a. How much will college cost?
The cost of college will depend on the type of school, when you’re planning to attend and how long you or your family member will be enrolled. Use these calculators to estimate how much college might cost now and in the future as well as how much you could be saving to contribute to all or a portion of the cost of college.
b. Compare savings options
When comparing college savings vehicles, there are many features and options to consider. Here are a few things to think about before you dive in to a college savings plan:
- How convenient and accessible do you want your money for college to be?
- What are the minimum and maximum deposit levels?
- What are the balance requirements?
- Are there penalties for early or non-qualified withdrawals?
- Who will own the account – the person going to college or the person contributing the money?
- Are there fees for transferring money to other accounts?
- Are there service charges?
There are several different types of accounts that individuals and families often use for college savings. These are the most common:
- 529 College Savings Plans
- Uniform Trust/Gift to Minors Act Account (UTMA/UGMA)
- Coverdell Education Savings Account
- Roth IRA or 401(k)
- U.S. Savings Bonds
- Taxable Accounts
Check out our college savings options comparison chart for more information.