PREPARING FINANCIALLY FOR A CHILD

COLLEGE SAVINGS & PLANNING

TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT MONEY

GIVING AN ALLOWANCE

PROTECTING YOUR CHILD'S IDENTITY



College Savings & Planning

Start saving for your child’s education by putting a modest amount monthly into an account and adding more as your finances allow. The earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. Even if the thought of paying for college seems discouraging, take action now.


::529 Plans::

A 529 college savings plan offers a simple way to save money for your child’s college education, and can maximize your saving efforts. Each state is different; however, one of the key elements to a 529 plan is that you pay no taxes on the account’s earnings.

The Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan offers several advantages, including an Oklahoma tax deduction, a choice of investment options and the funds can be used at thousands of higher education institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

If your child doesn't go to college, you can transfer the funds to another beneficiary within the same family or you can withdraw the funds, with penalty. For more information about Oklahoma’s 529 College Savings Plan, call 877.OK4SAVING toll free (877.654.7284) or visit OK4Saving.org.


::Plan for Expenses::

It’s important to understand how much college will cost. College expenses vary depending on the type of school attended, the number of courses taken, the student's major and his or her personal lifestyle.

OKcollegestart.org helps students and their families plan for higher education in Oklahoma. To determine if your family is saving enough money for college, explore this chart highlighting estimated expenses or use this calculator from the College Savings Plan Network.


::Minimize the Cost::UCanGo2.org screenshot

There are a variety of ways to manage and minimize the cost of your child's education. In addition to this list, visit UCanGo2.org to learn more about planning, preparing and paying for college. While there, download the From Cradle to College brochure to learn how to prepare for your child's education early-on.


::Find Financial Aid::

Oklahoma's Promise logEncourage your child to apply for grants and scholarships; they’re a great way to pay for school. One of the most popular scholarships in our state is Oklahoma's Promise. Your child must enroll in this program during the 8th, 9th or 10th grade, and meet other enrollment criteria. To learn more, visit OKPromise.org.

It's also important to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) even if you think your family makes too much money. Submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after Jan. 1 of your child's senior year in high school and every year after if they’re seeking financial aid. Remember, the first "F" in FAFSA stands for "free" so never pay to complete the form. The official FAFSA website is FAFSA.gov. To learn more about the FAFSA process, including some answers to frequently-asked questions, visit StartWithFAFSA.org.

After maximizing grants, scholarships, federal work-study opportunities and family savings, federal student loans are a low-cost option for bridging the gap when paying for school. For more information about federal student loans, including common loan terminology, tips for responsible borrowing and repayment options, visit ReadySetRepay.org.