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geauxgauthier
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2010
205 posts
 Online 

Is it better to use up 529 early if you've got multiple kids?
I've got five kids. They are all spaced two years apart and the first is starting college in the fall. There is enough in the 529s across the five kids to pay for one kid to go to college. There is also my transferred 9/11 GI Bill benefits to pay for a second kid. The other three kids I'll figure out when they get there.

Is it my best interests to use up all the 529 money on the first kid as soon as possible so that when the other ones are filling out the FAFSA there will be less money for them to say is available for them to go to college since it's already spent? Wouldn't this increase their chances of getting need-based aid?


dirtsandwich
Alabama Fan
AL
Member since May 2016
1462 posts

re: Is it better to use up 529 early if you've got multiple kids?
I think that would depend on your income. But assuming you aren’t priced out of financial aid, I think he answer is yes. Interested to see other responses.

Good luck! I’m paying for two now. Can’t imagine five.


tiger91
LSU Fan
South of Lafayette
Member since Nov 2005
19393 posts

re: Is it better to use up 529 early if you've got multiple kids?
I’m not extremely money savvy but I too would think it would depend on your income as to if they get financial aid ie loans/grants.

We’ll have two in college this coming year but one will graduate next May so that helps. The other however is going out of state but yeah for a large but not full scholarship.

ETA: are you by chance paying tuition now? Child going away or living at home? What we did with our first was just paid oop for the first one first year — he lived at home and had scholarships cover all tuition/fees. We paid books/food and didn’t touch 529 until he transferred to LSU BR the following year.
This post was edited on 4/12 at 2:31 pm


geauxgauthier
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2010
205 posts
 Online 

re: Is it better to use up 529 early if you've got multiple kids?
Not rich but not poor either. First kid got offered about $4K discount for the out of state schools and about $1.5K off for the in state school. In state for us is TN. I'm appreciative because everything helps.

That said I'm definitely in the zone for receiving financial aid based off the school's evaluation of my family's expected contribution against what they are asking for.

Yeah, with five it's going to be a combo of 529, GI Bill, student loans, them getting part time jobs and me probably doing extra jobs on the side. My only stipulation is that they get a degree that they can get a job with! :)


geauxgauthier
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2010
205 posts
 Online 

re: Is it better to use up 529 early if you've got multiple kids?
Not paying any tuition now as this is our oldest who is starting in the Fall at college. He'll have to live in a dorm since all the schools he applied to were at least three hours away. I encouraged him to go to a smaller local school and stay at home the first year and then maybe transfer after a year or two (very similar to what your child did; that makes a lot of sense to me both financially and handling the transition to college) but he wanted to get out on his own. I don't blame him. When I was a kid I wanted to get out on my own too. I think that's probably a pretty natural feeling for a young person.


tiger91
LSU Fan
South of Lafayette
Member since Nov 2005
19393 posts

re: Is it better to use up 529 early if you've got multiple kids?
Yes -- I agree. My oldest was actually registered at LSU and ULL and decided a month before school started to stay home for the first year. It saved us a good bit of money which I was glad about BUT when he did transfer, he told me that he didn't think he'd have made it had he gone straight to LSU. His graduating class was 32 and it was somewhat overwhelming even with a year under his belt. He did fine and has his BS and MS.

Second son moved out after two years which has worked out fine.

Third will be at Ole Miss and once our 529 is gone, well, hopefully she'll only have 1 year left if that.

Good luck to you and your kids.


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LSUTigKyl
LSU Fan
Nashville
Member since May 2009
1086 posts

re: Is it better to use up 529 early if you've got multiple kids?
I could be wrong and I hope I’m not because I live in TN too but I’m pretty sure 2 year community college is free now in this state. Might be an option to help with 5 kids. Going 2 years there first.


Golfer
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2005
71562 posts

re: Is it better to use up 529 early if you've got multiple kids?
quote:

In state for us is TN.


2 years CC free, right? Do that and transfer to UTK or TTU


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eng08
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2013
3675 posts

re: Is it better to use up 529 early if you've got multiple kids?
Yep, community college is like 1/3 the price of regular LSU, then you transfer in and get your degree from the big school.

It’s not as fun, but it’s financialky prudent


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makersmark1
Auburn Fan
earth
Member since Oct 2011
6462 posts

re: Is it better to use up 529 early if you've got multiple kids?
Use GI bill first.

Dependent program might get canceled.
I am retired military. There was a spouse education program that started around 2006 and was cancelled before my wife finished.

Then empty 529.

Apply for every scholarship they have. Some are not that hard to get.



geauxgauthier
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2010
205 posts
 Online 

re: Is it better to use up 529 early if you've got multiple kids?
I didn't know about this program! Thanks for sharing. Looking it up online it's called the "Tennessee Promise Scholarship". I'll learn more about it.


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geauxgauthier
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2010
205 posts
 Online 

re: Is it better to use up 529 early if you've got multiple kids?
If there is a reason for me to burn through the GI Bill first with my dependents before 529 it's exactly that. Every year Congress has the ability to modify benefits and I doubt they'll ever remove it from the actual servicemembers but I do see then potentially reducing (or even eliminating) the benefits for spouses and children.


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