Preparing for Your Child’s College Education

Kristina Kraus
Greater Nevada Credit Union
It’s no secret that getting a college education isn’t cheap.  According to collegedata.com, the average annual cost for an in-state public school is $24,061, and for a private college the average is $47,831. With ever rising college costs, parents are putting aside money for college even earlier these days. Here are few tips you can use to save and supplement the costs.

Student Loans

When it comes to borrowing money for college, one of the first places to check is with your financial institution. For instance, The Smart Option Student Loan* for Greater Nevada Credit Union by Sallie Mae® can be used for college expenses not covered by scholarships and federal loans. This type of loan offers multiple in-school repayment options, plus a choice of competitive fixed and variable interest rates with no prepayment penalty.

529 Plan

A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or financial institution that is specially made for setting aside money for future college costs. They’re becoming more common and offer tax benefits, plus the choice between two different plans: pre-paid tuition plans and college savings plans.

Learn more about 529 Plans at the US Security and Exchange Commission’s website.

Maximizing Bonuses

Whether it’s a tax refund or year-end bonus, setting aside your “extra” money is a great way to save for your kid’s college education. If it’s not money you already have marked for some other need, why not put it away immediately for college expenses, so that you don’t get tempted to use it.

Sharing Costs

Setting aside money for your kids’ continued education is a great gift, though you shouldn’t feel obligated to cover the entire cost. Some parents pay for a portion toward a degree, while teaching their kids to make up the difference through smart saving and budgeting habits, a great life lesson no matter what!

Automation is Key

One of the best ways to save, whether it’s for college or something else, is to automatically put away a set amount regularly. When you automate savings, there is far less temptation to spend needlessly because it’s almost like you don’t see the money. However, it will be there when you really need it, like when you’re ready to pay for college.  
 
See how you can set up savings automation through your Greater Nevada account by clicking on the “Automate Your Savings” tab at the top of the Savings page.

Get One on One Help

It can be overwhelming to plan a college savings fund by yourself, especially when the costs may seem out of reach. Talking to someone who understands the process and can guide you through planning for an education within your budget can help. For extra help, start by talking to your financial institution  to get personal help in planning out all future costs.  
 
*We are compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
 
9/09/16