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Savings and Tax Planning for College: 529 and Other Plans, Education Credits, and FAFSA Strategies

Note: CLE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will explain financial planning for college, including 529 plans, other savings plans, financial aid strategies, and education credits. The government provides benefits to lessen the burden of college expenses. Knowing how to take advantage of these benefits is imperative for practitioners who are advising clients with college-bound children.


Most practitioners are aware that 529 plans are available to help fund college. With the unified estate credit at an all-time high, now may be the time to make a significant gift to a 529 plan. Under Section 529 (c)(2)(B), an individual can make a lump-sum gift to a 529 plan, spread over five years, without utilizing the exemption. What happens if a client "superfunds" a 529 plan and the child decides not to go to college? In certain cases, investing in a Roth IRA could be a better alternative.

Even with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, professionals are often asked to help complete a FAFSA. More important than completion of the form itself are the strategies that can help students qualify for financial aid. Factors that have a substantial effect on how much financial aid a student receives include the number of siblings in college simultaneously, whether the child or parent own the account, and the type of account holding the funds (bank, 529 plans, savings accounts, or IRAs).

Education credits can help defray college expenses. The American Opportunity Credit (100% of the first $2,000 in qualified expenses) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (20% of $10,000 in qualified expenses) are more than compliance calculations on Form 8863. They are credits, not deductions, that can maximize a taxpayer's refund.

Listen as our panel of experts explores the planning possibilities for college bound children, including when and how best to contribute to 529 and other college saving plans, tips to maximize the education credits, and strategies for completing the FAFSA.



  1. Overview of college planning
  2. 529 plans
  3. Other savings plans
    1. Coverdell ESAs
    2. UTMAs
    3. Roth IRAs
  4. FAFSA strategies
  5. Education credits


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the considerations of implementing a 529 plan?
  • Which college savings vehicles are available in addition to 529 plans?
  • What strategies can be used to better qualify for financial aid?
  • Which education credit(s) should be claimed and how to maximize them?


Meyer, Deborah
Deborah L. Meyer, CPA/PFS, CFP®


Ms. Meyer, CPA/PFS and CFP®, is a fee-only financial planner and the author of Redefining Family Wealth: A...  |  Read More

Messinger, Joseph
Joseph Messinger, CFP, ChFC, CLU

Co-founder & Director of College Planning
Capstone Wealth Partners

Mr. Messinger is a leading authority on late-stage college funding. He is also a highly regarded thought leader in the...  |  Read More

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