If your child has submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and you are waiting to find out how much financial aid you’ll receive, it might be a good idea to explore a few backup options for covering costs.

You likely know about the traditional methods — savings, scholarships, grants and student loans — but there are also other means out there that may be right for your family.

Before you decide how to pay for your child’s college tuition, compare the options. We encourage you to consult a financial planner for more details and assistance creating the right strategy for your family. Also seek competent tax advice before making any loans or withdrawals from a tax-deferred saving program such as a 401(k) or an IRA retirement account.

The chart below compares some nontraditional, but still feasible, ways to pay for your child’s education. For a printable version, click here.

Before you decide how to pay for college, compare the options. Consult a financial planner for more details and assistance creating the right strategy for your family. Also seek competent tax advice before taking any loans or withdrawals from a tax-deferred savings program such as a 401(k) or an IRA retirement account.

Additional Sources:

Fred Amrein, founding principal of Amrein Financial and College Affordability LLC and author Financial Aid and Beyond: Secrets to College Affordability
Joseph Orsolini, co-founder of College Aid Planners
Ashley Feinstein, founder of The Fiscal Femme
IRS Tax Topic 307
IRS Tax Topic 558
IRS Retirement Plan Loans
IRS Retirement Plans FAQ Regarding Loans
IRS Hardships, Early Withdrawals and Loans
CFPB Home Equity Loans
IRS Interest on Home Equity Still Deductible Under New Law
With the Tax Deduction Gone, Is Home Equity a Smart Way to Pay for College
IRS Employer Tuition Reimbursement

FAFSA is a registered service mark of the US Department of Education.