Sound knowledge. Real priorities.

You're probably balancing commitments to a career, family, home, or all three. You may be unsure about how much money you will need to help fund your child's education or even where to start. The RealSteps> approach to education can help you determine appropriate funding strategies that make the most sense for your family.

Prepare your student for college

  • Identify academic and extracurricular opportunities your student can participate in to prepare for college.
  • Discuss criteria for identifying "best fit" colleges (two-year or four-year, location, cost, size, academic requirements, etc.).
  • Use your high school's college resource center, the internet, and college fairs to aid in your college search.
  • Have your student job shadow someone for a day to help select a college major or career path.
  • Use Preparing for College to find useful tips and checklists for parents and students.

Learn about financial aid

Evaluate college funding strategies

  • Continue to save. If necessary, make lifestyle changes to save more money. Track your current spending with this Budget Worksheet.
  • Search for scholarship opportunities. There are many places to find scholarships, including the workplace, local communities, college websites, high school career resource centers, and the internet.

ABCs of College Planning

At this point, you should consider taking stock of savings and funding sources available for college expenses. The more assets that can be accumulated in the years leading up to college reduces the need to draw from cash flow or deal with the burden of student debt after graduation. Talk to your child about ways to prepare for college. Encourage them to develop good study habits and consider taking college credits in high school. Learn more about the ABCs of College Planning.

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. Bancorp Investments:

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 

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