The ABCs of college planning serve as the building blocks for helping you and your student navigate the challenges of college and beyond.

Accumulate college savings

  • Establish a college savings plan. Set a savings goal and contribute on a consistent basis.
  • Evaluate tax-advantage savings options for college with the help of a financial professional.
  • Be creative with your saving strategies. Save tax refunds, portions of bonuses, cash back rewards, etc.
  • Encourage friends and family to contribute to the college fund rather than giving gifts such as clothes and toys.

Be prepared for college

  • Students with developed study habits tend to have higher grades. GPA has a significant impact on admissions, scholarships, and more.
  • Sit down with your child and identify important factors in choosing a college (location, cost, field of study, etc.), and then plan campus visits.
  • Adequate preparation for ACT/SAT tests is essential. Identify which tests your colleges of interest prefer.
  • Take college credits in high school - they are free and provide your student an opportunity to experience a college course.

Create good habits for life during and after college

  • Maintain a good GPA, which affects graduation timing and future employment opportunities.
  • Build your resume, create a LinkedIn profile, and practice interview skills. Gain work and internship experience.
  • Manage student debt effectively. Student loans count towards the borrower's credit score and must be paid back.
  • Establish smart saving habits. Set up regular contributions to a savings account, build an emergency fund, and take full advantage of employer matches to a 401(k) retirement plan.
  • Consider contributing to an IRA or Roth IRA.

RealSteps> is offered by U.S. Bank and/or its affiliate, U.S. Bancorp Investments.

Investment products and services are:

Not a Deposit  •  Not FDIC Insured  •  May Lose Value  •  Not Bank Guaranteed  •  Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency

RealSteps>® and RealSteps>Retirement® are registered trademarks of U.S. Bancorp.

For U.S. Bank:

Deposit products offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.

Equal Housing Lender

U.S. Bank is not responsible for and does not guarantee the products, services or performance of U.S. Bancorp Investments.

For U.S. Bank:

Investment products and services are available through U.S. Bancorp Investments, the marketing name for U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC, an investment adviser and a brokerage subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp and affiliate of U.S. Bank.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Rule 2267 provides for BrokerCheck to allow investors to learn about the professional background, business practices, and conduct of FINRA member firms or their brokers. To request such information, contact FINRA toll-free at 800.289.9999 or via An investor brochure describing BrokerCheck is also available through FINRA.


The RealSteps> approach helps parents and students through all the steps of college planning, from starting a savings account, to preparing for college, to getting your graduate off to the right start.

Run the Numbers

Estimate what it may take to save for your child's education.

Get Started

Work with U.S. Bank
Talk to a financial professional today. Find a Branch 

Need advice?
U.S. Bancorp Investments Financial Consultants can help. Call 800-871-6250 or have us contact you

Wealth Management
If you have more complex financial needs, we offer comprehensive wealth management advice and services. Learn more 

Skip Navigation: Internet Banking Login

Your browser's version is not compatible. Please upgrade your browser.
Cancel Icon

Unsupported Browser

Unsupported Browser

We've detected that you are currently accessing this site using an older version of Internet Explorer. We have not designed this site to support older versions of Internet Explorer. Therefore, you may encounter issues with how the site is displayed and how you can navigate through the site when using this older browser. We highly recommend you upgrade your current browser or download a new version of a different browser.

Upgrade Internet Explorer

Alternatively, you may want to download a new version of a different browser: