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CollegeData - Planning Ahead to Pay for College

Planning Ahead to Pay for College

Is college a year or more away? Here are some options for planning your college financing strategy.

Don't wait to see financial aid award letters before you start planning how to pay your share of college expenses.

Popular College Saving Options

Setting aside money for college is always a good idea. These plans are commonly used for college saving.

Learn more: How Student and Parent Income Affect Your Financial Aid

Popular College Tax Savings Options

If you pay Uncle Sam less, then you'll have more money available to pay for college. Consider whether you can take advantage of these education tax breaks.

Learn more: Tax Breaks for College

Popular College Borrowing Options

Loans are part of most college financing plans. Bear in mind that loans make it easier to pay for college, but they don't reduce college cost since they have to be repaid. Research these borrowing options well before college starts, so you'll have some idea of how much interest rates will be, and how much in loan payments you can afford.

Learn more: Borrowing Options for College

Take Time to Find Affordable Schools

It's true that almost all students get some kind of aid from their college. But carefully planning where to apply will position the student to get the best aid. Look for colleges with a history of offering cost-reducing grants and scholarships, and where the student's GPA and test scores put them at the top of the freshman class.

Learn more: Finding Financially Friendly Colleges

Putting the College Financing Pieces Together

These savings methods and vehicles have been used successfully by many families, but it's a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced college financial advisor to help you choose the optimal college financing plan.

What' Next

Note: Financial information provided on this site is of a general nature and may not apply to your situation. Contact a financial or tax advisor before acting on such information.