The cost of college can seem overwhelming. With the amount of student debt in America, having a savings account to help your child pay for college can be a nice way to cover part of the cost. Here are some effective tips for making college costs more manageable:
Start saving early. This seems simple, but can be difficult. If you can afford to put money aside when your child is young, it is important to take advantage of the opportunity. That money will grow and be worth more years down the road when he or she is ready to head off to college.
Open a 529 or Coverdell ESA tax-deferred college savings plan. These funds grow tax-deferred and are free from income taxes when used for qualified college expenses such as tuition, books, school supplies, and housing.
Choose a school that works best for you. The college that offers the degree your child is interested in should be at the top of the list when it comes to choosing a school, but keep in mind the cost of private education and out-of-state tuition. It is worth looking at in-state options including your local community college.
Apply for scholarships. Be sure to have your child apply for scholarships or grants when it comes time. This is often during junior or senior year of high school, but keep your eye out for opportunities that arise earlier as well.
The cost of college could deter your child from getting a degree. Start saving now if you can, so you are better prepared when he or she is ready to go to school. Sending your child to college should be a special moment—don’t let anything get in the way of that.