Twins Mica and Maya Caine received acceptance letters from 10 of the 11 colleges they applied to in 2014, along with scholarship offers totaling more than $1 million. They ended up taking the full ride they were given to Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. But those victories were a long time coming. Their hard work and financial planning began in middle school when their mother, Kim, started taking them on college visits and helping them look for scholarships.

The Ugly Cost of a College Education

November 04, 2015

Although college students today have more financial experience, it doesn’t seem to be translating into better financial decisions. At least, those are the results of a recent survey conducted by EverFi for HigherOne, which revealed that many college students are engaging in risky financial behavior.

Risky Financial Behavior is on the Rise Among College Students

March 18, 2015

Typically, either the child or the parent can contribute to the child’s Roth IRA, but contributions are limited to the amount the child earned that year, or $5,500 – whichever is less.

Sean Moore comments on using a Roth IRA to pay for college.

March 18, 2015

In ideal circumstances, parents begin saving for their children's college educations at birth, or earlier -- certainly, at least, with enough time to have four years' worth of cash for tuition, fees and books socked away.

3 Ways to Make the Most of a Late Start on College Savings

August 11, 2014

Not just their financial background, but who they are as people. The reason why many single parents might choose to save for their child’s college education can sometimes be rooted in their desire to keep their children away from long-term struggle.

4 Ways Advisors Can Help Single Parents Plan for Retirement, College

Why You Should Fill Out the FAFSA

January 5, 2015

The average student loan debt hovers near $30,000, and graduating from college this deep in the red is a tough way to begin adult life. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a government form that streamlines the college financial aid process, is a must if you want to qualify for assistance and reduce your student loan burden. 

Top 10 Small Business Tax Tips For 2015

December 30, 2014

Tax season is around the corner and whether you’re filing as an LLC or S Corp, you want to get the most savings possible. To figure out the best ways to save in 2015, we asked accountants and finance experts for their best small business tax tips.

December 11, 2014

Choosing the right college at the right price is a daunting task, especially considering nearly two-thirds of Americans think pursuing a degree at any institution has become unaffordable, according to a Huffington Post/YouGov poll.

6 ways smartphones can aid a college search

More than 40 work-life balance tips from dad entrepreneurs

November 26, 2014

Community colleges are commonly known as two-year institutions that provide an affordable pathway to a four-year degree. They’re a place where you knock out general courses, figure out what major you’ll pursue and where you’ll pursue it after your two years are up. 

Pros and Cons of Getting Your Bachelor’s Degree at a Community College

November 14, 2014

With the cost of college on the rise, more students are turning to student loans to help them pay for college. Unfortunately, even with the help of federal student loans, there is still a college funding gap for many students.

What you need to know about private student loans

November 9, 2014

In June, our legislators recognized this by revamping the Florida Prepaid College Plan,rolling back costs to the lowest levels since 2007. With the enrollment period starting this month and continuing until February, parents should reconsider this plan, which suddenly makes financial sense.

Point of View: Changes lower Florida Prepaid’s tuition costs

July 12, 2014

My good friend Sean Moore is a Certified Financial Planner and a person I trust implicitly. We’ve recently been having discussions around the intersection of asset protection planning and college financial aid.

College Financial Aid Planning Can Protect Your Assets

July 29, 2014

If your child’s college expenses are higher than anticipated, you may need additional financial help. Here’s what you need to know before you choose a lender. If you have a child who’s in college or planning to attend someday, it’s likely that you and/or your child will need a loan to pay for school.

August 6, 2014

This generation's financial future depends on whether they save for retirement early and often. Although millennials may be focused on securing their first jobs, paying off student loans and putting money away for emergencies financial planners and advisors say young adults should add another financial task to their list: Start investing for retirement.

Starting Small: Millennial Investors Learn the Power of Compounding

September 10, 2014

When competing against thousands of other applicants, here are some expert suggestions for standing out in the college admissions process. It goes without saying that the college admissions process is pretty cut-throat.

The Top 13 Things College Admissions Officers Want

October 8, 2014

James DiSabatino was the quintessential bootstrapper. In 2011, he used all his savings--plus a $20,000 loan from Dad--to start Roxy's Grilled Cheese, the first food truck to park on city property in Boston.

Starting a Business? When to Scrimp vs. Splurge.

Families have plenty of options when it comes to financing a college education

Sean Moore: Reconsider pre-paid college plans                      

In The Media

Why you should fill out the FAFSA

SMART College Funding Named as First Advocate for Florida

November 10, 2015

Many college students and their parents mistakenly think that tuition is the only cost that they need to prepare for.However, whether students major in English, biology or business there are many costs associated with the higher education experience–and they can add up rather quickly.

July 12, 2016

Almost every year, Nikki Wheeler flies to New York City to watch the U.S. Open – but this year she's also bringing her niece along with her to visit colleges.
"I'm actually taking her to New York for her college tour in September since I usually go to the U.S. Open," says the Denver resident. "I've already booked it and it's already $2,000 apiece to go – and that's with the hotel and airfare."

A comprehensive and practical guide to help high school, college students, and recent college graduates prepare for the real world by building credit,
saving money and minimizing student debt!

October 09, 2015

As a parent, protecting and providing for your child is a top priority. In addition to caring for your child’s daily needs, you’ve probably spent countless hours thinking about how to save for your child’s future.

Paying for K–12 Private School Tuition

Life Insurance Fails as a College Savings Plan

5 Reasons Why You Won’t Get Free Money for College

Who is Using The Child IRA Right Now

March 21, 2016

The average student loan debt hovers near $30,000, and graduating from college this deep in the red is a tough way to begin adult life. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a government form that streamlines the college financial aid process, is a must if you want to qualify for assistance and reduce your student loan burden.

July 14, 2016

Previously, we discussed one way to fund The Child IRA, (see “How to Take Advantage of The Child IRA Under Current Laws,”, July 13, 2016). The good news, we learned the most obvious way (once you realize it) for children to earn income from virtually the moment they’re born. “Under the age of 5,” says Ira Smilovitz, Enrolled Agent and owner of Glenwood Tax Services in Leonia, New Jersey, “the typical job is as a child actor/model. Earnings can be anything from a few hundred dollars to many thousands.”

June 03, 2015

While parents are free to begin investing in a traditional 529 whenever they wish, enrollment periods for prepaid plans are much more restrictive. Each state varies, but the programs are typically only open for a few months out of the year – five in Florida, for example. And the age of the student also can affect enrollment.

3 Key Differences Between Prepaid, Regular 529 Savings Plans

February 3, 2015

There are certainly some tried-and-true options to help families save for college, but the New Year brings an opportunity to consider some lesser known, but equally effective, strategies. Here are three that experts say more families are turning to.

Are politicians waking up to the student-loan crisis?

January 24, 2015

Could the nationwide discussion on college costs and student loans be reaching a tipping point? And could that lead to a new era of affordability and reduced payments? 

UPDATE: Are politicians waking up to the student-loan crisis?

January 24, 2015

That's what those who track the issue are asking in light of some key recent developments. First, President Obama announced a $60 billion proposal to make community college tuition free.

Financial Sense 101: Prepare For College Before the Freshman Fifteen

December 23, 2014

With the holidays in full swing and only a week left in 2014, college planning is not top of mind for many families but it should be. 

Last Second 529 Planning Tips

December 11, 2014

Are you a dad entrepreneur trying to do it all? There are now more fathers than ever who are starting businesses, in addition to having children. Many parents, both mothers and fathers alike, are now starting businesses that fit their lifestyle, so the need for work-life balance is even greater.

October 31, 2014

Once strictly a two-year institution offering associate and technical degrees, Bellevue College is one of more than a dozen community colleges in Washington state that now offer bachelor’s degrees in select fields.

November 4, 2014

A college degree may be more expensive today than ever before, but a school’s price tag shouldn’t deter you from pursuing a higher education.

Weigh the Pros, Cons of a Community College Bachelor’s Degree

Financial Aid: Are You Missing Out on Free Money?         

June 26, 2014

The first article in this series covered how to pay for college before going and the second covered how to pay while attending. In the third and final installment, we look at how to pay for college after graduating, by handling student loan debt.

Paying for college: Managing debt after school (Part 3 of 3)

June 26, 2014

The cost of a bachelor’s degree has never been higher: an in-state student enrolling at a public university can expect to pay $38,300 in tuition and fees over the course of four years, while a student at a private university will pay approximately $130,000.

Paying for college: Before you go (Part 1 of 3)

Should You Get a Private College Loan?

August 28, 2014

BestBequest has partnered with the FPA to make obtaining information from their clients easier. As more and more of the financial world goes digital, reams of crucial financial information are stored online.

Best Bequest: Because You Can't Take Your Passwords With You

September 16, 2014

When Phil Chiricotti cites industry reports saying, “HSA assets held by the top 100 providers reached $26 billion as of 6/30/14, a 26% increase from the prior year,” he wants you to listen.

Why Any Plan Sponsor Fiduciary Needs to Give HSAs Another Look

October 16, 2014

While a college education has a reputation for being a good investment, it s also well-known that higher education isn't cheap.

October 23, 2014

As parents, there's no question we get sweaty palms and suffer anxiety when thinking about financial obligations. And, there is perhaps no greater stress point than trying to figure out how to pay for our children's college educations.

How to make it to graduation without student debt

June 12, 2015

Taxes can be stressful for a small business owner. You likely wear many hats and the last thing you want to do is pay more of your hard-earned business income to the government. Thankfully, there are many ways to reduce your taxable liabilityas a business owner and keep more of that revenue for yourself.

December  07, 2015

If you have too many assets or a low GPA, you may not get free money for college. College costs are staggering yet many families are turned away from receiving free financial aid because their income is deemed too high or their home equity is considered too great.

September 25, 2015

Good financial habits start with good financial modeling by parents, said Sean Moore, a certified financial planner and founder of SMART College Funding. Most parents know they should be good financial role models, but many aren't.

Set a Budget for College Tours

Sean Moore, President of SMART College Funding, has been tapped to serve as an advocate for the Florida Prepaid College Board, a new role that will allow him to educate families on the many plans available through Florida Prepaid during the 2015-2016 Open Enrollment period.

March 02, 2015

In March, you can kiss winter goodbye and say hello to daydreams of spring break and longer days of sunshine. Before you get ahead of yourself, though, do a few things to spruce up your finances.

The Best Money Moves for Students in March

Sean Moore, president of SMART College Funding in Boca Raton, has been mentoring a middle school student through the nonprofit Taking Stock in Children. In weekly sessions, Moore emphasizes that being a responsible student and keeping up academic grades could earn the student a Florida Pre-Paid Tuition scholarship. As a certified financial planner, Moore uses his professional background to teach sound money management skills. 

Sean Moore of SMART College Funding featured in the Sun Sentinel

3 College Savings Trends to Consider in 2015

February 3, 2015

For many Americans, the beginning of the year is a time to set goals – goals that are often financial. And while getting out of debt, socking away cash for retirement and earning more income are all noble resolutions for 2015, for parents of children near college age and even younger, saving for college is likely at the top of the list.

3 College Savings Trends to Consider in 2015

January 23, 2015

In 2013, college grads left school with a diploma -- and an average of $35,200 in college-related debt. While the costs of a college education continue to rise, post-graduation earnings remain stagnant.

So you’re off to college—or you will be if you can just decide which schools you’ll apply to and which one you’ll attend. You know you want a college where faith, learning, and life are integrated on and off campus, but you don’t know where to start your search. You’ve come to the right place! How can this magazine help? Read on and find out.

June 13, 2016

More public colleges and universities – especially state flagships – are increasing out-of-state enrollment to offset state budget cuts in higher education.
Some state flagships began accepting more out-of-state students in response to the 2008 financial crisis since these students pay double – or more – in tuition than those in state, and that trend continues, college advisers and higher education consultants say.

December  21, 2015

If you’re worried about saving enough money to send your kids to college, you might be tempted by a sales pitch for a cash value life insurance policy.
Sometimes these policies are touted as a great way to save for college tuition. Besides paying a death benefit when you die, these policies, also known as permanent life insurance, feature a cash value account that grows tax-deferred.

Private colleges & universities Magazine

Out-of-State Enrollment Rises at State Flagship Universities

March 04, 2016

From the time you were in elementary or middle school, your teachers might have emphasized the value of a college degree, and when discussing the future with your parents, going to college might have been the rule, not the exception.

10 ways you're hurting your kids financially

5 Financial Resolutions for 2016

March 11, 2015

For families across the country, now is the time that big, life-changing decisions are taking place. For students, it’s the time to decide on where to go to college. For parents, it’s time to have frank discussions about how college will be paid for.

February 6, 2015

People used to believe that a college education was the ticket to getting a good job straight out of school and would help you meet all of your financial obligations. Most experts agree college is still worth the investment for the majority of students. 

Financial Sense 301: Making it in The Real World

January, 2016

Rather than make vague resolutions that are easily forgotten or derailed, certified financial planner Sean Moore, president of SMART College Funding in Boca Raton, urges families to get very clear about the intention of New Year’s resolutions and the actions needed to carry them out.

The nationwide average for private school tuition in 2015–2016 was $9,518, but that cost varies by region and by school type and can exceed $30,000 in some cases, according to statistics from one online school directory.1 Even high-income families can have trouble making tuition payments, according to news reports.2 Fortunately, there are many ways to manage the cost of private school tuition.

Out-of-State Enrollment Rises at State Flagship Universities

June 13, 2016

More public colleges and universities – especially state flagships – are increasing out-of-state enrollment to offset state budget cuts in higher education.
Some state flagships began accepting more out-of-state students in response to the 2008 financial crisis since these students pay double – or more – in tuition than those in state, and that trend continues, college advisers and higher education consultants say.

May 22, 2016

The exploding college debt problem is bad enough without most Americans not knowing one of the best collegiate funding revenue generators on the marketplace - the college 529 plan. But that's the case, according to the money management firm Edward Jones. In a new report, company analysts say 75% of Americans "don't know what a 529 plan is, compared to 66% in 2015." At the same time, "88% of respondents believe a college degree is important for future employment."

The Real Cost of College...and How to Pay It

10 ways you're sabotaging your child's future finances

The True Cost of Attending College

A Warning For Parents About Student Loans

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5 Little Known Ways to Reduce Small Business Taxes

Most Americans Don’t Know What a College 529 Plan Is – And That’s a Problem