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We Asked Our Parents For Their Most Clutch College-Financing Tips And Here’s What They Said

Saving for college can feel like the most trying part of parenthood. Take the stress out of paying for college with student loans that fit your future from College Ave Student Loans.

1. Open a 529.

"I'll keep it short and sweet: Open a 529 account and start putting money in when your child is born! I've already started, and I'm so glad I did."

—Katie R.

2. Avoid ~certain~ investments.

"My father advises taking out government undergraduate loan options before private student loans, as those have the best terms. And parents: Really consider if you’ll want to cover both undergraduate and graduate school…covering both can really add up!”

—Victoria H.

3. Consider a monthly plan.

"My mom noted that what really helped her and my dad was that my school offered a monthly payment plan for tuition instead of demanding all of it upfront; this way, we didn't have to take out any loans. Not every school offers this, but, because mine did, it really helped us out in the long run."

—Julieann S.

4. Start a conversation.

"My mother recommends speaking to parents of graduates — people you know and are close with who have experience putting a child through school. They'll have specific insight you really can't find anywhere else."

—Amanda B.

5. Don't be shy: Ask for more aid.

"My dad suggested honing your negotiation skills before diving into conversations with your school's financial aid office. Sometimes, if you can create a strong enough case for yourself, it can quite literally pay off."

Jillian P.

6. Find your own way to finance the things that aren't necessities.

"My parents said that what helped them a ton was the fact that I commuted to school. I knew that if I wanted to dorm, I'd need to find a way to cover my room and board. That's partially how I ended up as an RA."

—Kyle D.

7. Prioritize needs over wants.

"My dad strongly recommends creating a budget. Itemizing everything you must spend money on — needs not wants — is essential. Then track all spending for at least a month and see where the money is going. Then curate that strict budget and stick to it."

—Tara P.

8. Don't skimp on scholarships.

"My dad says: If possible, try to meet necessary requirements to graduate in under four years, get involved in a work-study program, and seek out as many scholarships as you can."

—Christopher D.

9. Think outside the box.

"So my dad is actually a professional pole vaulting coach for high school–aged kids. He told me that many of them end up getting great scholarships because it's such a unique sport. Finding something niche, like pole vaulting, that you actually enjoy can really end up benefitting you in the long run."

—Joseph R.

All images from Getty/iStock

Looking for a better student loan experience? Start with College Ave Student Loans, where you can find the tools and resources you need to find success and pay for school without the stress.