Girl in graduation cap and gown hugging her mother

Saving for college


Are you planning to help your children, grandchildren or another child close to you with their education expenses? Or thinking of taking classes yourself? While it helps to have a plan for paying for all two or four years of college, it can be tough to know how to even get started. Addressing the topics below with your financial advisor is the first step in creating a college savings plan.

Determine your needs

Creating a college savings plan begins by defining your educational needs and preferences. To get started, answer a few simple — yet practical — questions.

  • Do you prefer public or private school education?
  • Which option makes the most sense for your family?
  • How much will it cost? Are these costs practical and affordable?
  • How much time do you have to save?

Understand the costs

There can be considerable differences in tuition “sticker prices" between public and private schools. Overall, the decision between public or private higher education should make economic sense.

According to The College Board,1 the average tuition and fees for the 2019 – 2020 academic year are:

  Public (for in-state resident) Private
Tuition and fees $10,440 $36,880
Room and board $11,510 $12,990
Annual total $21,950 $48,870

See how much you'll need to save

According to College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2019, total costs for four years in a public school are as much as $87,800. Private school costs can run up to $195,480 or more. When considering how much you need to save for your children’s education, think about where they want to go — and then consider how much you’ll need to save to make it happen.

Who's Going to College
Calculations
Reduce Costs

Step (1) Select who is attending college below

Step (2) Enter how many years until they start college

YOUR CHILD
YOU
How many years until your child starts?
Years*
*Years entered must be equal to or greater than 1
How many years until you start?
Years*
*Years entered must be equal to or greater than 1

The results provided by this calculator are estimates based on the information supplied and are not meant to imply any specific investment or guaranteed rate of return.

We've made some assumptions that you can change below to show a more accurate cost figure.

Your total college costs
$247,265

You will need to save
$1,265
per month
Expect college costs to increase by 4% per year. Expect to earn 7% after-tax each year in your college fund(s). We assumed a moderate rate of return for this hypothetical exercise. You can assume a conservative rate of return (5%) or an aggressive rate of return (9%) to see how that might affect your savings.This illustration is hypothetical and is not meant to represent any specific investment or to imply any guaranteed rate of return.

Conservative

Moderate

Aggressive

Years student has until college
YEARS
Years student will attend college
YEARS
Cost of attending college1
ANNUALLY

The results provided by this calculator are estimates based on the information supplied and are not meant to imply any specific investment or guaranteed rate of return.

If this number is too big, see how you can reduce out-of-pocket costs below.

Your total college costs (after possible reductions):
$247,265

You will need to save approximately
$1,265
per month
You might contribute some work earnings.
PER YEAR
You might borrow money.
PER YEAR
You might receive financial aid or a scholarship.
PER YEAR
You may have some college savings already.

The results provided by this calculator are estimates based on the information supplied and are not meant to imply any specific investment or guaranteed rate of return.

1College Board. Trends in College Pricing. 2019, https://trends.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/2019-trends-in-college-pricing.pdf