Crayons, calculators, computers, oh my! A lot has changed since I attended school (which was not that long ago). As I make preparations to send my kids back to school this year, I realize that the years are rapidly passing by and soon they will be entering college. The costs associated with college will likely be much higher than the current back to school shopping trip. Many people associated with college-bound kids ask themselves if there are resources that they can utilize to help aspiring young scholars defray the seemingly ever-growing cost of college.
The answer is yes! There are resources dedicated to helping you find the funds to defray education costs. Finding resources that work for you can be confusing or overwhelming, but you can utilize comprehensive online tools like http://www.savingforcollege.com as a reference and to help answer various questions regarding college education funding.
In its current form, Savingforcollege.com functions as a one stop shop resource with information on various options available to fund college, such as Section 529 Plans, Coverdell ESA, Financial Aid and Scholarship information, and/or other options.
The site’s “College savings 101” and the “529 plans” tabs provide information regarding:
- Plan comparisons by state
- Plan rankings
- Comparisons of plan underlying fees
- Other general information on 529 Plans
The “Tools and calculators” tab helps estimate costs associated with college.
The “Community” tab includes a question and answer area, and on the home page there is a downloadable book written by Joseph Hurley, the creator of the website, titled “Family Guide to College Savings.”
Other often-overlooked resources are scholarship opportunities. These can range from small rewards to large endowments. The details of each scholarship opportunity are unique and the prerequisites to apply may vary greatly. But in the long run every little bit helps and the time invested in applying for these scholarships could pay off in a big way.
Utilizing available resources may help funding for college seem less daunting. A bit of planning can go a long way to help reduce the cost burden of college and assist students in achieving their goals.