Can't believe it's been over 25 years since we made the best decision for our family. We were a very busy young family with four children, very close together in ages.  In 1990, my husband, Jack, was a high school teacher and I was a registered nurse. The kids would have been 6, 8, 8, and 10 (yes, twins in the middle). We knew the potential of having three kids in college for four years in a row was a very overwhelming possibility. We so hoped for that possibility to come to fruition as we knew the importance of an education . . . but at the same time we knew how much that would cost. That, in and of itself, made us think of every penny we spent.

Jack and I came from very different backgrounds.  He paid for his own college education, even withdrawing for a period of time to serve our country via the National Guard.  I, on the other hand, had college paid for by my parents.

Budgeting for the education of our four children needed to be a priority. We wanted to invest in their future education in a way that wasn't so overwhelming.  Jack remembered the chunks of money he needed to pay his college tuition bill. I remembered my Dad writing the checks to cover mine. We knew college for our kids would have to be creatively financed by parents AND kids. We both agreed that CollegeAdvantage was the best way for us as parents to save by utilizing payroll deductions. With payroll deduction, we could save in reasonable amounts that would add up over time. As our salary increased, that money was redirected into our CollegeAdvantage savings accounts.

We knew that the kids would have to contribute, too. So, we encouraged a good work ethic, not only saving money for college but the value of earning good grades with the hopes of scholarships, grants, and other opportunities for higher education. All four children utilized their personal savings, scholarships or grants, and CollegeAdvantage to pay for their higher education, thus investing in their own future.

Our children are now adults of whom we are very proud.  We have wonderful sons and daughter-in-laws, and ​four grandchildren. We continue the importance of saving for a higher education by contributing to our grandchildren's college funds.

Thank you for this opportunity to help me reflect on my blessings in life and how Jack and I are honored to be their parents and grandparents.

Linda Jacquemin

Hamilton, Ohio

Original published April 17, 2015. Information has been updated.
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