February 17, 2011 | | 1 Comment Whether you are a former college student, a current college student, or you are considering college,Â you most likelyÂ have seen changes in tuition costs through the years.Â Unfortunately, those costs are on the rise.Â What does this mean for our own children when it’s time for them to enter through those learning doors of higher education?Â It’s a scary thought isn’t it?Â The truth is most likely those costs will be pretty high.Â Our jobs will be to encourage our children to work hard in school in order to obtain scholarships to help cut those tuition costs on top of college funds. According to the SallieMae Calculator by the year 2024, collegeÂ tuitionÂ may be pretty high.Â HereÂ isÂ what the average cost of annualÂ tuition costsÂ looked like in 2007: For two-year public colleges $2, 191 For four-year colleges and universities (In state), $5, 491 For private four-year colleges and universities $21,235 According to Pinyo over at Moolanmy,Â Â here are some other figures to consider on top of these costs: Annual cost of attendance: $22,000 Years until child starts college: 17 years (This figure beginning from 2007) Expected annual cost increase: 7% Expected number of years of college: 4 The grand total according to the above informationÂ just for one child is estimated to be $308,549.Â It is most likely higher than these figures nowÂ being four years later.Â I already feel my head spinning.Â SoÂ by 2021 with my first child attending college can you imagine the rise in tuition costs by my second and third child?Â Â The grand total alone is so very discouraging.Â It could be over $900,000 for my children to get a college degree. Phew!Â A very overwhelming and intimidating number to say the least. Another figure that caught my attention was say your child was born in 2003 like my oldest.Â Experts are saying that by 2021 tuition costs for a public institution could be $95,000 for an undergraduate degree.Â A private college could run towards $240,000.Â So as you can seeÂ most likelyÂ tuition costs willÂ continue to climb from 2021. Can you imagine what it will look like by 2024 and so on? It’s a good idea to start college funds as soon as possible.Â Whether it’s your own private fund or a special college fund it’s good to get a head start on these things.Â Let’s take a look at some of college saving programs available for your children.Â Family members can even jump on board as well. College Savings Plans 529 Plan– What is the 529 plan?Â Â The site Saving for College states “the 529 plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs.” “It is named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code which created these types of savings plans in 1996.Â Every state at least has one of these plans available.” Upromise– “Upromise is a free service that helps you get money for college bills and student loans from the things you do all the time: Buy groceries, shop online, fill you gas tank and much more.” ~Upromise Coverdell Education Savings Accounts– (ESA) This incentive is created to help parents and students save for college education costs.Â For more information got to IRS.gov Prepaid tuition accounts– Prepaid plans allows individuals to purchase a fixed percentage of tuition.Â Basically you can lock in tuition rates.Â For detailed information on prepaid tuition accounts and plans go to “Prepaid Tuition and Savings Plans.” U.S Savings Bonds– Savings Bonds are highly recommended as you cannot buy or sell them unless authorized to do so.Â If your child’s names are on the savings bonds, they are the owners.Â These are the safest way to go.Â For more information you can go directly to the “Savings Bonds” website. Custodial Accounts– These are the most controversial of savings plans.Â Why? It is a savings account in your child’s name which the parent controls until they are of the legal age of 18-21.Â According to BabyCenter “these accounts are very easy to set up with a few restrictions.”Â There are however some serious disadvantages to custodial accounts one of them being the accounts are taxed heavily.Â For more details on the disadvantages of these types of accounts go to BabyCenter/Saving for college. Individual Retirement Accounts-(IRA) According to Investopedia, “this type of account is basically just an investing tool used by individuals to earn and earmark funds for retirement savings.” If you currently serve or have formerly served in the military, there are additional scholarships for you and your children.Â Go to Spouse Buzz for more details. Do you feel like you are running out of time or losing time saving for your child’s future college education?Â No worries, according to Money Central you still have options available to you to help reduce those rising college tuition costs.Â Check out the article “Cram for college costs in five years or less” by Liz Pulliam Weston. For more information on which savings plan is right for you go to “The College Savings Plans Network.” Have you started a college savings fun for your child or children?Â Please feel free to share with us your progress and possibly which college savings route you took.