It can be difficult to keep track of all the steps of the college planning process when you’re so sharply focused on meeting your savings goals. Use this checklist to make sure you’ve covered all the bases of your college savings plan with both your family and your financial advisor.
On your own
- Estimated your college savings needs?
- Considered the college inflation rate against the national inflation rate?
- Researched the “sticker cost” of each school your child is considering applying to or has been accepted to?
- Budgeted for direct (tuition and fees, room and board) and indirect (transportation, entertainment, etc.) costs?
With your children
- Discussed the cost of college?
- Submitted FAFSA?
- Expressed a set amount you are willing to provide per year?
- Established clear expectations for how much your child will be financially responsible for?
- Explored opportunities for merit-based aid, such as academic and athletic scholarships?
- Applied for grants and loans?
- Considered the possibility of or set boundaries for funding further higher education, such as graduate school?
- Discussed loan repayment plans and calculated monthly loan payments?
With your financial advisor
- Set a final savings goal as well as benchmark savings goals for your college savings plan?
- Considered tax-advantaged savings opportunities such as 529 plans?
- Set up a withdrawal schedule for your 529 plan?
- Protected your retirement funds from your college savings plan?
- Explored the tax credits available for funding higher education?
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