Without a college education, a young person’s prospects for a reasonably secure job that pays well can be dramatically reduced. The cost of a degree, however, can be almost prohibitive for some families. Thankfully, there are several methods of saving for college and finding outside financial aid that can make the dream of an advanced education a reality. The following 30 blog entries discuss various methods of financing a college education without completely destroying the family budget.
529 College Savings Plans
Named after section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code that created such plans in 1996, a 529 Plan is designed to help families set money aside for use towards future education costs. Almost every state currently has at least one 529 plan available, but the particulars can differ from state to state. Before beginning to invest, it’s a good idea to research the features of 529 plans in your individual state.
- Coverdell ESA vs. 529 Plan Comparison Chart
- Is Your 529 Plan Robbing You Blind?
- Key Benefits of College 529 Plans
- How to Save for College: 529 Plans and More!
- Education Funding: Unraveling the Mystery of 529 Plans
A certificate of deposit, commonly referred to as a CD, is a risk-free savings plan insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration for banks and credit unions, respectively. CDs are designed to be held until the end of a fixed term, at which time they’ve “matured” and money can be withdrawn, along with all of the interest accrued over that term. These five blog entries discuss the ins and outs of CD as a savings method.
- How do Certificates of Deposit Work?
- How to Use Certificate of Deposits as Part of Your College Savings Strategy
- Saving for College with a Safety Net
- Certificate of Deposit?
- What is a Certificate of Deposit (CD)?
Banks and credit unions offer money market accounts, which are similar to standard savings accounts in many ways. The major difference between the two is that a money market account typically pays a higher interest rate with a higher minimum balance requirement. Most money market accounts also allow only three to six withdrawals each month, which is typically a non-issue for families using the plan solely as a method of saving for college. These plans are also insured by the FDIC, making them a safer alternative to higher-risk, higher-yield methods.
- Differences Between a Savings Account and a Money Market Account
- An Introduction to Money Market Accounts & How to Find The Best Rates
- Top Savings & Money Market Rates with Rate Guarantees
- Savings Vs. Money Market Account
- How to Choose a Money Market Account
Once upon a time, savings bonds were paper securities sold at financial institutions as low-risk, liquid savings products. While the U.S. Treasury no longer offers paper savings bonds as part of their ongoing effort to increase electronic transactions, you can still purchase savings bonds to help finance a child’s education. In these five blog entries, I Bonds are discussed at greater length.
- Savings Bonds
- Saving For College With Savings Bonds?
- How Do I Use Savings Bonds for College Expenses?
- Beat Inflation With I Bonds
- Potential Unique Advantages of Savings I-Bonds
Depending upon your child’s athletic or scholastic aptitude, you may find that qualifying for and receiving partial or even full scholarships is easier than you realized. For some families, government grants are also a possibility. Offsetting some of your child’s tuition costs with scholarships and grants can make your existing savings stretch farther, as discussed in these five blog entries.
- Arne on Cost of College and Pell Grants
- 25 Grants and Scholarships for College Students
- Paying For College: Financial Aid In America, In 2 Graphics
- Paying for College with Scholarships & Grants
- Develop Strategy to Land College Scholarships
Sometimes, despite parents’ best efforts, the college funds they’ve set aside for their children simply aren’t enough to cover all of the expenses. In such cases, especially when grants and scholarships aren’t an option, student loans may be the only choice. These five blogs tackle the issue of student loans, offering valuable insights and information.
- The Average Student Loan: An Overview
- Income Based Repayment: Everything You Need to Know
- Understanding Student Loans in Real Terms
- Student Loans
- Why I Decided to Consolidate My Student Loans