A 529 plan is a state-sponsored education savings program that allows an individual to save in a tax-deferred account to pay for a beneficiary's post-secondary education at any accredited school in the United States. Unlike Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, which excludes joint filers with adjusted gross incomes (AGIs) above $220,000 and single filers with AGIs above $110,000, there are no income restrictions on those contributing to the plan.
Even if you have not been able to save all the money you will need for college, several alternatives exist to assist you in making up the difference.
Financial aid comes in many shapes and sizes -- from scholarships and grants which do not need to be repaid, to federal loans which carry very favorable interest rates and terms. The following are a few of the most popular sources of financial assistance:
Saving for college isn't easy, but the earlier you start the better off you'll be. For example, if you save $60 a month for 17 years earning 8% per year, you will have over $25,000 by the time college begins! Taxes will reduce the amount of the portfolio.
There are several savings and investment strategies that can help you accrue money for college.