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A College Savings Pep Talk

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Saturday, May 31 will mark the end of our 16th season of helping Washington families save for college. As the enrollment period is winding down, it’s the perfect chance to ramp up your college savings efforts. Need a little encouragement? We’ve planned a little pep talk to help you take your college savings game to the next level. To guide our discussion, we’ll reference some inspirational quotes from some of the most outstanding leaders in sports history. So, let’s get our game faces on and go win one for your kids!

“It’s not the will to win that matters…Everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” – Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant

Coach Bryant’s legacy is about much more than just a cool nickname and an even cooler houndstooth-patterned hat. He’s a true college football legend that led the Alabama Crimson Tide to six national championships and thirteen SEC conference titles. But this success didn’t just fall into his lap. As he notes above, it takes preparation. The same goes for saving for college. Of course we all want to see our kids to do well in school, go to college and ultimately be successful. But to make it happen, it takes thoughtful planning and commitment. We encourage you to sit down as a family and map out a game plan for fitting college savings into the rest of your financial planning. Once you come up with a plan that everyone agrees on, don’t delay in implementing it.

“Some people want it to happen. Some wish it would happen. Others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

keep-calm-and-save-for-college-1You probably don’t need us to remind you who MJ is, but in case the name isn’t ringing a bell, he’s that guy in all those Hanes commercials – remember? Oh, and he’s a six-time NBA champion, five-time MVP and arguably the best basketball player who ever lived – not too shabby. While his talent and aptitude for the game are unfathomable for most of us, Michael Jordan didn’t achieve what he did without hard work and the determination to do better. He was one of the fiercest competitors to ever play in the NBA, and his accomplishments reflect this. We can all learn from MJ’s determination to make things happen. It’s a great lesson for our kids and even greater reminder for us as parents. Just as it’s important to create and implement a college savings game plan, it’s important to refer back to it on a regular basis to see where you’re at with meeting your goals so that you can make adjustments and improvements as you go.

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – Coach John Wooden

Despite lacking the customary wand and pointed cap, the “Wizard of Westwood” was a true magician that left one of the largest marks in men’s college basketball history. Under John Wooden’s leadership, the UCLA Bruins won ten national championships in just twelve years. Wooden was revered not only for his success on the court, but also for his emphasis on building strong character in his players off the court. His thirteen words above are a simple, but powerful concept. It’s often hard to see in the moment how small, seemingly insignificant efforts can add up to a huge payoff in the end – but it’s true. So even if you’re only able to set aside small amounts to get your college savings started, it’s important to go for it and not be discouraged.

Go, fight, win!

In closing, no matter how much you’re able to set aside, it’s important to make a college savings plan when your kids are young, do what you can, keep your focus, and make adjustments as you go. The efforts that you can make today will make things that much easier when your child is ready to head off to school. When in doubt, just remind yourself to keep calm and save for college!


Written by Lucas Minor

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