Students reading textbooks in library

Saving for college: How to make your educational goals a reality

The average cost of tuition and fees in the United States is $33,480 at private colleges, $9,650 for state residents at public colleges, and $24,930 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.1

Along with the high cost of tuition, there are other expenses such as books, materials, housing, transportation, and living expenses to be factored into the cost as well.

In short, post-secondary education isn’t cheap.

For many students, college or university wouldn’t be possible without the help of a scholarship like the Foresters Financial™ Competitive Scholarship.

We are proud to contribute to the success that education can bring to individuals, families and communities. That’s why each year we offer 250 tuition scholarships up to $8,000 to eligible students pursuing post-secondary education at an accredited university, community college or trade program.

Foresters is one of many organizations that offers scholarships to students heading off to college. Scholarships Online is the largest online directory of scholarships, education grants and financial aid opportunities that helps students access some of the more than $50 billion dollars in college funding that is given away by corporations, organizations and government agencies.

This free resource is an incredible way to find scholarship opportunities that might be right for the student in your life.

Of course winning a scholarship isn’t guaranteed, so students and parents need to plan ahead in order to ensure that there’s money in the bank when it comes time to hit the books.

To get a rough idea of how much you should be saving for college on a regular basis, plug your information into the CalcXML college savings calculator.

Socking away money you’ve earned from summer jobs into a savings account isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but there are more efficient ways to make that money work for you.

Parents and guardians, start saving for your child’s college tuition as early as you can, and take advantage of savings vehicles that are available to you.

A 529 plan is a flexible, tax-advantaged investment vehicle designed to encourage saving for the future post-secondary education expenses of a designated beneficiary.2

In a nutshell, a 529 is a savings plan sponsored by a state or a state agency that helps you save money that can be used for tuition, books, and other education-related expenses at most accredited two- and four-year colleges and universities, US vocational-technical schools, and eligible foreign institutions.3

One of the primary advantages of a 529 plan is that earnings are federal income tax deferred, and may also be eligible for state tax deductions.

Remember, as a Foresters member we’re here to support you when you need it most. That’s why you have access to Everyday Money, our toll-free financial helpline that connects you to an accredited counselor who can help answer your questions about your personal financial matters such as debt management and budgeting. If you have any questions about your financial security, including the cost of post-secondary education, we’re here to help.

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Kristin Zita

Kristin Zita is an Oakville-based freelance writer with a soft spot for telling stories about extraordinary people and ideas that make a difference. When she’s not tapping the computer keys, she is knitting for charity while pretending to watch hockey with her Leafs-loving husband. You can find her on LinkedIn.