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Is it possible to have substantive college savings, but still get the loans upfront, and then just pay them back once the student graduates? Use the loan money up until the point you have to pay interest, then pay it back in full?

Just wondering if the "process" allows it?

Yes, your kids can take out unsubsidized loans, and I think are entitled to some specific amount that goes up from freshman to senior year, but as these are unsubsidized, interest will accrue from the first day although payments are not due until graduation. Similarly, I think you can take out private loans, but those might have to be taken out by the parents. I'm really not sure because I didn't see a purpose to having my kids accrue interest while they were in school since we had saved and could pay for their college.

Best place to ask these sorts of questions is on the Paying for College board

I've only got one payment left (DS has trimesters) and then I'm done with college tuition. I did make the mistake of adding it all up the other night to see how much it has cost us over the past 4 years. We are right about at the estimate we thought we'd spend, and we could have bought a house for cash in some parts of the country with what we just spent. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat, however, as this is a gift we had always planned to give our kids, and we saved accordingly.

I realize that other people prefer other paths, but I did see some of their friends doing the mad scramble because hoped-for financial aid did not come through, and I was very glad my kids didn't need to do that.
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