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COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

Featured Articles

Check out the Hot Topics we have covered recently.

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10 things to do before you apply for financial aid
The FAFSA will be available October 1st for the 2018-19 school year . Learn about 10 steps to take before you apply to help maximize financial aid eligibility.
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Introducing the Pro 529 Evaluator
The Pro 529 Evaluator is a tool designed to help financial advisors confidently recommend a 529 college savings plan to their clients. Compare fees, performance, state tax benefits and more.
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Despite high student loan balances, Millennial parents are saving for college
Millennials are saving more money than other generations, even with student loan debt. But it’s what they’re saving for that’s been making recent headlines.
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How to select a 529 plan
Learn how to select the best 529 college savings plan in four easy steps; Savingforcollege.com has calculators, 529 plan rankings and ratings to help you.
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Commentary: North Dakota changes impact 2nd quarter performance rankings
We rank plans that consumers can enroll in directly, as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners for the second quarter 2017.
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2017 plan performance rankings Q2
Savingforcollege.com's 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of June 30, 2017 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2017 one-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2017.
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2017 three-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2017.
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2017 ten-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2017.
Read More

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Top ten direct-sold plans
The highly-anticipated Savingforcollege.com 529 plan rankings are here! This slideshow features our most recent top 10 list of direct-sold 529 plans for one-year investment performance. *Three-year performance rankings as of 06/30/2017
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Breaking down the Minnesota 529 state tax benefit
Families in MN are eligible for a tax deduction or credit for their 529 plan contributions. Learn how to choose the right option for your client's college savings strategy.
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15 states with the biggest 529 tax breaks
Saving for college? Check out your home state’s 529 plan. Here are the 15 states that offer residents the most generous tax deductions and credits for contributions.
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New study: FDIC insured 529 plans
This study reviews and compares 529 college savings plans insured by the FDIC, including yield and costs of savings portfolios and CDs.
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How much is your state's 529 plan tax deduction really worth?
In addition to federal benefits, many states offer full or partial state tax deductions for contributions to a 529 plan. This map helps you get a better idea of how much your state's tax benefit may be worth.
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3 takeaways for professionals from "How America Pays for College"
Professionals and advisors to college savers can benefit from the insights the study offers when promoting their services, educating clients, and growing their 529 plan businesses
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Achieving financial wellness: 7 questions to ask
Financial wellness starts by developing a healthy relationship with money and all areas of personal finance. These questions will help you gets started on your journey.
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Celebrate College Savings Month!
A list of special events and promotions offered by states and 529 plans during College Savings Month.
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Kids & college: Leveraging 6 milestones to generate savings
Learn about six life events that serve as trigger points for you to check in on your 529 account and use a college savings calculator to make sure you’re on track.
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4 college admission myths every applicant should know
The college admission landscape is constantly evolving. Learn about four key college admissions myths to be aware of when completing your college applications.
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Finding the lowest-cost 529 savings plans
Savingforcollege.com's semi-annual 529 Fee Study compares the lowest and highest 10-year expense totals for all direct-sold 529 savings plans. The purpose of our study is to give you an easy way to view and compare these cost estimates.
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The 15 lowest-cost 529 savings plans
Don’t let fees and expenses shrink your college savings. Here’s a list of the15 lowest cost direct-sold 529 plans, based on our semi-annual Fee Study.
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FAQ on 529 investment changes
The IRS permits only two investment changes within a beneficiary's 529 account in any calendar year. Here are some answers to frequently-asked questions regarding this limitation.
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These top colleges are worth the investment
Money’s 2017 list of best colleges for the price shows where to get the biggest bank for your buck. See the top 10, and how to save for them with a 529 plan.
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Just released: Latest 529 plan 5-Cap Ratings
Savingforcollege.com's latest 5-Cap Ratings are now available. These Ratings are calculated based on performance, costs, features, reliability, and a "Resident Upgrade" score as of March 31, 2017.
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Where does a college degree have the biggest impact on your income?
Where you decide to live and work after graduating from college can influence your annual earnings. This infographic gives you a state by state breakdown of the value of a degree.
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3 ways your online presence can support your college application
Social media plays an important role in college recruiting and admissions. Learn how your online presence can positively contribute to your application strategy.
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A worthy investment? America’s highest paying jobs under the microscope.
The value of a college degree will depend on a number of things, including tuition costs and starting salary after graduation. Learn which degrees offer the best value for students in 2017.
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It's never too late to start your college plan
It’s never too late to start saving for your child’s college education. Here are some tips for late stage planning strategies that won’t jeopardize your retirement.
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5 college planning questions to ask during annual reviews
Make sure your asking these questions in your annual review with your clients regarding their college savings.
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How to maximize the value of your college campus tour
When visiting colleges, many prospective students limit themselves to participating in only an information session and official tour, but one expert says that’s a mistake. Find out why.
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Experts say this is how much you should save for college
How much should I save each month for college?
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What Trump's proposed budget cuts could mean for college savers
President Trump’s new budget proposal focuses on simplifying federal student loan options and financial aid. See how this could affect your college savings strategy.
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New! 529 ABLE plan detail pages
Looking for information on a specific ABLE savings plan? Our new plan details pages highlight important information on each available plan, including fees, tax benefits and investment options.
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A look at the recent NAST symposium
Every year the National Association of State Treasurers hosts its own 529-focused conference. Here are some of the outcomes - in brief - from that event.
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Top ten direct-sold plans
The highly-anticipated Savingforcollege.com 529 plan rankings are here! This slideshow features our most recent top ten list of direct-sold 529 plans for one-year investment performance. *Three-year performance rankings as of 03/31/2017
Read More

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Trending in 529 plans: Compliance-friendly share classes (2/2)
C to A Convertibles are better than either of their predecessors, despite minor drawbacks. Find out why.
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Commentary: First Quarter 2017 plan performance rankings
We rank plans that consumers can enroll in directly, as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners) for the first quarter 2017.
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2017 five-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2017.
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The expenses of the student commuter vs. living on campus
A large portion of your total cost of college includes living expenses. Learn how these costs can really add up - whether you commute or live on campus.
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529 Day - The Definitive Guide
Many states are promoting May 29 (5/29) as a day with special meaning, and are looking to boost interest and participation in their 529 savings programs with various sweepstakes, contests and incentives.
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Picking the right financial advisor for your college planning strategy – What to ask
Just like any other investment, families saving for college could benefit from the help of a financial advisor. Here are 3 things to ask before you select one.
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NEW! Summary PDF reports for 529 plans
Savingforcollege.com is pleased to offer new plan summary pages for college savers and professionals
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4 steps to help your child manage student loan repayment
College graduates often begin their careers with substantial student loan debt. Here are four ways you can help your child with a repayment strategy.
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Free college is here - But don't stop saving
Some states are beginning to offer free college tuition for residents. Here’s what you need to know, and why it’s still important to save with a 529 plan.
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5 things advisors need to know about 529 withdrawals
With some 529 plans over 20 years old, more account owners are taking withdrawals. But there are some important things you need to know before requesting that check.
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10 states with the fastest rising college tuition
Since the Great Recession, state appropriations to higher education have been at historic lows.
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Washington RFP responds to questions from bidders
Washington state has responded to questions from bidders, providing some insight into the structure of its GET plan.
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Want to help your child get into college? Take a step back.
When it comes to a student's college application process, new research suggests that too much parent involvement can end up doing more harm than good.
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5 signs it might be time to refinance your student loans
Student loan refinancing could save some borrowers thousands of dollars over the life of their loans. Learn about 5 times when it might make sense for you.
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Opinion: The generification™ of 529 products
In the arms race for the lowest-cost plan, 529s have fast started to become a commoditized product. Is there room left for innovation?
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Raising city kids? 8 states where you can save the most money
If you want your kids to grow up in an urban environment and still have room for college savings in your budget, check out these 8 low-cost cities.
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Where to start when choosing a 529 plan?
An important question to ask is whether you will invest in a 529 plan directly, or will you use a financial adviser? Your answer to this question will help narrow down your choices, as about half of all 529 plans are sold through brokers.
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How Private College 529 works
Private College 529 is a unique animal in the college savings space, and their strategy reflects their novel position. Here we provide insight into how they approach college savers.
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The anti-529ers revisited: Haters gonna hate
There are some people that are thoroughly convinced 529s are a bad bet. Here we explore why.
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Private College 529 and college savings plans: A perfect pair
The Private College 529 Plan can be an excellent complement to a 529 savings plan. Here’s how using these two vehicles together can help maximize savings.
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A guide to finding your best SAT date
A college admissions expert offers helpful advice on how to select the best date to take the SAT exam, taking other important deadlines into account.
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College Savings Tips with Julie Shields-Rutyna
Join Brian Boswell and the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA)’s Julie Shields-Rutyna for a live Facebook event, Tuesday, February 28th. Brian and Julie will be taking questions from the audience on topics like 529 plans, financial aid and more.
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2016 plan performance rankings Q4
Savingforcollege.com's 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of December 31, 2016 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
Read More

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2016 one-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2016.
Read More

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Commentary: Fourth quarter 2016 plan performance rankings
We rank plans that consumers can enroll in directly, as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners) for the fourth quarter 2016.
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Top ten direct-sold plans
The highly-anticipated Savingforcollege.com 529 plan rankings are here! This slideshow features our most recent top ten list of direct-sold 529 plans for one-year investment performance. *Three-year performance rankings as of 12/31/2016
Read More

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How to Achieve the College Dream Live Q&A Event
Some students who perform well academically, but are hesitant to apply to selective colleges because of their social or economic backgrounds. In this live Q&A event, Maria Carla Chicuen, author of Achieve the College Dream, offers practical advice on how students of all income levels can make their dream school a reality.
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H.R. 529 offers big benefits to college savers
New legislation might make 529 plans more alluring, but will it actually pass?
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6 things to consider when selecting an ABLE account
529 ABLE plans help individuals with disabilities save tax-free for future expenses without forfeiting benefits. Here are 6 things to know before choosing a plan.
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The importance of summer vacation in the road to college
The most selective universities often require applicants to write at least a short paragraph describing the academic or extracurricular activities in which students have participated during the summer vacations throughout high school.
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What advisors need to know about the CSS profile
Investors are increasingly turning to their financial advisors for help with college planning. Here's what you need to know about the CSS Profile.
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Opinion: Betsy DeVos is a bad bet for education
The appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education has raised many eyebrows, and deservedly so.
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Expert advice on taking a gap year before college
Taking a gap year before college is becoming popular among U.S. students. An admissions counselor shares expert advice on how to decide if it’s right for you.
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9 college savings tips to start the year off right
The New Year is the perfect time to review your 529 college savings plan strategy. Learn about how these nine tips can help achieve your goals in 2017.
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Committing to College Savings: How to Make Your Financial Resolution Stick
For those of us on the road towards saving for our children’s college education, sticking to your saving goals may be more manageable than we think.
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Asset Allocations in Age-Based Portfolios - Advisor
A Savingforcollege.com study looks at how advisor-sold 529 plans allocate among stocks, bonds, and money market (or similar) investments as the beneficiary gets close to college age or is in college.
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Asset Allocations in Age-Based Portfolios - Direct
A Savingforcollege.com study looks at how direct-sold 529 plans allocate among stocks, bonds, and money market (or similar) investments as the beneficiary gets close to college age or is in college.
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I withdrew too much 529 money. Now what?
What happens if you withdraw too much money from a 529 college savings plan? Learn how to avoid paying taxes and penalties and keep your savings intact.
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Industry chatter: A look ahead at 2017
This was the year of the Fiduciary Rule, roboadvisors, and money markets. What will be the big topics among 529 plans in the year ahead?
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How to calculate your state tax benefit
You can plug the numbers into our State Tax Calculator, but how do we arrive at those numbers? Here we dig into the weeds.
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What you can do in middle school to start preparing for college
Middle school is a great time to start preparing for college. Here are steps to take during sixth, seventh and eighth grade to become a competitive applicant.
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Are 529 plans REALLY tax-free?
Sometimes, even professionals can be fooled by complex tax code language. In fact, some of it reads like 529s might not actually be tax-free!
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Do you need college tuition insurance?
Parents who want to protect their investment have the option of purchasing tuition insurance that could help them recoup some of the costs if their child was to withdraw from school.
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Save it forward: States that allow you to carry benefits into future tax years
There are a few states that allow account owners to make a large contribution and claim their tax benefit in future years.
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Top college savings stories of 2016
2016 was another big year for the college savings industry. Our top stories covered 529 withdrawal strategies, the presidential election, financial aid and more.
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3 ways the PSAT will help your college admission chances
While taking the PSAT/NMSQT won’t directly influence college admission decisions, there are still three important benefits students can get out of it.
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529 plan contribution deadlines for state tax benefits
Over 30 states offer a tax benefit for 529 college savings plan contributions. Find out your state’s contribution deadline to reduce your 2016 taxable income.
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How to determine the ROI on a college education
Factors to consider when helping a child understand a college degree’s return on investment (ROI) that will help minimize the future burden of student loan debt.
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The Best Way to Save For College Live Q&A Event
Second only to retirement, planning for your children’s college education is one of the most important financial decisions your family has to make.
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How much could you save for college by not buying these top toys?
Putting the money into a college fund is something that should be on everyone’s mind this holiday season. Learn how much you could save by not buying toys this year.
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The January Question
Can we reimburse ourselves out of our child's 529 plan without be subject to taxes or penalty?
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5 education changes we might see under President Trump
President-elect Donald Trump was relatively quiet about education policy during his campaign, but here are five key changes we might see under his presidency.
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Does a financial advisor deserve their 529 commission?
One of the most common questions from advisors is, "How can I justify my fee?" But it shouldn't be a question at all.
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What does the future hold for prepaid 529 plans?
Virginia529 prePAID may consider changing its structure to limit new participants to in-state schools. So are prepaid plans still viable?
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2016 plan performance rankings Q3
Savingforcollege.com's Q3 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of September 30, 2016 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2016 one-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2016.
Read More

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Top ten direct-sold plans
The highly-anticipated Savingforcollege.com 529 plan rankings are here! This slideshow features our most recent top ten list of direct-sold 529 plans for one-year investment performance. *Three-year performance rankings as of 09/30/16
Read More

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Commentary: Third quarter 2016 plan performance rankings
We rank plans that consumers can enroll in directly, as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners) for the third quarter 2016.
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Top colleges aren’t just for the rich
In her new book, Maria Carla Chicuen explains how students can earn a degree from a prestigious college - even if they don’t come from a wealthy background.
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Exceptions to the withdrawal penalty
Sometimes a non-qualified withdrawal is unavoidable, but there are some situations where your client may be able to avoid the 10% penalty.
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Wealthfront 529 Plan Launches
Robo-advisor Wealthfront launched its first 529 college savings plan at the beginning of November. But how does the Plan stack up? And what does this mean for traditional advisor channels?
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Just announced: Best 529 plans for 2016
Savingforcollege.com and Morningstar both rank 529 plans. Here's why it's important to explore them both.
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17 states where day care costs more than college
In 17 states, full-time day care costs more than college. Find out if your state made the list and how to saving in a 529 when your child starts elementary school.
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Oops, I withdrew too much 529 money!
There are many situations where an account owner can accidentally withdraw too much money. Here’s what you can do
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Tax parity isn't as important for investors as once thought
Only two states have passed a tax parity law since 2008. So does it still matter?
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A Tale of Two 529 Mistakes
What to do when a client takes a distribution when they didn’t mean to, or forgot to file the 5-year election
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What grandparents need to know about the new FAFSA rules
Learn how recent changes to the FAFSA could make it easier for some grandparents to help pay for college without impacting the student's financial aid eligibility.
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Study shows 2/3 of families consider price when selecting a college
The 2016 "How America Pays for College" report reveals that for many students and families, the choice of college is largely influenced by tuition and other costs.
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A tax strategy that will surprise you
This article explains a scholarship tax strategy you may not have thought about.
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Six Winning Strategies to Cutting the Cost of College
The absolute best way to make college more affordable for your family is to become an educated college consumer.
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How much can you contribute to a 529 plan in 2016?
Make the most of your tax-advantaged savings accounts.
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Where does Donald Trump stand on college affordability?
Donald Trump has made several statements related to student debt and rising college costs. Find out how these ideas might turn into proposals if he is elected.
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Omnibus Part III: Omnibus-Light and the Future
Omnibus accounting in the retail space is widely accepted as standard for most asset management products, and will be critical to most large and mid-sized broker-dealers as it is slowly implemented with 529 plans. But what about everyone else?
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Kaplan to offer FREE online PSAT prep course
Kaplan Test Prep recently announced the upcoming launch of a free Preliminary SAT (PSAT) prep course for all students., which will cover each area of the exam, including Reading, Math, Writing and Language.
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How to earn college credit without ever setting foot on campus
Even before enrolling in a four-year university, high school students can get a head start on earning college credit.
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What the new FAFSA rules mean for you
Some big changes are in store for the federal financial aid process. Here’s what you need to know before the filing season launches on October 1, 2016.
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Yes, your 529 plan will affect financial aid
33 percent of parents and grandparents believe that a 529 plan is not considered when determining financial aid eligibility. See if they're right.
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Is your state giving away free money for college?
Check out our growing list below of College Savings Month events taking place all over the country.
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12 simple ways to prepare a student to win college scholarships
No matter how old or young your children are, there are ways you can prepare now to help them win future college scholarships.
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5 ways to help your child navigate the student loan process
Applying for student loans can be a stressful and confusing process. Here's how parents can help their kids get started with the process.
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New study: Are men too confident about college savings? Or are women too pessimistic?
According to Savingforcollege.com's Annual College Savings Survey, a person's gender may impact the way they save and pay for college. What's more, these differences may exist across a broader spectrum of financial attitudes and behaviors.
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Massachusetts to offer 529 state tax deduction
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker recently signed House Bill 4569, "An Act relative to job creation and workforce development" into law on August 10, 2016.
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Top ten direct-sold plans
The highly-anticipated Savingforcollege.com 529 plan rankings are here! This slideshow features our most recent top ten list of direct-sold 529 plans for one-year investment performance. *Three-year performance rankings as of 06/30/16
Read More

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Commentary: Second quarter 2016 plan performance rankings
We rank plans that consumers can enroll in directly, as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners) for the second quarter 2016.
Read More

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2016 one-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2016.
Read More

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2016 plan performance rankings Q2
Savingforcollege.com's Q2 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of June 30, 2016 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
Read More

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Washington College to award scholarship match to 529 plan contributions
In a first of its kind scholarship, Washington College will pilot a program that matches up to $2,500 per year that families contribute to a 529 college savings plan or Coverdell Education Savings Account.
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Study reveals parents could have saved $20,000 more for college
Fidelity Investments' launched their 10th Annual College Savings Indicator Study.
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8 things to know going into your freshman year of college
It's important to maintain perspective as you enter college and the transition to adulthood. These tips from Ivy Advisors will help ease your anxiety and prepare you for your freshman year.
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529 ABLE accounts: Your questions answered
Advice on helping families meet the financial challenges associated with living with a disability, and how to maximize the benefits of 529 ABLE accounts.
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Think twice before sending clients to a direct-sold 529 plan
Financial advisors are increasingly viewed by clients as their guide to achieving their college savings goals. Financial advisors, however, are challenged by the paperwork-intensive, and – sometimes – low asset size of 529 plans. To make their lives easier, some advisors have found it simpler to forego the commissions on the asset base of 529 plans and refer their client to a direct-sold plan. However, this can be outright dangerous for both the advisor and client: Here’s why.
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Cosigners are helping borrowers get better rates on student loans
For students taking out private loans to cover college funding gaps, having a cosigner not only improves the odds of being approved for a loan, but can help borrowers obtain a better interest rate, an analysis of Credible user data shows.
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A guide to applying for scholarships
This guide will help you navigate the world of college scholarships and win the awards you need to pay for your school of choice.
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How to gain financial-aid expertise
Let’s face it. Nearly all of your clients with school-aged children are concerned about college financial-aid eligibility, whether or not they should be. By that I mean many of your clients will never qualify for needs-based financial aid, simply because their income is too high. Yet they may still turn to you, their financial advisor, for guidance. Here's how to quickly gain financial-aid expertise.
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How the kiddie tax may impact your clients
The Kiddie Tax is one of the most overlooked pieces of tax code until it hits your high-net worth client. Prepare them before they are impacted.
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New tool helps you pick the best investments for college
Just like your 401k or IRA, your 529 plan’s performance will be based on its underlying investments, so it’s important to select the right combination of potential risk and reward to meet your needs.
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Understanding 529 expenses
An explanation of the four major categories of 529 plan fees and expenses and how to compare between plans.
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Using multiple 529 plans
There are several reasons why someone might want to open accounts in more than one 529 plan.
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How to select investments in a 529 plan
When setting up a 529 savings plan, you’ll need to choose an investment option. Learn about the three different types of options available and how they can help you meet your goals.
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Savings opportunities for students with special needs
Saving for a child’s or grandchild’s college can be complicated, but things become even more complex when that child has a disability. Learn about the different ways to plan for their future education and the best ways to save for it.
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Hillary Clinton's plan for free college: Will you still need to save?
Hillary Clinton recently introduced an expanded proposal to her original “College Compact,” which would make college more affordable and outstanding debt more manageable. But how realistic are the proposals? Do they go too far, or not far enough?
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A High Schooler's Guide to Preparing For the Ivy Leagues
While there’s no set guideline that will lead you to a successful admission into the Ivy League, there are four things to focus on during your high school career that could increase your chances of getting in.
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Best student loan options for parents
There are many types of student loans, offered both by the government and private lenders. Here's what parents need to know.
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Omnibus Part II: Challenges to implementation
Omnibus accounting is widely accepted as standard operating procedure for most retail asset management products. Yet many 529 Savings plans remain, for the most part, staunch hold-outs: Here's why.
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Does your school’s accreditation mean anything?
It is extraordinarily rare that the DoE stop recognizing an accreditor, so much so that they’ve put up a blog post dedicated to explaining its impact.
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4 tips on making the most of summertime college visits
Summer is a great time of year for you to see firsthand if a college is the right school for you. Here are four recommendations to help you get the most out of your summer campus visits.
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12 money rules to live by
If you're tired of the "on the one hand this, on the other hand that" approach to financial advice, check out these guidelines I've collected over the years. Perhaps you’ll find some one-size-fits-all advice that suits you.
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Updated study: 529 asset allocations vary widely
A recently-updated study conducted by Savingforcollege.com reveals significant variations in the asset-allocation approach to underlying age-based portfolio options.
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Congress aims to improve and simplify 529 plans

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5 ways to tell if you're using the wrong 529 plan
There are over 100 different 529 plans available - so how can you be sure that you’re using the best plan to suit your family’s needs? Here are five red flags to look out for:
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The Wealthfront 529 College Savings Plan: Is college investing with a robo-advisor right for you?
Recently announced state-sponsored 529 college savings plan to complement its existing suite of investment products, see what this means for families saving for college.
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The magic of beneficiary changes
Changing the beneficiary of a 529 plan in conjunction with an investment change or rollover is very useful in getting around the limitations placed on these types of account changes.
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Commentary: First quarter 2016 plan performance rankings
We rank plans that consumers can enroll in directly, as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners).
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Top ten direct-sold plans
The highly-anticipated Savingforcollege.com 529 plan rankings are here! This slideshow features our most recent top ten list of direct-sold 529 plans for one-year investment performance. *Three-year performance rankings as of 03/31/16
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College Savings by the Numbers
Think about how much you want to save for college, the strategies you’re using to do so, and any extra steps you can take to boost your efforts.
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2016 one-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2016.
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2016 plan performance rankings Q1
Savingforcollege.com's Q1 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of March 31, 2016 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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Are parents getting savvier about saving for college?
The results of two recent surveys reveal that there's still an opportunity for Savingforcollege.com and financial advisors to educate families about the importance of including college savings in their overall financial plan.
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Saving For College: Start to Finish
Although there are several different savings vehicles available to you, most American families should be looking to 529 plans for the bulk of their college savings. Here's a primer to help you set up a plan.
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Money Market Reforms and 529 Plans
Additional rules were released in 2014, and will be enforced later this year.
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Should you use your employer-sponsored 529 plan?
Companies become more aware of the importance of financial wellness, some are also starting to help save for future college bills.
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Don't Let Your Student Loans Hold You Back – 5 Ways to Tackle Your Debt
Graduates are delaying major life milestones because of their student loan debt.
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Ascensus and Wealthfront Pursuing Roboadvisor Solution in Nevada
Wealthfront has partnered with Ascensus College Savings to pursue a private labeled product.
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Proposed Bill Would Change the Game
The Boost Saving for College Act (Boost) was introduced to the Senate at the end of April by US Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Bob Casey (D-PA). Boost is designed specifically to incent low- and middle-income families to start saving for college by enhancing 529 and 529A benefits.
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Will taking a gap year help me get into the Ivy League?
Increase awareness of the gap years, and their benefits.
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The price of procrastination: 7 reasons to start saving today

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Success story: How I became debt-free just two years after graduation
A real-life story from one of our readers who successfully tackled high college costs.
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Saving for college: It's not just about the numbers
The best savings plan for college really differs for each family.
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5 simple ways to teach a young child about college
How exactly do you talk about college with your kindergartner?
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How to pay your tuition bill with a 529 plan
Now that you've saved for college with a 529 plan, learn about the best ways to take a withdrawal and make your first tuition payment.
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Omnibus: What it is and why advisors should care
Omnibus is a word a lot of people in the asset management industry toss around, but not a lot of people understand.
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The magic number for college savings
Learn how much to invest each month in a 529 college savings plan to cover future costs of tuition, fees and room and board for private and public schools.
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6 things to consider if your child is going to college overseas
Cost shouldn't be the only factor to consider if your child wants to attend college overseas.
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How the Fiduciary Rule Impacts 529 plans
The U.S. DOL (Department of Labor) unveiled new rules that are, in aggregate, widely-referred to as "The Fiduciary Rule."
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Which Standardized Test Should You Take - the ACT or SAT?
Today, both the SAT and the ACT are accepted by four-year universities.
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New 529 ABLE accounts may offer even more benefits for people with disabilities
The ABLE Act gives Americans with disabilities the opportunity to save up to $14,000 per year in a tax-deferred account similar to a 529 college savings plan as a supplement to their government benefits.
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7 states where you can still claim a prior-year 529 plan tax deduction
Residents of these seven states can reduce their prior-year taxable income by making contributions to a 529 college savings plan before the April deadline.
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More Americans are saving for college with 529 plans
There are a number of different ways to save for future college costs.
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Introducing the new and improved SAT
The SAT exam has undergone a major renovation.
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Everything You Need to Know About Parent PLUS Loans
If you’re a parent considering a PLUS loan to help pay for your child’s education, read on for everything you need to know first.
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Study shows Maine students who receive state grants for college are more likely to graduate
States also encourage residents to earn a degree, viewing a college education as a driver of economic and social mobility.
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Introducing the new and improved SFC community forum
Our readers can share tips, ask questions and get advice from each other on our newly designed community message board.
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Innovative new calculator helps families save more effectively
Savingforcollege.com is excited to announce the addition of a ground breaking new calculator that will complement our existing suite of tools.
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Student loan debt vs. investments: What to prioritize
Eliminating debt is always beneficial, could focusing too much on paying back those college loans actually be bad?
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AP vs. IB: Which Program Is Best for You?
Both AP and IB programs give high school students the opportunity to earn college credit and become better prepared for higher education.
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How to save for college and still get financial aid
There are three things that will determine how much aid a student will qualify for:
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2015 plan performance rankings Q4
Savingforcollege.com's Q4 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of December 31, 2015 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2015 one-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2015.
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Five things to know about 529s and financial aid
To help clear up any confusion, here are a few things to remember about how 529 plans are treated under the federal aid formula.
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Top Ten Direct-Sold 529 Plans*
The highly-anticipated Savingforcollege.com 529 plan rankings are here! This slideshow features our most recent top ten list of direct-sold 529 plans for one-year investment performance. *Three-year performance rankings as of 12/31/15
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Are college admissions officers checking out your profile?
According to a new survey from Kaplan Test Prep, today’s college applicants should be careful what they post to Facebook and Instagram.
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Busting the top 7 myths about prepaid 529 plans
To help you better understand the prepaid plans and how they work, here are some common myths and the facts that bust them.
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Win $500 from the College Savings Foundation!
The College Savings Foundation (CSF) is continuing their contest this month for families who use 529 plans.
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Small Changes Can Lead to Big College Savings in 2016
There's no better time than the present to bolster your college savings.
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Expert tips on handling your 529 plan in a shaky market
The stock market is expected to continue it's bumpy ride in 2016, but what does that mean for your college savings plan? Find out what the experts have to say.
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Navigating 529 plans through a rough market
Industry experts share their advice on how to handle clients who have stock market jitters.
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Here's how you can help your child pick a college major
Thinking about a future career path is an important step in the college planning process that sometimes gets overlooked in the midst of filling out college applications and figuring out how to pay the tuition.
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Saving for college? You could win $500!
The College Savings Foundation (CSF) is running a new contest for families who save with 529 plans. Enter today!
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Should 529 plans be able to cover pre-K through 12 expenses?
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush recently announced an education plan that would include expanding the benefits of 529 college savings plans.
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College savings: What's in, what's out?
Here are some trends to watch out for to make sure you’re maximizing the savings potential of your 529 plan.
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4 tips to make the most of scholarships
The same vigilance that was used to earn a scholarship is critical if you're going to use the money properly. Here are four tips for helping students get the most out of their reward.
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10 financial aid myths: What you don't know can cost you
Many families need help paying for college, but they're confused about how the financial aid process works and sometimes end up leaving money on the table. Here are 10 common costly myths about financial aid the truths behind them.
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How satisfied are consumers with their 529 plans?
According to Sallie Mae’s How America Saves for College 2015, 27% of American families saving for college are using 529 plans. But how happy are they with their plans?
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Just released: Latest 529 plan 5-Cap Ratings
Savingforcollege.com provides a 5-Cap Rating to each plan to help investors evaluate their college savings options as of September 30, 2015.
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Top college savings stories of 2015
Here's a list of our most-read articles of the year, and many offer tips and advice that can be used throughout 2016 as well.
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New tax bill brings improvements to education benefits
Families saving for college with a 529 plan may want to review their 2015 qualified expenses.
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New study from Fidelity shows why money for college makes a smart gift
How soon will your kids lose interest in the toys they receive this holiday?
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The truth about scholarships and 529 plans
What happens to my 529 if my child gets a scholarship?
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5 important money lessons from a celebrity dad
Mark Steines, of Hallmark Channel's Home and Family, tells about the five most important money lessons he's teaching his kids.
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Seven items for your year-end 529 checklist
The fourth quarter of the year is the most important time to review your clients' 529 plans.
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10 holiday traditions you can start this year
What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a new tradition? Here are 10 festive ideas that will help make the season memorable for your family.
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Changes to 529 plans may be coming soon
Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, filed a bill to extend a variety of recently expired or soon to expire tax provisions.
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Conquering the Admissions Interview
Consider the following tips to help you master your admissions interview.
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How much can you contribute to a 529 plan in 2015?
Make the most of your tax-advantaged savings accounts.
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Top Ten Direct-Sold 529 Plans*
The highly-anticipated Savingforcollege.com 529 plan rankings are here! This slideshow features our most recent top ten list of direct-sold 529 plans for one-year investment performance. *Three-year performance rankings as of 09/30/15
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2015 plan performance rankings Q3
Savingforcollege.com's Q3 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of September 30, 2015 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2015 one-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2015.
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2015 five-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2015.
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2015 ten-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2015.
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Prepaid college savings plans: Here's what you need to know
Prepaid tuition plans allow you to pre-pay future college costs today. Learn more
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Parents vs. politicians on cutting college costs
One of the few things the 2016 presidential hopefuls agree on is that the cost of higher education and rising levels of student loan debt have become major issues. Learn more.
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10 ways to find scholarships
Parent or student looking to fill your college savings gap without having to borrow, here are 10 places you can look to find scholarships.
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5 year end tax tips for college savers
Parents and grandparents who use 529 plans to save for college are eligible for a number of tax benefits. This checklist will help you maximize your savings in 2016.
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5 ways to spend leftover 529 plan money
It's every parent's dream: your child gets a gigantic scholarship to college and you've got thousands of dollars leftover in your college savings account. What to do?
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Using 529 plan savings to pay for a gap year
Are there benefits to participating in a gap year program?
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23 best value colleges for budget-conscious students
The U.S. Department of Education has compiled a list of the 23 colleges that offer the lowest net prices and highest potential incomes after graduation.
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11 myths and realities of scholarships
Believe it or not, you may qualify for multiple scholarship opportunities, learn more.
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Considering community college? Here are the pros and cons
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid excessive student debt.
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Morningstar awards "Gold" rating to four 529 plans
Morningstar and Savingforcollege.com offer helpful tools that can help you sift through the hundreds of 529 plan options available to help find the most suitable investment for your clients’ needs.
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Just announced: Best 529 plans for 2015
Ever wonder how your 529 college savings plan stacks up against the competition? One way to evaluate how your plan is performing is to check Morningstar's latest 529 plan ratings.
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Tapping your 529 plan to pay bills
Taking money from a 529 plan can have serious tax consequences and penalties. However, the collapsing stock market may provide some positive aspects to those who choose to make a withdrawal. Here's what to think about as you examine your choices.
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Tuition prices of top football colleges: AP Top 25 Poll
Since a football scholarship might not be in everyone’s future, we’ve listed the tuition prices of the schools that made up the AP Top 25 Poll in week eight.
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7 myths and realities of 529 plans
Although 529 college savings accounts have been around for years, there are common misconceptions about the plans. Learn the truth behind these seven myths and you'll set yourself up for smarter college investing.
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How much financial aid will you get? Use this tool to get an idea
One thing every student should absolutely do when applying to college is to apply for federal financial aid. Fortunately, we have an easy tool to help you estimate how much aid might be available.
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The new SAT essay: Does your dream school require it?
The short answer is maybe, but probably not. The College Board's new version of the SAT will roll out in March, which includes a newly structured, optional essay portion.
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Top 6 advisor misconceptions about 529 plans
It’s time to clear up the confusion about the most common misconceptions and see how 529 plans can benefit your clients.
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Investing trends of 529 college savers
Find out how other 529 account owners are investing in their plans, and learn some best practices to help you make better choices for your own 529 plan investments.
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5 habits of successful college savers
If you're looking to maximize your savings potential, there's more to it than blindly socking money away. Here are six habits of truly successful college savers.
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How to Save for College in the Big Ten States
Just for fun, here’s a look at college savings plan options from the 11 states that are home to Big Ten college football teams:
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Six steps to landing in the Ivy Leagues
If your child has their hopes set on attending an Ivy League school, it's important to start preparing early on. Lulu Curiel of Ivy Advisors shares six tips to pave your path to the Ivy League schools.
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The biggest college planning mistake parents make
How much debt should parents and students take on?
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Five simple steps to enrolling in a 529 plan
Wondering just to how go about opening a 529 plan? You're not alone! According to our 2nd annual Annual College Savings Survey, 86 percent of those who intend to open a 529 plan don't know the steps involved. Don't worry - we're here to help!
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Don't Let These Myths Muddle College Savings
See the results of Fidelity recently College Savings Indicator Study.
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How to make 'Lazy Money' start working to save for college
One idea for advisors looking to deepen client trust and relationship levels is identify so-called 'lazy money' sitting in parent or grandparent accounts, and recommend repositioning those resources to shore up a college savings gap.
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#TBT College savings: Then and Now
For the past nine years, Fidelity’s College Savings Indicator Study has revealed just how much American families are putting away for college. Read more.
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How Obama's new FAFSA rules will change college savings
The president has recently made changes to the FAFSA which could make saving for college easier for some families. Here are four common examples of how assets used to save for college can affect financial aid.
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76 percent of families have college funds by first grade
According to new data from the College Savings Foundation, more and more parents are saving for college while their child is still very young. Here's why starting to save early and using a 529 plan is a winning combination.
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Student loan refinancing tips, myths and savings
We all know that you can refinance a mortgage or even an auto loan, but consumers are just starting to realize that you can refinance student loans, too. And if you know where to look the savings can really add up.
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Six must-know 529 plan rules
Even with all of the recent publicity surrounding 529 plans, many families are still confused about how they operate. Click through this slideshow to view the biggest misconceptions according to this year's Annual College Savings Survey.
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5 types of students who benefit from 529 plans
No matter what "type" of student you’re saving for, a 529 plan can be an excellent way to plan for college expenses. Click through our slideshow to see how a variety of students can each benefit from a 529 plan.
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How 7 different assets can affect your financial aid eligibility
Before you fill out the FASFA, learn how seven different assets, including 529 college savings plans, can impact your federal financial aid eligibility.
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Earn bonus cash for college this month
Find extra money to put away for college. Learn more.
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When should you switch 529 plans?
There are several good reasons for some 529 plan participants to consider doing a rollover. Here are the most common.
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Where the republican presidential hopefuls went to college
Who's your favorite presidential candidate?
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5 things to consider before doing a 529 plan rollover
Before you make any changes to your plan, ask yourself these five questions.
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6 ways you can save for college
To help those families out there who may not have all the time they want to research their options for saving for college, we’ve listed six common ways you can start a college fund, and the biggest pros and cons of each.
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Eight reasons why grandparents love 529 plans
If you’re a grandparent there are a variety of different ways you can help pay for college. Here are eight reasons why we think saving with a 529 plan could be your best bet.
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75% of college savers don't know how to invest their 529 savings
When it comes to selecting investment options, many clients would benefit from the guidance of a financial advisor, read more:
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5 tips to crafting the perfect essay
College admission essays fill the gap between you and your test scores. Learn useful strategies when crafting your essay:
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Surprising facts about scholarships
But before you apply for a student loan, why not explore the idea of scholarships?
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Avoid these 529 withdrawal traps
Once you've entered the "withdrawal phase," of your 529 plan, be sure you make the right decisions when tapping your 529 account. Here are six mistakes you'll want to avoid.
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The best way to withdraw 529 funds
It will soon be time to pay your bill for fall semester expenses! Here is some advice for how much and when to withdraw 529 plan funds, and also some tips on designating the distributee.
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10 rules for superfunding a 529 plan
This article describes how to make a large contributions to a 529 plan under the special 5-year gift-tax election.
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Want to land a great job? Here's where you should go to school
According to hiring managers, these are the top 10 colleges in the U.S.
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31% of college savers are wrong about this rule
We recently surveyed over 300 college savers and found out that many are still unsure about some important rules regarding 529 plan investing.
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5 changes to the SAT and how parents are reacting
Did you know a new version of the SAT will be launching in March?
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How Dollar-Cost Averaging can protect your 529 savings during a stock market slump
If you find that your 529 plan is performing poorly, you generally have a few different options, learn more.
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Who can open a 529 plan?
Here are six examples of people who would benefit from opening a 529 plan and how.
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5 tips to keep your back-to-school grocery budget in check
Here are some tips on how to feed your family this school year without going broke.
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Top ten direct-sold 529 plans*
The highly-anticipated Savingforcollege.com 529 plan rankings are here! This slideshow features our most recent top ten list of direct-sold 529 plans for one-year investment performance. *One-year performance rankings as of 06/30/15
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2015 plan performance rankings Q2
Savingforcollege.com's Q2 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of June 30, 2015 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2015 one-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2015.
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2015 five-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2015.
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2015 ten-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2015.
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Which way?

Intro to College Savings - Lesson 1
Part of Savingforcollege.com's special 5-day course on Section 529 college savings plans. Lesson 1: How much do you need to save for college?
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Which way?

Intro To College Savings - Lesson 2
Part of Savingforcollege.com's special 5-day course on Section 529 college savings plans. Lesson 2: 529 vs. Coverdell vs. UTMA vs. Everything Else
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Which way?

Intro To College Savings - Lesson 3
Part of Savingforcollege.com's special 5-day course on Section 529 college savings plans. Lesson 3: Shopping for a 529 Plan
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Which way?

Intro to College Savings - Lesson 4
Part of Savingforcollege.com's special 5-day course on Section 529 college savings plans. Lesson 4: Involving grandparents, other relatives and friends
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Which way?

Intro to College Savings - Lesson 5
Part of Savingforcollege.com's special 5-day course on Section 529 college savings plans. Lesson 5: Maximizing financial aid eligibility
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37 best college memories from the '90's
Your child deserves the chance to make his own list of college memories one day.
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Lacrosse or Kumon? Which activities best prepare a young child for college?
Many believe that certain activities will give their child a leg up on the competition when it comes time to apply for college.
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10 things to know before you take an online course
Before enrolling in an online course, get the facts. Here are the top ten things you should know about e-learning.
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4 things to watch out for when applying to a top school
If you have high hopes for sending your child to an Ivy League college, watch out for these common mistakes that can cost your child an acceptance letter.
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Is student debt motivating young parents to save for college?
While the common perception is that student debt is a barrier to college savings, new survey data suggests it may actually have a positive effect on young parents' drive save for college.
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Being Smart about Recommendation Letters Before Senior Year of High School
What is one of the most useful steps young students can take to improve their chances of getting into a top school?
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Part Two: College is worth every penny
Is a degree still a good value?
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6 ways to help your clients maximize financial aid
How can I make sure that my client get the most financial aid possible?
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100 weird scholarship ideas
Worried that your student is out of the running to receive scholarships to help pay for college? Fear not! There is plenty of scholarship money out there - you might just have to get a little creative.
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Part One: Yup, college is a huge waste of money.
Here's a great example of someone who gave college a try and wasn't too happy with the results.
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4 ways to get your kids involved with saving for college
Looking for ways to get your kids involved in saving for their future college education while they're young? Here are some creative ideas that have worked for other families.
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Top 5 financial considerations when selecting childcare
How has the high cost of childcare affected family budgets and savings goals, and what can families do to soften the blow?
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Top 5 mistakes to avoid when using a Coverdell ESA
If you want to start saving for elementary school, high school, or college, a Coverdell is one of your best options. But before you decide to open an account, be sure to look out for these five common pitfalls.
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Study reveals parents need more help saving for college
How can you as an advisor help your clients achieve the education goals they have for their children? Here are a few things to think about.
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How you can help your child ace the SAT or ACT
It's never too early to start preparing for the SATs or ACTs. Lauren Gaggioli, Founder of Higher Scores Test Prep, shares her insights on what it takes to make the grade on these high-stress standardized tests.
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5 youngest shark tank entrepreneurs
Think it's tough to make it big on the hit ABC show "Shark Tank"? Click through our slideshow to see some of the youngest entrepreneurs who have been successful.
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I won't qualify for financial aid, but I still need help paying for college
What can you do if you make too much for financial aid, but not enough to pay for college out of pocket?
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Should I pay for private elementary school or save for college?
Is it more important to pay for education now, or save for college?
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Top 10 financial mistakes millennial parents make
Millennials carry a heavy student debt burden, worsened by the effects of a tough job market. And now they're having babies. Here are the top mistakes that will prevent these young parents from meeting financial goals.
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7 money management tips to save more for college
Boost your college savings efforts, with the following seven money management tips can help get you off on the right foot.
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10 easy ways grandparents can help pay for college
One way grandparents can help their grandchildren on their journey to becoming successful adults is to help fund their college education. Here are ten ways to do this, and the risks and benefits of each.
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Record-keeping for your 529
One of the under-appreciated conveniences provided by a 529 plan is that you don’t have to keep your own records showing the history of your contributions and withdrawals.
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Saving for college? These 6 mistakes can cost you
Parents can maximize their child’s education savings by learning about 529 plan rules and avoiding these six costly college planning mistakes.
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How younger students can build a competitive profile for the Ivy League schools
It's never too early to start thinking about your child's college application. Here are some things you can do now to prepare your child for the Ivy League.
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Will you spend too much this 4th of July? Depends on where you celebrate.
According to Wallethub, the average household is expected to spend around $346.50 on Independence Day this year. Costs will add up quickly, especially if you plan on traveling. Here is a list of the best (and worst) cities to celebrate the 4th of July this year.
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College Savings Timeline: Time to get in gear
Even if your child has less than 18 years until college, you still have plenty of time to grow significant savings. Here are five things to focus on if college is 10 years away.
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8 common 529 plan mistakes to avoid
529 college savings plans are great investments, but they're not foolproof. This slideshow reveals eight of the most common errors people make when choosing, investing in, and withdrawing from 529 plans.
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Can I use my 529 plan to buy electronics?
A question that’s been on the minds of families for some time now is whether or not “supplies and equipment” includes electronics such as computers, smartphones and tablets.
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5 characteristics of high school students heading to college
Students are more concerned than ever about the price of college and many are trying to avoid student loans. Here's a breakdown of why they're so motivated, and what they're doing to make their dreams a reality.
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[VIDEO] What is a qualified expense?
These are all common questions we hear from families related to 529s.
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College Savings Timeline: New beginnings
For those of you who are about to enter the world of parenthood – Congratulations! Believe it or not, this is the ideal time to start a college savings fund. Here are five steps to get started today.
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Five questions to ask yourself when choosing a college savings strategy
College can be one of the largest expenses a family will ever face. There are a number of different options available to help you reach your goal, and here are a few things to consider before choosing the one that’s right for you.
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Shortcut to comparing 529 investment option details
All the details are laid out in the official program descriptions, but wading through those details when each 529 plan presents them differently in their materials is a difficult and time-consuming task.
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Alfred E. Neuman's Guide to 529 Plans
You may meet resistance when recommending 529 plans to your clients stemming from certain fears and misconceptions about how these college savings programs work.
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A 529 client you don't want to overlook
Have you been giving millienials enough attention? Here are a few tips on how you can tailor your approach when working with this younger generation and their college savings needs.
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5 Ways to Save for College this Summer
Here are five easy ways kids can save money for college during summer break.
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7 things you may not know about student loan repayment
If you're one of the 40 million Americans who currently have an outstanding student loan, click through this slideshow to see seven important facts about how repayments work.
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8 Tips on How to Make Student Loans Work for You
How do I pay for college?
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How much can parents really save for college by giving up Starbucks?
Giving up five trips to Starbucks and one meal out per week you could save enough to cover a full year of private school tuition in 18 years.
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Is it a mistake not to hire a financial planner?
When it comes to planning and saving for college, some families prefer to endure the journey alone, but others are willing to pay for professional guidance. DIY college planning may work for some, but here are 6 things you might be missing out on by not utilizing a financial professional.
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[INFOGRAPHIC] Top Misconceptions About College Savings: Do You Know the Answers?
Our annual survey revealed that many families are still confused about how 529 plans work. Learn about the biggest misconceptions.
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How one summer of reading can help your kid succeed all year long
Keep your child active this summer by enrolling them in a summer reading program, and you could be eligible to win a 529 account worth up to $1,529! TIAA-CREF has partnered with libraries around the country to offer summer reading programs in many states.
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Is Online College a Cheaper Option for Your High School Grad?
If the coming months include college for your son or daughter, you're likely facing the dilemma of how to pay some steep tuition costs.
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Can 529 savings be used to pay for summer courses?
Taking summer courses is a great way for students to get ahead and possibly graduate sooner. And yes, you can pay for most summer classes with 529 savings and still maximize tax benefits. Here are a few things to consider:
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Don't waste your summers - Get ready for the Ivy League
If your child has their hopes set on attending an Ivy League school, it's important to start preparing early on. Lulu Curiel of Ivy Advisors shares some tips on how to use this summer to help you pave your path to the Ivy League schools.
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10 expert savings tips to make the most of summer
Now that summer's finally here, are you planning a busy and fun-filled next few months for your family? Here are 10 tips from the experts to help you plan for a memorable summer without draining your bank account
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529 Day Webcast Recap
Did you miss our 529 Day live Q&A webinar? Here's a recap of all the great college savings topics that were covered.
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Is your child headed for the Ivy League?
Tens of thousands of students from all over the world apply to Ivy League schools each year. Take this quiz to see if your child is on track.
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Coverdell ESA versus 529 Plan
Although it has been around since 1998--when it was called the Education IRA--the ESA has long been overshadowed by the 529 plan. Well, its time may have come.
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10 things you need to know about getting scholarships
When students are searching for scholarships, they must keep the following 10 things in mind to save time and reduce frustration.
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It Pays to Start Saving: 5 Ways to Get Started Now
Saving 100% of what you need for college may be difficult, any savings will open options and reduce the need to take on student debt.
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The 10 states with the fastest rising college tuition
Tuition prices have been rising across the country, but some states have experienced sharper increases than others. If you're planning to send your child to one of the following ten states, you might want to consider increasing your 529 plan contributions.
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529 Day Webcast - Meet the experts
Don't miss our 529 Day Webcast taking place on May 29th! Learn more about the panel of leading industry experts who will be answering your college savings questions.
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Top ten direct-sold 529 plans*
The highly-anticipated Savingforcollege.com 529 plan rankings are here! This slideshow features our most recent top ten list of direct-sold 529 plans for one-year investment performance. *One-year performance rankings as of 03/31/15
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Ask an Expert: Should I still use a 529 plan to save if I am unsure of my child's higher education plans?
Parents often delay opening a 529 account because of uncertainty regarding their child's plans for higher education. Marguerita Cheng of Blue Ocean Global Wealth explains how parents can still benefit from 529 plans even if their child doesn't end up needing the funds.
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2015 one-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2015.
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2015 plan performance rankings Q1
Savingforcollege.com's Q1 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of March 31, 2015 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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5 groovy college lessons from Mad Men
AMC's hit period-drama 'Mad Men' is coming to an end! For a fun twist before the finale, take a look at this list of lessons that can be learned about saving for college from our favorite Mad Men characters.
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Just who is Joe Hurley anyway?
And how does he know so much about 529 plans?
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9 tips on getting into an Ivy League School
Getting accepted to that dream Ivy League college can be difficult, but it's not impossible. Here are some tips on navigating the admissions process from International College Counselors CEO Mandee Heller Adler.
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Are you a financially savvy parent?
As a parent, you have a lot to think about on a daily basis - but how much thought are you giving to your household finances? Start here by taking this quiz to find out if your family finances are on the right track!
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529 reasons to save for college with a 529 plan
We're celebrating 529 Day this year in a BIG way by compiling a list of 529 reasons to open a 529 plan! To kick things off, here are some great reasons from a few of our favorite industry experts.
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9 ways America's college savings habits have changed
Sallie Mae's 2015 'How America Pays For College' report is fairly consistent with 2014's findings in how American families prepare for the costs of higher education. Here are 9 changes in some saving attitudes and behaviors that we thought we worth noting.
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Ask an expert: Can I use 529 plan funds to pay for college and get the American Opportunity Tax Credit?
The IRS rules regarding the coordination of 529 plan withdrawals and education tax credits can get a little tricky. Marguerita Cheng elaborates on this frequently-asked question.
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5 ways to ease client concerns about paying for college
If you have clients with children under the age of 18, you need to be thinking about college. Learn more about the recent Gallup poll.
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How to pay off student loan debt while saving for the future
Over 40 million Americans have student loan debt. Is it possible to build savings while paying down your loans? Guest blogger Robert Farrington, Founder of The College Investor, tells us how.
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7 ways to prepare a child with autism for college
In honor of Autism Awareness Month this April, here are seven things a you can do to make the dream of college a reality for a child with autism.
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This year's top 10 best and worst jobs
Looking for a little motivation when it comes to saving for college? This year's list of the best and worst jobs of 2015 should remind you just how important that college education will be in helping your child or grandchild to achieve the job of his or her dreams.
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How to get socially responsible with 529 plans
Happy Earth Day! Did you know that you can help preserve the environment by saving for college? Here are four investment managers that offer Socially Responsible Investment options through 529 college savings plans.
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Are U.S. Savings Bonds still an effective way to save for college?
Way back before smart phones, Netflix and Facebook, many families were using savings bonds as a way to set aside money for college. If you're still holding on to your bonds - is it time for an upgrade?
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Ask an expert: How can I move my funds from one 529 plan to another without incurring taxes?
There are many reasons for considering a change in 529 plans. Marguerita Cheng of Blue Ocean Global Wealth explains how to transfer funds from one 529 plan to another without incurring tax consequences.
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Mint.com expert interview on paying for college
We recently had the opportunity to share our advice on funding higher education with Mint.com in their Expert Interview series. In honor of Financial Literacy Month, read though this interview to learn some great tips on the best ways to pay for college.
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New research shows why families who aren't saving for college will have to borrow
New research has revealed just how much of an effect saving for college has on reducing the likelihood that a student will incur student debt. So why are Americans continuing to rely so heavily on student loans? Here are three factors that may be to blame.
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How to pass the college affordability test (CAT)
Many students and parents invest time and money preparing for the SAT and ACT but don’t give much forethought to passing their own college affordability test (CAT). Wendy David-Gaines discusses ways families can begin prepping for their own CAT.
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[Video] What is a 529 plan?
Whether you're a new parent, grandparent or a prospective student, a 529 plan can help you build a college savings fund. Here's a quick video that introduces the 529 plan and highlights why we feel 529 plans are the best way for families to save for college.
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10 things you can learn about saving for college from Game of Thrones
What can Jon Snow, Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister teach you about planning for college? Find out in this fun Game of Thrones slideshow.
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Ask an expert: Can I claim any higher education tax benefits for a non-dependent child?
As the deadline to file your taxes draws near, Marguerita Cheng of Blue Ocean Global Wealth offers an answer to this frequently-asked question concerning higher education tax credits.
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Will a high school part-time job help with college admissions?
A part-time job can have a big impact on a student’s college application and could even influence their career path for years to come. Ryan Hickey, Managing Editor of Peterson's, shares four key questions that students should consider when looking for a part-time job.
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What is your state doing to promote saving for college?
As tuition prices continue to skyrocket, many states are actively trying to raise awareness about the importance of saving for college. At this year's College Savings Foundation Conference, representatives from several states shared their thoughts with us on the best ways to promote saving for college.
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Ask an expert: How do grandparent-owned 529 plans affect financial aid eligibility?
Matthew Toner of Savingforcollege.com responds to the frequently asked-about topic of grandparent-owned 529 accounts and their effect on financial aid eligibility.
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College Savings April Foolery
Don't be tricked this April Fools Day! Make sure you do your research so that you know exactly what the best strategy is to help you meet your college savings goals.
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[PODCAST] Melinda Lewis on the relationship between college savings and student debt
Just how much of an effect does a college fund have on the likelihood that a student will have to borrow? In this podcast, Kathryn Flynn and Melinda Lewis discuss new research on the relationship between saving for college and student debt.
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How to prepare now for that first tuition bill
Save for college with confidence: Your uuide to education funding, a resource published by Northwestern Mutual.
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How to save for college in the Sweet Sixteen states
It’s March Madness time! In honors of tonight’s first round of games between the Sweet 16 bracket, we’ve put together a slideshow highlighting the teams by state, and the 529 college savings plans offered by each state.
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Does your employer help you save for college?
Many workers feel that help with saving for college is a key piece missing from their benefits package. Kathryn Flynn and Christian Duffus of LEAF College Savings discuss why we rarely see college savings plans offered as employee benefits.
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Little Einsteins flock to the White House Science Fair
This year's annual White House Science Fair highlighted the President's 'Educate to Innovate' Campaign, part of the larger initiative to make college a reality for more students.
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Will the Student Aid Bill of Rights help your family?
Last week President Obama signed a presidential memorandum outlining a plan intended to help dissolve the student debt crisis. The Student Aid Bill of Rights focuses on four key issues related to helping students pay for college and helping graduates manage and repay their student loans.
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Which way?

You do not have to trade retirement for tuition
Parents will do almost anything to keep their children from having to borrow to pay for college, even if it means sacrificing their own retirement savings.
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5 secrets to winning a college scholarship
The assumption that one has to be a perfect 4.0 student to win college scholarships has stopped a lot of talented students from even applying. Here are five secrets to winning a college scholarship that award recipients swear by.
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5 ways to grow your 529 pot o' gold
Even if you can't depend on the luck of the Irish to help you afford college tuition, here are five simple ways you can use a 529 plan to grow your own pot of gold for college!
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15 facts about financial aid eligibility
Feeling overwhelmed by the process of applying for financial aid? Fear not! These fifteen facts can help you determine how much financial aid you may be eligible for.
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529 plans and your tax return
There are times when 529 account activity will need to be reported to the IRS. Here are five things to consider this tax season if you’re saving for college.
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Why can't you donate your 529 plan to charity?
Donating a 529 account to charity might seem like the perfect solution for some who have leftover money in their account. Unfortunately, the tax law as it is currently written prevents this.
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Nine reasons why every 'Modern Family' needs a 529 plan
The following slideshow looks at one of America’s favorite unconventional families and how each member can enjoy the benefits of a 529 plan.
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Savingforcollege.com's March Photo Madness
To get in the spirit of the upcoming March Madness basketball tournament, we're giving you the opportunity to win some great prizes. Enter our Facebook photo contest for a chance to win a $250 cash scholarship and two fitbits!
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Understanding your student loans and how to repay them
With so many loan repayment options out there it’s important for borrowers to explore all of their repayment options and make sure they find the plan that best fits their needs and their budget. NerdScholar's Alexandra Rice shares some tips.
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The Penny Hoarder talks about saving and paying for college
Kyle Taylor, founder of The Penny Hoarder blog, shares some tips for parents, college students, and recent grads on ways to earn, save, and grow money.
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Making the most of the college visit
When considering a college to attend, one factor that students cannot get from the facts, pictures or stories is how they will feel once they are on campus. Here are some tips on how to make the most of a college visit.
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Financial Aid - Five crucial tips
There are many sources of financial aid available, learn more about them.
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It's that time of year again - the 40-Day College Savings Challenge
Join us again this year and challenge yourself to find room in your family budget for college savings. Keep track of what you're able to save for the next 40 days, and keep us posted on how it's going!
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2014 plan performance rankings Q4
Savingforcollege.com's Q4 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of December 31, 2014 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2014 one-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2014.
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2014 five-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2014.
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2014 ten-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2014.
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[PODCAST] Selecting your 529 plan investment options
In this podcast episode, Joe Hurley and Kathryn Flynn discuss the investment options typically offered in a 529 plan and how to choose the best investment portfolio to achieve your savings target.
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10 things we love most about 529 plans
Getting to college without going into excessive debt isn’t easy, but it’s also not impossible. Here are 10 reasons why we think 529 plans are the most effective way for families to save for college.
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7 ways the 2016 fiscal year budget could affect higher education
This week, the Obama administration released a 2016 fiscal year budget request, which details the President's plan to make education and job training top priorities. This slideshow lists the impact the proposed budget could have on certain areas of higher education.
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5 reasons we were outraged by the President's 529 proposal
In the week following the President's surprising proposal to tax 529 plan withdrawals and subsequent dropping of the proposal, we began to wonder why it was ever brought up in the first place. After taking a closer look, here are five reasons we feel the president's proposal was based on some pretty misleading data.
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Automatic scholarships: New way to impact college planning
Looking for scholarships to help pay for college? Learn how the Raise.me platform helps students earn automatic "micro-scholarships" towards participating colleges for every milestone they achieve throughout high school.
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Proposed legislation H.R. 529 - Withdrawals, Reporting and Redepositing
A bipartisan legislation intended to modernize and expand 529 plans.
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529 plans and their tax benefits are here to stay
College savers can now breathe a sigh of relief as the President plans to drop his proposal to eliminate tax-free withdrawals of 529 college savings plans.
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What you need to know about President Obama's 529 tax proposal
In light of President Obama's recent proposal to eliminate the federal tax benefits of 529 plans, here are the facts on the proposal as it currently stands, as well as some ideas on how you can take action against it.
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The President's backdoor plan to increase 529 savings
Reaction to President Obama's proposal to impose tax on qualified distributions from 529 savings accounts.
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10 reasons why president obama's proposal to reduce 529 benefits will NOT be enacted
President Obama's proposal to streamline education tax incentives calls for a rollback of the tax-free qualified withdrawals from 529 education savings plans that were enacted in 2001. Here are ten reasons why it's most likely that this proposal will not be enacted into law.
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5 ways to avoid student loans
If you want your teenager to go to college without taking student loans, it’s important that you make a plan right now to prepare for that. Rachel Cruze explains a few ideas for how to get started.
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What would you do with free community college?
In case you haven't heard, President Obama recently announced a plan that would allow some students to attend two years of community college for free. Here are five ways families could take advantage of the potential savings of this plan, should it come to fruition.
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Which is best: 529 college savings plan or Roth IRA?
When it comes to choosing the best way to save for college, many people turn to tax-advantaged investment vehicles like Roth IRAs and 529 college savings plans. If you're on the fence about which savings vehicle to use, take a look at this breakdown of how each one works.
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529 plans and the FAFSA
Before you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it's a good idea to understand how your current savings, including those in 529 plans, are analyzed in calculating your financial aid eligibility.
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The 25 best 529 plan questions of 2014
Is opening a 529 plan one of your New Year's resolutions? Here's a list of some of the most commonly-asked 529 questions (and their answers!) to help you stick to your goal.
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The ABLE Act and what it means for your 529 plan
The long-awaited Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act has been signed into law by President Obama. Learn about how the 529A accounts created by this Act will help Americans with disabilities better save for the future.
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[PODCAST] How to give a gift of college savings
Happy holidays! In this new podcast, Joe Hurley and Kathryn Flynn discuss why a contribution to a 529 plan can be a more meaningful gift for a child than a toy or cash.
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529 plans: Underappreciated Benefits Part I
When Congress in 2001 transformed 529 plans from being tax-deferred vehicles into being tax-free vehicles, I'm not sure they contemplated an environment in which investment returns might regularly outpace increases in college costs.
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5 ways to get money for college this holiday season
Instead of receiving more trucks or dolls to add to your already overflowing toy chest, why not consider asking your loved ones to contribute to your child's college fund this year? View this slideshow to learn more about some of the creative 529 gifting programs available to help you do just that.
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Making the right year-end moves
December 31 is fast approaching. If you haven't yet completed your year-end 529 housekeeping, now is the time to do it. This checklist should help:
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College: The Ultimate Gift Idea This Holiday Season
Grandparents Can Help Fill the College Savings Void
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Introducing the NEW College Savings Planner on Savingforcollege.com!
It's time to change the way you think about college savings. Meet the College Savings Planner, an innovative tool that allows you to design a customized savings strategy to help you meet your specific goals. Try it out!
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5 ways to judge your 529 plan's performance
You expect excellent investment results from your 529 plan, but how do you really know? Here are five approaches to help you judge your 529 plan's investment performance.
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Despite rising tuition prices, more students are just saying "No" to loans
Last week, the College Board released its annual "Trends in College Pricing" report, which revealed some much needed positive news regarding student borrowing.
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2014 plan performance rankings Q3
Savingforcollege.com's Q3 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of September 30, 2014 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2014 one-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2014.
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2014 three-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2014.
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2014 five-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2014.
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2014 ten-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2014.
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Avoiding the financial-aid trap with grandparent 529s
Here are several strategies grandparents with 529 plans can utilize in order to contribute to their grandchildren's college fund without negatively impacting their financial aid eligibility.
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5 reasons to keep your 529 plan open during college
Even if there's only a small balance left in your 529 plan after paying your tuition bills, it's usually a smart idea to keep the plan up and running. Learn why.
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Be the Quarterback of Your College Savings Team
Steps to help accelerate college savings plan.
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[INFOGRAPHIC] College Savings Month Survey results
This year's College Savings Month survey revealed what factors families feel are most important when choosing a 529 plan. View our new infographic to see a summary of the findings.
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[PODCAST] Getting started with a 529 plan - Step 3: Maximizing your savings
In the third and final episode of the "Getting Started with a 529 Plan" series, Kathryn Flynn and Joseph Hurley discuss ways you can maximize the savings in your 529 plan in order to meet your college savings goals.
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Does this 529 plan rule leave you scratching your head?
Investing in your home state's 529 plan can have some great benefits, but you should still explore the 529 options in other states as well.
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Going "all-in" on 529 plans
The IRS permits 529 plans to establish very high contribution limits—currently the highest is $452,210 in Pennsylvania. The reason for such generosity is because Congress in developing Section 529 did not want to prevent families with sufficient financial resources from saving for the FULL cost of postsecondary education, including both undergraduate and graduate school expenses.
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The 529 plan F-Word
Almost all college savers will agree that the most hated four-letter word associated with 529 plans is F-E-E-S. It's important to compare fees when deciding on a 529 plan. But where do you start?Here’s a quick slideshow to help you understand the different charges:
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College Savings Month Survey (September 2014)
This year’s College Savings Month survey focused on the factors involved in deciding which 529 college savings plan to enroll in. With so many college savings plans available, choosing a plan can often be a daunting process for families.
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8 tips for preparing your child for the financial realities of college
This guest post offers the following strategies to help you ensure your kids are ready to face the expenses of higher education.
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Savingforcollege.com's College Savings Month festivities
To celebrate College Savings Month, we’re featuring exciting new content dedicated to sharing our knowledge and answering your questions regarding 529 college savings plans and other planning tools. Here’s a quick list of what we’re currently offering.
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Consider this 529 college-savings niche
Did you know that 501(c)(3) charitable organizations can open accounts in a 529 plan? Not many people do. Yet this possibility presents an intriguing opportunity for both charities and forward-thinking financial advisors.
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Before you open a grandparent 529 account...
A 529 college savings plan can be a very effective way for grandparents to build a college fund for their grandchildren. However, there are a few questions grandparents must ask themselves before opening a 529 account.
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[PODCAST] Getting started with a 529 plan - Step 2: Opening your account
Tune in to the next episode in our podcast series and listen to Joe Hurley and Kathryn Flynn's discussion on what you need to do to set up your 529 college savings account.
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You're saying my financial advisor can help me plan for college?
Most parents and grandparent already know that they can open a 529 plan through an advisor, but what they may not realize is that advisors are also helping to make college attainable in other ways.
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[PODCAST] Getting started with a 529 plan - Step 1: Finding the best plan
529 accounts are relatively simple to set up, but with over 100+ different options available, even the most savvy investors are sometimes left wondering where to begin. In this new podcast series, we discuss the steps to take when setting up a new 529 college savings account.
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Five reasons competency-based education might be for you
Competency-based education is a new trend in online higher education that caters to those who may have financial or time restraints that prevent a traditional college experience. Here are five reasons why this non-traditional type of college program might be for you.
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Why you should teach your kids about money
Studies have shown that kids who are involved in family finances are much more likely to save money themselves, yet many parents still have reluctance when it comes to discussing financial matters with their kids.
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A super calculator for 529 superfunding
Explains the 529 Superfunding Calculator—that can help you guide your client in making the most effective use of the 5-year election.
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12 states offering FDIC-Insured 529 plan options
Families who wish to save for college with 529 plans but are seeking more conservative investment options may find them with plans that offer FDIC-insured options. Here are 12 states that offer this type of investment.
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4 Ways Families Are Tackling High College Costs
According to Sallie Mae's annual How America Pays for College study that was released last week, families are getting the message about saving early for college. Learn more here.
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2014 plan performance rankings Q2
Savingforcollege.com's Q2 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of June 30, 2014 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2014 one-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2014.
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2014 three-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2014.
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2014 five-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2014.
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2014 ten-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2014.
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[PODCAST] How to Effectively Save For College When You Have Multiple Children
Listen to our podcast to learn the best ways to divvy up your college savings with multiple children.
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How college savings can make a great gift
Here's a great gift-giving idea that you can incorporate annually into your child's life, and even put a college-savings spin on it.
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A top college savings resource for grandparents
There are a number of different ways for grandparents to help save for college, yet for many the process can seem overwhelming. Here's an overview of the college savings resources we have available to help grandparents ensure their grandchildren have the best chance for success.
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[INFOGRAPHIC] College Savings Timeline
Our newest "College Savings Timeline" Infographic focuses on what you can do during various stages of life to ensure an easy transition to college that won’t leave your child or grandchild burdened with excessive debt.
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For many college hopefuls, grandparents coming to the rescue
Parents strategizing to cover the cost of college may not have to look very far for an additional helping hand. One group of advocates is stepping up to help save for college and providing significant support: grandparents.
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Savingforcollege.com's 529 Plan Fee Study
While fees associated with direct-sold 529 college savings plans have come down significantly in the last few years, they still need to be taken into consideration. To help you do this this we have just updated our semi-annual fee study.
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Six calculators to help you save for college
We are constantly striving to come up with new and improved tools that will help you answer some of your toughest college savings questions. See how these six calculators can assist you with your budgeting and planning decisions:
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Benefits of 529 plans - How to Save for College HQ PODCAST
In this "How to Save for College HQ" Podcast, Celest Horton and Kathryn Flynn discuss the benefits of 529 plans and the importance of starting to save as soon as possible.
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College Savings Timeline: Time for college
All the hard work you've put into building up your child's college savings account has paid off, and now it's time for them to head off to college. What steps do you need to take to make a 529 plan withdrawal when the first tuition bill arrives?
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VIDEO - What happens to my 529 plan money if my child gets a scholarship?
Parents are sometimes hesitant to open a 529 account for their child because they are afraid of incurring penalties on any unused funds. However, there are some exceptions to the to the penalty rule:
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5 reasons recent college graduates are becoming the boomerang generation
As we celebrate our country’s independence this week, many parents of Class of 2014 college graduates are hoping for another sense of freedom.
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When your child wants to attend a U.S. Military Academy
What happens if families who have been diligently saving for college with a 529 plan have a child who plans to attend a military academy?
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Facebook contest: Share your proudest moment as a parent or grandparent!
This month, we’re offering a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card just for sharing a photo of your proudest parent or grandparent moment with us. Post your proudest moment on our Facebook wall for your chance to win!
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Scoring an athletic scholarship
This year's World Cup has given us sports fever! In today's blog post, we discuss the realistic probability of achieving a sports scholarship, and why opening a 529 college savings account is an excellent back-up plan.
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Don't be fooled by 529 plan sticker shock
Many critics of 529 plans who are hesitant to invest because they feel that the fees associated with these types of plans will eat away at their earnings. However, these claims leave out one of the most lucrative advantages of a 529 plan - the tax benefits.
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Congratulations to our 529 Day winner: Another great success!
This May 29th, affectionately known to the industry as 529 Day, was especially memorable for Rochelle Blee, the winner of our 529 Day celebration giveaway.
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Top five ways to spend 529 savings
Withdrawals from a 529 plan must be spent on qualified higher education expenses to avoid tax and penalty. Just what types of college expenses are qualified?
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College savings success stories: Anonymous tips
Last week we received some great advice on our message board explaining how to get the best education "bang for your buck". Consider these tips to create a well-rounded college funding strategy.
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Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks
Ideas aimed at the goal of getting your clients to ask you about education savings instead of you having to initiate the discussion.
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10 reasons to give the gift of college education
It’s graduation party season- looking for the perfect gift? Whether you are shopping for a kindergartener, eighth grader or even a high school graduate, here are 10 reasons why a contribution to a college savings fund will always be appreciated.
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Four easy ways shoppers can become college savers
If saving for college while you shop sounds like your cup of tea, you might want to consider a credit card that will pay you back in the form of 529 plan contributions. Here are four credit cards that offer college savings rewards.
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VIDEO - Which 529 plan is best for me?
With hundreds of different options available, how do you know which 529 plan to choose? In this video, Joe Hurley points out the features you should look for when you shop for a 529 plan.
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Student loan rate hikes give more reason to save
Beginning July 1, we will see a 0.8% increase in interest rates on all federal student loans. If you were planning on taking out loans to pay for college, you may want to rethink your strategy.
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College Savings Timeline: The home stretch
You’re the parent of a high school junior, which means in just two years your child will be on his or her way to college. In this week’s College Savings Timeline, we discuss the five most important college planning steps for the final years of high school.
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Top four savings essentials for young families
Having kids and the expenses to go with them can sometimes put savings goals on hold. Whether your first baby just arrived or your oldest is headed to middle school, it’s never too late to get your family’s savings plan back on track. Here are four tips on how to get started.
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529 Day Q&A Webcast hosted by Savingforcollege.com
Mark your calendars! In honor of 529 Day, Thursday, May 29th at 1:00pm ET Savingforcollege.com is hosting a live webcast featuring the industry’s top experts. This is your chance to ask questions regarding 529 plans, financial aid and where college savings fits into your family’s financial plan.
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2014 plan performance rankings Q1
Savingforcollege.com's Q1 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of March 31, 2014 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2014 one-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2014.
Read More

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2014 three-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2014.
Read More

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2014 five-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2014.
Read More

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2014 ten-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2014.
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[INFOGRAPHIC] The History of the 529 Plan
Take a look at our newest infographic to see some important dates in the lifetime of the 529 plan, and how it has evolved to the great college savings vehicle that it is today.
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Five of the best college savings apps
In addition to allowing you to track funds in a bank or investment account, there are also mobile apps available that offer some fantastic planning tools. This slide show highlights five apps that help parents, students and grandparents plan for the future costs of college.
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College savings success stories: The 529 Guru's story
This week, we asked our very own Savingforcollege.com founder and "529 Guru", Joe Hurley, to share how he used his expertise to pay for the college education of his own two children.
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College Savings Timeline: Now entering the world of high school
Here are some things you can do in the next four years of high school to ensure an easy transition that won't leave your child burdened with excessive debt.
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Do 529 plans beat their benchmark?
A recent analysis conducted by Joe Hurley finds that historically when their unique benefits are taken into account, 529 plans can be a very lucrative choice when saving for college.
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College savings success stories: Family of seven
This week, author Katie Flynn will be telling her own college savings success story. She explains how her parents got Katie and her four siblings through college successfully - an incredible feat!
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5 ways to cut college costs
The last thing you want is to have your child graduate college burdened with student loans. Here are five ways anyone can put away extra money for college, regardless of income.
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Curing financial-aid dependence
Saving for college early may mean the ability to afford the school that's best for your child -- whether or not it's the college that offers the best financial aid package.
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College savings success stories: Our own success
We thought you might be interested in how saving for college worked for our own families. This week’s success story comes from our very own Chief Operating Officer, Marie Osypian.
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Benchmarking the 529 industry
Investors, advisors, and the financial media all want to know how well 529 plans, as a group, are performing. In other words, are 529 plans delivering solid investment returns?
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10 investing terms every college saver should understand
In honor of Financial Literacy Month, here’s a quick rundown of ten often-misunderstood investing terms that you’re likely to come across when choosing a saving strategy.
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Top 529 plans to follow on twitter
To help you keep up-to-date with the latest college savings news, here is a list of the most active plans on twitter. Follow away!
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College savings success stories: The Rickman family
Our first college savings success story features the Rickman family, who demonstrate the significant savings of having their children attend school in-state.
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Clearing up the confusion: Five popular 529 plan myths
Recent survey data has indicated that parents' misunderstanding of 529 plans may be a significant barrier to their use of them. In this slideshow we present five of the biggest 529 plan myths along with the facts to set the record straight.
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20 people on Twitter who can help you save for college
Whether you’re actively saving for college or just starting to think about it, here’s a list of 20 people whose tweets will help guide you through the college planning process.
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Will 529s become retirement accounts?
A bill introduced into Congress last week would have families scrambling to open 529 accounts—not necessarily for college.
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7 key questions for comparing 529 plans
It is important that you do your homework when selecting a 529 plan, much as you would when making any important purchase or investment decision. We have compiled a number of tools and comparison studies for you already.
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Annual College Savings Survey results: An opportunity to educate
Experts agree that there is a strong need for education on financial products and services, and that the younger these topics are introduced, the better. This includes the area of 529 plans, where confusion is still common.
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March Money Madness
Even if you're not a basketball fan, it's hard to escape the excitement of the March Madness Tournament. With so much attention surrounding colleges, it's a great time to be thinking about your own children's college plans!
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Truth be told - Common 529 plan misconceptions
The results of our Annual College Savings Survey show that there are still many people who are unclear about the functionality of 529 plans. In this post, we discuss six common misconceptions and reveal the correct answers to help clear up some of the confusion.
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Annual College Savings Survey results: All that you can leave behind
As college costs in America rise faster than the rate of inflation and total student loan debt surpasses $1 trillion, more relatives are exploring the idea of helping pay tuition for grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
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Annual College Savings Survey results: Direct- or advisor-sold 529 plan?
Our survey results indicate many of our readers feel comfortable selecting their own investments, but there may be situations in which an advisor-sold 529 plan could be a better fit. Here are a few key questions to ask yourself:
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Are 529 plans doing the job?
Total assets in 529 plans, which stood at $227 billion as of December 31, 2013, saw a 19% increase over the previous year's $190 billion total. Sounds pretty good, right? Actually, it’s a bit disappointing to me.
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Annual College Savings Survey results: Make the most of your savings
As promised, here is the first in a series of blog posts based on the results of our Annual College Savings survey. We begin by examining how our readers are currently saving for college and why.
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The 529 plan Pot O' Gold is growing!
Many future college students should be feeling lucky this St. Patrick’s Day. A recent report announced that total investments in 529 college savings plans hit a record level of $227 billion. However, families still have a long way to get to the end of the rainbow.
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[INFOGRAPHIC] How much do you need to save for college?
Our latest infographic looks at the actual expenses related to higher education and how American families are footing the bill to pay for college.
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7 reasons why mutual funds don't work so well for college
Here are seven reasons why 529s will almost always beat taxable investments—even index funds and other so-called tax-efficient funds—provided the money is eventually used for college.
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The Bank of Grandma and Grandpa - New video featuring our very own Joe Hurley!
In the following video Joseph Hurley, Founder of Savingforcollege.com, explains the different ways Grandparents can assist with paying for tuition, taking issues like financial aid and taxes into consideration.
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Biggest college savings misconceptions
Here are the biggest college savings misconceptions that parents and grandparents have.
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The 2014 Annual College Savings Survey Results
The Annual College Savings Survey was designed to shed light on consumer beliefs and actions in relation to 529 plans. The results uncovered a number of key findings that we are excited to share with our readers in a new series of blog posts.
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College savings in a nutshell
Recommendations for exploring the Savingforcollege.com website, tailored to the visitor's stage in the college planning process.
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The 40-Day College Savings Challenge
Regardless of your religious beliefs, Lent can be a great time to focus on good spending habits. Over the next 40 days, we challenge our readers to find ways to cut their budget and make room for college savings.
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Tax reform and 529 plans
Joe shares his thoughts on the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's recently-proposed comprehensive tax reform package and its effect on tax incentives for education.
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Welcome to the new and improved Savingforcollege.com Blog!
Whether you are a new parent, grandparent or professional advisor, we are committed to offering the most timely and relevant college savings content while encouraging interaction, comments and feedback.
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Opportunity exists for more advisor 529 sales
Savingforcollege.com recently conducted its first annual College Savings Survey, an online survey of our website visitors designed to investigate families' beliefs, goals, and actions when it comes to saving for college in America.
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Parents Reveal Top College Savings Strategies
Fidelity recently surveyed parents across the country to find out what college savings goals families have set for this year and how they intend to stick to them.
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Why bother saving for college?
Proactively saving for college allows parents to secure the benefits of higher education without the burden of excessive debt, even in the event of an economic downturn or unemployment crisis.
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2013 plan performance rankings Q4
Savingforcollege.com's Q4 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of December 31, 2013 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
Read More

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2013 one-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2013.
Read More

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2013 three-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2013.
Read More

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2013 five-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2013.
Read More

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2013 ten-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2013.
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Converting UGMA/UTMA to 529 -- good idea or bad?
Your clients set up an UGMA or UTMA account for their child several years ago and have been gifting cash and securities into the account. Should they now convert the account to a 529 plan?
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Resolutions for 2014 for financial planners
I am offering up 6 resolutions for 2014 directed to financial planners. These suggestions will not only help your clients, but most likely will help you attract new clients.
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Test Your 529 Knowledge Part I
Take this three-question test—the first of an occasional series—and find out if you know the ins and outs of 529 plans.
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6 college savings resolutions for 2014
The date of your child's college enrollment creeps ever closer. As 2013 comes to a close, consider including the following items on your list of resolutions for 2014.
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7 steps to enrolling in a 529 plan
Considering college savings options? These seven steps lead you through the ease of establishing a 529 plan.
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2013 Top Advisor-sold 529 Plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com's 529 Performance Rankings of advisor-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2013 are now available.
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Which way?

2013 plan performance rankings Q3
Savingforcollege.com's Q3 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of September 30, 2013 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
Read More

Which way?

2013 one-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2013.
Read More

Which way?

2013 three-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2013.
Read More

Which way?

2013 five-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2013.
Read More

Which way?

2013 ten-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2013.
Read More

Which way?

Did college just get less expensive?
The College Board this week released its annual report "Trends in College Pricing" containing data that suggests college tuition inflation may be slowing. This is good news for your clients concerned about funding future college costs for their children and grandchildren.
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College Savings Current Events
An up-to-date listing of promotions, events, and contests being offered by states and their 529 programs.
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Coming soon to a state near you: tax-free investment accounts for those with disabilities.
The ABLE Act would permit states to establish 529-ABLE programs to accept and invest contributions for individuals with disabilities, and to make federally tax-free distributions when used for a broad category of expenses incurred by an eligible beneficiary.
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America's Parents Get a B-Minus on Their College Savings Report Card
When we asked parents to grade their college savings progress, they gave themselves a B-minus. While there’s definitely room for improvement to bump that to an “A,” we found that many are taking steps in the right direction, with more families saving in 529 college savings plans (up 5% from 2012) and 61% having a financial plan in place to help reach college goals.
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UGMA/UTMA conversions to 529: When do they make sense?
Guidelines and examples consider the "kiddie tax" when determining whether to convert an existing UGMA/UTMA custodial account to a 529 plan.
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529s for aunts and uncles
A Pennsylvania financial planner increases tax savings for a client by directing funds to 529 plans for nieces and nephews.
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2013 Top Advisor-sold 529 Plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com's 529 Performance Rankings of advisor-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2013 are now available.
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2013 plan performance rankings Q2
Savingforcollege.com's Q2 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of June 30, 2013 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2013 one-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2013.
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2013 three-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2013.
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2013 five-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2013.
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2013 ten-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2013.
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529s on a roll
Sallie Mae and Ispsos Public Affairs' annual survey "How America Pays for College 2013" revealed encouraging news in regards to 529 plans, including a dramatic increase in 529 plan use over the past year.
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Q & A on 5-Cap Ratings
Savingforcollege.com's 5-Cap Ratings of 529 plans have been one of our website's most visible, enduring and unique features.
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Financial Cool-Aid
In light of the recent student loan interest rate hike, here are some things to know when talking to your clients about how the change will affect them and what they can do to minimize taking on massive debt.
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What's on the 529 horizon?
Joe Hurley offers thoughts on federal legislative developments that may, or may not, impact 529 plans.
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2013 Top Advisor-sold 529 Plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com's 529 Performance Rankings for advisor-sold plans as of March 31, 2013 are now available.
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2013 plan performance rankings Q1
Savingforcollege.com's Q1 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of March 31, 2013 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2013 one-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2013.
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2013 three-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2013.
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2013 five-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2013.
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2013 ten-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2013.
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When to undo a 529 plan
Sometimes it pays to undo a 529 plan. Amy Feldman of Reuters wrote an excellent article about the impact of 529s on financial aid and quoted me as suggesting that it’s sometimes better to take a nonqualified distribution: "Most people would never think of that, but depending on the financial aid package, the financial aid penalty may be worse than the tax penalty."
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10 reasons why Obama won't touch your 529
Many investment professionals were surprised last week by the Obama administration’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal to place a cap on balances in tax-advantaged retirement accounts.
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College savings versus retirement savings
Some parents will choose to fund their children's college accounts even when they are not making full use of 401(k) plans and IRAs, and for these parents that decision may be the right one.
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The impact of 529 plans on claiming a dependent
How does taking a distribution from a 529 plan affect a client's ability to claim a child as a dependent? No one really knows the answer to that question, at least not with any certainty. A tax preparer's stance could determine whether the client is able to take advantage of the dependency exemption, the American Opportunity credit, the Lifetime Learning credit, and the tuition and fees deduction.
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A checking account is a checking account
I appreciate a good survey as much as anyone. The results can provide useful insights and uncover trends, either positive or negative. However, there is usually much more to be found in the survey details than the headlines and executive summaries might suggest.
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2012 plan performance rankings Q4
Savingforcollege.com's Q4 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of December 31, 2012 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2012 one-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2012.
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2012 three-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2012.
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2012 five-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2012.
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2012 ten-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2012.
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Maximizing your 529 savings opportunities in 2013
If you are the parent or grandparent of a child under the age of 18, be sure your list of resolutions for this year includes efforts to increase your college savings fund.
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Education incentives survive fiscal cliff
President Obama has just signed the 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA), saving many of the education tax incentives scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012, and even resuscitating incentives that had expired at the end of 2011.
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2012 plan performance rankings Q3
Savingforcollege.com's Q3 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of September 30, 2012 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2012 one-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2012.
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2012 three-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2012.
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2012 five-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2012.
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2012 ten-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the ten-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2012.
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2012 plan performance rankings Q2
Savingforcollege.com's Q2 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of June 30, 2012 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2012 one-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2012.
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2012 three-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2012.
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2012 five-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2012.
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Use a 529 to avoid the 2013 tax increases
The message to your higher-income clients trying to save up for future college expenses is this: Use a 529 plan and avoid increased taxes for 2013.
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7 things every 529 investor should do this year
Although a Section 529 college-savings plan can be the ultimate "set-it-and-forget-it" investment vehicle, a small amount of effort will ensure you get the most out of your investment. Here are Here are 7 things for you to do this and every future year.
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Are you worth your commissions?
Are you really worth your commissions? Do you provide enough extra value to your clients to justify the sales load of an advisor-sold 529 plan?
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Big deadline for big gifts
Come January 1, 2013, we may no longer be enjoying a $5.12 million lifetime exemption for taxable gifts. If you haven’t already done so, you are probably going to want to talk to your high net-worth clients about the gifting opportunity.
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2012 plan performance rankings Q1
Savingforcollege.com's Q1 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of March 31, 2012 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2012 one-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2012.
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2012 three-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2012.
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2012 five-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2012.
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A College-Savings Enigma (Squared)
23 is the square root of 529. Depending on your predilection to numerology, something known as "the 23 enigma" could be a big deal.
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The anti-529ers
Financial advisers who do not like 529 plans may have their reasons, and I respect their opinions, but I suspect that many of their anti-529 comments come more from a lack of knowledge and experience than from objective data.
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Santa's Gift (tax) List
When clients decide to save towards future college expenses, gift-tax issues can loom large. Here are some year-end gift-tax tips for your clients when using a 529 plan as a savings vehicle.
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2011 plan performance rankings Q3
Savingforcollege.com's Q3 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of September 30, 2011 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2011 one-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2011.
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2011 three-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2011.
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2011 five-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2011.
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5 College Savings Tips
Amy Buttell presents five college savings tips for those of you who are saving for your own kids or who have a do-over chance in terms of saving for your grandkids.
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2011 plan performance rankings Q2
Savingforcollege.com's Q2 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, five, and ten year investment performance as of June 30, 2011 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2011 one-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2011.
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2011 three-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2011.
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2011 five-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2011.
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2011 plan performance rankings Q1
Savingforcollege.com's Q1 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of March 31, 2011 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2011 one-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2011.
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2011 three-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2011.
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2011 five-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2011.
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5 ways to compare your 529-plan performance
Simply seeing that your 529 investment gained or lost value is not the best way to judge its performance. The allocation of your account among stocks, bonds, and money-market funds, the overall trends in the market, and the level of "risk" in your portfolio are all important factors. Here are five ways to judge your 529 plan's performance.
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2010 plan performance rankings Q4
Savingforcollege.com's Q4 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of December 31, 2010 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2010 one-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2010.
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2010 three-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2010.
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2010 five-year top performing direct plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2010.
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New tax package could boost 529 usage
Joe Hurley offers thoughts on the impact of a new tax and unemployment insurance bill that could end up putting billions of additional dollars into 529 plans.
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2010 plan performance rankings Q3
Savingforcollege.com's Q3 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of September 30, 2010 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2010 one-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2010.
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2010 three-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2010.
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2010 five-year top performing direct plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2010.
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3 reasons why 529 plans are cutting fees
College savings plans across the country are becoming more affordable as 529 expenses are being reduced. Here are three reasons why 529 plan companies are reducing plan fees and how participants can take advantage.
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College gets more affordable, but not for long
Higher federal grants increased the average grant package for an undergraduate by $1,100 for the 2010-2011 school year, but the increase in federal grant aid may not last long.
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4 ways to boost your 529 without going broke
If your financial picture has improved or if you've decided to cut back to put more into 529 plan, here are three ways you could boost your college savings contributions by 15 to 20 percent in a year.
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529 distributions: 4 approaches to take
Spending the money you've saved for college is more complicated than you might think, especially if you've got the money invested in different assets. Here are four options to think about when taking 529 plan distributions.
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6 tricks to save money for your 529 plan
If you understand the way your mind works, you can tap tried-and-true methods to take advantage of mental quirks to stash more money away in a 529 plan.
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How to choose the right 529 adviser for you
Finding a top-notch 529 adviser isn't as simple as searching on Google. Here's how to separate the first-class advisers from the fakes.
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Private student loans become a viable option
Thanks to the recently passed Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, the U.S. Department of Education has offered all new federal students loans since July 1, 2010. Private financial institutions no longer offer any federally backed student loans, but they are certainly offering their own private student loans.
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Protect your 529 plan against major life events
To help mitigate the effects of a major life change on your 529 plan, consider making these tweaks to your financial life.
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5 blunders by first-time 529 plan spenders
When using 529 monies for the first time, you'll want to avoid these common blunders, some of which could affect your taxes.
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Make up for lost savings in your 529 plan
For parents who need to make up years of savings fast, here are four last-minute places to find cash for your 529 plan.
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2010 plan performance rankings Q2
Savingforcollege.com's Q2 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of June 30, 2010 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2010 one-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2010.
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2010 three-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2010.
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2010 five-year top performing direct plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2010.
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Best 529 plan strategy? Use other people's money
Here are five strategies to get a little extra cash for your kid's 529 plans without denting your own bank account.
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4 factors when tapping a 529 plan in retirement
f you're thinking about going back to school when you retire and are interested in funding a 529 plan, here are some factors to consider.
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5 tips to deal with a change in 529 plan advisers
If your state changes investment advisers, which many have, you may want to re-allocate your invested funds because your college savings plan will automatically place them into similar, but not identical, funds.
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Match play: Some states kick in 529 plan dollars
Matching-grant programs chip in money for every college dollar that plan holders contribute up to a certain benchmark in our 529 plan. Here's how to get your hands on the free loot.
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Will state budget cuts hamper 529 plans?
State budget cuts shouldn't significantly impact the administration and marketing of 529 college savings plans, but programs to entice families to open 529 plans or increase their contributions might take a hit in states where the budget has come under the knife.
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Taking baby steps toward a 529 plan
An early 529 plan can solve the dilemma some parents face about what age to start saving for college because they're deciding from birth to set aside money that will be used 18 years down the road.
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Converting to a 529 from a Coverdell: pros and cons
Coming changes in 2011 to Coverdell accounts may render them less useful, so now may be a good time to consider converting your Coverdell Plan to a 529 Plan,
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How to make sure divorce doesn't disrupt a 529 plan
Without careful planning, an ex-spouse could potentially drain a 529 account, leaving your child with fewer options for his or her college education.
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4 lousy reasons not to save for college
Joe Hurley and other experts poke holes through four common excuses why people don't save in a 529 plan and offer some ways to make saving for college easier.
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3 safe and secure 529 plan investment options
Guaranteed options and stable value offerings can provide substantial security for your savings, but don't expect big returns from these choices. Here's what you need to know about your options so that you can make an informed decision for your 529 plan.
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Quirky scholarships just as good as traditional
Although college scholarships that aren't based on need or academics may make up only 2 percent of the total dollars out there, many experts say they are a good way for students to fill in the gaps to cover books, meals and other expenses.
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Shifting UGMA money to a 529: the pros and cons
For many years, Uniform Gift to Minors Act accounts, or UGMAs, were by far the best way to transfer assets to your children to finance their college education. But as 529 plans have gained traction, it may make more sense to transfer funds in a UGMA account to a 529 plan.
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529 plans reach out in eye-catching ways
Representatives of some state 529 plans are popping up at activities where crowds are gathered to educate parents, grandparents and others about the benefits of saving for college, no matter the child's age.
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5 steps to college saving before baby arrives
Setting up a plan for college savings can get you on the right track before your baby is born. Follow these five steps and you'll be in a great position to take advantage of all the benefits that a 529 plan has to offer.
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2010 plan performance rankings Q1
Savingforcollege.com's Q1 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of March 31, 2010 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2010 one-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2010.
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2010 three-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the three-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2010.
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2010 five-year top performing direct plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the five-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2010.
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7 iPhone apps for college savings
Here are a handful of favorite iPhone applications that can help make the process of saving for college just a little easier.
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5 reasons to invest in a 529 plan now
The recession has caused some people to start saving for the future just as college costs are rising at a staggering rate. Experts identified five reasons you should join the savers and invest in a 529 right now.
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New student loan law changes lending landscape
Bigger government grants, better student loan repayment terms and more funding for financial literacy programs are some of the primary provisions of the new federal student lending law.
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6 problems that can derail your 529 plan
Here are six common problems that arise that can derail your 529 plan and how to get it back on track.
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7 tips to safe college savings investments
Consider a few of these lower-risk college savings options to boost your account balance without giving yourself volatility-induced vertigo.
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Economy shakes up college scholarships, financial aid
Two major trends are affecting the way college scholarships, grants and other financial aid are awarded.
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4 reasons to buy a 529 plan through an adviser
There are many valid reasons parents and grandparents decide to open 529 plans through financial advisers. Here are some of the most important ones.
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How 529 plans impact aid from private colleges
If your child's education dreams include a private college or university, you may be wondering how your 529 savings will affect your application for financial aid to pay for tuition and other college costs.
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8 ways to cut college tuition
According to the College Board, a year of college tuition and fees at a public university in 2009-10 averaged $7,020, and a year at a private college averaged $26,273. But that doesn't mean that there aren't ways to take the sting out of those prices. Use these eight tactics to lower the costs of tuition.
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2009 plan performance rankings Q4
Savingforcollege.com's Q4 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of December 31, 2009 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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Key questions for your 529 plan adviser
Like many other investing products, 529 plans aren't always easy to understand, which is one of the key reasons you should consider hiring a financial adviser with expertise in this area.
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529 plan strategy untouched by estate tax repeal
A cloud of confusion surrounds the temporary repeal of the federal estate tax, but parents or grandparents have no reason to adjust their 529 plan college savings strategies.
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Making your 529 plan socially responsible
A handful of states -- Virginia, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois and the District of Columbia -- offer socially responsible investment options, providing a niche that attracts some parents and 529 plan owners desiring to exclude companies involved in products like tobacco or alcohol, or focusing their portfolio only on green companies.
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Tiny payments can supersize your 529 plan
If you're eager to save some serious money for your child's education, sometimes the best way to think big is to think small.
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529 plan details can lower financial aid
Before facing those intimidating piles of financial aid application forms, consider how your 529 plan for college savings could affect the ability to receive those funds
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Does your state's prepaid tuition plan make sense?
While stock portfolios and home values suffered major losses and "safe" investments turned out to be anything but over the past 18 months, many parents and grandparents are wondering if there's a better hedge against ever-escalating college costs than prepaid tuition programs.
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Time to review 529-plan strategy
To start the New Year, take a deep breath and a fresh look at your 529 plan strategy. It should be in better shape than this time last year, and if you didn't re-evaluate it in 2009, now's the perfect time to analyze your totals, contributions and risk exposure.
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Year-end 529-plan strategies
As you examine your options for 2010, consider these age-based strategies to make the most of every dollar that goes into your 529 account.
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How to suggest trading toys for tuition
Trading toys for tuition is gaining in popularity, according to the College Savings Foundation, but you may still find it difficult to ask relatives and friends to donate to your child's education instead of buying toys and games. Here are some suggestions to make it easier.
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6 holiday gift ideas to fund 529 plans
If you're savvy, you might be able to get a bit more bang for your buck this year by using these ideas for funding 529 college savings accounts.
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Savingforcollege.com's age-based allocation study
Our 2009 asset-allocation study examines the variation in asset allocation among 529 plans offering "age-based" investment options. The results are presented in an easy-to-view graphical format, and are accompanied by recently-reported investment performance of the age-based portfolios.
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Putting education on the holiday gift list
Here's a great way to boost your child's college savings account: invite your family and friends to direct their holiday and birthday gift money into your 529 plan. A number of 529 plans and online registries are not only promoting the idea, they are also making the process easy.
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2009 plan performance rankings Q3
Savingforcollege.com's Q3 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of September 30, 2009 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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5 college-savings trends may help steer your plan
Reviewing national trends in savings and investment strategies by others might help you make some savvy decisions regarding your 529 plan investments.
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Time to get aggressive in 529 investing?
With the Dow crossing the $10,000 mark in October, you may be wondering if it's time to get your savings back into the market to generate as much return as you can to pay ever-increasing college costs.
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How to spend from varied college savings plans
It's easy to spend money you've saved for your child's college education, the trick is in deciding from which of your various savings vehicles you spend it from first. Here are four steps you can take to maximize your savings to get through the college years.
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10 top misconceptions about 529 plans
529 plans frequently stymie families, causing them to turn away, or leave them with false notions on their advantages and disadvantages. Our experts identified the concepts most frequently mistaken and spell out why they're wrong.
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How 6 experts manage their kids 529 plans
We went directly to six financial experts who have opened and maintained 529 plans for their own children, to see what they looked for in a plan and for their best advice, based on personal experience.
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5 multiple-child strategies for 529 plans
Parents with more than one child must decide whether to fund one account or several, and further, must determine if one child will need more or less funding depending on his or her age, likely school choice and scholarship potential. Here are five strategies to consider as you determine how to focus your 529 funding with two or more children.
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New 5-Cap Ratings just released
In a continuing effort to give parents, students and other college savers the information they need to make their college dreams financially possible, Savingforcollege.com has just released updated (September 2009) 5-Cap Ratings on 529 plans across the country.
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Use 529 plan now to cut future estate tax
Here are four tips concerning 529 plans and gifting you should consider before the end of the year.
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Find the right 529 plan -- It's in the details!
Follow these steps to find the 529 plan with features that suit you best.
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529-plan help for low and middle-income families
Here are the highlights of programs in 12 states offering matching contributions to 529 plan accounts that encourage low- and moderate-income families to save for future schooling.
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10 worst 529-plan blunders
We asked experts to share some of the common — and costly — errors people make when choosing, investing in, and withdrawing from 529 plans. Avoid these pitfalls and your 529 plan will help make getting an education just a bit easier.
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2009 plan performance rankings Q2
Savingforcollege.com's Q2 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of June 30, 2009 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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Coverdell fade-out! What should you do?
Anyone with money invested in a Coverdell should take a long hard look at the pared-down program to determine if any reallocation of funds is in order.
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How to build a 529 portfolio
With age-based accounts depressed in the stock market meltdown, it may be time to consider building your own 529-plan investment portfolio.
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Three life stage scenarios for 529 savings
With the help of several experts in the field, we have mapped out three ideal college savings-plan scenarios, based on age and income.
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Not all expenses covered by 529 plans
Most people struggle to cover just the tuition and housing from their 529 funds, but it is important to know what other postsecondary expenses are and are not covered in case the money is available.
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529 plans: Not for kids only
With the economy in flux and more adults than ever heading back to school for retraining, you may want to consider setting up a 529 plan for yourself in addition to, or instead of, one for your young children.
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529 double duty: college plus grad school
Here are five steps you can take to assess the likelihood your student will attend graduate school with some ideas on how to decide the best way to allocate your 529 savings between college and the next level.
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Grandparents' 8 top college-fund plans
What is the best way for grandparents to fund college? Here are some of the options along with their major advantages and disadvantages.
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Independent 529 Plan: No risk, no fees
The independent 529 is a prepaid savings plan run by a consortium of more than 200 private colleges. For parents and grandparents interested in diversifying their college fund portfolios and considering investing in this plan, here are seven issues to consider before you invest.
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Maintain 529 plan savings in college years
With only 40 percent of college students graduating in four years and hundreds of others enrolling in graduate school, there are plenty of reasons to continue adding to your 529 plan.
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Great gift: College cash in a 529 plan
There are several ways to contribute to a 529 program, so consider a child's interests as well as your own as you determine the best method for you.
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New 5-Cap Ratings just released
In a continuing effort to give parents, students and other college savers the information they need to make their college dreams financially possible, Savingforcollege.com has just released updated (June 2009) 5-Cap Ratings on 529 plans across the country.
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Prepaid 529 woes: Bail out or sail on?
Recent headlines about some states' prepaid tuition plans suggest they may not be as sturdy and safe as previously thought.
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Recession-proofing your 529 plan
Many Section 529 plans were bruised during the past year. What's the best way to preserve the savings that remain and position your family favorably for the college years?
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2009 plan performance rankings Q1
Savingforcollege.com's Q1 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of March 31, 2009 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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529 credit cards can boost college savings
Some specialized credit cards are linked directly to 529 accounts and may offer an even sweeter reward: a chance to cut college costs. Compare these cards to determine which will work best for your needs.
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Time to get conservative in your 529?
More and more families are looking to salvage what's left of their college savings by running as far from aggressive as they can but advisers recommend staying the course.
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Time to change age-based 529 plan?
If recent market turmoil has knocked a big hole in your Section 529 college savings plan, it's time for you to assess carefully the risk profile of any age-based plan you have funds in, and strongly consider switching to a different plan.
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6 strategies for 529 plan withdrawals
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer for each family grappling with tuition bills, there are some steps you can take, which include making strategic withdrawals from your child's 529 plan, tapping savings or home equity, making use of government loan programs and requesting additional financial aid from your child's college.
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Is there a prepaid 529 plan in your future?
Prepaid college plans have attracted a lot of press lately — some good, some not so good. Here's some help in figuring it all out.
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Can beneficiary swap salvage sinking 529 plan?
Those with leftover funds in a 529 after paying for a child's education rarely think twice about changing the beneficiary to avoid the tax consequences of cashing out the account. Making a younger child beneficiary of the 529 could provide time to recoup losses before spending that money.
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2008 Plan Performance Rankings Q4
Savingforcollege.com's Q4 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of December 31, 2008 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2008 1-year Top Performing Direct Plans Q4
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of December 31, 2008.
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Saving on state taxes with your 529 plan
Does your state offer a state income tax deduction (or tax credit) for 529 contributions? Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia currently do. Here's a short guide on how to take best advantage of this particular benefit on your state tax return.
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2008 Plan Performance Rankings Q3
Savingforcollege.com's Q3 529 performance rankings analyze one, three, and five year investment performance as of September 30, 2008 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2008 1-year Top Performing Direct Plans Q3
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of September 30, 2008.
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Age-based investment options show wide variation
Savingforcollege.com's study of 529 plans conducted in November 2008 found a significant variation among 529 plans in the asset-allocation approach underlying the age-based options. Some plans are very conservatively invested for beneficiaries in college or close to college, while others maintain a significant investment in stocks and longer-term bonds even for beneficiaries of college age.
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Rollovers of loss 529 accounts
The sinking stock and bond markets have caused the value of many 529 accounts to dip below basis. Before recommending that your client move an underwater account to a different 529 plan, you should understand the rollover rules and their tax consequences.
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What to do in a down stock market
What are parents to do as they fret about losing money in their college savings accounts at the same time that college costs continue their relentless rise? Here are some suggestions, based on the current age of your child.
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Multiple 529 accounts for the same child: does it ever make sense?
There's no set limit on the number of 529 accounts that can be opened for any particular beneficiary, leading some to wonder if maintaining accounts in different 529 plans might be a good strategy. Here are some reasons that will lead some families to consider using more than one 529 plan.
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Saving estate taxes with a 529
To be eligible for the gift-tax annual exclusion, the gift must be irrevocable, and it must be made without any strings attached (except for what your attorney may be able to craft through a trust or family partnership). What's yours now no longer belongs to you, and that can be a tough pill to swallow. Unless, of course, we're talking about a 529 plan.
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2008 Plan Performance Rankings Q2
Savingforcollege.com's Q2 529 performance rankings analyze one and three year investment performance as of June 30, 2008 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2008 1-year Top Performing Direct Plans Q2
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of June 30, 2008.
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Pros and cons of 529s for grandparents
Here are the essential reasons why grandparents should consider using 529 plans, along with a few cautions.
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2008 Plan Performance Rankings Q1
Savingforcollege.com's Q1 529 performance rankings analyze one and three year investment performance as of December 31, 2009 and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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2008 1-year Top Performing Direct Plans Q1
Savingforcollege.com ranks the one-year investment performance of direct-sold 529 plans as of March 31, 2008.
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Finding the right 529 plan - It's in the Details!
Follow these steps to find the 529 plan with features that suit you best.
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Using 529s for your "safe" money
Parents with children approaching college age may be tempted to park their college savings in high-yield savings accounts and avoid the short-term market risk that comes with stocks and longer-term bonds. You may be able to do significantly better in a 529 plan and still avoid market risks.
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2007 Plan Performance Rankings
Savingforcollege.com's 2007 529 performance rankings analyze one and three year investment performance and rank 529 savings plans from best to worst.
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Live cheaply and get a job!
This is the message many parents should be offering their college-going children in 2008 if they want to avoid the newly-expanded kiddie tax.
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Should you open an UGMA/UTMA 529?
Joe Hurley answers FAQ's regarding UGMA/UTMA 529 accounts.
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