Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ways to save for college in 2009

By Nicholas Hall

     With the current financial situation it can be very difficult to start saving up and shelling out money.  However, considering the importance of a college education, college financing has to go to the top of the list.  So how can you find a way to pay for college without breaking the bank in this poor economy? 

            For starters, take advantage of low stock values. With the market at depressed levels, now is a great time to cash out a taxable investment account such as a 529 plan or Coverdell education savings account.  These plans also help you take advantage of state tax breaks for education and educational savings.  The plans are meant to make saving as easy and painless as possible, perfect for today’s economy.

            Look for opportunities that give out free college money. According to the College Board, the average private-college undergraduate received more than $7,400 in institutional grants for the 2006-07 school year.  Planning ahead for financial aid can also take some weight off your back; so make sure you look into any free money that might be out there.

            Lastly, start saving early.  Don’t wait or waste time in saving for college, having your accounts earning interest over numerous years is extremely beneficial.  Also, keep your retirement account for retirement.  There are always loans available if you don’t have enough, so don’t risk the withdrawal penalty in your IRA account.



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