Your most meaningful investment

College is a meaningful experience for many, exposing them to new ideas, gaining cultural awareness, and diving into what their life’s mission will be.

Still, with college costs on the rise and a national student loan crisis, many are wondering if higher education will be attainable for their loved ones.

Families who have a plan to pay for every year of college before enrollment are 3x as likely to be confident about meeting the cost of higher education.

Source: Sallie Mae. (2020). How America Pays for College 2020: What You Need to Know.

How we can help

No matter where you’re starting from, a sound college funding strategy moving forward allows you to focus on what matters not about how you’ll afford tuition.

We walk alongside you as you sort through your college funding options and keep you on track for your funding goal. Specializing in whole-person financial strategies, we help incorporate college funding into your strategy without abandoning retirement or other priorities.

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Expertly coordinating your options

There are several college funding plan options that are available to choose from, with the appropriate options for you depending upon your specific financial situation and goals. An experienced financial professional can help you analyze your resources and options and find a combination of tools to successfully launch your student into their next stage of life:

529 plans

529 plans allow you and other loved ones make contributions that will grow tax deferred for future education costs. Each state has different tax considerations for 529 savings, it is important to consult with a professional familiar with the laws in your state.

Coverdell ESAs

Similar to 529 plans, contributions to Coverdell ESAs (Education Savings Accounts) grow tax deferred and beneficiaries can receive tax-free distributions to pay qualified education expenses. However, they do have a $2,000 yearly contribution limit and are subject to certain restrictions that a financial professional can help you evaluate.

UGMA/UTGA accounts

Custodial accounts under the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) or Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) allow you to invest for costs to benefit a child, including college costs. Any loved one can contribute to these accounts, subject to annual gifting limits, and there are no penalties if the funds are not used for education.

Grants and scholarships

Although unpredictable, grants and scholarships are incredibly helpful sources for funding. A North Star financial professional can help you incorporate them into your strategy without leaning on them exclusively.


As long as they are manageable and not a sole funding source, student loans are a perfectly viable option for affording college for many families. The key is having a financial professional by your side to coach and guide you through your loan options and help you make an informed decision for you and your student’s long-term financial health.

How America pays for college


Source: Sallie Mae. (2020). How America Pays for College 2020: What You Need to Know.