Ways to Pay for College: Parents Edition

Empowerly Team
Empowerly Team

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Those who see how expensive college will be for their children and would like to make a contribution have a few options. In order to make the exciting, empowering process of gifting your student an education as seamless as possible, know your options. Gather around; let’s talk about how to pay for college, parents.

Pay Directly

There is no easier way to pay for your child’s education than to save the money and pay for it outright. As much as you would like to contribute or can afford will mean taking out fewer loans for the student. This direct payment saves money in the end when you consider there is no interest building up.

In order to do this, a parent can set up a college account with a bank that simply allows them to put money in over time or parents can set up a 529 plan which allows them to save money for this specific purpose from the time the student is born.

For the parents that may not have saved or have a large amount to give but would still like to contribute, paying the interest on the student’s loans while they are in school is a great way to help.

Paying the college directly can and will affect financial aid; but it can still be worthwhile depending on your situation.


Loans are another option for the parents that would like to help but are unable to pay directly, for various reasons. Assisting students by taking out a loan to help pay for their education means the parents are responsible for the money they are taking out to assist the child, not the responsibility of the student. Students are responsible for the student loans they take out for their education, not the contributions you would like to make.

There are two different kinds of loans for families to consider. Federal PLUS loans are given to parents for the specific purpose of helping to fund their child’s education while there are also private parent student loans. The first type of loan is Federal meaning there are various repayment programs while the private loans often offer lower interest rates without the options in terms of repayment. Parents should consider and understand this completely before taking out a loan to help their child.

Living at Home

For parents that are looking to contribute in ways that aren’t directly monetary, they can offer a place for their child to continue to live without the high costs of room and board that go along with living away or on campus. This allows the student to save money, avoid higher loans, and for the parents to help in a significant way.

Finally, we cannot understate the importance of emotional support, as well. Believing in your child’s ability to succeed, encouraging them to continue, and providing a sympathetic ear; all of these meaningful actions help build a strong internal mentality for your student as they face challenges.

To Review

Parents, finding ways to pay for college with your student doesn’t have to be complicated. Working with an educated college counselor will demystify the process. Best of all, we can connect you to our partners SmartTrack College Funding as an Empowerly student to maximize the resources at your fingertips. Learn more about our community today, and all the ways we help students and families thrive. So you can spend more time on what matters: the memories of your student growing up, and all the excitement of what’s next.

Questions? Let us know!