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7 Smart Ways to Pay for College

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College students who borrow graduate with an average of $25,250 in debt. That’s the equivalent of a new-car purchase or a down payment on a home. Even if some borrowing is inevitable for you, first explore other options to help you pay for college.

Coverdells, 529 plans and Roth IRAs come with tax advantages for college savers. Private scholarships are sources of free money. Custodial accounts offer investing flexibility. You just need a little lead time and some background on the alternatives.

We rounded up the best payment strategies, based on Kiplinger's extensive coverage of college values, college savings and student loans. We've highlighted the pros and cons of each option, as well as resources to help you get started. Check out our list of seven smart ways to pay for college.

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