College Planning

Get ideas about how to help fund a child's college education. 

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Savings goals

One of your savings goals might be to help your children, grandchildren, or other students you know pay for a college education. With tuition costs continuing to increase at rates greater than inflation,1 it’s important to think strategically about college planning.

Be sure to max out your retirement accounts first, then prioritize and contribute to other savings goals, such as helping relatives pay for college.

Start saving early

If the cost of college continues to rise at its current rate, newborns will need in excess of $300,0001 in today's dollars to attend a four-year, in-state public university, and nearly twice that to attend a private school.

While this figure may seem high, remember that saving for college is like saving for retirement—by starting early, investing regularly, and contributing as much as you can, you give yourself the best chance of success.

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What you can do now

  • Get more details on paying for college—including how undergraduate tuition and fees, room and board, and other expenses can change over time—at CollegeBoard.org.
  • Use our College Savings Calculator to estimate costs, your potential savings goals, and more.