Considering how you are going to fund your child’s college education can be stressful. Especially when the average college education costs over $100,000. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to help save for your child’s future and reach your financial goals. With this in mind, here are some useful tips on how to finance your child’s college education.
Start saving early
One of the most effective ways to plan for your child’s college education is by starting to save as soon as they are born. Putting a small amount of money into a separate fund each month is a great way to ensure that you build enough funds by the time your child reaches college.
You should also be aware that the cost of a college education is rising each year. Fortunately, investing in a college savings plan can help protect you against future inflation. According to experts – “Many states offer college savings opportunities, such as a Section 529 Education Savings Plan, that allow you to begin investing early.” These plans are usually funded by states or educational organizations and typically offer several great tax and financial benefits.
Have a college savings plan
You should have a college savings plan to help you reach your financial goals. The first step to creating an effective savings plan is to estimate how much your child’s education is likely to cost. Remember to consider factors like college price inflation, estimated years of attendance, and total years until college. You can use an online college cost calculator to help you determine the average cost. Keep in mind that the costs will be considerably higher if your child attends a private college.
Once you have a figure in mind, start working towards your goal by contributing savings each month and investing wisely. Stock funds are traditionally considered a reliable and relatively low-risk way to save for college. However, it’s important to do your research and make smart investment decisions. Make sure that you review the performance of your funds regularly, and take action on any under-performing funds. If you are unsure how to invest your college savings, then seek guidance and advice from a financial expert.
Research grants and scholarships
There is a huge variety of grants and scholarships available to support college students and their families and to make education more accessible. Both grants and scholarships are funded by governments, educational establishments, and charity organizations. Grants are needs-based and are typically awarded to students from low-income households. Make sure that you apply for any grants that you may be eligible for. Whereas, scholarships are given based on merits and are often awarded to support those with athletic gifts. For instance, ASM Scholarships work with over 3,000 Universities in the US and offer successful candidates soccer scholarships of around $40,000 per year. If your child dreams of a career in sports, then be sure to research what scholarships are available to support them.
Remember to start looking for scholarship opportunities early and encourage your child to maintain high grades in all subjects, alongside their sporting performance.