The prospect of paying for higher education can be intimidating, especially as costs continue to rise, but you may be surprised at the difference you can make by saving regularly. And saving for college ahead won’t significantly impact your chances of getting financial aid. The more you save and the earlier you start saving for college, the better.
Not sure if you can fit saving for college into your monthly budget? Listen to other families who have had positive experiences with savings. View video
Set realistic goals and start early
Set clear, achievable goals that you can attain within your particular timeframe.
Save monthly with automatic deposits
Set up automatic monthly transfers from your checking account into a dedicated college savings account.
Save part of your bonus
Pledge to direct at least a portion of your tax refund, work bonus, or any other unscheduled or unexpected income towards college savings instead of splurging on impulse purchases.
Contributions to college savings accounts make great gifts
Suggest to grandparents, close relatives and friends to replace birthday and holiday gifts with contributions to your child’s college savings fund. This can work especially well when a child is very young and won’t even miss any toy gifts.
Talk to your children
Talk to your children about the importance of saving for college and have them participate in creating and contributing to the family college savings goal.
Custodial accounts like UGMAs and UTMAs are owned by a minor but managed by a custodian – usually a parent or guardian. Funds may be used for any expense that benefits the child, not just school, and the child ultimately controls the account.
Use a Coverdell Education Savings Account to save for qualified education expenses at elementary schools, secondary schools, and colleges or universities. Distributions are tax free as long as they're used for qualified education expenses.
Savings accounts and CDs are an easy and relatively safe way to save, although any interest you earn will be taxed.
Every year, we ask Massachusetts 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students to illustrate what they want to be when they graduate from college. Winning entries from each grade receive money deposited in a U.Fund College Investing Plan account.
Over the years, our College Savings Art Competition has received more than 15,000 entries and awarded more than $140,000. Learn more and view winning entries.