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.


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RealSteps>®

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.


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