WASHINGTON (9/9/14)--College students who borrow to attend college graduate with a debt load equivalent to a new-car purchase or a down payment on a house, averaging $25,000. Some borrowing might be inevitable, but also explore the features of other college payment strategies (Kiplinger Aug. 26).
529 savings plans
Prepaid tuition plans
Coverdell education savings accounts
With soaring tuitions, borrowing is often necessary even after accounting for savings and scholarship money. Investigate government-sponsored loans, federal work-study programs, state programs, and institutional aid with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. Consider federal PLUS loans as well as a private loan from your credit union. Private student loans come into play after all other resources are exhausted.
For related information, read "Parental Income Dings a Student's Financial Aid" and "Parents: Borrow for Kids' College, Jeopardize Retirement" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.