Paying For College
If You are Using a 529 or Coverdell in the Fall

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By reallyalldone
March 28, 2003

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If you have a student graduating from high school this spring and you are planning to use Coverdell or 529 money for their fall bill, let me strongly suggest that:

1) You contact whatever entity has your money to find out the steps for getting it and how long it will take AND

2) You contact the Bursar or whoever would want to receive the money at the college and find out if they can accept a third party check endorsed to them or how they would be able to handle these funds. You may also want to find out when bills are sent and when they are due. With my oldest, this was about a 3-week spread with the fall bill due in early August.

I just ran a little experiment on Coverdell money and it took about 2 months to jump through the hoops (and the college was the easiest part but it's a private college so I think they're a little more astute about the payment piece.) I also spent some time finding out who actually handles my younger son's 529 - it changed in January and they're planning to let me know about Web access to information about the account soon.

Honestly, for both the Coverdell (formerly at Waterhouse) and the 529 (Colorado), I have experienced some of the worst customer service ever (and I have been an active general investor since the late 70's).


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