Saving for college

Have you started saving money for college? Here are some tips to help you get started.

Between 2006-2007 and 2016-2017, published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions increased at an average rate of 3.5 percent per year according to College Board. College tuition can be expensive and, as a result, saving for college is essential. Katie Bryan from America Saves offers the following advice:

Five tips for saving for college

  1. Start saving as soon as possible. Small amounts of saving will build up over time and will reduce the amount of loans you have to pay back later. Two popular ways to save are through 529 plans and savings bonds.
  2. Find free money. This can be the key to saving you thousands of dollars in interest you would need to pay later. There are billions of dollars available to those who put in the effort to apply. Check out Federal Student Aid, SallieMae and BigFuture.
  3. Work while you’re in school. Remember that any money you can save or earn before and during college will reduce the amount of loans you need to take and save you money you would pay later.
  4. Consider your options. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers important consumer information about paying for college and determining what you can afford. Check out the CFPB and learn more about financial aid, student loans and student banking. Use the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet to compare the amount you will need to pay at the colleges you get into. You may find that one school offers you more grants than another.
  5. Get tips and reminders to save. America Saves can help students and their parents keep college savings at the top of their mind. Sign up for our free text message tips and reminders by taking the Pledge to Save and choosing “Education” as your savings goal. 

Saving for college is beneficial and can help reduce out-of-pocket expenses and student loan debt. Exploring your options early will help prepare you for college expenses.

Be sure to check out Michigan State University Extension and for more great tips on saving.  Don’t forget to take our Financial Health Survey and get your score to learn about more ways to improve your financial health.

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