Attending college or graduate school can be your ticket to a better career, or the path to advancement in your current job. Even taking a few classes to upgrade your skills is a good professional move. Either way, pursuing a higher education, whether directly after high school or as an adult, has its challenges, particularly financial ones. You’ve probably heard the expression “Time is money.” Well, you’ll need plenty of both. Paying for college often involves financial sacrifices, but there are ways to lessen the bite. Personal savings, financial aid, private loans, and employer-funded tuition may be available to you, and a CPA knowledgeable about education tax credits and deductions can help you out at tax time.

Consider college for your child. The first step is to determine what your child’s college funding needs will be, and there are many on-line calculators available to help you predict this amount. Once you determine your financial requirements, you will want to find the best ways to fulfill them. A professional financial planner and CPA can help you select the best investments for a college savings fund, and point out tax incentives like state savings and prepaid tuition plans, known collectively as 529 plans, which are long term, college savings vehicles that grow tax deferred each year, and withdrawals remain tax-free if the money is used for college. When considering returning to school yourself, there are other tax incentives available to you, such as a portion of employer-provided educational assistance being tax free, student loan interest deduction, or the Hope credit and Lifetime Learning credit, both designed to reimburse you for portions of your tuition and fees paid.

A college education in today’s world is a wise investment in an individual’s future. Let the experts in the office of Deborah J Kent help guide you through the maze of financial aid options and tax incentives available.