If you haven't started saving yet or you are interested in diversifying your college savings portfolio, consider the benefits of 529 College Savings Plans. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. provides plan management services to 11 state 529 College Savings Plans.
You don't need to be a resident of a state to enroll in that state's 529 College Savings Plan to save for college. In fact, it is sometimes beneficial to look outside, since reduced fees sometimes offset a state tax deduction. The same is true if your state has no income tax. If your state has established a 529 plan, such state may offer favorable state tax or other benefits that are available to you only if you invest in that plan.
With most plans, your school choice is not affected by the state your 529 savings plan is from. So, you can be a New Jersey resident, invest in a California plan and send your student to college in North Carolina and pay for college through your California plan.
Sending someone to college can be an expensive undertaking. The College Board reports that the cost of tuition, fees, room and board at 4-year public colleges increased over 45% nationwide in the past decade; from an average of $12,304 in 2002 to $17,860 in 2012. Expenses at private schools are often more than double public schools.1
If you have already started saving for college, you may be wondering if you will have enough saved when the time comes. Or, you may be curious as to how far financial aid will take you. Use our College Savings Calculator (requires Java) to see if you may have a funding gap.
For details about all the education savings options available to you, download Saving for Education (PDF).
1Source: Tuition and Fee and Room and Board Charges over Time, 2003-04 through 2013-14, collegeboard.org
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