Save for Education

Saving for education is the second most popular goal (after saving for emergencies) savers select when they pledge to save with America Saves. There are many different things to factor in when saving and paying for college. The information and resources below can help you plan for this large expense.

Cost of College

According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2012–2013 school year was $29,056 at private colleges, $8,655 for state residents at public colleges, and $21,706 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. The average cost of room and board in 2012–2013 ranged from $9,205 at four-year public schools to $10,462 at private schools.

Minimizing the Cost of College

Find Free Money

·         Grants and scholarships are often called “gift aid” because they are free money—financial aid that doesn't have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based. Learn more at StudentAid.ed.gov 

Consider Community College

·         According to the College Board, the average community college costs $3,131 and the average student received enough grants and tax breaks to cover the typical tuition and all but $10 of the average $1,230 bill for textbooks and school supplies. Attending this type of college for your first two years can save you thousands of dollars.

Work While in School

·         Earning money while you attend school is one way to help keep costs down – especially if you don’t have enough saved to pay for college in full. Any money you earn is money you don’t need to borrow.

Federal Work-Study 

·         Provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study. Learn more at StudentAid.ed.gov

Ways to Save for College

        529 Plans

·         A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs. 529 plans, legally known as “qualified tuition plans,” are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.

·         Learn more about these types of plans, the fees associated with them, how they impact financial aid eligibility, and if they are right for you at SEC.gov

       Savings Bonds

·         The Education Savings Bond Program permits qualified taxpayers to exclude from their gross income all or a portion of the interest earned on the redemption of eligible Series EE and Series I bonds issued after 1989.

·         For more on bonds visit TreasuryDirect.gov 

Taking Out Loans

·         If you need to borrow money to pay for college or career school, start with federal student loans. Learn more at StudentAid.ed.gov

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