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Save Money for K-12 and College Expenses

Attention, parents and guardians of K-12 students in Massachusetts! The time to start planning and saving for tuition, room and board, fees, books, supplies, and technology is now. To afford the expense, most families use a combination of grants and scholarships (which don't have to be paid back), loans (which do), and savings plans, which are addressed below. If you're looking to save money for your child's elementary, secondary, and/or postsecondary education, we have listed a wide range of options for you! Saving money using one of these options might not be advisable for everyone, so if you feel like you need to talk to someone who can help you make the right decision, contact the experts at the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA).

Savings Accounts for Your K-12 Student's Special Education Expenses

Families can now save on the costs of educating a K-12 student with disabilities (as defined by the Social Security Administration). Here in Massachusetts, families of students with severe disabilities may set up an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings account, called Attainable, administered by the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA). Take advantage of tax savings and multiple investment options that will give your child access to education services and other qualified expenses (like employment training and support, assistive technology and related services) throughout life, no matter what grade your child is in.

NamePays for...Who is eligible?
AttainableGeneral costsK-12 students with severe disabilities
Coverdell accountsGeneral costsAll students
U.Fund (Massachusetts 529 plan)General costsAll students

Savings Accounts for College/Postsecondary Expenses

The options you have for college savings plans continue to expand. Study the various types of accounts, and then open one and start saving.

Tax-free Educational Savings Accounts: Tax-free accounts dedicated entirely to saving for college
NamePays for...Who is eligible?
U.Fund (Massachusetts 529 plan)General costsAll students
Coverdell accountsGeneral costsAll students

Early College Options: Pay for college tuition years in advance, or save money by earning college credit while in high school.
NamePays for...Who is eligible?
Early college programsFree or discounted college creditAll high school students
U.Plan Prepaid TuitionTuition in advanceStudents who want to enroll in a Massachusetts public university
Tuition plan consortiumTuition in advanceStudents who want to prepay tuition for hundreds of private colleges, including 13+ in Massachusetts
Advanced placement testsFree or discounted college credit at select institutionsAll high school students

Local Educational Savings Accounts: Available only in select school districts
NamePays for...Who is eligible?
$eedMAGeneral costsWorcester and Monson Public School students
BostonSavesGeneral costsFive Boston Public Schools elementary schools
InversantGeneral costsBoston, Chelsea, Lynn, Salem
Invest in College SuccessGeneral costs~1,500 community college students
The WorkforceGeneral costsCambridge students in public housing
SoarMAGeneral costsStudents at five middle schools in Haverhill, Springfield, Lowell, Worcester, and Pittsfield

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Though there are limitations, IRAs allow parents to withdraw funds early and penalty-free, but not tax-free, in order to pay for a child's education.
NamePays for...Who is eligible?
Roth IRAGeneral costsAll students
Traditional IRAGeneral costsAll students

Other retirement accounts (401(k), 403(b), or 457 plans): Parents may borrow against these accounts to obtain a student loan, though it's best to consult a financial expert before doing so. Should parents choose to withdraw money from these accounts early, both penalties and taxes will be applied.
NamePays for...Who is eligible?
401(k) planGeneral costsAll students
403(b) planGeneral costsAll students
457 planGeneral costsAll students



Last Updated: May 4, 2018
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