We have one mantra that we repeat to parents over and over: It is never too late to save.
Even if your child is heading off to college in the fall or if your child is already in college,
you can begin to save today. So with this mantra inscribed in your psyche letís look at some strategies
you can use to jump-start your savings right now.
1. Take stock of your savings. Make a record of all of your financial accounts and investments and the
amount that you have in each. You may not have saved for the purpose of college, but when you look at your assets,
you may have savings you can use toward college. Regardless, know what your assets are.
2. Research financial aid and scholarship options. Learn as much as you can about the opportunities you
may have for financial aid from your childís college, the government, and scholarships. Be sure to complete the
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for assistance from the government.
3. Get help. Speak with your childís high school counselor or college financial aid office.
Explain your situation and work with them to develop strategies for saving.
4. Make sure you are credit worthy. Some student loans are based on your credit-worthiness.
Ensure that credit reports are accurate, and try to reduce your debt as much as possible.
This will offer you the best opportunity for obtaining student loans.
5. Be supportive when your child applies for financial aid and scholarships. Your child will need
your assistance when completing applications for financial aid and scholarships. Dedicate time to helping.
6. Reduce costs. Forgo the unnecessary extras in your spending and figure out ways to reduce costs on
essential items as well.
7. Remember that college is four years. Even if you havenít saved for your childís first year of college,
you can start saving now for his or her second, third, and fourth year.
8. Know that you are not the only one in this situation. There are many other parents who for their own
reasons have not been able to save for their childrenís college education. Donít be embarrassed to discuss your
situation with high school counselors or college financial aid officers who can help.
9. The IRS site has some information. Publication 970 will give a wide variety of help regarding the tax benefits for education.
Saving for your childís education will require work and sacrifice, but the education he or she receives will be worth it. After all, who will take care of you after you retire?
Page 2 - Some Plans and Effects
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