College tuition has become a significant expense nowadays, and the level of outstanding student loans in the United States is at an all-time high. Many parents are concerned about adequately planning for and covering the costs of college tuition while still ensuring that their children receive a quality education. There are in fact many ways that parents can achieve both of these goals at the same time, so long as they are willing to put in the effort and start preparing early on. So if you are a parent looking to plan for your children’s education and financial future, continue reading for advice on how to save on college tuition.
APPLY FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Financial support in the form of grants, scholarships, tuition waivers or any other sort of financial aid is another great way to save money on college tuition. Remember that the goal here is to limit the amount of student loans for your child, so financial aid is one of the best routes to go in order to address your monetary constraints. Financial aid may cover a percentage of college tuition costs, and it may even cover the full amount depending on the circumstances. If you go this route, be sure to dedicate the necessary time to fill out the relevant applications.
CONSIDER IN-STATE OR COMMUNITY COLLEGES
In-state or community colleges are great options to save money on college tuition while still ensuring that your child receives a quality education. When your child goes to school in your same state of residence, tuition can be tens of thousands of dollars cheaper annually. This happens because public higher education institutions are subsidized by state tax dollars, which works to benefit students who live “in-state.” Community colleges are also good to consider since they tend to have less campus infrastructure or overhead costs, which does not hinder quality education opportunities but instead facilitates considerably lower tuition costs for students across the board.
CONSIDER EMPLOYER-BASED TUITION REIMBURSEMENT
Employer-based tuition reimbursement is a viable way to save money on college tuition, but you should discuss this with your child. Certain businesses will provide financial aid by reimbursing their employees for the partial or full cost of attending college, as it can be a win-win situation for both parties. Of course, your child would need to be able to handle the constraints of managing a job at the same time they are going to school, so be discuss whether or not this is feasible.
START SAVING TODAY
Saving what you can and when you can for your child’s college education is critical and relevant regardless of whether or not you pursue any of the financial aid or tuition deduction opportunities described above. 529 savings accounts are a great start. These are state or state agency-sponsored accounts that give tax exemptions on gains and educational expense-related withdrawals. In certain cases, you can even get partial or full tax deductions. It is best to start these accounts as early as possible, but you should still pursue this option even if you have an older child.
Planning for college tuition can be extremely stressful – and rightfully so. But be sure to remember that you have a number of options that can help you lighten this burden, so long as you are willing to put in the time, the thought, and the energy!