Funding Their Future: How to Pay for a College Education for Your Child or Grandchild

A good education is something every parent wants for their children. The question is how to pay for it?

College costs have risen over 500% in the last 30 years, so it’s more important than ever that parents who want to provide a college education for their children start saving early and take full advantage of all available funding options and incentives.

Grandparents who want to help can take advantage of college savings programs, and they can also use family gifting and other estate planning strategies to leave a valuable legacy for their grandchildren that emphasizes the value of an education.

Higher Education: Costs and Consequences

Learn more about the rising cost of a college education and the consequences for students and their families

The Rising Cost of College

ABC News – College tuition has skyrocketed 570% over the past 30 years, but knowing how to work the financial aid system can help you find more aid. Here are a few tips that may help. (2:56)

Student Loans: More Debt, More Defaults

PBS NewsHour – Americans owe $1 trillion in student loan debt. How did that happen, and what’s the impact on the nation’s economy? Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports. (8:28)

Our Specialized Tools Give You the Information You Need to Fund the Education They Want

At Abiding Wealth Advisors, we use a variety of financial planning tools and resources to assist our clients who don’t know how to pay for a college education, including two specialized tools to help with Education Planning:

  • College Cost Breakeven Analysis

    We created a proprietary tool that allows us to calculate the breakeven point of college costs based on the intended school, major, career path and living situation, to help prospective students make an informed decision when choosing a program.

    Tell us where they want to go to school, what they plan to major in, what they plan to do in their career and whether they will be living on- or off-campus, and we’ll give you an idea of how long it will take for them to recoup the cost of their education after they graduate… and we can compare different options so they can see the difference in cost between the options they are considering.

    This helps them see the connection between what they will earn and what their education will cost, and shows them the difference– in the number of years they will have to work to pay for it– if they choose a less expensive program or living situation. It can be a real eye-opener.

  • Education Planning Widget in Our Financial Planning Software

    Our client financial planning software, which is free for all of our financial planning clients, includes an education planning widget that allows you to set and track progress toward your education funding goals.

    See where you are when you begin saving…
    Education Planning widget - before
    … and when you’ve reached your savings goal.
    Education Planning widget - after

Get the Basics on Education Funding Costs and Options

Below are handouts with basic information about college education today– what it costs, what the impact of inflation is on costs, funding options, tax incentives, education savings accounts and qualified state tuition programs. Click the handout(s) you’re interested in to download and view them.

If figuring out how to pay for a college education for your children or grandchildren is one of your financial planning goals, check out the resources at the bottom of the page for calculators and other sites to visit for more information.

If you still have questions, or would like us to run a college cost breakeven analysis for you, contact us.

We will be happy to help you find the answers you need and to help you choose the best option from your available choices, so you can create a workable plan to fund your children’s or grandchildren’s college education.

Tools and Resources

How much federal financial aid could my child be eligible for?

Learn about federal financial aid options and deadlines

Get the latest college pricing info from the College Board

How much do I need to invest each year to cover college costs?

Find out about your state’s 529 Plan

Compare 529 Plan fees & expenses with FINRA’s Analyzer

What are the tax advantages and contribution limits for 529 Plans?

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