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Paying for College

While summer is in full swing, school is creeping just around the corner. For some, this means returning to their campus or making the journey to college for the first time. While college can be expensive, there are several ways you can decrease how much you pay for your child’s education both years prior to going or months before packing bags. Check out these tips to help get the biggest bang for your buck while working for the diploma.

Years Before

There are several investment options parents or grandparents to utilize in order to assist with education expenses. Setting up a 529 Plan for your child is a way to get a head start on saving for college. The funds from the account can help cover expenses such as tuition, room and board, books, and other education related expenses. 529 Plans are desirable due to their tax advantages, where earnings aren’t taxed at the federal level and may have state exemptions as well depending on the location. This investment vehicle is a simple way to create a solid foundation for paying for your child’s education.

Months Before

Students may complete a FAFSA application to help cover tuition expenses. FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is supported through the U.S. Department of Education. Filling out an application makes you eligible for federal grants or loans. While a majority of the grants are distributed based on need, many are eligible for the loans offered. It is important to not wait until school starts to complete the application as it closes in early summer.

Scholarships are another great way to help pay for college. There are a plethora of scholarships available for all sorts of reasons, not solely academic. Even if you do not think you will receive a scholarship, it is still worth applying. Talking with your school’s financial aid office or doing research online can help you get an idea of all the scholarships available to you.

College is an exciting time that shouldn’t be spoiled with financial burdens. There are tons of options available to help you or your child pay for college. Talking with a financial advisor can help you develop a plan for your child’s best four years!

Prior to investing in a 529 Plan investors should consider whether the investor's or designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advice offered through GWM Advisors, a registered investment advisor. GWM Advisors, Southern Point Investment Partners, and Fidelity Investments are separate entities from LPL Financial.

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