” “expect” or “anticipate”) which indicate future possibilities. Due to known and unknown risks, other uncertainties and factors, actual results may differ materially from the expectations portrayed in such forward‐looking statements. As such, there is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed in this letter will come to pass.

For additional information about Marshall Financial, please request our disclosure brochure as set forth on Form ADV using the contact information set forth herein, or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure web site (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov).  Please read the disclosure statement carefully.