Paying For



Start saving early

Save early. By now you’ve probably heard that thousands of times - "if you start now, you can be a millionaire with the power of compound interest." Well, sort of. It’s not quite that easy, but the theory is right.

Who doesn’t want to be millionaire? If you start saving money right now, you have a better shot of reaching that goal. In fact, if you start saving at age 18, by saving around $2.56 per day or about $79 per month (assuming 10% rate of return), you could be a millionaire by the time you’re 67! Can you cut $2.56 a day? Maybe you can eliminate trips to the vending machine, that fancy coffee drink or eating out once a day.

Saving early is also a great way to jump-start your ability to pay for college and keep student debt in check. Here are a few other tips to help you manage college expenses:

  • Start an education savings – if you haven’t already, talk to your parents about setting up a savings account for your education. They can ask about options like a 529 College Savings Plan, a tax-advantaged plan, a Roth IRA, or a Coverdell Education Savings Account. And the same goes for you: it’s not too late to set up your own education savings account and get similar tax benefits.
  • Research financial aid opportunities – there is a wide variety of financial aid available including grants and scholarships, we’ve got lots of great resources for you! You can also check with your employer for scholarship opportunities. Many employers help their employees pay for their education through scholarships, tuition assistance, etc. It’s a good idea to check with your benefits coordinator within Human Resources.
  • And don’t forget that every penny counts – summer jobs, paid internships and co-ops can help you plan for expenses such as books and room and board.

If you or your parents have questions or want to learn more, reach out to the CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS)* financial advisors and registered representatives on WPCU’s Retirement Solutions team, available through CFS.* Our Retirement Solutions Professionals are happy to help!

Investing in your future.

Preparing for college expenses is critical so that you’re not taken by surprise or wind up short. So, it’s time to do the math and come up with a realistic number that you can shoot for. Remember: college is a long-term investment in your future that will most likely pay off. The average income level of someone at least 25 years old with a bachelor’s degree is on average $30,264 more than the salary of a high school graduate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here’s a simple way to start doing the math. Start with recording the expenses you know about, and estimate other expenses to start coming up with an annual figure.

Direct Expenses $ Indirect Expenses $
Tuition and fees   Books and other supplies  
On-campus housing   Off-campus housing  
On-campus meal plan   Off-campus meals  
Orientation fees   Transportation  
Activity fees   Personal expenses  
Lab fees   Other supplies  


Then SUBTRACT: Scholarships, loans, or grants, and that gives you a good idea of what college will cost you per year!

You can also lower the cost by referring to some articles on this site, including: Education Loans, Financial Aid, and Paying for College.

As a WSU student, you and your family also have access to GradReady, an online resource to help you prepare for life during and after college. WPCU Student Choice has informative articles and blogs too. Gather as much information as you can and ask lots of questions. It will make life easier when it comes to paying for your education.

Disclosure: *Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer. (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Wright-Patt Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.

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