How to Pay for College
Most states have a dual enrollment program where high school students can attend college classes for both college and high school credit. Some states even offer this program at a substantial discount, or even completely FREE. If you have a motivated student, this can be a great way to cut some college costs before they even graduate from high school.
Scholarships are the obvious choice for funding your child’s college education since they don’t require repayment. Even a small scholarship can help relieve some of the financial burden of college. Scholarships are available at a local, state and national level.
Grants are like scholarships in that they don’t require repayment, however they are usually for a specific need such as low income or a child of a military member that died in service, or in a specific field like secondary education in a low income school. A quick google search can lead you to the grant that may be right for your soon to be collegiate. Many universities offer their own grants in the form of free tuition for families making less than a certain amount per year. Some of the big ones include Princeton, Harvard, Stanford and MIT. If you make less than a certain amount (usually around $60,000 a year) if accepted, your student may qualify for free tuition and room & board. Tuition only grants at these universities are also available to families making less than $100,000 per year.
Getting your associates degree or even bachelor at a community college can cut the overall cost of tuition by more than half. If getting a degree from a large university is important to your child, consider getting an associates degree at the community college and then transferring that to a larger college. Credits can’t be lost in this process and may be a great option depending on what school your child ultimately wants to end up at.
Loans aren’t as scary as one may think, if done right a college loan can ease the financial burden. Plus you do not have to start paying it back until 6 months after your graduate. College Loan Calculator
In State Schools
Out of state tuition costs are sometimes more than quadruple in state tuition.
If you are sure that your child/children are going to go to college then a 529 plan is a great investment to make. A 529 plan is like a 401K for college. Each state has their own plan so rates and contribution limits may vary, but no matter what state you live in, you can still grow your 529 plan tax free and are free from paying taxes on it ever, when used to pay qualifying school expenses. You can even have money taken directly out of your paycheck and put into your 529, just like with a 401k. This is a great resource and ensures that you will have some money available to help pay for college expenses.
College can be an exciting and terrifying time, hopefully this information helps you realize that you can actually afford to send your children to college without going completely broke.
For more information, please contact:
Jessie Blocker 253-683-6810