529 plan question - room & board

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529 plan question - room & board

Postby Pacific » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:52 am

I understand that room and board is a qualified expense living on campus. However, if the student is going to a community college which does no have on-campus housing, is the student allowed to claim rent and food costs as a qualified expense?

Thanks.
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Re: 529 plan question - room & board

Postby sscritic » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:40 am

Only if paid directly to the parents. You have to get something for letting them hang around home. You obviously charge, or you wouldn't be asking. :)

No, I haven't read the rules so this answer is not to be taken seriously. I doubt that anyone would, but you never know around here.
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Re: 529 plan question - room & board

Postby EagertoLearnMore » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:53 am

Yes, if your child lives off campus you may use the same amount as it would cost to live on campus in a dorm. If your child is living at home, I do not believe you can use the 529 fund. If he or she is renting near campus you should be able to use the 529 fund for an equivalent amount similar to a dorm. See IRS publication 970.
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Re: 529 plan question - room & board

Postby sscritic » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:02 am

Expenses for room and board must be incurred by students who are enrolled at least half-time. The expense for room and board qualifies only to the extent that it is not more than the greater of the following two amounts.
a. The allowance for room and board, as determined by the eligible educational institution, that was included in the cost of attendance (for federal financial aid purposes) for a particular academic period and living arrangement of the student.
b. The actual amount charged if the student is residing in housing owned or operated by the eligible educational institution.
You will need to contact the eligible educational institution for qualified room and board costs.

Since the school has no dorm, b does not apply. However, the school should have a financial aid office that will give you the number for a.
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Re: 529 plan question - room & board

Postby Pacific » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:03 pm

sscritic wrote:
Expenses for room and board must be incurred by students who are enrolled at least half-time. The expense for room and board qualifies only to the extent that it is not more than the greater of the following two amounts.
a. The allowance for room and board, as determined by the eligible educational institution, that was included in the cost of attendance (for federal financial aid purposes) for a particular academic period and living arrangement of the student.
b. The actual amount charged if the student is residing in housing owned or operated by the eligible educational institution.
You will need to contact the eligible educational institution for qualified room and board costs.

Since the school has no dorm, b does not apply. However, the school should have a financial aid office that will give you the number for a.


Thanks, as usual, sscritic. I went to the school's web site and found it under its financial aid link.
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