Can I Afford to Send My Child to College?

When children are asked the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” they often come up with some ambitious answers – astronaut, professional athlete, even president. As a parent, you want to make sure nothing stands in your child’s way – especially the ability to pay for college. But with the rising costs, it can be hard to know where to start.

By doing some homework of your own, you and your financial advisor can put together a strategy to meet your education savings goals and balance these with your other goals, like retirement.

What you should start considering

  1. The costs - Costs vary by school, so consider what type of school your child may want to attend. It may be helpful to have a range of options if you don't know the answer right now.
  2. How much you want to cover - Will you pay all of your child’s expenses? Half of everything? Tuition but not room and board? Remember, there’s no one right answer to this question. You need to decide what works best for your family’s personal and financial situation.
  3. After you determine your role in providing for education, you and your financial advisor can talk about how much you need to save to help get you there.

  4. Start saving as early as you can - Time can be one of your biggest assets, so don’t delay. Saving a certain amount every month can make a big difference in reaching your goal. And if you’re starting later, that's OK. Start now – so you can get back on track.
  5. Ways to save more over time - start-early-increase-saving-over-timeFor example, when you no longer have day-care expenses, consider investing that money. This chart shows the difference between saving:
    • $100 a month from a child’s birth to age 18
    • $100 a month from age 5 to age 18 
    • An additional $350 a month from age 5 to age 18

How we can help

Talk to your Edward Jones financial advisor today to get started.

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