Indiana College Costs Estimator

Other Financial Resources

Where else do families turn for money to help cover college costs beyond available parent and student income and traditional cash, checking and savings/investment accounts? Not every student or family has these options, but some to consider are the following:

Home Equity Line of Credit

For those families that own a home, they may be able to borrow against the net worth of the home or the “home equity.” (Home equity is defined as the home’s value minus any debt still owed against it.) If you consider this option, the lender that holds the current mortgage on your home may be the best place to start since you already have a credit relationship established. You should also discuss with your accountant the possible tax benefits of a home equity loan used to help pay for college costs.

Cash Values Built Up In Life Insurance Policies

Some families have taken out “whole life” life insurance policies in which the cash value has built up over the years and may be available to the policy holder. Some insurance companies will let you borrow against the cash value at very favorable rates, while still maintaining the face value of the insurance policy in terms of the death benefit.

Retirement Accounts

For most parents, borrowing against a retirement account is the last option because the money that is borrowed is no longer compounding for their retirement years. Remember, you will need this money some day. However, some retirement accounts allow parents to borrow against the account with pretty favorable terms.

Cooperative Semesters

Some colleges have arranged “co-ops” where students are paid while working a job related to their field of study. This can be an excellent way to not only earn money to defray the cost of tuition but also gain valuable experience that will build a resume and help secure employment after college.


Internships are another good way to acquire experience in a job-related setting and connect the classroom and the workplace. Not all internships are paid, but those that are become an additional financial resource for the student and family.