By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The start of a new school year, is a good time to revisit your plans for saving for a child’s college education.
Whether you need to save more, or you’re not saving at all, 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan has some advice on how to get you on the right track.
According to an annual survey from student lender Sallie Mae, 30 percent of the costs students pay towards their education comes from grants and scholarships. The rest, from parents’ and students’ income, savings and borrowing, with a small percentage of help from relatives and friends.
Sallie Mae also found only half of families are actively saving for higher education. The other half cite reasons such as not having enough extra income, or other financial priorities.
Any amount of savings is a step in the right direction. And college aid guide FinAid.org recommends simple steps.
First, making savings automatic. Either with a direct payroll deduction into a college fund, or sending money from a checking account right to savings.
Another idea, redirect old monthly payments towards a college fund. For instance, if you finish paying off a credit card or other loan, throw the amount of money you were spending, into savings.
And the solutions to paying for college don’t end with a diploma. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says about one-quarter of U.S. workers are in public sector jobs that could be eligible for some sort of student loan forgiveness, including teachers, librarians, law enforcement, nurses and more.
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