IAFF-FC Education Financing

If you or your children are planning on going to college, scholarships can pay for some or all of your education.

Always look for the zero cost option first. Find out if there are scholarships available to you by using the link below.

Click here to access the Scholarship Search Engine

Federal Stafford Loans

Your next step is to look to subsidized loans from the federal government. They are usually the lowest cost student loans available.

Federal PLUS Loans (for parents)
This link provides information on how to apply for Federal PLUS Loans.

College Savings Programs

In 1996, Congress added Section 529 to the Internal Revenue Code to allow for the creation of state-sponsored college savings plans. Through these plans, families may take advantage of generous tax breaks while saving for a child's future education. 529 plans allow you to:

Reduce your federal taxable estate

Grow federally tax-free earnings on your account1

Donate up to $55,000 per contributor in a single year for each beneficiary without triggering a federal gift tax2

Maintain control of the account, permanently.

Because 529 programs are state sponsored, individual states may offer specific benefits, such as tax deductions on contributions. The most comprehensive online 529 resource is Savingforcollege.com. Visit this site for answers to your questions, to rate your state's plan or compare plans.

  1. Pursuant to the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, effective January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2010, unless legislation changes. Earnings must be used to pay for qualified higher education expenses to be tax free. See the Enrollment Handbook for more information.
  2. A $55,000 gift is viewed as an accelerated gift over five years. Any other gifts made to the same beneficiary by the same contributor within five years may result in a federal gift-tax liability. If the contributor dies within the five-year period, a prorated portion of the contribution may be included in the taxable estate.

General Information

Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever while you live, expense is constant and certain: and it is easier to build two chimneys than to keep one in fuel.

- Benjamin Franklin