College tuition bill: Now what?

The tuition bill for the semester has arrived. Here's info about paying from a 529 account and taking loans.

It has arrived—the college tuition bill for your child's next semester. It’s likely a big one and its typically due within a month or so.

If you're like most parents, you don't want your kid to take on too much in college loans. But beware of putting your own retirement at risk. You can’t borrow to fund retirement.

So what's the remedy? It may take some compromise and sacrifice, but you have a few options. Read the Viewpoints articles below for strategies on making the most of 529 savings and student loans, and helping grandparents and students pitch in.

Smart 529 spending

Smart 529 spending

Now that college is closer, it's time to think about spending the money you've put aside in your child's 529 account. You’ll be in control of how much is withdrawn and how it’ll be used, but there are a few things you need to know up front to make the most of your savings.

  • What can you use this money for?
  • Which expenses trigger taxes and penalties?
  • What if you have money left over in your 529 plan?
Read the full article.

Student loan guide

A guide for student loans

Every parent dreams that his or her child will seek a college education that kick-starts a career and a promising future. Personal savings won't cover the cost of college for most people. Saving smartly can make a difference. Here are tips for parents and students to consider when borrowing for college:

  • Compare costs of different loan options.
  • Don't sacrifice saving for your own retirement along the way.
  • Consider borrowing from your home as an option.
Read the full article.

Grandparents can help

Grandparents can help

According to Fidelity’s 2014 Grandparents and College Savings Study,* 72% of grandparents think it’s important to help pay for their grandchildren’s college, and more than half (53%) of those surveyed are currently contributing or are planning to do so. Learn how your parents can play a role in your child’s future.

  • How much can grandparents set aside for each child?
  • How might their contribution impact financial aid?
  • Who has control of the account?
Read the full article.

When you buy a stock, bond, mutual fund, or other asset, you weigh the potential return on that investment. So why not consider the return on another big investment—your child’s college education?

  • Estimate total college costs
  • Consider future student debt burden
  • Balance those against salary potential
Read the full article.

Subscribe to Fidelity Viewpoints®.

Get our latest thinking on
the markets and investing.

College Savings Plans

It's easy—opening your new
account takes just minutes.

Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general and educational in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Tax laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change, which can materially affect investment results. Fidelity cannot guarantee that the information herein is accurate, complete, or timely. Fidelity makes no warranties with regard to such information or results obtained by its use, and disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or any tax position taken in reliance on, such information. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.
* Fidelity Investments, 2014 Grandparents and College Savings Study, June 2014.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917