Roth IRA

What It Is
A Roth IRA is a tax-deferred retirement vehicle that can be used by parents who will be at least 59½ years old when their kids are in college. You can invest up to 5,500 a year and 6,500 after you turned 50.

The Benefits
Since you can invest up to $5,500 a year, given enough time, a Roth IRA has to the potential to grow into a very substantial sum. You can withdraw as much money as you need, provided the account has been open for at least 5 years and you are 59½ years old.

The Risks
Prior to age 59½, you can tap into the money that you’ve contributed (but not the interest or increase in value). As long as it is used to pay education-related costs, there is no early withdrawal penalty.