We all know that a college education is expensive. While the price for your education can vary depending on things like what institution you go to and whether or not you’ve been offered any type of scholarship, most people will either have to save for years in order to afford to go to school or will have to borrow money that they’ll pay back later.
Although those two options can work, if you’re preparing for the financial aspects of gaining an education well in advance, you can find ways to make your education affordable without having to sacrifice too much. To show you how this can be done, here are three tips for planning how to pay for your college education.
Save To The Right Type Of Account
The safest way to ensure that you’ll have the money you need to pay for your college education is to save the funds yourself. In order to accumulate the necessary amount, it’s wise to start saving early and to save your money in the right type of account.
According to Farran Powell, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, one of the most ideal savings accounts to open as you save for a college education is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings account. With this type of account, you’ll be able to save money with tax-deferred earnings and spend the money on education expenses without having to pay the taxes as you distribute the funds. These perks can be very beneficial both while saving and once your college admission letter has been received.
Apply For All Possible Financial Aid
Even with saving for years, you might not be able to get together all the funds that are needed to pay for educational expenses. To assist you with this, it’s wise to apply for all possible financial aid that might be available to you.
According to Jon Marcus, a contributor to AARP, you should fill out your FAFSA, which forms are usually required to get financial aid both from your school and from the government. Keep in mind, however, that the information you provide on your FAFSA forms will be from the last two financial years, so make your financial decisions wisely during that time.
Try For A Work-Study
While it can be beneficial to be able to devote all of your time as a student to your studies, many students have to work while going to school in order to support themselves.
If you’re going to need to find a job while going to school, Katie Lobosco, a contributor to CNN Money, suggests looking into work-study programs first, as they are usually run through your school and will be close to campus and generally flexible with your class schedules.
To help make a college education something that you can financial achieve, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you create a plan for yourself.