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Tax breaks, savings plans help ease the burden

Start saving now, says Joyce Hall, director of the Division of Financial Aid - and stay aware.

No matter how old your children are, Hall says, the time to start planning for college is now.

"Really, we say you should start saving money for college the minute you bring that child home from the hospital," she says. "But it's never too late." Parents and students should be aware of tax laws that recently have been enacted to help save for college, Hall says.

"Families already have started reaping the benefits of some of those laws," she says. "Setting up special savings accounts and IRAs for college are working for many families."

Hall suggests that families contact a tax planner or the Internal Revenue Service for specific information about tax breaks for savings.

Similarly, when looking for scholarships, families should keep their eyes and ears open.

"We suggest that people start looking as sophomores in high school, just to be aware of what's out there," Hall says. "And students need to make sure they follow up on any scholarship they may apply for or be eligible for."

Sites on the World Wide Web can help in the scholarship search. The Division of Financial Aid site has links to several resources for scholarship searches.

Families also may want to check with employers or civic organizations for possible grants and scholarships offered.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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