Planning for College

Happy high school graduates

Learn about college before heading to college to learn.

So you want your kids to go to college — that’s great! They have the opportunity to get an education that will likely put them at the top of employers’ lists. But there’s a lot you need to know about the financial aspect of planning for college. Let’s dig in!


Educate Yourself About Expenses

First, focus your noggin on the different expenses that might be involved in going to college. It’s not just tuition and books, but living expenses while at college. That can include room and board in the dorms, as well as cash for fun activities that solidify friendships for life.

STUDENT BUDGET CALCULATOR – This calculator is specifically designed to help students understand their expenses and income while attending a university, college, or other full-time educational institution.


Saving for College

If your kids are younger, you have more time to start saving for their college education. Don’t forget, though: You’ll need to consider how costs might rise over that decade or two. Get a better idea of how much savings will be needed in order to send your kids to college using this college savings calculator.

COLLEGE SAVINGS – Use this calculator to help develop or fine tune your education savings plan.

When you’re ready to get serious about saving, Linn Area Credit Union can assist with an Education IRA. Save up to $2,000 per child per year, and have the flexibility to transfer funds from one child’s account to another.


Scholarships and grants

When the time comes, you’ll want to explore all scholarship and grant options that are available for your family. You might try asking your family’s employers, membership organizations and more about opportunities for funding a child’s education. There are some credit union-affiliated scholarships that we tell our members about each year, so be sure to keep an eye out for this information.


Student Loans

If you have a gap between expenses and savings, it may make sense to look into loans to help fund college.

Make a Budget

A budget is simply a written plan for how you spend your money each month. This basic tool will help you manage your finances and keep you out of financial hot water.

How to Save Money

The most important (and challenging!) part of saving money is not touching what you have saved and letting it grow.