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Sep 6, 2011 7:31 PM by Melissa Hawkes

State Officials Advise to Start Saving for College Early

Paying for college can be a huge expense for parents, but one state program is helping alleviate some of those costs. It's a college savings program called a 529 plan. It doesn't cost anything to open up the account and you can start saving as soon as your child gets a social security card

Executive Director for the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, David Roberts, said "many parents feel I don't have to save for my child's education in Louisiana if my child gets tops, that's going to pay for everything, but it's not."

One option is always a loan, but Roberts said it could put your child in a bind.

He said, "you don't want to get your child in bad debt with too many student loans."

Research shows if you take out college loans, you may be paying three times more than someone who saved.
Roberts said, "the state will contribute anywhere from two to fourteen percent of your annual deposits into your account for you. You pay no state or federal taxes."

Visit www.startsaving.la.gov for more information.



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