Paying for College

With rising costs of education, it’s no wonder that concerned parents are finding creative solutions to help pay for college. This task can be daunting, but who better than your neighborhood CPA can be trusted to help you invest in your children to succeed early in life. In today’s world, a college education is invaluable, and here are a few ways to help save for your children’s future.

Start Early and Start Often

It’s never early enough to have a plan of attack. So, your kids are still in diapers? Are you meeting friends at the park later for a play date? Talk about your options and ask around to garner solutions. While word-of-mouth is excellent, nothing can substitute for a trusted financial advisor. Your local CPA can assist with the planning and implementation of your financial goals. Whether your kids decide on a traditional four-year university, a local community college, or learning a new skill at a trade school, many options are available. Consider your choices and prepare for what’s ahead.

Invest in a 529 Plan

Think about taking out a 529 savings plan for your children. A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan intended to help save for future school costs. Programs vary by state, but all essentially offer two plans: the prepaid tuition plan and the education saving plan. The prepaid tuition plan allows the account holder to buy credits at associated colleges and universities for future purchases at current school rates. Room and board costs are generally not included in these purchases.  The education savings plan allows the saver to open an investment account for the beneficiary for tuition, fees, and room and board. You can also use an education savings plan to pay for secondary schooling at any private, public, or religious school.

Research Scholarship Opportunities and Creative Ways to Pay for College

Scholarships are available to anyone that uses them. Granted, some are subject-specific or only available to particular groups, but there is a wealth of awards available to those that apply. Some states and municipalities offer tuition-free programs intended for residents that graduated from their high schools. FAFSA is another option for students, and a CPA can be very useful in filling one out. Be prepared to have your social security number, your alien registration number, if you’re not a citizen, applicable federal tax returns, w-2’s, and other records of earned income.

Talk with an advisor

Saving for college can be overwhelming, but with the right tools, you can succeed. Aside from taking out personal family loans or filling piggy banks and mason jars to the brim with vintage coins, there has to be a better way to save. Save is the keyword, and it can’t be stressed enough to do it early and do it often. Please check with professionals at Jack Trent and Company for all of your professional accounting and bookkeeping needs.