Education Funding Strategies
Sending their children to college is important to most parents, but saving for education typically is not a priority. Costs continue to increase, and if your student completes an undergraduate program, the price will be even higher for graduate work.
For the 2018-19 school year, the average undergraduate cost is $25,890 for a four-year public college (in-state student), $41,950 for a four-year public college (out-of-state student), and $52,500 for a four-year private college. Total figures include tuition and fees, room and board, books, transportation, and personal expenses. Costs for the most selective private colleges are substantially higher. (Source: The College Board's Trends in College Pricing Report 2018)
It's likely that costs will continue to rise, but thousands of students graduate from college every year. So how do they do it? Many parents save less than 100% of their child's education costs before college. Typically, they put aside enough money to make a down payment on the college bill (in the same way you might purchase a home). Then, parents supplement this down payment with:
- Current income
- Home equity loan or other private loan
- Federal Parent PLUS Loan
- Federal and college student-based financial aid (e.g., student loans, grants, scholarships, work-study)
- Child's savings and/or earnings from a part-time job
- Gifts from grandparents or other family members
- Investments (e.g., 529 plan, mutual funds)
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