Lynne Riley is the treasurer of the state of Georgia. In this guest column, she discusses the benefits of saving for college.
By Lynne Riley
Did you know that study after study proves that children with a college savings account are more likely to attend college than those without? In fact, a report by the Institute for Higher Education Policy and Prosperity found that children with college savings between $1 and $499 are three times as likely to attend college and four times as likely to graduate as those without any college savings.
Clearly that level of saving isn’t enough to pay for college, but the mindset it creates for a child is invaluable. Despite the amount of money saved, knowing that someone has saved for his or her education gives a child a foundation for the future and helps solidify that they can attend college.
Georgia joins states across our nation this month to raise awareness about the importance of saving for college by declaring this month “College Savings Month.” We want to encourage parents and grandparents to look at the many resources our state provides to help them plan for the future.
The state’s college savings plan, the Path2College 529 Plan, can be started with as little as $25, and savings can be used at colleges and universities across the country. There are numerous resources available to help families understand how the plan works, the tax advantages and what the funds saved can be used for. To help families determine how much they should try to save, the Path2College 529 Plan also has a Savings Planning Calculator, located under the Plan tab here.
With the rising costs of college, it can be overwhelming to think about how to pay for it. Saving small amounts over time will have a tremendous impact both financially and emotionally for a child. Every penny saved today will help your child or grandchild graduate college with less financial burden.
We want our children to have hopes and dreams, but more importantly we want them to have a way to achieve these dreams. Whether you’re preparing to send your children to college in the near or distant future, establishing a savings plan to help them reach their goals is a crucial step.
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