As the days get longer and the sun shines a bit brighter, many families are getting ready to travel, go on vacations or start their summer grilling. Across the country, high school seniors are filling auditoriums to throw their caps in the air and say goodbye to the last four years of high school. With the end of of high school comes the beginning of college – and the costs that go with it. Many parents are looking for the best college saving tips to ensure a solid head-start.
According to CNBC, tuition at public and private universities increased 6% per year. This means that the cost of tuition, fees, room and board, and books will keep going up for the foreseeable future. Now is the time to start investing in your child’s future to make not only theirs, but your college experience as financial easy as possible. Below we’ve gathered four of our favorite tips that parents need to know before sending their kids to college.
Save, Save, Save!
One of the best instruments for families of future college grads to save for college is a 529 Plan. These investment vehicles allow parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members and friends to set aside money for their chosen beneficiary to use for their future college tuition or other expenses. The plans offer amazing incentives, one of the most notable being their tax-exempt growth and withdrawals. To learn more about 529 Plans check out our blog post. To enroll in a 529 Plan that is easy and secure, please visit www.U-Nest.com.
Scholarships and Grants
One of the most well known resources for college bound families are scholarships and grants. If your child has academic, athletic, or creative talents, they can apply for a wide variety of scholarships. While most cater to these three branches, there are hundreds offered that range from military to legacy scholarships and everything in between. It’s important to start applying early to avoid missing out on opportunities. Check out sites like College Board, Moolahspot and Fastweb for a list of offered scholarships.
Kickstart Your College
It seems like a lot of products these days are crowdfunded. From high tech toasters to the next generation smart watch – crowdsourcing is a very popular way of generating funds for future projects. So why not take this idea and apply it towards college? Websites like GoFundMe, ScholarMatch and DreamFund are meccas for college crowdfunding. It’s as easy as creating a profile and uploading a story to have your family, friends and even strangers pay the way to college. The beautiful thing about this is that the proceeds can also be put into your current 529 Plan or U-Nest account!
The Early Bird…
Many high schools offer their students a way to earn college credits. Whether it’s through Advanced Placement classes or International Baccalaureate, high schoolers can transfer credits over to their GE courses for college. Another way to earn those sweet college credits is by enrolling at your local Junior College. Some JCs offer general education classes to high school students which may transfer over to their college of choice. Make sure to check with your local JC to see whether this applies. If you’d like to learn more about taking college courses in high school, head on over to PrepScholar’s blog post here.
U-Nest’s College Saving Tips
The U-Nest application is set to launch soon. If you’d like to become one of the first supporting members, please register your email address with us at www.u-nest.com.