Financing a College Education

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The Credit Union is honored to welcome the Laurel Police Department (Montana) and Festus Police Department (Missouri) into our field of membership. We look forward to serving you and your families. ... See MoreSee Less

20 hours ago
Congratulations! Thank you and stay safe!

Congratulations! Thank you and stay safe!PRESS RELEASE: Chief Booth is pleased to announce the hiring of the Roanoke Police Department’s newest Deputy Chief, Michael “Mike” Crawley. Deputy Chief joins the Roanoke Police Department after a nearly 25-year tenure with the Salem Police Department, from which he retired at the rank of Chief.

“Deputy Chief Crawley grew up in Roanoke, and he knows this community well,” said Roanoke Chief Scott Booth. “His education, tenure of service, and commitment to public safety speaks for itself. I am confident that he will be a great asset to us and a leader at the Roanoke Police Department.”

“I am truly fortunate to join the ranks amongst the women and men of the Roanoke Police Department,” said Deputy Chief Crawley. “Being able to serve the citizens of the City of Roanoke in this capacity is an honor as it will allow me to give back to those who provided so much to me and my family over the years.”

Deputy Chief Crawley will begin working at RPD in late July of 2024. You can review his bio below:

“Mike Crawley began his law enforcement with the Town of Vinton Police Department in August 1996 graduating from Cardinal Criminal Academy in November the same year. During his time at Vinton Police Department he held the position of Patrol Officer, Detective, and Patrol Sergeant. Crawley left his position with Vinton Police Department and obtained employment with the Salem Police Department in December 1999 as a Patrol Officer.

“Crawley was promoted to the rank of Senior Police Officer and transferred to Salem’s Detective Division in 2004 where he was assigned to the Special Investigation Unit. In 2006, Crawley was transferred to General Investigator where he rose to the rank of Sergeant in that Division.

“He later served as the Services Division Sergeant handling the central supply and support component of the Department. He returned to the Patrol Division in 2014 before being promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief. He was named Salem’s Department Chief on February 1, 2016. After more than eight years as Chief of Police, Crawley retired from the City of Salem June 1, 2024. At the time of his retirement he was an active member of the International Chiefs of Police, Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, in addition to Blue Ridge Chiefs of Police.

“A Roanoke City native, Chief Crawley graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 1991 and later attended Virginia Western Community College. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Bluefield College where he majored in Management and a graduate from the prestigious F.B.I. National Academy Class #271. He is also a member of Shiloh Baptist Church.”
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Welcome and thank you! Stay safe!The North Tonawanda Police Department would like to welcome our newest Police Officer Alexander Wagner badge 226. Alexander was sworn in today by Mayor Austin J Tylec and Chief Keith Glass at North Tonawanda City Hall.

Officer Wagner comes to us from the Town of Niagara Police Department. Officer Wagner will be assigned to the Training Division. Congratulations and welcome to our department.

Seen in the photo from left to right are Officer Wagner, Chief Glass, and Mayor Austin J. Tylec.
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Division President Jim Bedinger is honored to be attending the Montana Professional Police Association and Montana Association of Chiefs of Police joint annual conference from June 17-20.

Division President Jim Bedinger is honored to be attending the Montana Professional Police Association and Montana Association of Chiefs of Police joint annual conference from June 17-20. ... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago
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Great work!! Thank you! Stay safe.🐾 Incredible Teamwork by Harris County Deputies' Organization FOP Lodge 39 and K9 Dudley!🐾

Thanks to the hard work of our brothers and sisters of HCDO Lodge 39, and the incredible skills of K9 Dudley, a lost child was reunited with her family earlier today. Using items belonging to the child, such as pants and a hair band, K9 Dudley led deputies to the intersection of TC Jester and 1960. Deputies later learned that the child had boarded a bus at this intersection and traveled to another location, where she was found safely.

Some heroes wear badges… and on occasion have tails! Fantastic work, HCSO & K9 Dudley!

#TXFOP #HCDA #K9Heroes #CommunitySafety #FantasticWork #LawEnforcement
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#flagday2024Flag Day is celebrated every year on June 14 in remembrance of the adoption of the flag of the United States in 1777, as it is a national symbol of patriotism and freedom. In 1775, the “Grand Union” flag, also known as the Continental Colors, was flown in the colonies. This photo was taken in west Gastonia with Crowders in the distance. Gastonia Fire Department ... See MoreSee Less

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Financing a College Education

Do you ever wonder how you are going to pay for a college education as costs continue to go up, and up, and up again?  As the saying goes, you can pay now or you can pay later.

Most of the time, it is better to pay now.  Paying for a college education is no exception, but many parents and/or future college students find themselves unprepared for the finance piece of the puzzle when college arrives.  When you are unprepared, your options are limited.  Many students are forced to either borrow money, settle for a school that may not meet their educational needs, or put off going to school altogether.

There is nothing wrong with borrowing money to pay for a college education, but if that borrowing can be minimized or eliminated with a little planning and a strategy that is tailored to your own financial situation, it is worth your time to explore the option of paying for that education now instead of later.

The tall task of paying for a college education is daunting, especially if you think about the cost in its entirety.  When facing such a challenge, it always helps to set your goals one step at a time.  Doing this will help you think more clearly about what you intend to achieve and how you will reach the desired result.  It also may help to know that, in many cases, paying for the entire cost of a college education on your own will not be necessary.

The first step in determining how you will reach your goal will be to understand all of the factors and preserve as many of your options as possible.  Factors that will impact your education financing options start with your own individual situation and the answers to questions, such as…do you have a budget and, if so, do you stick to it?

If funding a college education is a priority to you then you will find a way to make some money available each week or each month and the sooner you get started the better.  Other factors include what, if any, access you have to additional funding sources, such as family members and friends.  If you make a college education a priority, you might be surprised at the extent to which others can help you reach your goal.  Many grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors would be delighted to purchase savings bonds or help you to contribute to a college savings investment for your son or daughter in lieu of giving gifts that will otherwise be grown out of or discarded.  They can spend money they are comfortable spending and they will save time that they would’ve spent shopping and worrying about whether they were purchasing the right gift.

Additional sources of college funding include governmental or scholastic grants, and civic and local scholarships.  Many schools and communities make tuition assistance available to individuals who belong to charitable or civic oriented organizations.

Other factors that will impact cost and your ultimate financial goal include whether or not the student plans to live at home while attending school, if they will be a full-time or part-time student, and whether or not income from a part-time job will factor into the equation.  Most colleges reward good students with employment opportunities that help to offset tuition cost.  As an example, many schools employ students as Residence Assistants in dorms for the purpose of monitoring dorm life and providing a guidance resource.  Resident Assistants often receive a sizable reduction in their tuition and room and board costs while they serve in that capacity.

Clearly, there are many variables and options that are worth exploring and understanding before you determine more specific funding targets and your ultimate goal will be much easier to achieve when you are able to break the process down into smaller parts.  The common thread in these options is an early start to saving as much money as you can.

While there are a seemingly endless number of investment choices, it is typically best to match your need to a corresponding plan.  In other words, if you want to save for college, it is best to do so using an investment plan specifically designed to maximize your college savings and one that offers you all of the corresponding benefits.  There are several legitimate investment options available, but it is important to identify the specific option that best works for you.  It is also important to select an option that is specially designed for your goal and your time horizon.

Investment options will differ from state to state as will the benefits of each plan, but most plans offer a lot of flexibility that you can use to your advantage.  Many plans allow for multiple contributors at varying times and, in many cases, tax credits are also available to the account holder as well as to any contributors to the plan.  Additionally, many plans provide for a re-direction of funds if college plans change.

Investment plans can be set-up for a regularly scheduled direct deposit, which can be an excellent budgeting tool for people or households with steady incomes and manageable expenses.  Most plans do not require you to select a specific school nor do they mandate attendance at a school in your state.

If college is right around the corner and you have not been able to save enough to cover the costs, borrowing may very well be a necessity.  If this is the case, shop for the best programs and rates.  Be sure to fully understand the repayment terms of any loan you obtain.  They are often different than other loans because there is typically a deferment clause that allows the student a certain amount of time to complete their coursework before they have to begin making payments on the loan.  Sometimes the deferment applies only to principle and other times no payment of any kind is required until studies are complete.

Student loan programs are obviously designed with students in mind and because of this, the terms are often beneficial to students with little or no income.  This benefit can also be a curse, however, because the full amount of the loan is still going to come due at some point and that due date usually coincides with the arrival of a bunch of other bills, like the first month’s rent, auto expense, and other costs you incur when you enter the real world.  It is hard enough to get started on your own these days without having to do so with thousands of dollars of debt already weighing you down.

All of these thoughts and considerations will help you to be better prepared when college arrives for you or your household and anything that you do to plan ahead for as long as possible will help you to not only achieve your educational goals, but to do so at the most reasonable cost possible.  The more you account for and set aside now, the less you will have to pay later.

Don’t worry about figuring everything out today.  The most important thing for you to do is to think about your goal and understand all of the ways that you can reach that goal…then, get started on achieving it.

Scott Arney
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union

Don’t forget, members of the Credit Union enjoy free and confidential Credit Counseling and Financial Planning through our Financial Planning and Education Center. We are here to assist you every step of the way.

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