DC1 is taking Calc 3… and I just realized we can probably use the 529 to pay it

After a huge amount of fighting with the admissions office and us getting a meningitis vaccine waiver even though DC1 got the vaccine more than 2 weeks before the semester started (long story that increases my blood pressure– but the vaccine waiver turned out to be way easier than getting admissions to accept the doctor’s note), DC1 finally got admitted to take Calc 3 at my uni.  Fortunately there’s an 8am class that fits with hir schedule, although I’m the one who is going to have to do the chauffeuring most days.  It took a lot of back and forth with scheduling to get all the various holds removed (most not applicable because DC1 is a high school student, not an enrolled student), but fortunately they had held the last available spot for hir (8am was also the last section to close).

The day classes started, we got a bill for tuition which is about 2K.  I had completely forgotten about it!   (I knew we were going to have to pay, but it had just slipped my mind, and really shouldn’t they have sent the bill earlier?)

Anyhow, I realized that we can probably use DC1’s 529 to pay for this.  Stock markets are down, so it’s tempting to wait them out… and we also don’t know if DC1 is going to use up hir 529 funds, but it seems pretty likely given that zie doesn’t want to be an economics major at the state flagship and all the other options are private schools.  And we can always move the beneficiary around to DC2 or go through a more complicated path for a nibling.

There’s also the new 529 conversion to Roth IRA that makes having a 529 plan more valuable.

I didn’t even think to use the 529 when DC1 took C++ over the summer online during the pandemic.  It probably would have made sense to take money out and put new money in to replace it.

In ~two months we will know where DC1 will be going along with how much we should expect to pay for the 4 years.  If I am reading correctly, we have until the end of December 2023 to decide whether or not we want to take money out of the 529 to play for DC1’s Calc 3 class.

My friend whose son is going to Brown is cashflowing this semester (out of income and cash savings) because she’s hoping the stock market rebounds before they take money from their 529.  They don’t have as much in their 529 and they have a younger child as well, so this makes some sense.  I think we’ll probably just take money out for college until it’s gone for next year no matter what the stock market is doing, but that logic suggests we should take money out now to reimburse for the class as well.  But also $2K seems like drops in the bucket compared to what we’ll be paying for a private school next year, assuming DC1 gets at least one acceptance.  It’s so easy to be lazy.

Have you taken money out of a 529 to pay for tuition?  How easy was it?  Any regrets?


6 Responses to “DC1 is taking Calc 3… and I just realized we can probably use the 529 to pay it”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    Aren’t 529 investments age based? My oldest kid’s plan hasn’t dropped or gained that much because I think the investments are more conservative now. I don’t have as much as you do in my accounts so ours will probably be spent in year 1 especially if we go private.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yes, but DC1’s aren’t in the conservative range yet for various reasons. And my friend with a kid in college says they don’t let you just take out the part that’s in bonds.

  2. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    When I was in high school I took quite a lot of college classes at the local college. Not only was this 25 years ago, but they also charged some nominal fee (only for local HS students) that even then was way below the cost of regular tuition- $100 or $150 a credit hour or something. Hearing about this tuition bill makes me realize again how lucky I was!

  3. CG Says:

    Ah, this is a great reminder. Our kids are likely to take either Calc 3 or linear algebra while still in high school. My current thought is that they’ll take it online through our local community college rather than through our local R1 just because the scheduling will be a lot easier that way. Was that an option for your DC and you decided it was better to do it at your university, or was it not an option? I’ve been assuming a college admissions person would see taking Calc 3 at a cc as evidence of the subject trajectory, but maybe I’m wrong. As always, I appreciate your thoughts on this stuff as you’re always a couple years ahead of us!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Online isn’t an option and the community college is almost a half hour drive (there and another half hour back) in another town. I wish zie could have done it over the summer, but my uni only allows high school students to take classes during the school year which is bizarre to me.

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