Ways to responsibly save for college

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A lot of students focus on saving money for college, but experts say there are options for financing your education.

The cost to attend state school is around $120,000 over four years, and that almost doubles for a private school tuition. It’s impossible for most families to pay that money out of pocket, but there are ways you can save.

Mark Teed, a financial analyst at Raymond James in Springfield, told 22News that you can find money to save by cutting out small expenses like coffee or fast food. Save that into a 529 college savings plan because it’s a government account that won’t be taxed and can only be used for college.

College tuition has become so expensive, that some financial analysts consider paying for it a family responsibility.

“Grandparents and parents have a special responsibility to help their grandkids and great grandkids save for college,” Teed said.

That way, a young parent can save for what their parents have already funded- retirement.

“I think the best way to do it is forget saving. Go to your parents and your grandparents and ask them to help fund it, because most young couples should be saving for retirement first and education second.” Teed said.

If you don’t have that option, it still isn’t impossible to pay for that degree, though. You can start at a lower cost, two year community college and transfer to a four year university to help cut costs.

“If you’re going to go to a four year college, start here and get two years here at a lower cost that also reduces the amount you have to borrow and pay back later and then transfer on for the other two years,” said Karen Derouin, Director of Financial Aid at HCC.

Teed says that another thing you can do is find a happy medium by taking your tax refund and splitting it down the middle; half for retirement, half for your child’s education.