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College Fund Calculator to Calculate a College Saving Plan for 1 Child

Calculator Preferences
College Fund Calculator Sign
College Fund Calculator

This calculator will help you to create a college saving plan that anticipates the rising cost of college tuition -- as well as other educational expenses -- due to the inflation that is expected to occur between now and when your child graduates high school. Results include a year-by-year chart showing the growth of your college fund versus the rising costs. The $avvy tab includes:

  • Financial planning for college involves more than just saving money.
  • Help your child discover a work they will enjoy.
  • Suggestions for indecisive college-age students.
Learn More

Selected Data Record:

A Data Record is a set of calculator entries that are stored in your web browser's Local Storage. If a Data Record is currently selected in the "Data" tab, this line will list the name you gave to that data record. If no data record is selected, or you have no entries stored for this calculator, the line will display "None".

DataData recordData recordSelected data record: None
Name:Child's name:Child's name or nickname:Child's name or nickname:

Child's name or nickname:

If you don't want to enter a real name for your child, simply enter an identifying nickname.

Save years:Years to save:Years until college:Years until college:

Years until college:

Enter the number of years between now and when you expect your child will start college.

Now saved:Current savings:Current amount in college savings funds:Total currently in college savings funds:

Total currently in college savings funds:

Total up your current college savings accounts and enter the total on this line. Enter as a dollar amount, but without the dollar sign and any commas. If you have no savings, simply leave the field blank.

Offset $:Offset amount:Amount funded by outside sources:Amount funded by outside sources:

Total you expect to receive from outside funding:

Enter the amount of money you expect to receive from outside sources (inheritance, grants, scholarships, work study, etc.). Enter as a dollar amount, but without the dollar sign and any commas.

ROI %:Fund ROI %:Percent return on college fund:Percent return on college savings accounts:

Percent return on college savings accounts:

Enter the average annual percentage you expect to earn on the money deposited to your college savings accounts. Enter as a percentage, but without the percent sign.

Inflation %:Inflation % rate:Estimated annual inflation % rate:Estimated annual inflation percent rate:

Estimated annual inflation rate:

Enter the average annual inflation rate you expect to see between now and when your child starts school. Enter as a percentage, but without the percent sign.

The annual increase in costs was 3.1% in 2017, 2.4% in 2016, 2.9% in 2015, 1% in 2014, 2.9% in 2013, 4.8% in 2012, and 8.5% in 2011, not adjusted for inflation. This rate will also be used to inflate the annual cost from the base year of 2017 to present, as well as for each year your child is in college.

Type:Type:Type of school:Type of school:

Type of school:

If you want the College Fund Calculator to enter an estimated annual cost for you based on a recent college board survey, select the type of college from the pull-down menu. Otherwise, choose "Entering my own estimate" and enter your estimate on the next line.

Breakdown Based on The College Board's Annual Survey of Colleges.
Tuition and Fees:
Room and Board:
Books and Supplies:
Annual cost:Annual cost:Annual cost to attend college:Annual cost of attending college:

Annual cost of attending college:

If entering your own cost estimate, enter the current annual cost of attending college based on which type of education you believe the child (and your financial situation) will be best suited for. Enter as a dollar amount but without the dollar sign and any commas. Note that if you enter your own estimate the calculator will assume a 4-year degree.

Start year:Start year:Projected start year:Projected year child will start college:

Start year:

This is the calculated year that your child will start college.

Future cost:Future college cost:Future college education cost:Future college education cost:

Future college education cost:

Based on the entered current annual cost of attending college, and on the selected annual inflation rate, this is how much the selected college education will cost (total for 2-years or 4-years, depending on your selections/entries).

Savings FV:Savings future value:Future value of current savings:Future value of current college savings funds:

Future value of current college savings funds:

Based on your entries, this is the future value of the amount you currently have saved.

With offset:Savings with offset:Future savings plus outside funding:Future savings plus outside funding:

Future savings plus outside funding:

This is the total of the future value of your present savings, plus the amount you estimate will come from outside funding sources.

Shortfall:Savings shortfall:Savings shortfall:Savings shortfall:

Savings shortfall:

This is the difference between the forecasted cost of paying for your child's future college education, and the future value of your present savings and outside funding.

Monthly dep:Monthly deposit:Monthly deposit to cover shortfall:Monthly deposit to cover savings shortfall:

Monthly deposit to cover savings shortfall:

This is the monthly amount you will need to deposit into your college saving funds in order to cover the expected savings shortfall.

If you would like to save the current entries to the secure database, tap or click on the Data tab, select "New Data Record", give the data record a name, then tap or click the Save button. To save changes to previously saved entries, simply tap the Save button. Please select and "Clear" any data records you no longer need.

Feedback AppreciatedFeedback Greatly AppreciatedYour Feedback Would Be Greatly AppreciatedYour Feedback Is Greatly Appreciated


Help and Tools

Help and Tools:

This section, which you can Unstick or Hide in the Calculator Preferences (just above the top of the calculator), contains the following tabs (content too long to fit within bordered frame can be scrolled up and down):

About: Click this tab for an introduction to the calculator.

Instructions: Click this tab for step-by-step instructions for using the calculator.

Terms: Click this tab for a list of the descriptions that are located within each popup help button (info icons).

PCalc: Click this tab for a handy "pocket" calculator you can use when you need to calculate an entry needed for the calculator.

Data: Click this tab to save a set of entries or a note in between visits. Entries and notes will be stored to your web browser's local storage (if supported by your browser of choice), meaning they can only be recalled with the same device and web browser you were using when you saved them. If you'd like to save entries and notes between devices you can do so by subscribing to the Ad-Free Member Version.



Add or remove this page to/from my favorites.

Adjust Calculator Width:

Move the slider to left and right to adjust the calculator width. Note that the Help and Tools panel will be hidden when the calculator is too wide to fit both on the screen. Moving the slider to the left will bring the instructions and tools panel back into view.

Also note that some calculators will reformat to accommodate the screen size as you make the calculator wider or narrower. If the calculator is narrow, columns of entry rows will be converted to a vertical entry form, whereas a wider calculator will display columns of entry rows, and the entry fields will be smaller in size ... since they will not need to be "thumb friendly".

Show/Hide Popup Keypads:

Select Show or Hide to show or hide the popup keypad icons located next to numeric entry fields. These are generally only needed for mobile devices that don't have decimal points in their numeric keypads. So if you are on a desktop, you may find the calculator to be more user-friendly and less cluttered without them.

Stick/Unstick Tools:

Select Stick or Unstick to stick or unstick the help and tools panel. Selecting "Stick" will keep the panel in view while scrolling the calculator vertically. If you find that annoying, select "Unstick" to keep the panel in a stationary position.

If the tools panel becomes "Unstuck" on its own, try clicking "Unstick" and then "Stick" to re-stick the panel.