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How to Plan for College

Learn more on how to keep college within reach.

Summary

Offers an overview of college planning strategies. This includes a description of the MFS 529 College Savings Plan, and its investing approach.

This also provides a listing of additional independent college resources covering costs, financial aid, scholarships, loans, grants, and more.

Keeping College in Reach

You know the importance of a college education in opening minds and doors. You also know how expensive it can be. The MFS 529 Savings Plan can help keep college in reach. 529 plans can be used to pay for tuition, fees, room, board, books, and required supplies at accredited colleges, universities, and vocational schools across the country.

Participation in a 529 plan, however, does not guarantee that contributions and the investment return on contributions, if any, will be adequate to cover future tuition and other higher education expenses.

Systematic investing adds up over time

College costs can be overwhelming today. But there are smart ways to work toward making college a reality, such as taking advantage of a systematic investing program. It enables you to invest a set amount of money on a regular schedule.

Maintain a balanced portfolio

For many investors, one of the main factors in determining long-term success is asset allocation – how you distribute your money among stocks, bonds, and cash. As part of a disciplined diversification investment strategy, asset allocation enables you to follow the proven three-step process – allocate, diversify, and rebalance.

Using a systematic investing program and diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against a loss in declining markets. You should consider your financial ability to continue investing through periods of low prices. The investments you choose should correspond to your financial needs, goals, and risk tolerance. Keep in mind that all investments, including mutual funds, carry a certain amount of risk including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. For assistance in determining your financial situation, please consult an investment professional.

Additional resources

There’s a lot to know when planning for college. Additional information on financial aid, college selection, and scholarships are available on the following Web sites.

Compare the difference between the major types of education loans that are available at www.edvisors.com

Get help searching for the right college, scholarships and loans at www.collegexpress.com

Wondering if a Parent PLUS loan is right for you? Learn more about these loans at www.edvisors.com

To get expert tips on financial aid, search for scholarships and download college applications, visit www.fastweb.com

Looking for a private student loan? Find potential lenders and loan options at www.edvisors.com

Compare 529 plans, read articles, calculate education costs, and more, go to www.savingforcollege.com

Learn more about finding the right school, testing, and paying for college at www.collegeboard.com

About the MFS 529 Savings Plan

The MFS 529 Savings Plan is a flexible college investing plan sponsored by the state of Oregon, acting by and through the Oregon 529 Savings Board and is part of the Oregon 529 Savings Network. MFS Fund Distributors, Inc. is the Program Manager. MFS 529 Savings Plan accounts are considered municipal fund securities.

Depending on your state of residence and the state of residence of the beneficiary, an investment in the MFS 529 Savings Plan may not afford you or your beneficiary state tax benefits or other benefits only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program. See your tax advisor to be sure you understand the tax issues related to a 529 plan. Withdrawals of earnings not used to pay for qualified higher education expenses are subject to an additional 10% federal tax penalty. State taxes may also apply.

There is a $25 annual account fee associated with the MFS 529 Savings Plan. This annual fee is waived for Oregon residents and for those accounts with assets of $25,000 or more. Other waivers may apply, check with your financial advisor. Investments in 529 plans involve investment risks. You should consider your financial needs, goals, and risk tolerance prior to investing.

Before investing in the MFS 529 Savings Plan, consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. For a prospectus or summary prospectus containing this and other information, as well as a Participant Agreement and Disclosure Statement and Expense Supplement, contact MFS or view online at mfs.com. Read it carefully.

MFS does not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. Individuals should not use or rely upon the information provided herein without first consulting with their tax or legal professional about their particular circumstances. Any statement contained in this communication (or elsewhere on this web site) concerning U.S. tax matters was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code. This communication was written to support the promotion or marketing of the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed.

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