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How parents and grandparents can manage the expense of multiple college tuitions

Families with more than one student face particularly expensive decisions. Here are 11 tips to juggle all those college costs. This article is reprinted by permission from

Jared Young has been thinking about paying his children’s college tuitions their whole lives. Longer than that, in fact.

“Before they were born, we were thinking about it,” says Young, 52, of Castalia, Ohio.

With two children in college now and two children in high school, he and his wife Jody have their hands full in finding enough money for multiple college tuitions. The good news is they started saving when the children were babies.

“I set up a 529 plan for every one of them,” Young says.

Whether you started saving early like the Young family or are just getting started, here are 11 ways to manage multiple college tuition bills.

11 tips to afford college 1. Utilize 529 plans. Looking for a place to stash your college savings for your children? A state-sponsored 529 college savings plan is a useful resource.

“In many cases, it’s the best tool to save for college,” says Ryan Derousseau, a certified financial planner at United Financial Planning Group in New York. “The money grows tax-free if you use it for qualified educational expenses.

“And,” he adds, “with new laws in place, if your kid decides against college or gets scholarships, a portion of the 529 funds can shift to a Roth (retirement-savings account) for your kid or you can move the 529 to another family member who does want to go to college.”

Learn more: The pros and cons of 529 savings plans, prepaid plans and how to decide