5 Ways High School Students Can Start Saving for College
High school may seem like it's going to last forever. But before you know it, you'll be in your senior year and deciding where to go to college. But you don't have to wait until your last year of high school to starting planning how you will pay for college. This blog will give you some pointers on things you can do to start saving now.
Ways to Save Up For College Before You Go
Choosing what college to go to is a very big decision for a high school student. A new school, new people, not to mention all that money you'll have to spend to get there! But who will pay for college? Your parents? Scholarships? You? No matter who pays for your college education, you can still help out, and saving while you're still in high school is a great way to prepare. Still, it may seem daunting if you don't no where to start. Don't worry. There are five easy ways to start saving right now.
Open a Savings Account
There is no bad time to open a savings account. If you have something in particular you're saving up for, like going to college, then there's no reason not to start one. Go to your local bank and see if there are any special deals for students or people saving up for school. Then put in an initial deposit, which most banks require, and from there what you do with the account is up to you. You can continue to put money in regularly with a job or from an allowance if you still get it, or you can just let the initial money sit. Either way, you'll be getting interest on whatever money is in the account; and by the time college arrives, you'll have some money to help fund it.
Get a Job
While the options for high school students are limited, there are still jobs out there. Check local supermarkets and retail stores to see if there are any places nearby that are willing to work with a student's schedule. By getting a job, you'll be learning the kind of responsibility you will have to nurture and develop when you live on your own in college. Plus, you'll be earning money that can help pay for tuition or books. As you earn money regularly, you can combine it with opening a savings account and accumulate interest through your remaining high school years.
Get a 529 Plan
There are two types of 529 plans to help you save for college. One is called a pre-paid tuition plan, which involves making payments periodically that will fund your tuition and class fees for when you eventually need them. The other type is a college savings plan that covers college expenses besides just tuition, but works pretty much the same way. A relative can open these accounts for you and they can be funded by you or someone else. Every state has some form of these plans, and applying for them is very easy. Just look it up online to see what your state does for students trying to save money for college.
Get Your Grades Up
This may not be a direct way to save money, but it will put a dent in those college costs. Nowadays, there are so many scholarships around that there's almost one for everybody. But getting one is much easier if you have a good GPA. Work hard on your last few years of high school and participate in extracurricular activities regularly. Learn new study techniques and figure out how to improve in areas that you usually have trouble in. Not only will this make you more eligible for scholarships both from your college of choice and from outside groups, it will also prepare you for working and studying well in college.
Sell Off Old Stuff
Most high school students are past the stage of needing G.I. Joes or stuffed animals, but chances are they are still sitting around the house. Take advantage of those toys, clothes and other items that you no longer need and turn them into cash. Sell them individually online, hold a garage sale or advertise in local papers. Craigslist and eBay are both good resources for selling online. If you find you do not have enough items to sell in a garage sale, team up with a few other students who also need extra cash. With more and different types of items for sale, you're likely to get a bigger turnout and more money overall.
Want to know how to deal with your study time best for when you head to college? Try these simple time management tips of straight-A students to get a jump-start on how to study during your college career!