COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

Savingforcollege.com

College savings success stories: Our own success
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/college-savings-success-stories-osypianfamily

Posted: 2014-04-23

by Kathryn Flynn

For most American families, paying for a child’s college education is no easy feat. These days, costs are rising so quickly that it’s nearly impossible to save the total amount needed for tuition, books and room and board. Savvy parents, however, have found ways to combat these costs in some pretty creative ways.

As we continue to receive personal stories and updates related to your college saving success, we thought you might be interested in how it worked for our families. Have you wondered if the folks at savingforcollege.com practice what they preach?

Share your own college savings success story with us!

This week’s success story comes from our very own Chief Operating Officer, Marie Osypian:

The Osypian Family
Parents: Marie and Marc
Kids: Malorie, Bachelor's Degree, Class of '09; Mackenzie, Master's Degree, Class of '13
Location: New York., U.S.
Savings Strategy: Various

As a stay at home mom working part-time in the evenings, Marie knew there wouldn’t be much money left over for college savings. Realizing that planning for retirement was a first priority, the Osypians focused instead on building a strong foundation for their children’s education that would eventually pay off financially.

By encouraging involvement in unique community and school activities, they helped their two daughters stand out from peers on local scholarship applications. They applied for as many as possible, and found that even the smallest awards really started to add up!

Malorie and Mackenzie also took advantage of advance study and college credit courses in high school. These courses cost significantly less than what you would pay at a University, and limit the amount of time you will spend there (which also reduces your total room and board costs). When the time to apply for college drew near, they looked for private schools that would offer scholarships to match state school prices. If they wouldn’t, it was time to explore a public state school with a similar program.

Find out more about scholarships here.

Once they decided on a school and received a financial aid package, the Osypian girls wrote letters to the financial aid department asking them to increase the scholarship amount. Although this was done before they officially signed their acceptance letters, they let the college know that it was the school they were planning to attend. Once again, their strategy worked as they watched their tuition bills shrink even more.

Of course, some savings were also necessary to cover all of the expenses. The Osypians opened a 529 college savings plan for each daughter and reaped the benefits of tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals. Knowing that they would not be able to fund enough to pay for the entire costs of college, they asked relatives to contribute to the 529 accounts in lieu of traditional gifts.

Learn about the benefits of 529 plans here.

Thanks to the help of their parents’ careful planning, Malorie and Mackenzie were able to graduate with minimal debt. Marie and her husband insisted that loans could only be used to pay tuition, and helped pay for housing and other expenses with the family budget.

Don’t be shy! We want to hear your stories – Paying for a child’s college education is no easy feat! Contact us and let us know how you did it.

For most American families, paying for a child’s college education is no easy feat. These days, costs are rising so quickly that it’s nearly impossible to save the total amount needed for tuition, books and room and board. Savvy parents, however, have found ways to combat these costs in some pretty creative ways.

As we continue to receive personal stories and updates related to your college saving success, we thought you might be interested in how it worked for our families. Have you wondered if the folks at savingforcollege.com practice what they preach?

Share your own college savings success story with us!

This week’s success story comes from our very own Chief Operating Officer, Marie Osypian:

The Osypian Family
Parents: Marie and Marc
Kids: Malorie, Bachelor's Degree, Class of '09; Mackenzie, Master's Degree, Class of '13
Location: New York., U.S.
Savings Strategy: Various

As a stay at home mom working part-time in the evenings, Marie knew there wouldn’t be much money left over for college savings. Realizing that planning for retirement was a first priority, the Osypians focused instead on building a strong foundation for their children’s education that would eventually pay off financially.

By encouraging involvement in unique community and school activities, they helped their two daughters stand out from peers on local scholarship applications. They applied for as many as possible, and found that even the smallest awards really started to add up!

Malorie and Mackenzie also took advantage of advance study and college credit courses in high school. These courses cost significantly less than what you would pay at a University, and limit the amount of time you will spend there (which also reduces your total room and board costs). When the time to apply for college drew near, they looked for private schools that would offer scholarships to match state school prices. If they wouldn’t, it was time to explore a public state school with a similar program.

Find out more about scholarships here.

Once they decided on a school and received a financial aid package, the Osypian girls wrote letters to the financial aid department asking them to increase the scholarship amount. Although this was done before they officially signed their acceptance letters, they let the college know that it was the school they were planning to attend. Once again, their strategy worked as they watched their tuition bills shrink even more.

Of course, some savings were also necessary to cover all of the expenses. The Osypians opened a 529 college savings plan for each daughter and reaped the benefits of tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals. Knowing that they would not be able to fund enough to pay for the entire costs of college, they asked relatives to contribute to the 529 accounts in lieu of traditional gifts.

Learn about the benefits of 529 plans here.

Thanks to the help of their parents’ careful planning, Malorie and Mackenzie were able to graduate with minimal debt. Marie and her husband insisted that loans could only be used to pay tuition, and helped pay for housing and other expenses with the family budget.

Don’t be shy! We want to hear your stories – Paying for a child’s college education is no easy feat! Contact us and let us know how you did it.

 

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