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The Best Ways to Start Saving for College Today

If you are looking to get ahead when it comes to saving for college, then you are already on the right track. While college was once considered a minor expense, it is now perhaps the largest expense that many people will be responsible for in their lives. Paying for college is a huge burden that many families must go through, especially if they want their children to get good jobs and succeed in life.

College is a very significant expense and the best way to offset that challenge is to start saving early. When you start saving early, you give you and your family time to prepare for this huge expense. In addition, funds that are saved and invested early will have more time to grow and compound throughout the years.

However, the concept of saving for such a large expense can still be daunting for many people. That is why we have compiled this list of the best ways to start saving for college today so that you can stop delaying and start saving now!

Open an Education Savings Account
There are a variety of accounts and investment products that are available to those who are looking to start saving for college and growing their funds. One of those accounts is an education savings account. These are often referred to as an ESA. These are traditionally offered by banking institutions, but are only available to those that are below a certain income level.

Start a 529 Plan
Another way that you can start preparing early on for your child's education is by starting a 529 plan. A 529 plan is a specific type of investment account that is open to anyone who wants to start saving for their child. When they go to college, it can be used to cover the cost of tuition, books, rent, and other education-related expenses. Earnings on investments are federally tax free for all and tax free in some states.

Apply for Scholarships
When it comes time for the child to take matters into their own hands, there's almost no better way to start saving for college than to apply for scholarships. Scholarships allow students with a no-strings-attached way to start saving for college and gain access to crucial funding that they will need to attend school. These are generally made available by high schools and colleges. Some are open to students as young as middle school.

Take AP Classes in High School
Many high schools offer students the opportunity to take college-level courses while they are still in high school. These are often challenging, but they also help to save money since the student will not have to pay for those credits upon their arrival to college. This can save you and your family thousands of dollars, so the student should take advantage of these courses whenever possible.

Start Earning Income as Soon as Possible
When the time comes, it's not a bad idea for the student to start contributing to their own 529 plan by getting a job while in high school. Not only can this accelerate the growth of the 529 account, but it can teach the student valuable life lessons and get them work experience all at the same time!