Are You Ready To Pay For College?

(Sponsored) This post was sponsored on behalf of Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET). All opinions stated are my own.

 

May brings showers, flowers, and graduations. Most of us know at least one High School student who will don the cap and gown this month or next and graduate to their future.

 

For most students, what’s next is college. College comes in many different forms – community colleges, public universities and private universities. Two-year programs, 4-year programs, grad schools – there is a world of learning out there. However, there is one thing all institutions of higher learning have in common. Tuition.

Graduation! Are you ready for the financial next steps of higher education?

Graduation! Are you ready for the financial next steps of higher education?

 

Tuition – it’s a word you start hearing at your baby shower. “What are you going to name the baby? Have you started saving for college?” People talk about saving for college – but are they doing it? I hope so. As the mother of a high school senior fresh off the application/acceptance/where am I going to go to college season I’d like to offer some insight. Your child will get into a college. Are you ready to pay for it?

 

Tuition has grown over the years. The cost of sending a kid to college at a private school can easily cost 65k a year once you’ve figured in tuition, room and board, fees, books, etc. Even the cost at public state schools is likely to be 25k a year to cover the same. Wow! The reality is, sending a kid to college is a very expensive proposition.

 

Luckily someone else figured that out many years ago and college savings plans – typically referred to as 529 Plans – were created. 529 Plans allow you to save with tax advantages for dollars that are earmarked for education.

 

Each state participating in a 529 Plan has their own guidelines. I want to tell you a little more about Connecticut’s Higher Education Plan, aka CHET. CHET is managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, INC., a national college savings plan leader that manages ten state –sponsored 529 plans across the country.

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CHET works like a retirement savings plan for education, in this case like a Roth Retirement account. Your contributions grow tax-free along the way and money used for college is not taxed.

 

Another bonus – Connecticut residents can get a state income tax education on contributions you make to the plan each year – up to $10k for joint filers and $5k for a single filer.

 

Don’t worry if your child wants to spread their wings and study far away in another state or even abroad. Your CHET money can be used at any accredited college or university in the country, and some schools abroad.

 

You may use your money for tuition, room & board, books and any other supplies required by the school, including computers. If your child receives a scholarship covering some or all of your costs, you may roll saved CHET money to another child.

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I really encourage you to find out more about CHET – or the program in your state.  These plans all have reps who can answer your questions. I’d also suggest you talk to a financial planner or your accountant and discover how it can work for you.

 

Those ladies at the baby shower are right, it’s never too early to start saving for college. It will be here before you know it!

 

Are you a Connecticut resident? At the end of this month, 5/29 to be exact, CHET is having a celebration and you can win! Enter to win one of three prizes. Grand Prize is a $1529 CHET contribution!

 

 

Have you been thinking about paying for college? Are you paying for college for someone now? Tell us!

 

What do you think?

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