Paying For College
Getting ready for school? SunTrust can help.
Before you look into paying for college expenses, it's important to know how much money you'll need, what your options are and how to avoid getting too over-burdened with debt before you've earned a degree.
For most students, setting foot on campus will come with a hefty price tag and not just because of the rising costs of college tuition, room and board. Many people hear a lot of advice about how to save for a college education. It's never too early to start saving; and a little saving today goes a long way toward the future.
10 things to consider when saving for college, that can help you long term:
- Start Saving Early
- Try Not to Get Discouraged by the Cost of College
- You Can't Always Depend on Financial Aid
- Research More Ways to Save Money
- Consider Well-Endowed Private Colleges
- Check Out Other Sources of Funding
- Try Putting Savings in Your Child's Name
- Look Into a College Savings Plans
- Try To Avoid Picking Risky Investments
- Your Retirement Fund is For Your Retirement
- Federal student loans (Stafford, PLUS and Grad PLUS) - offered by the federal Direct loan program; learn more. If you need help understanding the difference between federal and private student loans, view our loan comparison chart.
- Private Student Loans - With a private student loan from SunTrust, have the money you need for education related expenses. Students have the option to either defer or make payments while enrolled at least half-time at an approved school. Compare private student loan options offered by SunTrust.
- Home equity loans - If you own a home or other property, you may want to explore options for home equity loans to finance college tuition and expenses.
- Home equity lines of credit - A home equity line of credit offers a smart, flexible and affordable way to use your home's equity to pay for the important things in your life both now and in the future.
No matter what stage you're at in planning for a college education, you'll need to determine how much you need to save, estimate the cost of college and analyze financing needs for each year of college. Our calculators can help you determine how much you may need to save or borrow for college.
- Education Budget Calculator - Figure out your annual costs for college.
- Funding Analysis Calculator - Use this tool once you know how much scholarships, grants and financial aid are going to cover.
- What Will It Take To Save For College? - Calculates different combinations to save a lump-sum amount to pay college expenses for a child or someone else and the future cost of tuition based on the college cost inflation rate that you designate.
- How Much Should I Budget For College Living Expenses? - helps you to budget for living expenses for one year of college
- Is A College Meal Plan A Good Deal? - helps you determine the average cost per meal for a meal plan
- Should I Live On Campus, Off Campus Or At Home? - allows you to budget and compare costs of different living arrangements while attending college
- What Expenses Do I Face Prior To Attending College? - helps you budget for expenses that are directly related to the cost of getting ready to attend college
- What Investments Can I Use To Save For College? - explains some of the options you have to save for college based on your income, tax filing status, and intended savings
SunTrust has complied several resources to help navigate through college financing well before college has started and beyond:
- Choosing a 529 College Savings Plan - With so many 529 plans to choose from, you'll need to ask a lot of questions in order to select the best plan for you.
- 529 vs. Other College Savings Plans - When you're investing for a major goal like a college education, it makes sense to be familiar with all of your saving options.
- How to Borrow for College - It's important to familiarize yourself with the range of student loan options available.
- Financial Aid: Are You Missing Out on Free Money? - Steps to help you find funding that meets your financial and academic needs.
- Tips to Maximize Your College Fund - Learn new ways to plan for a higher education.
- Scholarships and Grants - Before you get a loan, we encourage you to try getting scholarships and grants first. We've prepared a list of a few popular sites to help you get started.
- College Tuition Guide - View our college tuition guide to get an idea of what the cost of attending college will be.
- College Costs: Beyond College Tuition, Room, and Board - It is important to be prepared for those extra college expenses.
- Personal Finance Lessons: Budget Planning for College Students - Living on your own while in school will provide a wealth of real-world lessons, including the importance of keeping to a monthly budget.
- Juggling College and a Part-Time Job - Being a college student can be stressful. When you add a job to the mix you may feel completely overwhelmed. One of the keys to staying calm is time management and making your studies and your job work for you.
- Money Management - Developing good money management skills while you are in college is essential for preparing for life after you graduate.
- Budgeting - You're responsible for handling your own money and that requires some organization on your part.
- Money Smarts for College Students - Money management tips for college-bound students.
Paying for college can be a challenge. SunTrust can help navigate the options.
Before you look into paying for your college expenses, it's important to know how much money you'll need. Our money management resources, tools, and budgeting tips can help.
Financial Aid Tools
Use our college tuition guide and step-by-step guide to paying for college for planning advice on how to avoid getting too over-burdened with debt before you've earned a degree.
Scholarships & Grants
Before you get a loan, we encourage you to try getting scholarships and grants first. Our list of online resources can help. You can also register for the SunTrust Off to College Scholarship Sweepstakes (see Official Rules for details).