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When should I start saving for college?

College is expensive and I’m not sure if I’m able to get financial aid or scholarships, so when should I start saving?

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Princess’s Answer

Just like the wise people before us have pointed out, starting to save for college at the earliest possible time is a great idea. In fact, as soon as you start earning, you should consider setting aside some money. Saving is never a bad idea, and it can be a lifesaver during unexpected situations, even if it's not specifically for college. Having a safety net to rely on always brings peace of mind.
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A. Michelle’s Answer

Hats off to you for getting an early start on saving for or defraying the cost of college. First, consider putting aside a portion of cash birthday or holiday gifts you receive or, if asked, mention your interest in college gifts. If you are able to work after school or during the summer, you can also save a portion of your earnings. Outside of money, consider taking and doing well in courses that earn you college credit or that prepare you to place out of basic required courses. Doing well in your coursework could also help you earn scholarship funds, some of which are not based on financial need. Most important, speak honestly with your parents and caregivers of what they will be able to contribute and make a plan as early as possible.
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Yanna’s Answer

It's crucial to begin setting aside money for your college education as early as you can. However, saving money is impossible without a source of income, such as a job. To assist with college expenses, you might want to think about these options: applying for scholarships, seeking financial aid, securing a part-time job, or working as a teaching assistant. To reduce the overall cost of your college education, you might want to think about enrolling in a city or state college, or spending your first two years at a community college before transferring to a four-year institution. Lastly, taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes is a smart move as these courses could earn you college credits, further reducing your college expenses.
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Terrell’s Answer

You are correct! College is costly and annually outpaces the rate of inflation. So, starting early as possible, saving and investing for college is crucial. As a student, you can do a few things now to assist with the cost. One of my favorite ways students can help defray the cost of college tuition is to enroll in dual-enrollment courses in high school. Dual enrollment could cut a semester or up to a year off your coursework, allowing you to enter college as a sophomore. Other ways to help with tuition are through scholarships. Even the small ones add up. Remember fraternal and sorority organizations when seeking scholarships. The local chapters of these Greek letter organizations give out scholarships each year. Start by doing a Google search on "The Divine 9".
Enrolling in a two-year college and staying home will save tons of money because most of your tuition goes towards housing. Finally, please save your money and invest it in safe and secure instruments like U.S. treasuries. Since inflation has risen, the rates on CDs are higher. Check out Bankrate.com for institutions that pay higher savings rates that are FDIC insured.
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Tiarra’s Answer

As soon as you can start working, start saving for college. Even if it is $100 or even $50 a week. If you save at least $50 a week, that is $200 a month. If I did my math correctly, if you do that for a year that is $2,400. Your ability to save depends on the amount of responsibilities you have or may have once you begin working. If your parents let you keep all or most of your paycheck, save it for college and explain to them that this is apart of your plan to start saving for college and ensure that you are on the right path. Do not stray from the plan. Even lay out a savings plan of how much you want to save weekly and monthly and show your parents to show them how serious you are about college.

Begin looking up state scholarships and the requirements for the federal Pell grant. If you need to, improve your grades to ensure that you qualify for those scholarships. Even if you do not excel in standardized or other tests (like the ACT or SAT), do you best to get decent grades because that will ensure that you qualify for those scholarship and just because you do qualify, don't stop saving because you will have to pay for books and other fees. In college, there are random fees that scholarships do not support and in some cases can't because the scholarship funds have already been allocated for the tuition. So start saving now, even if you're a sophomore and I suggested $50 a week because you're not trying to get rich and you cannot overwork yourself and over a certain number of hours because you're a teenager and besides, you have schoolwork to focus on. Also, here is an article that suggests that having $3,000 saved up for college is a good start and with the $50 a week for a year, you'll be more than half way there but keep going because there's always other fees, scholarship funds may run out, and there's always graduate school:
https://www.kidsmoney.org/teens/saving/how-much-by-eighteen/#:~:text=There's%20no%20set%20amount%20you,live%20until%20your%20first%20paycheck.

Good luck! Also, it is great that you're thinking about all of this early.
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