Money For College

Written by Tara Peris
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Savvy families know to rely on multiple funding sources to get money for college. Although loans are almost inevitable, there are many things you can do to prevent educational costs from ballooning out of control. Plan ahead and college becomes a large, but manageable expense.

The best way to pay for college is through savings. Most parents are advised to start saving for college early--as in the day their children are born. Current estimates suggest that the average parents shoulder the burden of most college fees, paying for two thirds of all expenses. Indeed, free money in the form of work-study, grants, and scholarships accounts for a relatively small portion of educational costs. If you're a parent, you can expect a big bill headed your way.

Save Your Pennies

Savings can go a long way toward offsetting this financial burden. A good interest rate and a long-term account will allow your money time to grow. As little as 25 bucks a month can make a tremendous difference over the course of 18 years. There are more than 10 types of long-term college savings plans so do your homework and think about which makes the most sense for you. There are packages to fit every lifestyle and need, so there's no reason not to start a savings plan today.

Of course, even with these measures, you may find that you need loans when it comes time for your child to matriculate. Recent research suggests that today's youngster will face college costs four times the present average by the time she's ready to enroll. This means that almost every family will have some need for student loans and will need to explore the aid process in its entirety.

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