Saving for College Made Easier

The costs of sending a child or a grandchild to college are high and getting higher. Actual costs vary by school, but a general place to begin is to consider that today's tuition, room, board, books, transportation, and incidentals will probably add up to:

  • Private 4-year University - $45,000
  • Public 4-year University for instate students - $23,000
  • Public 4-year University for out-of-state students - $36,000

The rate of college costs increases has been higher than inflation, 5% to 8% for the past several years. If we assume just a 5% annual cost increase, the cost of a child's first year of college will be:

Current age

Years to college

First year costs at a private university

First year costs at a public university for an instate student

First year costs at a public university for an out-of-state student

16

2

$49,600

$25,400

$39,700

12

6

$60,300

$30,800

$48,200

8

10

$73,300

$37,500

$58,600

4

14

$89,100

$45,500

$71,300

Just born

18

$108,300

$55,400

$86,600

Save early and often
Even considering that the child may qualify for a scholarship or that you may have already started saving, the costs shown above can be frightening. They only represent the first year. When you consider that most students will attend college for four years and maybe graduate school beyond that, the need to save more is obvious.

Here is a calculator so you can determine how much you should save monthly to completely fund four years' of college for children of different ages. This assumes you save the entire amount before the student enters college.

Calculating College Costs & How Much to Save

Years until college
Current annual college cost $
(Currently $20,000 for public instate, $32,000 for public out-of-state and $40,000 for private)
Estimated annual increase in college cost %
Estimated earnings on accumulation %

Estimated first year college cost
Estimated four years' college cost
Estimated monthly savings needed

Interest is compounded monthly. This calculator is to be used for estimation purposes only. The financial institution is not responsible for its accuracy and the results are not guaranteed.

Start Your Automatic Savings Today
There is no easier way to save than with an automatic savings plan. If you are already using direct deposit for your paycheck, have your financial institution transfer the amount each month. You can also have your employer deduct the amount each month and deposit into the account of your choice with a payroll deduction program. Ask your employer for the form to start now.