Set : Paying for College
It’s never too early to start researching ways to help pay for school. There are a wide variety of websites that help students narrow down their search for grants and scholarships. While many deadlines for financial aid aren’t until senior year, students can always start searching for scholarships and researching other ways to fund their educational goals.
Here are some resources to get students started:
- FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
- Federal Financial Aid Opportunities
- Federal Tax Benefits
In order to afford college, prospective students need to know what goes into its cost, like tuition, mandatory fees, room and board (food), books, transportation, and supplies. Some of these costs are fixed, such as tuition. However, if students are financially literate, they can learn to balance a budget and keep costs down on the items they can control, such as transportation and food.
The earlier students start saving money, the closer they'll get to their savings goal. Things like savings accounts, federal savings bonds, stocks and mutual funds, and college savings plans are examples of how they can save. Students who earn money by babysitting, mowing lawns, or have other after-school jobs can practice setting up a budget using how much they’ll earn, how much they can spend, and how much they want to save. Students who don’t already have an account with a bank or credit union should talk to their family about starting one.
These skills won’t just help students now or when they’re in college, but they will also set up good habits for the rest of their lives!
Your Savings Goal
To understand how much they'll need to save, students should try this college savings calculator. It will help estimate the cost of attending a college or university and then determine how much they will need to save to meet those costs. Students should remember that while the total cost may seem high, financial aid is available to those who need it.
Ways to Save
For more information about ways to save for college, talk with a qualified investment advisor or a representative at your local credit union or bank. They can tell you about saving for college using:
- College savings plans
- Federal savings bonds
- Stocks and mutual fund accounts, and more