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How to Plan to Pay for College

The best plan to pay for college is start saving money as early as possible. Opening a 529 Plan (a college savings account with tax benefits when the money is used to pay for educational expenses) at a young age will allow you to benefit from exponential growth (your money will grow larger the longer it’s in the account).

In addition to saving money, applying for scholarships is a great way to supplement your savings with any money you might win. A number of scholarships are merit-based so you could increase your odds of winning a scholarship by making and keeping great grades.

When the time comes to pay for school, you will fill out the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This application will determine if qualify for any need-based financial aid such as grants and other gift-aid.

After savings, scholarships, grants and all forms of gift-aid are exhausted, your plan might include borrowing student loans to cover in gaps. Federal subsidized loans are the best to utilize first, following by federal unsubsidized loans and then private student loans as a last resort. 

Read more about how to pay for college.