Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Banks, credit unions offer help saving for college

Posted by Jorden Meltz

As the volatile market batters college nest eggs, a growing number of financial institutions are rolling out incentives to help families save or pay for higher education.

Citizens Bank is giving a $1,000 bonus to consumers who open a college savings account by a child's sixth birthday. Justice Federal Credit Union — which serves Department of Justice and Homeland Security employees — is offering a discount on a loan to pay for college costs. And Grow Financial Federal Credit Union in Tampa is donating money to student scholarships based on a local university football team's "return yards," which is how far players run with the ball after receiving a punt or kick.

The incentives won't significantly ease the pain of surging tuition or shrinking investment portfolios. Yet banks and credit unions hope that their efforts will provide some comfort to consumers as they struggle to finance their children's education.

Yearly tuition and fees at public four-year colleges have risen 62% in the past decade, to $7,020 in 2009, after adjusting for inflation, the College Board says.

Click here to read more.

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