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5 groovy college lessons from Mad Men
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/5-groovy-college-lessons-from-mad-men-774

Posted: 2015-05-14

by Kathryn Flynn

As AMC’s hit period-drama Mad Men nears the final episode, we thought about some of the similarities and differences between today’s world and the 1960s. While you can argue that college has become a larger part of more people’s lives today, when we examine the characters of Mad Men we find that higher education played a critical role in their lives as well.

Caution: SPOILER ALERT- If you’re not caught up on the series, save this article for later!

1. A college degree was helpful, even in 1970

  • Peggy Olsen is a Senior Copywriter at SC&P, but when rumors of being dissolved by McCann begin to stir, she contacts a headhunter about finding another job.
  • Peggy is told to stay put with McCann because she’ll have trouble getting as good of a job without a college degree.
  • The same holds true today. In fact, in 2014, those with a bachelor’s degree earned almost $23,000 more per year than those with only a high school diploma.

Why bother saving for college?

Image source: Galleryhip.com

Cover image source: AMC.com

2. You may want to go back to college as an adult

  • After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, Betty Francis Draper had a brief career as a model and then spent the majority of her adult life as a housewife.
  • In the show’s final season, Betty decides to go back to college in hopes of becoming a psychologist.
  • If Betty lived in 2015, she may have a 529 college savings plan for her daughter, Sally. If Sally follows her friend Glen’s footsteps and drops out of college, Betty can change the beneficiary of the plan and use the funds to pay her own tuition bills.

Five types of students who benefit from 529 plans

Image source: Tvatemywardrobe.com

3. You’ll need more than a good family name to get into a good college

  • Pete and Trudy Campbell are shocked to find out that their daughter, Trudy, was denied admission from Greenwich County Day School, since attending the school is a “Campbell family tradition”.
  • They find out from the admissions officer that Tammy was rejected because of poor test scores, and also because of a 300-year old grudge between the Campbell family and the admissions officer’s clan.
  • Students who want to get into top schools today will not only need stellar scores on their ACT/SAT, but they need to take the right classes and excel in activities in high school.

9 tips on getting into an Ivy League school

Image source: Indiewire.com

4. A 529 plan is a great place to leave your legacy

  • Last season, Bert Cooper, one of the founder partners of SC&P, passed away.
  • He was an eccentric and wealthy man who likely had a significant financial legacy to leave behind.
  • If Cooper were alive today, he could deposit up to $70,000 to a child’s 529 plan and treat the contribution as if it were made over a five-year period for gift tax purposes. This would allow him to get a large amount of money out of his estate, but he would still retain control of the funds.

Are there gift and estate tax benefits for 529 plans?

Image source: Slate.com

5. There is a special exception for 529 plans when a student goes to a U.S. Military Academy

  • Sally Draper’s childhood friend, Glen, volunteered to serve in Vietnam because he flunked out of college.
  • Traditional college might not be for everyone, and a smarter idea for Glen may have been to enroll in a U.S. Military Academy.
  • Today, if parents save for college in a 529 plan and their child attends a U.S. Military Academy, they can take a non-qualified withdrawal and avoid the 10% penalty on the earnings portion of the account.

When your child wants to attend a U.S. Military Academy

Image source: Dailymail.co.uk

As AMC’s hit period-drama Mad Men nears the final episode, we thought about some of the similarities and differences between today’s world and the 1960s. While you can argue that college has become a larger part of more people’s lives today, when we examine the characters of Mad Men we find that higher education played a critical role in their lives as well.

Caution: SPOILER ALERT- If you’re not caught up on the series, save this article for later!

1. A college degree was helpful, even in 1970

  • Peggy Olsen is a Senior Copywriter at SC&P, but when rumors of being dissolved by McCann begin to stir, she contacts a headhunter about finding another job.
  • Peggy is told to stay put with McCann because she’ll have trouble getting as good of a job without a college degree.
  • The same holds true today. In fact, in 2014, those with a bachelor’s degree earned almost $23,000 more per year than those with only a high school diploma.

Why bother saving for college?

Image source: Galleryhip.com

Cover image source: AMC.com

2. You may want to go back to college as an adult

  • After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, Betty Francis Draper had a brief career as a model and then spent the majority of her adult life as a housewife.
  • In the show’s final season, Betty decides to go back to college in hopes of becoming a psychologist.
  • If Betty lived in 2015, she may have a 529 college savings plan for her daughter, Sally. If Sally follows her friend Glen’s footsteps and drops out of college, Betty can change the beneficiary of the plan and use the funds to pay her own tuition bills.

Five types of students who benefit from 529 plans

Image source: Tvatemywardrobe.com

3. You’ll need more than a good family name to get into a good college

  • Pete and Trudy Campbell are shocked to find out that their daughter, Trudy, was denied admission from Greenwich County Day School, since attending the school is a “Campbell family tradition”.
  • They find out from the admissions officer that Tammy was rejected because of poor test scores, and also because of a 300-year old grudge between the Campbell family and the admissions officer’s clan.
  • Students who want to get into top schools today will not only need stellar scores on their ACT/SAT, but they need to take the right classes and excel in activities in high school.

9 tips on getting into an Ivy League school

Image source: Indiewire.com

4. A 529 plan is a great place to leave your legacy

  • Last season, Bert Cooper, one of the founder partners of SC&P, passed away.
  • He was an eccentric and wealthy man who likely had a significant financial legacy to leave behind.
  • If Cooper were alive today, he could deposit up to $70,000 to a child’s 529 plan and treat the contribution as if it were made over a five-year period for gift tax purposes. This would allow him to get a large amount of money out of his estate, but he would still retain control of the funds.

Are there gift and estate tax benefits for 529 plans?

Image source: Slate.com

5. There is a special exception for 529 plans when a student goes to a U.S. Military Academy

  • Sally Draper’s childhood friend, Glen, volunteered to serve in Vietnam because he flunked out of college.
  • Traditional college might not be for everyone, and a smarter idea for Glen may have been to enroll in a U.S. Military Academy.
  • Today, if parents save for college in a 529 plan and their child attends a U.S. Military Academy, they can take a non-qualified withdrawal and avoid the 10% penalty on the earnings portion of the account.

When your child wants to attend a U.S. Military Academy

Image source: Dailymail.co.uk

 

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