Attending an institution of higher learning can be accompanied by a number of pressures and stresses. Apart from focusing on your studies, you also have to juggle a full or part-time job as well as the financial responsibilities that come with adulthood. To better help you prioritize these tasks we've come up with a list of insights to keep in mind.
College Student Tax Breaks:
As a student, there are three types of tax breaks made readily available by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The American Opportunity Tax Credit (formerly known as the Hope Credit) can be claimed for up to four post-secondary years totalling $2500-including any additional expenses incurred for course materials or school related purchases. The qualifications require individuals claiming this credit to make less than $80,000/year or $160,000 if married. Another tax break, the Lifetime Learning Credit, can be applied to tuition and fees up to $2,000 per student. While there is no limit on how many years you can claim it, there is a cap for individuals making more than $52,000 ($104,000 for married couples).
Paying Taxes On Summer Jobs:
If you're claimed as a dependent then the rules for filing are slightly different. A tax return is required for earnings that exceed $6,100. When calculating this figure to determine whether or not you must file a return, be sure not to include tax-exempt income, Roth IRA distributions, and academic scholarships.
Seek Out Financial Advice:
Financial advice comes in many forms from family, friends, and experts. While it's wise to maintain an air of caution when discussing your personal financial matters, it never hurts to get a second or third opinion. Student loans, in particular, should be thoroughly considering before taking. Today, the typical student graduates with about $29,000 in student loans/debt. With careful planning and sound monetary choices you can significantly reduce this number. Explore the options made available by your university or college. Often times, they'll have a list of resources for things like grants, scholarships, and even financial aid based on information provided on your FAFSA form.
Student Checking Account:
Do you have a checking or savings account? Setting aside money is an important step to carry out once you are employed part-time or full time. With advances in technology and online banking, managing an account is a breeze. Larger institutions even have applications available for your tablet, cell phone, or mobile device to transfer funds, make deposits and post payments to your account.
Keep the aforementioned points in mind throughout the course of your college years to better manage your expenses and take control of your financial future.