College Savings Plan Calculator
Saving for your children's education requires a long-term plan. And, like saving for retirement, the earlier you start your plan the better. Use this calculator to help develop or fine-tune your education savings plan. Click the "View Report" button for a detailed look at the results.
- Age of children
- Current age of your children. This calculator is based on each child beginning their college education at age 18. The difference between their current age and 18 is the number of years you have to save.
- Annual tuition
- Current estimated cost of one year of tuition and books. This amount should be per child and be specific to the school they may be interested in attending. The cost of college for the 2001-02 school year, including tuition, room and board, books, supplies, transportation and other personal expenses, as reported by the U.S. Department of Education:
|U.S. Undergraduate College Costs for 2001-2002 School Year|
Source: U.S. Department of Education, http://www.ed.gov
|Type||Tuition||Room & Board||Total|
|Public 4-Year (in-state tuition)||$3,746||$5,453||$9,199|
For the purposes of this calculator all expenses are assumed to be due at the end of the year.
- Room and board
- Current estimated cost of one-year room and board. Like tuition and books, this amount should be per child and specific to the school they may be interested in attending. For the purposes of this calculator, all expenses are assumed to be due at the end of the year.
- Education cost inflation
- This is the percentage that you expect educational costs to increase per year.
- Current amount
- The total amount you currently have saved for your child's (or children's) education.
- Monthly contributions
- The dollar amount you plan to save per month toward your child's (or children's) education. All amounts are assumed to be added to your account at the beginning of the month.
- Rate of return
- This is the annually compounded rate of return you expect from your investments. The actual rate of return is largely dependant on the type of investments you select. From January 1970 to December 2003, the average compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 11.7% per year. During this period, the highest 12-month return was 64%, and the lowest was -39%. Savings accounts at a bank pay as little as 1% or less. It is important to remember that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment.