Northwestern Mutual

Saving for College

Understand your options for financing a college education.

Saving for College

If one of your financial goals is to pay for a child’s education, you may be in for a bit of sticker shock.

For a child born in 2014 who will begin his or her college career at the age of 18, the average cost to attend four years of instruction (tuition and fees, transportation, other expenses and assuming a 5% college cost inflation) is projected to be:

Education Funding Whitepaper
  • $437,982 to attend a four-year private college
  • $222,466 for a resident to attend a state college¹

The earlier you establish your college savings plan the better. Not only will you save more, you’ll have more time to ride the ups and downs of the financial markets if you choose to invest your savings.

Start by deciding which funding vehicles you want to use in your college savings plan. Some options include:

College or Retirement: Which should you save for first?

Although your wish may be to fully fund your child's education, don't allow that goal to put your own retirement at risk. It's much like the instructions you're given by flight attendants when you travel by air: In case of emergency, put your oxygen mask on first before putting it on your child. If you don't take care of funding your own retirement, you may end up weighing down your kids with that responsibility later in life. 

Children have options for funding their education such as loans and scholarships. Retirees don't.

A financial professional can help you better understand your options to meet all of your financial goals, and empower you to make the savings decisions that are right for you. 

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