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When To Save for College

Any amount you save will pay for a portion of your child’s future college costs. College costs can include tuition and fees, room and board, books, and other living expenses.  The earlier you start saving, the more money you will have saved when your child starts college.

Students accepted to college will be awarded a financial aid package based on their eligibility that includes grants, loans, and even work-study programs. Even with the financial aid package, nearly half of all students have unmet needs. This unmet need is the difference between the total cost of attendance and the total financial aid that is available to the student.1

No matter how much you save each month, in many situations your savings can close the gap between financial aid and the total cost of attending the college.

The chart above provides an example of how a monthly savings plan can grow over time and the amount of savings available when the child is 18 years old. 

Note: This chart does not include interest earned on savings. Your savings may be higher based on the interest rate of the account or savings plan you choose. 

Regardless of your child’s age, now is the time to start saving for a college education!

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Center for Public Policy Priorities. 2012. “The Cost of College”.