What are your college savings options? Some parents tap into home equity loans, variable life insurance policies and even retirement accounts. But there are programs specifically for education savings, including:
- 529 and Coverdell education savings plans - These are both tax-exempt savings plans, although the 529s vary by state and can include prepaid tuition plans that lock in current tuition costs at in-state public colleges. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts can be used to pay for primary, secondary and postsecondary education costs.
- Credit card rebate programs - Programs such as UPromise® and BabyMint™ offer tax-exempt rebates, to be used for college savings, when you purchase products or services from particular businesses.
- Certificates of Deposit and U.S. Treasury Savings Bonds - Each have education-dedicated savings options.
Check out FinAid.org, a college planning Web site created by financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz, to learn more about your savings options.
Check out the other articles in this series:
- How Will We Ever Save for College?
- "Oh No, We Forgot to Save for College!"
- Choosing and Using a Financial Planner
The resources listed below cover long-range planning for college savings. This is just a small sampling of the resources available, but a good place to start.
Financial Planners or Advisors
Both membership organizations list local financial planners and good financial planning tips:
- The Financial Planning Association - www.fpanet.org.
- The National Association of Personal Financial Planners - www.napfa.org.
College Financing Advice
- CollegeBoard.com - Offers information to students and parents about saving for and applying to college.
- FinAid.org - This award-winning Web site has information on aid, scholarships, loans, savings plans and more.
- SavingForCollege.com - Provides information, tips and news about college savings options, including 529s and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts.
- 529 & Other College Savings Plans for Dummies, by Margaret A. Munro, Wiley Publishing, 2004.
- Kiplinger's Financing College: How Much You'll Really Have to Pay - and Where You'll Get the Money, from the editors of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2005.