When it comes to your college education, planning ahead makes sense but isn’t always practical. No matter where you are financially, there are steps you can take to get started.
When there’s plenty of time to save, follow these steps to get a plan together:
Step 1 – Do the legwork to get a budget together and figure out how much you can set aside within the scope of your other goals – retirement, emergencies, etc.
Step 2 – Start saving now! Even if it’s only a small amount, it will go a long way in the end.
Step 3 – Research options for saving in special college savings accounts such as Coverdell and 529 plans.
If the time is drawing near, take the following steps to get on track:
Step 1 – Research education costs for community, public, and private schools in your area of interest.
- Private schools aren’t always the most expensive depending upon financial aid, scholarships, and other opportunities.
- Check out the “Compare College Costs” tool to see prices for different schools.
Step 2 – Apply for financial aid to see the amount for which you qualify.
Step 3 – Communicate with the colleges in which you are interested. Contact the financial aid office for an appointment.
- They will give you all the information you need about tuition payment plans, student loans, scholarships, and grants they are able to provide.
For more information about applying for Student aid, view the “Applying for Financial Aid” handout.