Here in Arizona it seems that school starts earlier each year. With the new school year right around the corner it is a good time for soon- to – be seniors and current college students to put some time into planning out how they are going to pay for their college education.
Below are 5 ways you can pay for your college education..
This is one of the best ways to fund your education as it generally means the cost is being paid by another party. There are so many different types of scholarships it becomes hard to paint a general picture. Suffice to say, many will require research and initiative on your part, but there many scholarship opportunities to pay for your education.
College Savings Account
A college savings account is a great way for proactive parents to plan for the future. This provides an opportunity for parents/grandparents to begin preparing today for the future payments of a student’s education. The 529 Plans and Coverdell Accounts provide opportunities to begin saving and these options provide many tax savings incentives to prepare for the future.
Tuition Reimbursement from Employer
Tuition reimbursement is an option that is often overlooked by many people. But often employers will offer a substantial tuition reimbursement plan for their employees. The most common dollar amount is $5250 per calendar year (Jan 1 – Dec 31) as there are tax incentives given to employers for doing so. The tuition reimbursement program will vary from different employers but certainly is wise if you know you want to seek a higher education, find an employer that will provide that incentive. There are many companies out there that even offer full tuition reimbursement as well as offer it for part-time employees.
Federal aid is often a general term that is used to describe a wide variety of programs offered by the Federal Government. Often a student will complete the FAFSA and this will apply them for all of the types of aid available. Often this type of aid is “need-based” and not necessarily dependent upon a student’s GPA or other academic achievements. There are also state grants that vary depending on the state you live in that offer assistance to a potential students.
Private loans are another option but should really be seen as a last resort to funding your education. These loans are often not packaged with Federal Aid and do not offer the same sort of flexible repayment options as other federal loans.
As is the case with most things in life, where there is a will there is a way. But finding the most logical and best approach to funding your education will take research and a plan. Once a plan is made and outlined, it simply becomes a matter of implementing the plan.
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John Skiba, Esq.
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