The College Fund: How to start saving for your child’s future

The thought of saving for your child’s education can be overwhelming. Maybe your child isn’t even talking yet. How can you begin to imagine them going off to college? Or perhaps your child is rapidly approaching college age, and you have no idea where to even begin the planning process. In cases of adoption, your situation may feel different than the “normal” experience. Maybe you adopted your child at an older age and have not had as much time to begin saving. Don’t let that scare you! Did you know that there are scholarships available specifically for students were adopted? Wherever you may be on the college preparation timeline, there are endless resources available that can help you and your child reach their education goals. Listed below are some different options to help you along the journey of saving for college.

529 Savings Plan

A 529 plan is an educational savings plan that provides tax and financial aid benefits. These plans are sponsored by state and allow your investment to grow free of federal tax. Additionally, some states offer tax deductions for contributions made to your plan. 529 savings plans vary by state – check out the  options available to you based on your state here.

Coverdell Educational Savings Account

A Coverdell Educational Savings Account is a trust account used to fund educational expenses. While the ESA has some similarities to the 529 plan, such as the fact that it is tax-free, it has many distinguishing factors as well. Earnings from the ESA can be used for a multitude of educational expenses for grades K-12, in addition to college expenses. Contributions to an ESA have a maximum limit of $2,000 per year and may be made up until the beneficiary turns 18. Here is some more information on Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts.

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Savings plans are a great way to begin preparing to pay for college, but they are not the only way. Scholarships can also be incredibly beneficial tools for affording college, and there are a lot more of them out there than you may think. While most schools will offer scholarships to accepted students based on sports or academic achievements, there are also endless opportunities to apply for scholarships that are not specific to one school. For example, there are scholarship opportunities for students who have a learning disability, such as ADHD or dyslexia, students who hope to pursue a specific area of study, students who are adopted, and so much more. Below are some of the scholarship opportunities available to students who are adopted or have been in foster care.

Also-Known-As Adoptee Excellence Scholarship

“Also-Known-As is establishing a scholarship program to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of young dynamic adoptees attending college in the coming academic year. The Also-Known-As Adoptee Excellence Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship for an outstanding graduating high school senior or undergraduate student who was adopted to the United States from another country.” Read more about the scholarship and how to apply here.

Casey Family Scholars Program“Foster Care to Success (FC2S) has provided scholarships to deserving foster youth since 1987. Casey Family Programs provides funding for students in community colleges, public and private universities, and technical/career programs in all 50 states. FC2S provides the encouragement, mentoring and practical support these students need to do well not only in school but in their personal lives.” Find more information about the application process and requirements here.

 

 

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The savings plans and scholarship opportunities listed above are only a few examples of the different ways you can begin planning for your child’s education. For more options and information, check out the resources listed below.

Scholarships for Adoptees and Foster Children:

25 Great Scholarships for Adopted Students

Scholarships for Adopted and Foster Children

Top Scholarships For Adopted Children

Scholarship Finders:

CollegeData

CareerOneStop

College Board

Helpful Guides:

How to Cover College Expenses For Your Child Adopted From Foster Care

How and When to Start a College Fund For Your Child

 

 

 

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