Saving for College

About this Indicator

A key indicator of college affordability is whether families can save enough money over time to pay for two-years of full-time enrollment at public two-year institution or four years of full-time enrollment at a public four-year college. Two investment scenarios (10-year vs. 18-year) are shown for a 529 college savings plan that obtains a five percent rate of return. The amounts of monthly savings can be compared with the national average college savings rate, which was $195 per month for a child aged 13-17 in a middle-income family in 2013.[1]

Data Source

Net price: National Center for Education Statistics. IPEDS: Tuition.

Monthly savings: TIAA-CREF. 529 college savings tool.

Note. This calculation assumes the following: average net cost at a public four-year institution for the state’s median family income; 5 percent college cost inflation; no current savings; 5 percent rate of return.

footnote line

[1] SallieMae. (2013). How America saves for college 2013. Retrieved from