Money for College for K-12 Students

Student working on computer, group of professionals in background

Planning to pay for college while enrolled in grades K-12 can be overwhelming at first. This feeling can create a barrier to applying to and attending college, however it is not too late to begin planning to pay for college.

While paying for college is the responsibility of families, it is also a partnership between families, students, the government, and colleges to expand educational access to qualified students therefore students and parents should not assume that they cannot afford a particular postsecondary instituition. Financial aid often makes it possible for students to attend colleges they would have thought too expensive.

There are basically four categories of financial aid:

1. Grants - money awarded to a student that does not have to be paid back

2. Loans - money that must be paid back with interest.

3. College Work Study - money that the student earns through a qualified on or off campus job.

4. Scholarships - money that is awarded based on merit and does not have to be paid back.

For families beginning the college preparation process in grade school a 529 plan is an easy, affordable and convenient way for families to save for college. While the tax advantages are one of the primary benefits, states also offer a variety of features and benefits to help families reach their college savings goals.