Posted by Lindsey Connell
(CBS) For many parents, saving for college is a daunting task. Stephanie AuWerter, Editor of SmartMoney.com, has some tips for making college more affordable.
Between inflation, student competitiveness and school selectivity, college costs are rising - fast. Your best bet is to start saving now so that you have some money put away for your children when they're ready to start college. "In 18 years, these numbers could be $175,000 for a public school and $375,000 for a private school [for four years]," says AuWerter.
For starters, try a 529 college savings plan. "The account grows tax deferred and withdrawals taken for college costs are tax free," says AuWerter. Picking the right plan, however, can be a little tricky. AuWerter suggests looking at your home state's plan first, but if the investments aren't great or the fees are too high, look elsewhere. For a breakdown, click here to visit SmartMoney.com's article on the best and worst 529 plans.