Savings for College
There are many ways to save for college – set aside money every week, open a savings account at your bank, fill a mason jar.
529 Plans are also a popular option. A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution to help families set aside funds for future college costs. They are called 529 Plans, because they were authorized by section 529 of the IRS code.
Mississippi offers two savings plans, administered by the State Treasury Department:
MPACT allows Mississippi residents to pre-pay for college tuition and mandatory fees (thus locking in the rates) at Mississippi public colleges and universities or for private or out-of-state colleges based on Mississippi’s average tuition rates.
MACS is an investment program that allows families to invest money for tuition, books, room and board, required supplies, and graduate school. MACS funds may be used at any accredited college or university anywhere in the U.S.
AmeriCorps and America Reads – Mississippi
AmeriCorps, the domestic Peace Corps, engages more than 50,000 Americans in intensive, results-driven volunteer service each year. Students who join AmeriCorps as members can earn education awards of varying amounts depending on the type and length of service.
America Reads – Mississippi AmeriCorps members may earn a $4,725 award to attend qualified institutions of higher education or training, or to repay qualified student loans.
Many employers will pay tuition and other fees for their employees. Check with your employer or potential employer about this benefit, or ask your college of choice about partnerships the college may have with local employers.
Some employers will even pay your entire college tuition and allow you to attend school full time in exchange for your commitment to work with the company for a specified period of time after graduation.
Military service offers a number of education benefits that can be used while you are on active duty or after you leave the service.
You’ve probably heard of the GI Bill, which is the main piece of legislation that outlines the educational benefits of serving in the military. There is one GI Bill for Active Duty Members and Veterans and another for Reservists.
You might also consider ROTC – Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC), which helps pay college tuition and book costs and provides a monthly stipend. ROTC allows you to earn a degree while developing military skills.