College Planning

Preparing and paying for higher education

When it comes to paying for college, there are a number of options to choose from. Students can apply for financial aid, scholarships, loans or grants. As a parent, grandparent or permanent legal guardian, you may decide early on to start investing in a savings program for your child. With all of the available options to pay for a college education, it can be difficult for parents and their children to determine which plan is best for them. Gerber Life online articles include valuable insights and ideas to help your family prepare for the college years. Our articles and tips can help you rest-assured that your child will be prepared for college and anything else the future may hold.

  1. Picture This—Your Child’s Drawing Could Be Worth Thousands of Dollars!

    One lucky artist will win a $20,000 Gerber Life College Scholarship

    Gerber Life College Scholarship ContestAs your child heads back to school or maybe starts school for the first time, you probably wonder what he or she may be when they grow up. It’s fun to imagine the possibilities: athlete, writer, photographer, engineer, dentist. Now’s the time for your child to grab some crayons or colored pencils and draw a picture of what they want to be when they grow up, and enter for a chance to win a $20,000 Gerber Life College Plan. Entering the Gerber Life College Scholarship Art Contest is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  2. College Savings Plans More Necessary than Ever in 2011-2012

    The Importance of College Savings PlansNews flash: A college education is expensive. Have you heard that before? While this is probably old news, tuitions rose again during the last school year, 2010 to 2011. There seems to be no end in sight and, as a result, college savings plans have never been more critical.

    Highest Attendance Costs Continued to Increase
    Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, NY, continued to hold the top spot in annual tuition, fees, room, and board with a 2.9 percent increase to $57,384 per school year. Landmark College (Putney, Vt.), Columbia, Wesleyan, Johns Hopkins, and Georgetown followed with annual costs in excess of $53,500 to attend. In many cases, the most expensive universities had one-year cost increases of more than 4 percent.

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    Categories: College Planning
  3. Why Savings Rates Matter

    Family Comparing College Savings Plan RatesAs with all other savings accounts, the savings rates between college savings accounts can vary, but, with the ever-rising cost of college tuition, you’ll need to find a college savings account that yields significantly above the rate of inflation if you want your “today’s” dollars to grow enough to afford tomorrow’s education. Figuring out which accounts have the best savings rates obviously makes financial sense, but where do you start?

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    Categories: College Planning
  4. College Investments Affecting School Tuition Costs

    Businessman Holding Out Empty PocketsCollege investments and endowment funds are important components of school tuition costs. When these funds perform well, institutions better control school tuition costs and designate significant portions of earnings to university-sponsored scholarships.

    Since the recent recession, many endowment funds have declined. Most investments have yet to recover to pre-2006 levels. University investment problems require that your college savings plans become more conservative and rewarding.

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    Categories: College Planning
  5. Tax Advantages With an Education Savings Account

    Education Savings Account Tax AdvantagesA qualified education savings account usually offers federal tax advantages to participants. The key factors are “how much” and “how they work” for investors. While you can use any savings or investment account to plan for college, qualified college investment funds offer tax advantages that standard accounts do not.

    For example, a Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) offers tax-free earnings increases, if the parent qualifies. If the parent (or child) has “modified adjusted gross income” less than $110,000 (or $220,000 for joint tax returns), and your child is under 18, you qualify for these college savings accounts. If you only withdraw funds for your child’s education expenses each year, these withdrawals are also tax-free.

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