It is a proud moment in any parent’s lives when their child is accepted to college.
The moment our son received his acceptance letter to his first choice will never be forgotten. You get to check off another accomplishment proving that you did ok as parents.
Soon after the hugs and fist bumps were done the realization of the high price tag ahead got us thinking, “how are we going to pay for this?”
Back when our kids were born 529 college savings accounts were new.
While they sounded like a great idea, plenty of us had questions about how they would work when our kids needed them. The web was brand new and so were these programs so there was not much to go on besides trust.
Looking back with what we know now, we wish we had set aside something every week so that we never noticed that it was gone. It would have been slowly growing over the years and right now things would be easier.
I’m no financial expert, but my advice to you right now if you have kids of any age is to set up a college savings account. My friends at MEFA have tons of information on planning and saving for college.
We are now at the point where we are investigating our options to pay for college. Thankfully there are many different loans, scholarship and financial aid options out there.
Filling out our FAFSA application wasn’t the nightmare we had been warned it would be. We file our taxes electronically so it was only a few clicks to import all of our information. Every parent with a child going to college should fill this out as it is the only way to be considered for financial aid from most colleges.
We can’t go back and be smarter about this, but by sharing our story I hope it’ll help someone out there do better with their plans.
Disclosure: I have partnered with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all thoughts, opinions and stories are my own.