Smart Saving for College—Better Buy Degrees

Introduction

 

If you have kids, you want a college education for them. But—

 

  • Do you know how much college costs?
  • Do you know how much you need to save?
  • Do you know the many different tax-advantaged ways to save for college?

 

This guide will help answer these questions and give you the information you need to wisely save and invest for college. You can make a college education an affordable choice for you or your child.

 

College Costs Are Rising—Are You Keeping Pace?
College costs are rising, but don't despair—college remains within reach of many American families, especially those that start saving for it early.

 

Loans—Know the Cost
Loans are borrowed funds that must be paid back. Know the costs associated with your loans.

 

Education Benefits for Servicemembers—Post-9/11 GI Bill
Learn about the Post-9/11 GI Bill for military servicemembers and veterans.

 

Tips for Choosing College Savings Options
This section provides four quick tips to help you choose the right college saving plan for you and your family.

 

529 College Savings Plans
These state-sponsored savings plans are popular because many offer both state and federal tax breaks. They can also be used in any state and transferred between beneficiaries.

 

529 Savings Plans: Fees and Expenses
All 529 college savings plans have fees and expenses. Not only do these charges vary among 529 plans, but also they can vary within a single plan. Find out how to compare costs.

 

529 Prepaid Tuition Plans
Prepaid tuition plans allow parents, grandparents and others to pay future tuition at today's prices. Find out what you should consider before paying for college up-front.

 

Common Features of Prepaid Tuition and College Savings Plans
Both types of 529 plans offer tax advantages and share other features that make them a smart way to save for college.

 

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts
Don’t want to be limited by the investment options in a state plan? With an ESA your investment options are virtually limitless.

 

Custodial Accounts
UTMAs and UGMAs have advantages, but when the student turns 18 they get full control of the money. Plus, there are financial aid issues to consider.

 

College Savings Plan Comparison Chart
Use this chart to compare the key features of various college savings alternatives.

 

Series EE and I Savings Bonds
Savings bonds are another tax-advantaged way to save for college, but you must meet specific income limits to receive the full interest exclusion.

 

College Tax Credits
The American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit offer two ways to reduce your taxes while paying for college.

 

Glossary of College Savings Terms
Learn the vocabulary of saving for college with our glossary of key words and concepts.

 

 

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    College Costs Are Rising—Are You Keeping Pace?