Benjamin J. Koval, the founder of SoundPath Retirement Strategies, recently published an article for 30Seconds to discuss four tips to help you and your child save for college.
College is such an important building block for a resume and a career, and it’s no secret why. Studies have shown that recruiters and employers actively seek candidates with college degrees, and college graduates earn an average of $1.2 million more than those with only high school diplomas over the course of their careers.
Nevertheless, college can be a major financial burden in the moment, turning some potential students away from a tremendous opportunity at growth. Many who do opt to attend a university can also be saddled with enormous debt. At SoundPath Retirement Strategies, we see this far too often. We believe that college should be a realistic option for everyone, so our founder assembled a list of four ways to help you and your child pay for that next level of education!
- Start a Section 529 Plan
529 Plans are investment plans with built in maturation. Weighted heavily with risk at the beginning to jumpstart growth, they become more conservative over the lifetime of the plan. Funds are also not taxable if used for college-related expenses.
- Earn College Credits While in High School
Many high schools now offer Advanced Placement (AP) and dual enrollment classes, giving students a chance to earn credits before graduating from high school. Though potentially more difficult, AP classes award credits based on test scores while dual enrollment classes function as a partnership between the high school and a local college. Both can save students and parents time and money in the pursuit of an education.
- Familiarize Yourself with the Aid Process
Students should be extremely familiar, both with private and public options to fund college tuition. For example, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines how much federal aid a student might qualify for, including in grants. Scholarships directly from schools are also often awarded based on academic, athletic or extracurricular performance, and many private organizations award scholarships and grants based on need or merit.
- Consider the Community College Route
On average, the cost per credit hour at a two-year community college is less than half of the cost at a four-year university. Additionally, community college credits often transfer to universities, where students can continue their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree or more.
If you have any questions about saving or planning to help your family, please give us a call! You can reach SoundPath Retirement Strategies at (425) 365-0204 in Bellevue, Washington and at (702) 840-4592 in Las Vegas.