Mommy Blog Expert: Affording College Tuition Secrets It's Never Too Late to Start Saving for Your Child

Friday, May 2, 2014

Affording College Tuition Secrets It's Never Too Late to Start Saving for Your Child


This is a sponsored post

No matter where you are on the parenting spectrum, whether your children are babies or are close to or already on the college track, there's a good chance that you will be worried or may have already experienced concern about how you will afford college for your kids. Being a mom myself of a freshman in an out-of-state university now as well as triplets who are currently finishing their junior year of high school, I'm definitely in that club. I'm even thinking that "worried" may be putting it mildly as we all watch university tuition continuing to skyrocket upward with no signs of slowing down.

University Campus,
The statistics are indeed shocking with the priciest private universities now costing in excess of $60,000 per year. In fact, I just learned at the dinner event ScholarShare sponsored for an elite group of mom bloggers, U.S. students are now looking at existing college debt amounting to $1.1 trillion. That kingly sum is more than even our nation's collective credit card debt! 

What an informative and eye-opening evening the ScholarShare meeting was, learning from the experts on the best-kept secret to affording college in this age of high price tags.

Kids grow up too fast

One day it's Pre-1 Graduation...

Pre-1 Graduation,
How Much Will College Cost You?

Still not convinced about how expensive college will be by the time your child is ready to enroll? Try out this FREE Calculator to see how much you will need to save for your child's future higher education.

It's hard to say when and if this rise in higher education expenses will ever hit a brick wall and level off or maybe even drop. No one knows for sure. But one thing is clear, relying strictly on scholarships and student loans to finance your child's college education is becoming an increasingly unsatisfactory option that few of us can afford. 

The good news is that there is something very easy and sensible you and I can leverage right now, known as a 529 Plan, to start preparing for future college expenses and it's tax-deferred, too.

Next, High School Graduation Time...

High School Graduation,
 What is a 529 Plan?

According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is a strategy for saving for future college costs at public and private higher educational institutions including tuition, room and board, books and related expenses. There are two types of 529s: a Pre-Paid Tuition Plan and a College Savings Plan. All 50 U.S. States and the District of Columbia sponsor a least one of these plans. 

What is ScholarShare?

The ScholarShare College Savings Plan is offered by the State of California and TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. (TFI) is the Plan Manager.

In the simplest terms, ScholarShare is California's 529 College Savings Plan. Recently rated as one of the best in the U.S. by mutual fund rating company Morningstar, just as a 401 Plan is meant for retirement savings, a 529 Plan is intended for college savings. Anyone who is a legal U.S. resident with a Social Security Number can open an account and start a college savings plan for themself, a family member, friend, or anyone else, even future children yet to be born. You don't have to be a resident of California to participate and start putting in tax-deferred funds for college, either. 

In addition, there are no administrative fees involved. Another good thing to know is that whoever is designated as the ScholarShare College Savings Plan beneficiary isn't limited to applying account funds to California schools. They can choose to apply it toward expenses at any out-of-state college or university, graduate or post-grad school, community college and at some vocational and trade schools. Establishing a new account online is easy and takes just 15 minutes or less in most cases to set up.

And finally, Graduation from College...
 ScholarShare points out on their site, "Giving your child or loved one the gift of a college education may be one of the most important gifts you can give, because education can open doors to future economic success. Statistics show that median earnings (income) for a worker with a bachelor’s degree were over 60 percent higher than median earnings for a worker wit high school diploma alone."

It doesn't matter if you are expecting your first child now or if you have a kid who is in elementary, middle or high school or even a son or daughter already in college. Why pay interest on a student loan later, when you can start contributing to and growing your investment right now to cover part or all of future university out-of-pocket costs?

Visit the FAQs Page at for an overview of the basics, advantages and financial risks of participating, 19 investment options based on your goals, tax considerations and more. To stay up on the latest follow ScholarShare on Twitter and Facebook. You can also learn more by checking out this 411 on 529s Infographic.

FTC Disclosure: This is a compensated post from One2One Network and ScholarShare. All opinions are my own. The content in this story is not intended as professional advice and you are advised to contact the financial advisor of your choice. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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