How effective financial life planning makes paying for college easier

Oregon college financial aid, scholarships and residency can be tricky. If you have a son or daughter who just graduated from high school and is ready to go a college in Oregon this fall, it helps to examine this topic early. In fact, it is best to start planning for college as soon as your son or daughter is born.

Here is a look at some practical Oregon college financial planning tips.

Oregon college financial planning tip #1: Start planning right away

Oregon offers 529 college savings plans to college-bound residents. These are investment options that allow a parent, a grandparent or other benefactor to set aside money that grows without being taxed. In other words, you can invest a few hundred dollars as soon as your child is born. As your investment matures, you will not have to pay taxes on the gains. Those hundreds become thousands that can then be spent on college expenses.

Oregon college financial planning tip #2: Apply for college grants

A grant is provided to students that can demonstrate financial need. Students never have to pay grants back, as they are not loans. If you do not want to pay out of your own pocket as your child goes to college, be certain to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Most students must report parent or guardian income on this application. There are exceptions, such as:

  • Emancipated students
  • Students age 24 or older
  • Military veterans
  • Married students

Oregon offers a unique grant to students with residency. If a student has lived in Oregon for 12 months or longer, he or she may qualify for the Oregon Opportunity Grant.

Oregon college financial planning tip #3: Understand college loans before applying

Most loan programs are set up to help students with an immediate need for financial assistance. There are subsidized and unsubsidized loans, with the former including relief for interest on the loan while the student is still active.

Loans, however, leave a recent college graduate with a lot of debt in most cases. This debt is not as severe as, say, an unpaid credit card or mortgage. However, college student loans can take years to pay off and the interest over time can harm the credit of graduates without jobs right out of college.

Oregon college financial planning tip #4: Contact a financial life planner

Oregon financial planners are a great resource when planning for college. Whether your child is still an infant or fresh out of high school, Titus Financial’s Oregon college planning experts can help you fund the future of your family!