Parents are bombarded with headlines on how much more expensive college is getting, but sometimes it can feel like you need an advanced degree just to figure out how much you’ll need to save.
Choosing a college is a complex decision, and finances are only one part of the picture (albeit a big part). How do you figure out what it means to save “enough?” And what can you do if you do the math and then determine — or if you already know before even crunching the numbers — that you’re going to fall short of that goal?
College financing experts and financial planning experts say there are a number of steps you can take help you get schooled on how much to save. Here’s what they suggest for parents who want to learn more.
Compare Costs With Investment-Linked Research Tools
Multi-featured calculate-and-compare tools like Fidelity Investments’ College Cost Prep gives families a snapshot of estimated costs, grants and scholarships, and lets you compare college costs and potential savings. You can plug in how much you’re contributing to your 529 plan, whether or not you have other savings you can tap for college costs, and any other sources of funding — and play around with your savings ratios if your estimates are coming up short. Seeing an apples-to-apples comparison of dollars and cents, and the debt burden earning that degree will entail, might be enough to make your future student reconsider a school on their list, or maybe prompt them to look at other, more cost-effective options in a new light.
For the full article click here: http://money.com/money/5659117/everything-to-know-about-saving-money-for-college-according-to-experts/