Saving now can save you later.

Children with some form of college savings are 7x more likely to attend college than those with no savings.1

One reason could be the heavy burden of borrowing. Often, students forced to borrow everything they’ll need for college are left with staggeringly high debt that affects their lifestyles – and life choices – for many years to come.

Consider these hypothetical scenarios:

Scenario 1: Terry's parents start investing $100 a month into a 529 plan account right after Terry's birth. In 18 years (assuming a 5% annual rate of return), they could potentially save more than $35,000.2

Scenario 2: After exhausting federal student aid options, Terry has to borrow $35,000 to attend college. Based on a private student loan rate of 7.0 percent, Terry could be faced with a monthly payment of $406 for 10 years (or $48,720).3

$35,000 For College: Save or Borrow? A chart showing the benefit of contributing to a 529 over borrowing to pay for tuition. Contributing $100 monthly for 18 years ($21,600) with a 5% return will give $13,400 in earnings and bring the total to $35,000. Borrowing $35,000 for 10 years with a 7% interest rate ($406 monthly payment) will cost $13,720 in interest, bringing the total loan balance to $48,720.

A college education is worth more than ever.

Bachelor’s degree recipients ages 25 to 34 had median earnings 63% ($19,550) higher than those in the same age range with high school diplomas in 2018.

The median family income for those with a Bachelor’s degree or higher earned 52% more than those with a high school education, and those with an Associate’s degree had median earnings that were 26% higher than the high school average.4




1Center for Social Development, Washington University, 2010.

2The hypothetical example assumes college begins at age 18 and is based on a 5 percent rate of return compounded daily, and is for illustrative purposes only. It does not reflect an actual investment in any particular 529 plan or taxes, if any, payable upon withdrawal.

3This hypothetical example is for illustrative purposes only and assumes no withdrawals made during the period shown. It does not represent an actual investment in any particular 529 plan and does not reflect the effect of fees and expenses. Your actual investment return may be higher or lower than that shown. The loan repayment terms are also hypothetical.

4College Board: Trends in College Pricing, 2019.




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