When you think of college, you automatically attach it to expenses. Indeed, it’s one of the most expensive investments you’ll make in your child’s future. Education, however, is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly. That’s one thing you can give your child that will be very beneficial for their career growth in the future.
But a college education surely isn’t cheap. According to a US News survey, the average college tuition in the school year 2021-2022 is almost $40,000 for private institutions. Public schools average in-state tuition is about $10,000, while out-of-state students pay $22,000 on average. If you simultaneously have more than one child in college, you’re looking at a hefty price tag.
This is why parents need to find ways to save money on their child’s college education. Here are some tips that may help you:
1. Start Saving Early
One of the best ways to save money on your child’s college education is to start saving early. By setting aside money each month, you can build up a nest egg that will cover a significant portion of the costs associated with college.
You can start saving by allocating a fixed amount from your monthly income to your child’s college fund. Once you have a good amount, you can invest in a plan specifically designed for education expenses.
A separate bank account for your child’s college expenses can also help you keep track of your spending and ensure that the money is used for its intended purpose. The earlier you start saving, the more time you have to let your money grow.
2. Look for options abroad
When someone hears about studying abroad, they may think it’s expensive. But that’s not always the case. Some countries offer top-tier education at a fraction of the cost, and that’s an option you can explore.
For example, BSIT in the Philippines is relatively more affordable than most colleges in America. If your child is aspiring for a degree in information technology, sending them abroad for college may be a more practical solution.
It’s given that college education can be expensive anywhere in the world, but some countries offer more economical options. Do your research to determine which country is ideal for your child’s college education.
3. Consider community college
One of the biggest expenses a family can face is paying for a child’s college education. There are various ways to save money on this cost, and one option to consider is a community college.
Community colleges typically cost much less than four-year universities, and many offer academic programs that can transfer to four-year schools. Additionally, community colleges often have smaller class sizes, meaning more individualized attention for students.
Community colleges can also be a stepping stone for students who may not yet be ready for a four-year university. By attending community college for the first two years, students can take their time to explore different academic areas and figure out what they’re passionate about before transferring to a four-year school.
4. Find scholarships and grants
Your child can take advantage of scholarship grants, especially if they excel in academics or sports. Some institutions offer need-based scholarships.
One example is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant which is available to undergraduate students who demonstrate a need for financial assistance. Another is the Academic Competitiveness Grant, awarded to students who have completed a rigorous high school program.
Financial aids are also available in the form of loans but note that these have to be paid back with interest. On the other hand, scholarships and grants are free money you don’t have to repay.
Some private organizations offer scholarship grants. A quick online search will reveal a long list of results. You can also ask your child’s guidance counselor for assistance in this matter.
5. Don’t forget about tax breaks
As any parent knows, a college education can be a significant expense. However, there are several ways to reduce the cost of a college education. One way is to take advantage of tax breaks.
The federal government offers several tax breaks for families with college-age students, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. These credits can help offset the cost of tuition and other expenses related to a college education. By taking advantage of these programs, parents can reduce the money they need to pay for their child’s college education.
Saving for college may seem like a daunting task. The good thing is there are some ways to lower the amount you’re going to spend on your child’s college education. You only have to be diligent in your search and be willing to explore all options.