Five Small Ways to Save for College in High School

You may think that as a high school student there isn’t a whole lot you can do to pay for your college education, but, you might be surprised how a little can go a long way.

For those of you who won’t qualify for financial aid but are still responsible for generating the funds, or for those of you who want to decrease your loan amount by contributing what you can, here is a list of small ways to save that can help you big while you’re still in high school.

$20/Week: While you’re probably only making a few hundred dollars a month with a part time job, if you can afford to place $20.00 from every weekly paycheck into a savings account your junior and senior years of high school, that’s over $2,000 by the time you enter college. That’s equivalent to one-third of the average tuition for one year at state school.

Save Those Birthday Cards: Instead of blowing the $50 you received from grandma on your birthday on new clothes or movie tickets, start a saving account while you’re still in high school for any money you receive between now and college. Between birthdays, Christmases, family traditions, holidays, and your graduation, you could find yourself with another $1,000 to put toward college. That could pay for one year of textbooks and school supplies.

Talk to Your Bank: While having a savings account is great, you may not have the best savings account for your specific needs. Talk to your bank about the best account to save for college, as some accounts may have higher interest rates, which will provide you with a little extra money in the long run. You may also want to inquire about CDs- Certificates of Deposit. A CD allows you to deposit money at a bank as you would an account; however you will be unable to access that money for a given amount of time, whether that be six months or several years. When that time is up, you’ll receive your money back in addition to the interest accumulated on it. As a minor, you will likely have to have your parents set up the CD with the bank.

Roll Your Pennies: It may sound completely ridiculous and childish, but saving spare change in a jug over years at a time has been proven to add up quickly. According to a Banking My Way article published in 2009, a family was able to save $7,000 in change over five years. That could be a whole year’s worth of tuition! While you may not be able to hit that number, others report having saved around $400 a year with this method.

Senior Sale: Before going off to college, you may want to do some serious springcleaning. Perhaps you don’t actually want to, but your parents aren’t giving you a choice. Instead of tossing everything away, include yourself in a neighborhood yard sale, or sell your old things on sites such as Craigslist or eBay. A little extra cash can pay for honor society fees, club t-shirts, and other little college expenses you may not have foreseen.

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