Has it suddenly hit you how soon your child will be going to college? The early days of child-rearing go by quickly, and if you haven’t been putting aside money for college, you may think it’s too late to start. But it’s never too late! Anything you can put away now can help with future college expenses — and you can even keep saving once your child actually enrolls.
With as little as $25, you can open a college savings account in the NC 529® Plan. Having an account dedicated to college savings will help you focus on what you can contribute to college costs, no matter how close the first day of classes may be. And don’t panic when you start looking at college costs. Most students and families are expected to pay a share of that cost, but there are often other resources to help with the rest. So just concentrate on what you can start saving now.
From tuition costs and books to class fees and required equipment, the typical price of an in-state public college education is about $21,340 annually, according to projections based on research done by Wealth Management Systems Inc. According to College Data and the National Association for College Admission Counseling, books alone can cost about $1,250. One way a number of parents manage is to figure out a reasonable contribution amount they are comfortable putting into a college savings account regularly. With the NC 529 Plan, you can set up automatic drafts of $25 or more on whatever schedule works for you. That way, your contributions are set and you don’t have to worry about forgetting to send them in.
Also, when you open an NC 529 Account, the earnings on the money you contribute to your account will be free from federal and North Carolina income taxes when you use it to pay for qualified higher education expenses for your child (such as tuition, fees, computers, books, room and board, and required equipment.)
Even if your child has only a few years left before venturing off to college, saving today can help relieve some of your stress of paying for college.
You can keep saving even when college starts. Continued savings can make a difference up through the very last day of classes. There are often extra expenses that pop up, and any cushion you have will help. So open an NC 529 College Savings Account today. You may also want to explore other areas of ncpayforcollege.org for ideas on other ways to help pay for college too.