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Learn about saving for college

Start with a goal

You don’t have to try to save the full amount all at once. Start now, figure out your goal, and you can help your student borrow less in the future.

How to save for college

Compare ways to save

You have choices, ranging from basic savings accounts to tax-advantaged college savings plans. See what each has to offer and what's right for you.

Compare college savings plans

Build your own custom savings plan with the College Planning CalculatorSM

Explore your college savings options


Money market accounts

Certificates of deposit

Cash back for college programs

529 plan accounts

Boost your savings

You could win $1,000 in our monthly Plan for CollegeSM Sweepstakes

Register to use Scholarship Search for a chance to win.

Register for a chance to win

SmartyPig piggy bank

Save for anything you'd like

Whether it's a new home, a vacation, or a wedding—SmartyPig® can help you make it happen.

Learn more about SmartyPig

I’m using Upromise GoalSaver for my youngest daughter and wishing it had been around for my older two kids. I especially like the bonus savings that kick in after you reach certain benchmarks.

Arriann W., Upromise customer

How American families save for college

use a 529 plan account

use a general savings account

use an investment account

use a certificate of deposit

Source: How America Saves for College 2016, by Sallie Mae and Ipsos. Responses may include more than one method; does not total 100%.

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend upon the number of entries received. See official rules at