529 College Savings Calculator

This college cost and savings calculator is the ideal tool for your college planning needs. It combines a college cost calculator with a 529 college savings calculator. Obtain a personalized projection of your future college costs by entering your child's age, the type of college you're saving for, and your household income. This calculator shows you how much to save for college in a 529 college savings plan. You can adjust the monthly contribution to see how much monthly contributions can compound over time and the percentage of total college costs your savings will cover.

College CostHide

Child's age
Household Income
Type of college
Custom yearly cost
Current college savings
Monthly Contribution
Scholarships & Grants
Cost increase
Rate of Return
Years of College
Percent of cost covered 32 %

Cost of a 4-year In-state public in 2035

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Total cost of college
in 2035

Total cost of college
Scholarships & grants
Adjusted cost of college
Projected college savings
College savings gap

College SavingsHide

Child's age
Current college savings
Monthly Contribution
Rate of Return

Projected college savings comparison

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Avg 529 Plan
Avg Savings Account

Additional savings with a 529 plan =

Most Popular 529 plans of 2022

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In plain english

Sending your 1 year old child to college in 2035 for 4 years will cost about for a family with a household income of $100,000.

Sending your 1 year old child to an In-state public in 2035 for 4 years will cost about for a family with a household income of $100,000.

In plain english

If you start saving for your 1 year old child's college today in a 529 plan you will have about in savings by the time your child is ready for college. Saving the same amount in the average savings account will only grow to which is less than using a 529 plan.

529 Plan earnings

Earnings assume a 7% rate of return (this assumption can also be edited). Your actual returns will differ. 529 plan earnings are not subject to federal taxes when used to pay qualified higher education expenses or K-12 tuition.

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This calculator is designed to help families create an effective funding strategy to cover their expected college tuition costs using a 529 college savings plan. Some families will want to save for 4 years in college, while others aim to cover a portion of the total cost. The total cost of college is the 4-year cost of attendance from the year the child turns 18, factoring in tuition inflation. The adjusted cost of college is calculated by taking the total cost of college and subtracting the expected scholarships and grants. Assumptions (cost, inflation rate, and current savings) can be modified by clicking the ‘Assumptions' link above.

Summary of using 529 plans for college expenses

  • Federal tax-free treatment of 529 plans apply to any funds withdrawn to cover qualified higher education expenses (QHEE) or K-12 tuition.
  • The earnings portion of non-qualified withdrawals are subject to federal income tax, as well as an additional 10% penalty.

How much do you need to save for college expenses?

This calculator is designed to help you create the most effective funding strategy to cover your expected college costs using a 529 plan. Note that attendance costs and scholarship availability can vary considerably from school to school. The World’s Simplest College Cost Calculator allows you to estimate costs based on school types (ie. In-state public university).

Using this calculator

  • Adjust your child's age, your household income, type of school you are saving for, and either monthly contribution or the percent of cost covered slider. For example, if you would like to cover half of your child’s expected cost of attendance, set the slider to 50%.
  • If you want to change the yearly school cost, expected scholarships and grants, inflation rate, expected rate of return, or current college savings balance click on the 'Edit your answers' link.
  • If the total cost of college is greater than your expected 529 plan balance, you will see a figure labeled 'College savings gap' which will have to be paid using loans or other funding sources.

Potential 529 state tax benefits

Some states offer a tax deduction for contributions to a 529 plan, which could further increase projected college savings if tax benefits are invested. Read more about state tax benefits for 529 plans, and estimate your state tax savings with our Tax 529 Calculator.