How to Save for College

College is expensive. Parents pay for college using a combination of college savings, contributions from income, scholarships, grants, tax credits, student employment and student loans. Increasing the amount of college savings can make college more affordable and reduce the amount of student loan debt. But, how do you get started saving for college? What is the best way to save for college? This introduction to college savings will help you get the answers you need to your questions about saving for college.

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Morningstar Inc. released its annual analyst ratings for 529 plans on October 22, 2019. Morningstar rated 62 of the largest 529 college savings plans, assigning them to one of five tiers: Gold, Silver, Bronze, Neutral and Negative.

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With college just around the corner, it’s time for your child to finalize the college application and admissions process. Here are the final steps to focus on as your child prepares for college during their junior and senior year of high school.

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What you can pay for with a 529 plan

529 plans offer tax-free withdrawals when the funds are used to pay for qualified higher education expenses. In general, this includes costs of attending an eligible college or university. Starting January 1, 2018, this definition is expanded to include up to $10,000 in K-12 tuition expenses per beneficiary per year.

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A gift of college savings is a meaningful alternative to traditional birthday, holiday, baby shower and graduation gifts. Many 529 plan gifting platforms allow friends and family to make a secure electronic deposit to a child’s 529 plan account.

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