In 2015, CollegeAdvantage celebrated its 25th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, many longtime account owners shared their Saving Stories and how using CollegeAdvantage helped them achieve their goals. We are fortunate to have these encouraging stories of how families prioritized their children’s higher education and are sharing them again. 

I am probably one of your longest-saving customers and still saving for my young son! Yes, I have a 6th grader currently! I have 2 daughters who are 16 and 14 years older than their brother and have already obtained their undergraduate and master’s degrees!

We started saving for college when the girls were born. We began a portfolio of savings approaches, including CollegeAdvantage. We made a commitment and stuck to it. There were ups and downs in our investments and our careers, especially during the BIG economic downturn of the new millennium, but we stayed the course. Suddenly, college was looming for the girls, my husband and I were not employed, and surprise, our son came along! The first decade of the millennium was filled with stress as we tried to do it all - we were older parents caring for a baby, had 2 girls in college, moving and finding new jobs, and caring for elderly parents in end of life situations! There was no money to save for college anymore.

We relied on PSEOP classes at OSU and Columbus State the girls took while they were in high school, college credits earned in high school through AP classes, scholarships, internships, loans, and our portfolio of college investments to get the girls through university. 

Both girls have been very successful. Our oldest attended Miami University (OH) earning a BS in Education with French and Spanish K-12 certifications. She studied abroad in Spain, France, and Mexico, and also earned two Master’s degrees at BGSU. She is currently teaching French at Dublin Coffman and Dublin Scioto high schools. She says it is a bit weird to have her former teachers as peers and to be teaching siblings of her brother’s friends. She may even have her brother as a student in a couple years!

Our younger daughter’s path has been similar. She graduated from the University of Miami (FL). Yes, a different Miami school! She graduated in 3 1/2 years from UM despite spending a summer studying in Hong Kong and China, and a semester abroad on a cruise ship through Semester At Sea. Her degree is a BS in Business in International Finance & Marketing with minors in French and Spanish. Currently, she is with Philosophy brand of Coty Inc. in NYC working as the Manager of Consumer Insights and Analytics. She hopes to get a Master’s degree at some point, too. 

Our youngest is now 12 years old and in 6th grade. His graduation year is 2021. Wow! He receives a check for CollegeAdvantage each year for Christmas from his grandmother, who continues to add to his portfolio. We were also able to transfer some of the extra, leftover funds in both girls’ accounts to his CollegeAdvantage account, so he is well on his way.

We also add to our savings with Upromise, a CollegeAdvantage partner. By shopping online through the Upromise website, we have added over $1,000 to his CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan account. Rebate checks from Upromise purchased books for my girls while they were in college. It is a great partnership that we continue to use.

Discipline to start saving monthly via payroll or checking account deductions is a must to meet financial goals to fund college tuition. Being willing to take a risk with investments and having time on your side is another must for young families. Looking for other resources such as, loans, scholarships, and the like are due diligence activities that all parents should take to fulfill their goals. 

Thanks Ohio and CollegeAdvantage for great programs to save and making college affordable to all. CollegeAdvantage has been a great resource/investment for us and definitely enabled us to fulfill our dreams of providing a college education for our children.

Barbara and Robert Humphrey

Dublin, Ohio

This Saving Story was first published on April 23, 2015.
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