Finding the lowest-cost 529 savings plans's 529 Fee Study, updated as of July 1, 2019, showed that 529 fees continue to decline on average. When taking mean cost across the highest and lowest options, we found that mean fees fell over the past 12 months.

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The FAFSA’s Asset Protection Allowance Continues to Crash

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) shelters a portion of parent assets using an asset protection allowance (APA). The asset protection allowance has dropped significantly since peaking in 2009-2010 and continues to decline. If current trends continue, the asset protection allowance will disappear completely in just one more year, by the 2021-2022 FAFSA.

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The 15 lowest-cost 529 savings plans

Looking for low 529 plan fees? These 15 plans offer the lowest costs, according to's Annual Fee Study, conducted in February 2018. The Fee Study compares the lowest and highest 10-year expense totals for all direct-sold 529 college savings plans.

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Average Student Loan Debt at Graduation

Two-thirds (69%) of Bachelor’s degree recipients in the class of 2019 graduated with federal and private student loans, an average of $29,900 per borrower. The average parent loan debt was $37,200 among the 14% of parents of Bachelor’s degree recipients who borrowed to pay for their student’s college education. It does not include parent loans borrowed for other children.

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Workarounds for grandparent-owned 529 plans

If a 529 college savings plan is owned by a dependent student or the dependent student's parent, it has a minimal impact on the student's eligibility for need-based financial aid. But, if the 529 plan is owned by anybody else, such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle, it will hurt aid eligibility. There are, however, a few solutions that will address the potential harm.

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