One of the biggest issues facing parents of prospective college students is the ability to afford college tuition and other related college-related costs. Whether it be housing, books, meal plans – there is no doubt that paying for your child’s college education is one of the biggest expenses you will have to plan for. With that being said, here is a list of five ways you can help your child with their college tuition.
One of the first things you should explore as a parent is looking at different education grant opportunities. There are a wide range of grants made available by different city, state and federal agencies for certain groups such as ethnic minorities, individuals living in undeserved communities and those seeking careers in high-demand professions such as education and healthcare. One of the biggest grant opportunities that most students can be potentially eligible for is the Pell Grant, however parents must fall under a certain income category for their children to be eligible for this opportunity. Also, your children might be eligible for a variety of grants provided by the Federal Government such as the TEACH grant. This grant is designed to help cultivate future educators who will teach high-demand subjects such as mathematics, science, special education and ESOL in inner-city and rural communities that have a hard time recruiting qualified candidates. Check with your child’s school guidance counselor in terms of exploring these different grant opportunities.
There are a variety of scholarships that your child might be eligible for. Depending on your ethnic background, gender, academic performance and other related factors – hundreds of millions of dollars worth of scholarships are given out to eligible candidates. The best thing to do is make sure you compile a list of potential scholarships a two years out before your child makes a decision as to which college they will attend. This will give you time to look at eligibility requirements, gather necessary application materials and prepare your child academically if there is any need for improvement.
Prepaid Tuition Plans
Another great option to explore is looking into prepaid tuition plans usually offered by colleges and universities. This is a great option if your child plans on attending an in-state college or university. This will allow you to lock in tuition rates years in advance to hedge against inflation and other rising costs. However, not all states offer this program.
Although many parents would consider this to be a very last option, taking out private loans might be a necessity. However, the key to getting find great loans is to make sure you thoroughly research a variety of lenders that offer the lowest interest rates. A good example is LowVARates.com, a leading provider of financial products and services. If you are a veteran or the military check out www.lowvarates.com for more information.
College Savings Account
Investing in a 529 plan is another option that many parents consider when paying for their child’s tuition. This tax-free savings account will allow you to save for your child’s college tuition costs without the hassle of being taxed heavily by state and federal government.
In the end, there are many more things you can do to afford your child’s tuition. Whether it’s looking for scholarships, grants or low interest loans, you can definitely help your child pay for their tuition and ensure they still get a high quality education.