May 15, 2018

The Science of Saving for a Chemistry Degree

The cost of a chemistry college course in the USA ranges from $16,000 to over $70,000 a year, making it one of the most expensive degrees available. However, given that chemists can go on to earn well above the national average salary, it is well worth making the investment. For most people, this means having a savings plan to help cover some of the costs and taking out a loan to cover the rest. With a few simple techniques, you can fund your chemistry dreams, whether for yourself or as a parent.

Accrue Interest By Starting Early
Savings accounts rely on accumulating interest over time. This means that the longer you save for, the more money you’ll come out with, even with the exact same up front investment. If you are raising the funds for your child, a good rule of thumb is to multiply their age by 2000 and put this amount straight into a savings account. This so-called “2K rule” will leave you confident that, by the time they reach 18, you’ll be able to afford half their course and can cover the rest with private student finance.

Selecting the Right Loan
The first thing to find out when looking for a loan is your credit score. This will be the ultimate decider of how much you pay. Settling old debts before taking out a student loan will help you secure something with a low interest rate. You should aim to find something with a fixed interest rate to avoid nasty surprises and look for other hidden fees such as administration costs. Search the internet for the best deals, but never take out more than you absolutely need and can repay.

Take Advantage of Tax Breaks
Since education is considered to be valuable to society, you may be eligible for a tax break. A 529 Plan is tax-advantaged savings scheme which is specifically used to pay for college tuition. Despite being the most cost-effective way to cover the cost of a college degree, it is used by less than 3% of students. Use this plan rather than prepaid tuition if you are also looking to cover living costs while at college.

Becoming a chemist is a dream for many people, but the high costs of tuition can be off putting. If you really want to get that college degree, then you’ll have to learn a little bit about finance. Save early in order to cover half your tuition costs, then carefully select a loan and tax-advantaged savings plan to pay for the rest.