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College is expensive, but it pays for students and parents to plan ahead

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Posted at 7:39 AM, Jun 24, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — School is out for summer, but college-bound kids can't forget to set themselves up for success.

Tuition, room and board. Books and food. The cost of going to college is expensive, and if you plan ahead you won't be stuck with dreaded college debt.

Kyle Benham with Benham Advisory Group said the first step is filling out the FAFSA form, a free application for federal student aid. Then, speak with your counselors about what scholarships you might qualify for. Any amount of money will help with high college fees.

"Another one that we encourage our clients to look into called the CSS profile," Benham said. "It's not as well known and about 400 colleges use it, but it's a great place to start if you're looking for financial aid."

Benham said his firm also recommends its clients start saving for their child's future when they are newborns. That gives the account 18 years to grow over time.

If that's the route you decide to take for your young child, Benham recommends a 529 plan. If they money is used for education, you don't have to pay taxes.