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Saving for college at any age

Average annual tuition and fees for public four-year universities was $10,230 in 2018. That number can easily seem daunting to parents and college hopefuls alike, but it’s not too late to start saving. When planning for the future, some financial advisers work on the assumption that tuition will increase by 5% each year. With that in mind, these are some of the numbers parents of infants, preschoolers, kindergartners, junior highers and high schoolers may be looking at.

 

If you have a new baby this year ...

That child will likely enter college in 2037. At that point, tuition and fees over four years at a public university will cost an estimated $111,419. If you start saving today, you’ll need to put aside:

$6,190/year
$516/month
$119/week
$17/day

One way modern families are planning ahead is by gifting contributions to a child’s college fund at their baby shower. With 18 years ahead of them, it’s the best time to let interest start growing.

 

If you have a 3-year-old starting preschool ...

They will likely enter college in 2034. At that point, tuition and fees over four years at a public university will cost an estimated $96,249. If you start saving today, you’ll need to put aside:

$6,417/year
$535/month
$123/week
$18/day

If you’re overwhelmed by your kid’s toys, gift a contribution to their college fund for their birthday. Other family and friends may also like this gift-giving idea.

 

If your child starts kindergarten this year ...

That child will likely enter college in 2032. At that point, tuition and fees over four years at a public university will cost an estimated $87,300. If you start saving today, you’ll need to put aside:

$6,715/year
$560/month
$129/week
$18/day

If you feel like you’re behind because you haven’t started saving, don’t worry about it too much. Now is a good time to catch up with a few larger contributions. Maybe that means using this year’s tax refund or making an extra payment when the budget allows.

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