College Calculator | Capital Group

Zero in on goals.

College may seem a long way off, but the sooner you start saving, the better you'll be able to pay for your child's education. Use our calculator to choose a school and the percentage of costs you want to fund. Then learn how much you'll need to save to make it happen.

Know your numbers.

My child is   old.
I picture my child attending  
for a duration of   .

Where is the school located?

Will you fund additional expenses like room and board?

How would you like to fund your child's college education?

I want to fund 100% of the total cost of my child’s education

I want to fund of the total costs of my child’s education

at a yearly increase of    . In recent years, the annual rate of college cost increase has been about 5%. You can select a different rate to use in the calculation.

  • We have helped over 1 million parents like you pay for their child's education.

    CollegeAmerica ® is the country's largest education savings plan, with assets topping $60 billion. Chosen by over 11,000 advisors nationwide, CollegeAmerica is designed to be easy, low-cost and flexible for families just like yours.

  • Average tuition and fees.

    The 2018 National Public Average in-state tuition and fees is $0.

    The 2018 National Private Average tuition and fees is $0.

    The 2018 National Ivy League Average tuition and fees is $0.

  • Average room and board.

    The 2018 National Public Average in-state additional costs is $0.

    The 2018 National Private Average additional costs is $0.

    The 2018 National Ivy League Average additional costs is $0.

  • Scholarships and grants.

    The U.S. Department of Education awards more than $120 billion a year in grants, work-study funds and low-interest loans to approximately 13 million students.1

    In 2018, three in five college students received one or more scholarships or grants.2

    In 2016-17, only 12% of freshmen paid full sticker price at private colleges.3

  • We have helped over 1 million parents like you pay for their child's education.

    CollegeAmerica ® is the country's largest education savings plan, with assets topping $60 billion. Chosen by over 11,000 advisors nationwide, CollegeAmerica is designed to be easy, low-cost and flexible for families just like yours.

  • Average tuition and fees.

    The 2018 National Public Average in-state tuition and fees is $0

    The 2018 National Private Average tuition and fees is $0

    The 2018 National Ivy League Average tuition and fees is $0

  • Average room and board.

    The 2018 National Public Average in-state additional costs is $0.

    The 2018 National Private Average additional costs is $0.

    The 2018 National Ivy League Average additional costs is $0.

  • Scholarships and grants.

    The U.S. Department of Education awards more than $120 billion a year in grants, work-study funds and low-interest loans to approximately 13 million students.1

    In 2018, three in five college students received one or more scholarships or grants.2

    In 2016-17, only 12% of freshmen paid full sticker price at private colleges.3

Your contributions

Don't let the numbers scare you. Slow and steady contributions can make a significant difference. Do you have a lump sum to start with? How much can you set aside each month? Try adjusting these amounts and see how it would affect your total.

Starting investment   $

Monthly contribution   $

Hypothetical annual growth rate  

For illustrative purposes only. Not intended to portray an actual investment.

Total college cost
$0

You want to cover

You would have

$0

Thats 0 Total semesters!

The current monthly contribution covers your funding goal completely!

Review your plan.

Your child would attend Rice University in 0.

By then, the estimated out of state tuition and fees would be  $0.

Additional expenses like housing, books and meal plans would be  $0.

Did you know?

The typical college graduate will earn roughly $900,000 more than the typical high school graduate over their working life.4

Next, download a PDF of your plan summary and share it with your advisor.

Your goal:

Your total funding goal ()

$0

Your one-time contribution

$0

Your monthly contribution

$0

All costs are based on 3% hypothetical annual college inflation rate. All savings are based on 8% hypothetical annual growth rate.

Try a few different schools or scenarios until you have a few options that feel comfortable for your family. Then print out your plan and take it to your advisor. Congratulations! You're on your way to giving your child the best gift of all — a college education.

College
savings report

College savings report

Every step in setting up a 529 education savings plan is worth it because it’s all in preparation for your child’s future. An advisor can help you open a 529 savings plan. Use this guide to start the conversation and plan next steps.

Here are some questions to ask your advisor:

  • How do I open a 529 savings plan?

  • What should I consider when choosing an in-state or out-of-state 529 savings plan?

  • Do gift tax rules apply to 529 education savings plans?

  • What are the fees and expenses for a 529 savings plan?

  • What are the investment options available in a 529 savings plan?

  • What are the best investments for my family's situation?

Your plan

Your child is and would attend 2 in

By then, the estimated tuition and fees would be .

Additional expenses like housing, books and meal plans would be .

Total college cost

$01

You want to cover

0%

You would have

$0

Here’s what we have calculated for you:

Your funding goal

Starting investment

Your monthly contribution

All costs are based on hypothetical annual college inflation rate.
All savings are based on hypothetical annual growth rate.

College savings strategies

Take advantage
of time.

Opening a college savings account as soon as possible and contributing regularly provides the opportunity for compounding growth over time. So the sooner you start, the more you could grow your savings, and the less you may have to borrow when it comes time for college.

Consider a
CollegeAmerica®
529 savings plan.

CollegeAmerica offers the tax advantages, flexibility and control of investing in a 529 savings plan, plus built-in simplicity and quality investment options from the American Funds.

  • Launched in 2002
  • Chosen by more than over 114,000 financial advisors and more than 1 million families nationwide
  • The country’s largest plan*, with assets over $60 billion†

Choose from three
different investment
approaches.

American Funds College Target Date Series®: Select the target date fund closest to the year in which the beneficiary will | likely use the money. The portfolio automatically grows more preservation-oriented as college approaches; through periodic evaluation.

American Funds Portfolio Series: The Portfolio Series funds of funds available in CollegeAmerica are managed with specific investment objectives in mind: appreciation, balance or preservation. Select the option that best fits your time frame and risk tolerance.

The American Funds mutual funds: The individual mutual funds available in CollegeAmerica are good options if you want to build customized portfolios.

Look for other
ways to meet
college costs.

There are other options to consider if you have a savings shortfall and are unable to increase the contribution amount to your college savings account.

Invest monetary gifts. Using money from holiday and birthday gifts to fund a college savings account can make a meaningful difference.

Explore grants and scholarships.These awards are offered by federal, state and local governments, private and nonprofit organizations and most colleges. The best part — grants and scholarships, in general, do not need to be paid back.

Research student loans. Student loans are offered by federal and most state governments and from private institutions, as well. Of course, student loans must be paid back along with any interest incurred.

Take advantage of your local community college. Beginning at a local community college before transferring to a university can reduce overall costs and provide access to an education that might otherwise be out of reach.

Contemplate other colleges. Run scenarios in our College Calculator using different schools to find other options that are a good fit for your family.

* Largest by assets, according to the Q4 2018 529 College Savings Quarterly Data Update from Strategic Insight. † Source: American Funds. As of September 30, 2018, CollegeAmerica AUM is over $60B.

Visit americanfunds.com for more information about college savings strategies, The CollegeAmerica 529 savings plans and American Funds College Target Date Series.

Definitions & disclosures

Terms & definitions

Projected college costs: This is the anticipated total price of college (the sum of the projected costs for each year the student plans to attend college). To calculate these yearly costs, the calculator takes the current annual college cost and adjusts for inflation using the college inflation rate specified.

Costs you plan to fund: This is the portion of projected college costs you plan to cover (your savings goal).

What you’ll have: This is the sum of all contributions (initial investment and subsequent contributions) and the hypothetical growth on those assets.

Annual college inflation rate: The yearly rate at which you anticipate college costs will rise. Used to determine future college costs, the rate is assumed at 5%, but can be changed based on school, type, region and other factors.

Hypothetical annual growth rate: This is the yearly rate at which you anticipate your investment (college savings) will grow. For illustrative purposes only. Not intended to portray an actual investment. The calculator uses this figure to determine your projected savings.

Calculation details

Contributions

Monthly contributions begin on the last day of the same month that the calculator is run and continue uninterrupted through the month before the last college payment is made. Ongoing monthly contributions are made on the last day of every month. Since the last college expense falls in July for any given year, the last monthly contribution takes place in June of the same year.

Annual contributions begin on the last day of the same year (December 31) that the calculator is run and continue uninterrupted through the year-end before the last college payment is made. Since the last college expense falls in July for any given year, the last annual contribution takes place in December of the preceding year.

Contributions are made at the end of the month or year and therefore do not factor into the investment gains for that period.

College costs

Current annual college costs increase at the annual rate of college inflation to determine projected college costs. College payments begin in January of the same year that the student begins college. During the college years, annual college costs are split equally between a January and July payment. Payments are deducted from the savings balance at the beginning of the month before the monthly investment growth is calculated. The calculator makes the last college payment in July before the final school year begins.

Hypothetical growth

Savings grow at the hypothetical annual growth rate through January 1 of the last year of college.

Difference you would need to save

If you come up short, the calculator provides the rate of savings (monthly or annual contribution amount) that, if applied, would have led to projected savings equaling the projected college costs (or portion of costs the user plans to fund).

Visit americanfunds.com for more information about college savings strategies, The CollegeAmerica 529 savings plans and American Funds College Target Date Series.

Additional information

The funds' allocation strategy does not guarantee that investors' education savings goals will be met. The target date is the year in which the beneficiary is expected to begin taking withdrawals. Investors and their advisors should periodically evaluate their investments to determine whether they continue to meet their needs. There are expenses associated with the underlying funds in addition to funds-of-funds expenses. The funds' risks are directly related to the risks of the underlying funds.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses, summary prospectuses and CollegeAmerica Program Description, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing. CollegeAmerica is distributed by American Funds Distributors, Inc. and sold through unaffiliated intermediaries. Depending on your state of residence, there may be an in-state plan that provides state tax and other state benefits, such as financial aid, scholarship funds and protection from creditors, not available through CollegeAmerica.

Before investing in any state's 529 savings plan, investors should consult a tax advisor. CollegeAmerica is a nationwide plan sponsored by Virginia529.

If withdrawals are used for purposes other than qualified education expenses for CollegeAmerica, the earnings will be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty in addition to federal and, if applicable, state income tax. State tax treatment of K-12 withdrawal varies. Please consult your tax advisor for state-specific details. Securities offered through American Funds Distributors, Inc.

Statements attributed to an individual represent the opinions of that individual as of the date published and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Capital Group or its affiliates. This information is intended to highlight issues and should not be considered advice, an endorsement or a recommendation.

  1. Source: Current annual college cost figures are obtained from Peterson's. The college costs may include tuition, room and board, and books and expenses as reported by Peterson's. Copyright © 2018 Peterson's, a Nelnet Company, and its licensees. All rights reserved.
  2. If a college reports only one value for tuition, the calculator uses the same value for in-state and out-of-state costs. To verify in-state and out-of- state costs for a particular college, please contact the college directly.

Capital Group | American Funds

Lit. No. CAGEBR-008-04190 CGD/9318-S74340 © 2019 Capital Group. All rights reserved.

  1. U.S. Department of Education. "Federal Student Aid." U.S. Department of Education,
    https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/fsa/index.html.
  2. Sallie Mae and Ipsos. “How America Pays for College 2018.” Sallie Mae,https://www.salliemae.com/about/leading-research/how-america-pays-for-college/.
  3. Clark, Kim. “Only 12% of Private College Students Actually Pay Those Crazy-High Tuition Prices. Here's Why.” Time, 15 May 2017,
    http://time.com/money/4777909/private-college-scholarships-2017/.
  4. Webber, Douglas. "Is College Worth It? Going Beyond Averages." Third Way.org, September 18, 2018, 
    https://www.thirdway.org/report/is-college-worth-it-going-beyond-averages.

Investments are not FDIC-insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses, summary prospectuses and CollegeAmerica Program Description, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing. CollegeAmerica is distributed by American Funds Distributors, Inc. and sold through unaffiliated intermediaries. 

Depending on your state of residence, there may be an in-state plan that provides state tax and other state benefits, such as financial aid, scholarship funds and protection from creditors, not available through CollegeAmerica. Before investing in any state's 529 plan, investors should consult a tax advisor. 

If withdrawals from 529 plans are used for purposes other than qualified education expenses, the earnings will be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty in addition to federal and, if applicable, state income tax. State tax treatment of K-12 withdrawals varies. Please consult your tax advisor for state-specific details.

American Funds Distributors, Inc., member FINRA.

This content, developed by Capital Group, home of American Funds, should not be used as a primary basis for investment decisions and is not intended to serve as impartial investment or fiduciary advice.

Statements attributed to an individual represent the opinions of that individual as of the date published and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Capital Group or its affiliates. This information is intended to highlight issues and should not be considered advice, an endorsement or a recommendation.