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While college funding is often overlooked by individuals and professionals, it is a topic that is integral to the well-being of a financial plan. The choices involved in sending your child to college may have far reaching effects on when a person can retire and how they aggressively they may have to save and invest to do so.
There are typically three types of financial aid a student can receive to offset the cost of their education:
- Grants and Scholarships- An award based on financial need or scholastic merit that does not have to be repaid
- Loans- An award based on financial need that must be repaid with interest. These can be owned by the student or the parent
- Work-Study- Federal work-study provides part time jobs to students who demonstrate financial need. The money can be used to offset tuition or provide earnings to help with a student’s cost of living.
The Expected Family Contribution
The expected family contribution provides a theoretical amount that a family may be able to pay based on a parent’s and child’s assets and income. To help provide clarity as to what your expected family contribution might be, we recommend using the EFC calculator below:
College Savings Vehicles
There are a number of different college savings vehicles that offer specific advantages related to tax-treatment, investment options, and liquidity. Regardless of how you save, you can find out how it compares to your goal below: