Whether you are saving for your own education or for your children’s, it’s wise to start planning for college as soon as possible.

Tax-Free College Savings

A Coverdell Education Savings Account (formerly an Education IRA) accumulates interest tax-free.  You can withdraw money from this account without penalty.  Also, it’s possible to put money into a state sponsored prepaid tuition plan and not pay taxes on it until you withdraw the money.  Check out our education savings account to learn more.

Financial Aid and the FAFSA

To apply for financial aid, students will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  You can check out a free financial aid estimator, the FAFSA4casterSM tool to give you an early estimate of your eligibility.  Remember, that the first “F” is FAFSA stands for free, and you can submit your application for free online at the official FAFSA website.  If you visit other websites you will probably have to pay to submit your application.

U.S. Department of Education Resources

The U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) federal student aid programs are the largest source of student aid in America.  Every year, they award about $150 billion in grants, work-study assistance, and low-interest loans.  Check out their website for more information.

Other Sources of Aid

In addition to federal aid, be sure to look into scholarships and state and institutional aid.  Check with the schools you are interested in for information about programs to consider.

Other federal websites can also be a good source of information about potential aid.  For example, veterans and their dependents, students training in various medical fields, and persons interested in earning funds in exchange for community service may qualify for other federal aid.

Disclaimer: Links to other websites found here are provided to assist in locating information. Crane CU does not provide, and is not responsible for, the product, service, or overall website content available at a third party site. Crane CU neither endorses the information, content, presentation, or accuracy nor makes any warranty, express or implied, regarding any external site. Crane CU’s privacy policies do not apply to linked websites. You should consult the privacy disclosures on any linked site for further information.