College Fund - How Much

Updated on October 11, 2011
S.G. asks from Charles Town, WV
9 answers

How much do you put in your child's college fund each month? I expect my children to take out a small loan for college but I'd like to pay for most of it. I am just wondering how much do other parents put in their child's college education fund. I know college is going to be crazy expensive when they go to school which is scary!

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So What Happened?

Wow! Where does everyone get all this money!! There is no way we can put 10k each per child. I have 3 children... I haven't talked to a finanacial advisor but maybe I should! THanks everone!

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answers from Kansas City on

We contribute $100/month/child to a 529. They also have a rolling CD of about $15K each, small savings account (about $300 +/- each) and various EE bonds.

All in total, they have about $25 - $28K each. They are 6 and 9. I feel like we are behind. Might be time to up their month 529 contribution to $150 each.

Off to water the money tree in the backyard!!

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answers from Dallas on

We started our 16 yr old daughter's fund as soon as she was born. Our goal was at least $10,000/year by her birthday each year.

If the market went down and her fund decreased, we increased our contribution to make up for it. When the market went up and her fund increased, we still put at least $10,000 per year. This is her 529 plan. We also have a sdavings account she does not know about, savings bonds and numismatics which will all go to her as well.

Our goal is for her to not come out of college in debt. We believe in living debt free and that is how she has been raised.

A lot of people think we are wrong to fund her education but we feel it is our obligation as parents to give her the best possible start which includes her college expenses.

Of course, you have to do what you feel is right for your family. Every family is different. It is also vital to be working on your retirement plans as well. We have also funded our retirement.

Yikes, we have been college shopping and it is very expensive. We are planning on needing about $250,00 for her to come out debt free from college. Our daughter has some high goals and we support her. She has worked very hard in high school to maintain great grades and cheer as well. Who knows where she'll end up??? We've looked at Duke, Penn State, planning to look at AZ and FL. She also plans to study in Italy for at least 1 year.

Good luck

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answers from Seattle on

We don't. Not a penny.

Here's why:

My husband graduated 3 years ago (was in school shortly after our son was born, but went full time, unlike myself who has been part time all this time, and also unlike myself, he's never had to take a year off once, much less 3 times), AND still has his masters to go.

*I'm* in school, and won't be done for some years yet.

By the time WE'RE done, it will just about be time for kiddo to go.

We call it the "paying for college perpetually plan".

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answers from Orlando on

We just officially opened 529 plans for all three of our kids last week. Our situation is a little different from mother-in-law died from a drowning accident in early June and left my husband $250,000. We decided she would really appreciate it if we used the money to put her only three grandkids through college since as a single mom she could not afford to help her only son pay for his tuition (we spent 10 years paying off both our student loans). Anyway, the reason I'm responding is because the financial counselor we worked with through Allstate helped us know exactly how much to put in each 529. When my daughter starts college in five years, the estimated cost for tuition, room and board will be approximately $65,000 so we put $54,000 in her account. By the time my six year old twins are in college, the estimated costs will be about $75,000 so $37,000 went into each of their accounts to grow over the next 12 years. The rest of the money went into retirement investments. I would really recommend that you check into a financial counselor so he/she can help you understand how it all works and what you really need to invest to make sure their will be as little burden as possible for you or your kids. Best wishes :-)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Umm wow - you guys are good. I put $50 a month for each child into a 529 plan through Upromise.

We are focusing on paying down immediate debt (cc, car loans, etc) and expect to increase the amount as our disposable income goes up.

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answers from Minneapolis on

We put $200/mth in a savings acct. and then when it reaches a certain amount we will put it into a CD that will mature the year we need it (or think we'll need it). Not sure if it will be enough, but that is all we can do right now...we have 3 kids, so do the math, that's $600/mth.

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answers from Washington DC on

It varies on the kid and the plan. We have different plans for each child because DH was not able to start the college plans for the older kids til they were much older and he had less time. So for one he puts away $400 a month and for one we put away much less because she has a lot more time to save for. We also told the kids we would pay the projected tuition for an in-state school, but the housing was up to them. They will have about x amount and when that's gone, it's gone. We are also not paying for failed classes or an extra year because they didn't manage their time (exception for a 5 year program). My SS ended up with a scholarship so it's worked out very well. The girls? I do not expect to be so lucky. SD is a pretty good academic, but she's not as well-rounded as SS is.

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answers from San Francisco on

My kids will be paying for their own college.

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answers from Cleveland on

An optimistic assumption would be that you save now and invest the money and it grows more quickly than college tuition inflation. But that's optimistic. If you're figuring on in-state versus private college tuition with living expenses etc, figure that's about $15k/year in today's dollars. It really depends on the state though. But using the $15k, if I assume your child is 3 now, that's 15 years to save. The future value of $15k in 15 years is $22k. $22k divided by 15 is about $1500 per year. This isn't exact though. You'd have to make assumptions of how much you can earn on the savings each year. At least this is a general framework though. And if you want to fund private college, that's about $45k a year now or $65k in 15 years assuming 2.5% inflation per year. So then you'd need to save $4,300 per child per year. I'm pretty sure college tuition has been rising more than 2.5% a year but I also wonder if it'll slow down as it's just gotten too expensive for most people.

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