Now, back to school activities are top priority in everyone’s mind. Here in Norman, OK, heading back to school reminds us that OU football is just around the corner. Boomer Sooner!! If you aren’t a star quarterback, however, college can be insanely expensive. Here are a few funding ideas to help lower the costs.
First, scholarships and grants can help lower the burden of paying for college. Take time to research opportunities carefully. Pay particular attention to unique talents, interests, and characteristics of your child, as these might provide benefit opportunities.
Remember, too, that good grades in high school may be worth more money than a minimum wage job in a fast food restaurant. Further, participating in school activities could lead to a scholarship.
Have your children take SAT and ACT exam review classes and practice tests to help them raise their scores. Unfortunately, college entrance has become something of a contact sport, so performing very well on these exams is more important than ever.
Of course, saving money prior to college is a great strategy for paying the bills, but be careful with out-of-state 529 plans and the potential pcosts and commissions associated with them. Look first at your state’s 529 plan for tax-favored college savings AND a potential state income tax deduction.
Finally, start saving for college early, but not at the expense of your own retirement funding. Your financial stability should be your first financial planning goal. Besides, your emotional support could be more valuable than your money.
So good luck to all the students headed back to class, activities, and homework! As their caregiver, your homework is to research education funding strategies in more detail, talking to your financial team about what would work best for your family. Creating a strategy now for paying for college provides benefits for years to come—long after the fireworks fade, and the ice cream melts!
If you have a question for me, submit it on peggydoviak.com, and I’ll try to address it in the future!