529 plans offer parents tax advantages that can help their savings grow faster. The average amount saved in 529s has nearly doubled since 2016, from $2,820 to $5,441.footnote 1
General savings accounts
General savings accounts are still the most commonly used type of account for building a college fund. The average amount saved in savings accounts is $3,902, up 7% from $3,663 in 2016.
Investment accounts can yield a high return, but may be less accessible to the average saver. Parents have saved an average of $2,616 in investment accounts, 14% more than in 2016.
Parents are optimistic they'll meet their college savings goal
$55,342 average savings goal
Most parents, regardless of the age of their children, are about one-third of the way there.
86% of the parents feel confident
Most parents with a college savings goal think they'll meet their goal by the time their child enters college.
Fewer parents plan to use their retirement savings
10% in 2018 vs 20% in 2016
Parents with a plan have double the savings
$22,169 planners vs $9,208 non-planners
College planning tip
Kids should look for scholarships outside of colleges and universities, too. A scholarship search can help students-both undergraduates and grad students-quickly find scholarships that match their interests and area of study.
footnote 1. Before investing in any 529 plan, please consider whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers its taxpayers benefits that are only available through that state's 529 plan.
footnote How America Saves for College 2016, by Sallie Mae, the nation's saving, planning, and paying for college company, and Ipsos, the world's third-largest market research company, reports the results of 1,959 online interviews with parents of children under age 18 conducted May 26 − June 6, 2016.