With college tuition rising more than 7 percent per year, plenty of parents are wondering how they’re going to pay those bills. You could take a second job…. or perhaps your parents might step up to the plate and give you a hand.

According to the most recent MetLife Grandparents poll, more than half contribute to their grandchildren’s college education. Grandparents under the age of 70 are more likely to help, and in the battle of the sexes, Grandpa is more likely to fork over some change than Grandma.

But it’s the amount of money Grandparents are paying that’s raising eyebrows. Nearly a third will contribute between $50,000 and $250,000 over their lifetime to their grandchildren’s education.

If you’re going to help out with college tuition, make a smart move: If your grandchildren are already in college, you can lighten your estate by paying tuition expenses directly to the University. Otherwise, consider opening up a 529 college savings plan and making your cash working harder for you – and your entire family.

With practical, informative consumer advice, I’m Ilyce Glink, News-Talk 750 WSB

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