By: Indiana Investment Watch

Are you or your new spouse considering returning to school to further your education as a way to achieve career goals after your wedding?  If so, consider a saving strategy now, even if these are distant goals, because the cost of higher education is on the rise just like everything else.

According to The College Board, the average yearly tuition at a public four-year in-state university is $8,655.  That number more than doubles for out-of-state tuition to $21,706.  Neither of those price tags includes room and board, books, computers, or additional items you made need.  If the cost stresses you out, you’re not alone!  But taking action now can help reduce your anxiety and also reduce the amount of money you may need to borrow.

Here are some ways to start the saving process:

1)    Open a savings account dedicated to your education goals.  Determine how much of your monthly budget you can realistically contribute and commit to saving in that account.

2)    Research Indiana’s College Choice 529 Plan.  You can open an account for as little as $25 and can earn an income tax credit of 20 percent of contributions to your 529 plan, up to $1,000 per year.  Learn more about Indiana College Choice 529 by visiting www.CollegeChoiceDirect.com.

3)    Consider working with a financial professional.  A recent bulletin from the North American Securities Administrators Association and the US Securities Exchange Commission could provide helpful information in your selection of a financial professional: http://www.nasaa.org/26029/making-sense-financial-professional-titles/. You can also find out whether the person is licensed and registered, and what type of license they hold, by using the searchable databases on www.indianainvestmentwatch.com or by calling the Secretary of State’s Securities Division at 1-800-223-8791.

There are many ways to pay for higher education.  In addition to long-term saving and investing, students can help pay for college through financial aid, scholarships and/or grants. However, some options such as student loans will cause you to have a significant amount of debt when the schooling is finished.  Be cautious when taking out student loans because they can add up.  “Educated” education investing now can help prevent financial problems later!