College costs are skyrocketing. Here’s how you can help support your family financially.
You want the best for your family — and that includes the best possible education for children or grandchildren. From college savings plans to financial aid and academic merit scholarships, here’s what you need to know to help cover education costs.
How much does college really cost?
Tuition prices can vary widely depending on the type of institution and where it’s located. And that’s just the starting point. The actual cost of college includes additional expenses, such as housing, meal plans, books, and travel to and from home.
Average published full-year tuition and fees for full-time students 2021 – 2022Footnote 1
The cost of tuition is likely to continue to rise
The rate, on average, that tuition increases each yearFootnote 2
How you can help
There are many options for how you can contribute to the cost of education, including:
- Funding a college savings plan
- Saving in a taxable account
- Paying tuition fees directly
- Giving money through a gift, loan, or trust
How college costs are typically coveredFootnote 3
* Consult with a tax advisor on your specific situation.
Explore grants and scholarships
The are many ways for your children or grandchildren to find potential financial aid. Encourage them to work with their school counselor to seek scholarships based on academic merit and many other criteria at resources like the U.S. Department of Education’s student financial aid site and the Tuition Funding Sources' scholarship database.
The estimated scholarship amount that goes unawarded annually, mainly due to a lack of applicantsFootnote 4
Consider tax implications
Some giving strategies can have tax ramifications and potentially affect student aid. Considering contributing to a college savings plan, where money grows tax-free. Be sure to consult with a tax advisor on your specific situation.
Here’s more on saving for a child’s education — and protecting your own financial securityLearn more