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Financing College

Early planning can help families survive the sticker shock.

College costs have gone through the roof. Four years at a good school can cost as much as a nice house.

Simply wailing about tuition bills won’t help. Early planning and action may, however, limit the pain. Right after your baby is born, open an education savings account. Choose a Coverdell Education Savings Account from Coastal, or talk to a broker about a 529 Account. Though there are differences, the accounts are similar enough: You invest a modest amount each month, and by the time Junior or Missy turn 18, there’s enough in the till to put a dent in college costs.

When your kids become teenagers, urge them to get a job. Not only does it pay for gas money, but there could be an unanticipated payoff. Generally, the more assets a family has, the less financial aid a student gets. But schools expect parents to contribute the bulk of the money. Student savings doesn’t weigh as heavily when colleges evaluate finances. The next step is to actually apply for that aid. Even before acceptance letters arrive, students are instructed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. There’s nothing fun about filling out the ultra-detailed FAFSA, but it does have two vital functions. First, it determines student’s eligibility for federal grants. Second, colleges use it to decide whether students qualify for in-house grants, scholarships and loans. (Some private schools also want the even lengthier CSS Profile.)

Though colleges boast of their generosity, many parents are still shocked at how much they’re expected to contribute. If the bill exceeds your savings account balance, you have a few options. First, colleges allow you to file an appeal and argue why the initial award was insufficient. Second, you can apply for private student loans from local banks and credit unions and national lenders such as Sallie Mae. Finally, you can pursue private scholarships. There are countless quips about grants for left-handed Irish trombone players, but it’s worth checking with your high school’s guidance office and websites such as www.cappex.com to see what’s available.

No one ever claims paying for college is easy. But, if you view it as making a down payment on your child’s future, you might find the pill – and the bills – easier to swallow.

Financing College

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Resource Center

What Costs Can Your College-Bound Child Expect Their First Year?

Before the tassel moves to the left, you're already thinking, "How much money is she going to need this fall?" C'mon, admit it. While yes, you are all excited about the pomp & circumstance that comes with high school graduation for your child, it's time to think about budgeting for their Freshman year.

Looking for a Scholarship for Your College-Bound Student?

It’s that time of year when parents and prospective college students begin researching, and applying for, the plethora of loans and scholarships that are available. With college costs averaging $9,410 for in-state public tuition to $32,410 for private, any opportunity for a family to have the majority (if not all) of those costs covered is an opportunity to be taken. We want to tell you about a solution that is available to Coastal members:

Lunch Tracker - Visa

The LunchTracker app from Visa helps you mange your spending and start saving money.

Making a budget is now made easier with the LunchTracker app from Visa. Regardless if you pack, eat at home or out at a restaurant, this app allows you to track how much you are spending when you have lunch. Because regardless of how you enjoy your lunch, these charges all add up. Keeping track of this daily expense can help you set spending goals and start saving.

Download mobile apps:
  • Download on the App Store
  • Get it on Google Play

Coastal Digital Banking - Coastal Credit Union

Coastal has upgraded our online banking and mobile banking platforms to a brand new unified system, which we are calling Digital Banking.

Access your Coastal Federal Credit Union accounts, quickly and conveniently, wherever you are with COASTAL Digital Banking! COASTAL Digital Banking allows you to check balances, make transfers, pay bills, and more!

Download mobile apps:
  • Download on the App Store
  • Get it on Google Play

Having this account allowed me to save for college and now I have the opportunity to pay for my education without having to worry about interest.
Claudia M.

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