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National College Savings Month: Tips on how to save for higher education

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 8:32 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2021 at 8:35 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - September is National College Savings Month.

Most parents believe saving for higher education is important, but some haven’t gotten around to opening an education investment account for their child. College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) Regional Representative Amy Denton was on WITN News at Sunrise Thursday to offer some helpful tips for those who fall into this category:

  • Open an account when a child is born – Family and friends can make contributions to welcome the new baby, as well as for birthdays and special holidays over the years.
  • Make saving a healthy habit – Auto-transfer money into education savings with scheduled monthly withdrawals from a bank account or employer payroll deduction.
  • Working teens can help save – When teens are old enough for a part-time job, they can deposit half of their paychecks into their college savings account and have the other half to spend for themselves.
  • Take Advanced Placement (AP) classes in high school – Students can earn free college credits before they step on campus! AP credits can add up and save parents money on college tuition.
  • Apply for scholarships – Use free online resources to research and apply for as many scholarships as possible. Every little bit helps!

Additionally, North Carolina’s 529 Plan is giving $1,000 to a family this month to help jumpstart on educational savings. The funds will go into an NC 529 account. You can enter the contest here.

The rules are as follows:

  • (1) entry for each contribution made to an existing NC 529 Account. Contributions from friends and family can also earn more entries!
  • (2) entries for the first contribution made to a new NC 529 Account.
  • (2) entries for setting up a new recurring contribution by Automatic Draft (ACH) or Payroll Deduction.
  • (2) entries for increasing a current recurring contribution by at least $25.00 per Account.

There are also a series of webinars happening throughout the month to offer more tips and tricks on how to save. The first webinar “What’s Your College Saving Strategy?” is Thursday, September 16 at 1 p.m. There are two more virtual events happening, including “5 Reasons to Start an NC 529 Savings Plan” on September 22 at 6 p.m. and “Jump Start Your College and K-12 Savings with an NC 529 Plan” on September 30 at 10 am.

For more information, click here or e-mail savings@cfnc.org.

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