As students of all ages head back to school this month, the idea of paying for college becomes a looming thought for parents and students alike. That’s why September is the perfect time to celebrate National College Savings Month.
According to a study by Sallie Mae and Ispos “How America Saves for College 2013”, while nearly all parents believe college is an investment in their child’s future, only one-third have a plan to pay for college. The study also reveals that despite the cost of college fewer families are saving and in the past two years, the percentage of families saving for college has dropped from 60 percent to 50 percent.
Whether you chose to celebrate by opening a college savings account, contributing to an existing college savings account, or simply exploring payment options, you will be one step closer to a debt-free college education. Even modest contributions will make a difference in the long run. Remember, it is less expensive to save for college than it is to take out loans.
Begin the process of saving for college by using ACCC’s building an education fund financial calculator. You will need to estimate how much you expect college to cost in order to determine how much you will need to save on a weekly, biweekly, monthly, or yearly basis. Use ACCC’s how much will college cost financial calculator for an estimate to get you started. Once you have an idea of how much college will cost and how much you will need to save to build your fund, you will need to figure out how you will budget for this expense.
It’s never too late to save for college, even if you are already in college. Remember any amount you can pay will help reduce the amount of debt and interest you will pay on that debt. Celebrate National College Savings Month by downloading ACCC’s Financial Workbook for Pre-College and College Students for tips and tricks on everything from scholarships to choosing a bank and credit card to how to earn money in college, how to budget that money, and even how to save on textbooks, clothing, entertainment, etc. Download your free copy here.
To learn the facts about student loans, tips for college budgeting, financial aid 101, and more resources, visit ACCC’s Student Loan Education Center.
Curious how student loan debt has impacted others? Check out ACCC’s latest infographic.