Experts urge parents to prioritize their financial security over children’s college costs

Study: 20% of parents with kids under 18 have not started a college fund

InvestigateTV - Saving money for your child’s college education is a goal for many, but experts caution it should not come at the expense of your personal financial security.

According to a recent NerdWallet study, 20% of parents with children under the age of 18 have not started saving for their children’s college education.

Cecilia Clark from NerdWallet suggested several options for parents who simply cannot afford college costs without going into debt or sacrificing their retirement.

Consider community colleges: Students can take basic courses at a much cheaper rate and then transfer those credits to a four-year college.

Apply for FASA: The Free Application for Student Aid opens each year on October 1 - apply every year to see what aid may be available to your child.

“Your child ultimately has the option for grants, scholarships, if need be, loans,” said Clark. “You don’t have those options to fund your retirement. You don’t have those options to make sure that you stay financially healthy now.”

She advised you prioritize your retirement and then figure out what you can reasonably save for your child’s college.

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa is NBC12's On Your Side Investigator. Before joining WWBT in March of 2008 Rachel worked in Roanoke, Bristol and Harrisonburg.