College savings planner

See whether you're likely to reach your college goals!

This planner assumes you're using an account with tax benefits to save for college. If you aren't, you'll need to pay income taxes on your earnings as your account grows. Note that if you take money out of your account to pay these taxes, the planner's results won't be accurate.

Cost of college
Estimated total cost
Amount you plan to cover
Amount needed to meet your savings goal
Based on current savings,
you'll cover ...
To reach the full amount you
plan to cover ...
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Here are the average costs of one year of college in today`s dollars for several types of school. In addition to tuition, all costs include room & board on campus, except for public two-year schools for which an estimate of off-campus living expenses is included. Please click the "Select Cost or Specific College" link below this input section to view and select other averages or colleges.

Public 2-year school $3,400
Public 4-year school, in-state $19,500
Public 4-year school, out-of-state $34,000
Private 4-year school, average $43,900
Private 4-year school, expensive $54,300
Average Cost Data © 2015 The College Board, "Trends in College Pricing 2015". Costs are rounded to $100.

We assume your accounts will grow by 6% a year on average because of earnings in the account. You can enter a different rate of return instead.

We assume you'll plan to cover 50% of total college costs through your savings. You can change this assumption by using the slider.

We assume college costs will rise by 5% a year. You can enter your own expected rate of increase.

Some college savings accounts, like 529 savings plans, give you tax-deferred growth and tax-free withdrawals. This means that you won't pay any income taxes on the amount your account earns while it's growing, and if you use the money for qualified education expenses, those earnings will be tax-free when you withdraw them.