Ages Birth to 12.
It's no secret that starting early is important. Where you save for college can be just as important as how much you save.
With only a few short years until high school graduation, this stage is less about saving money and more about maximizing available resources and choosing a "Right Fit" School.
Graduation is over and the "real world" begins. We can help you or your student create a plan to pay off student loans faster and with less interest.
As a new or expectant parent, you have a million things on your mind and preparing for something 18 years into the future is unlikely to be at the top of the list. However, college is expensive and getting more so every year. One of the most important actions you can take for yourself at this stage is to begin to save for your child’s education, giving yourself a longer period of time to save and grow the money.
First, it’s important to choose the investment vehicle that meets your needs. There are several fund types to choose from, all with their own rules and tax consequences. You can even have more than one account, depending on how your finances change over time. Below are some college saving products to consider:
· Savings Bonds: Money redeemed from Savings Bonds and used to pay for higher education can be excluded as income for tax purposes, some restrictions do apply. Although this money is guaranteed by the government and extremely low to no risk the current interest rates are also extremely low. Right now, individual Series EE savings bonds are earning an annual fixed rate of 0.10%.
· Permanent Life Insurance: Using a cash value life insurance policy isn’t typically top of mind when it comes to saving for college, but it can be used as part of a well-rounded funding plan. The value of a policy can grow over time and ultimately provides access to money with several advantages as a college savings fund.
As with any financial planning topic, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to saving for college. Each option comes with benefits and drawbacks especially if you are hoping to qualify for Financial Aid. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your unique situation and to develop an individualized plan for meeting this financial goal.
For many families, the path to college is exciting and often stressful. We offer a comprehensive, "know BEFORE they go" program that addresses your unique circumstances, including:
- School selection guidance
- Maximization of financial aid and other resources
- Minimization of student loan debt
- Gain confidence & clarity about how today's choices impact the future
1. Gather Data: Akamai College Consultants guides parents and their students through the college selection and financial aid process. We work with your family to help make college affordable while still keeping other financial priorities in balance. Our goal is to maximize the benefits your family is eligible for and minimize the amount of debt both students and parents incur.
2. Student Aid Index: Based on the financial information gathered, we can accurately calculate your SAI, the number that determines a student's eligibility for financial aid. In many cases, we can recommend strategies to reduce your SAI and increase your financial aid package.
3. Calculate Aid: Once the SAI is calculated, we will determine the potential for need based aid and/or any merit (achievement) aid your student may qualify for. A high income or net worth doesn't mean your family can't qualify for free money!
4. "Right Fit" Colleges: We involve your student in the planning process. By evaluating academic and social interests and combing those details with your financial data we will uncover the "Right Fit" colleges. Often private schools are a better value than many in-state public colleges.
5. True Cost Analysis: College is one of the largest financial investments and students will make. After we help you determine the "Right Fit" colleges, we provide a year-by-year analysis that will map out how to pay for college using the resources available (cash flow, savings, loans and scholarships/grants). We even go a step further by determining the expected amount of debt owed at graduation as well as a projected monthly loan payment for each college option.
6. Ongoing Guidance: Your student has applied and been accepted, so the hard part is over, right? Actually, the journey is just beginning. Ongoing check-ins with your family will ensure your student remains on track and that financial deadlines are met. Our service also includes annual updates to the FAFSA and other required documents.