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College Planning Calculator to Calculate a College Saving Plan For Any Number of Children.

Calculator Preferences
College Planning Calculator

This calculator will help you to formulate a college funding plan for all of your children at one time. Enter your own cost estimates or choose one of the four built-in college types and the costs will be filled in for you based on a recent college cost survey. Results include a year-by-year forecast of the inflated annual cost for each child, as well as a combined year-by-year saving, income, and expense summary.

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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
Add Children

Add Children:

Note that depending on the width of the calculator, a vertical mobile entry form will be displayed for narrow widths, or a horizontal desktop entry form will be displayed for widths wide enough to accommodate it.

To add a child, enter the child's name and current age, and then either enter your own estimate of annual college costs, or select the type of college from the menu. When you're satisfied with the entries, tap the + button (may also appear as "Add" or "Add Child" depending on the width of your device).

To edit a child in the list, tap the radio button in the Edit column. This will load the child's info into the form for editing. When you're satisfied with the changes you've made, tap the S button (may also appear as "Save" or "Save Changes" depending on the width of your device).

To delete a child from the list, tap the radio button in the Edit column. This will load the child's info into the form for deleting. Tap the button (may also appear as "Delete" depending on the width of your device).

To clear the form to add another child, tap the C button (may also appear as "Clr" or "Clear" depending on the width of your device).

To add a child, click the Add Child Row button, then enter the child's name and age, and either select the college type or enter the annual cost manually.

To delete a child from the list, simply click the X button in the left-hand column.

Important! The entries are saved in your device's random memory (temporary storage), which means that if you surf to another calculator or close this browser window -- without saving the data record -- you will need to re-add your children.

Child's name or nickname:

Enter a short name or nickname for the child. These will be column headings in the results, therefore please keep the nicknames to 10 letters or less.

Current age of child:

Enter the current age of the child. Note that the college planning calculator assumes each child will start college in the year they turn 18, so if you expect a child will start later than that, adjust their current age downward accordingly.

Type of school:

If you want the college planning 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 in the next column.

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.

X
Child Name

Age

School Type

Annual Cost
Name:Child's name:Child's name or nickname:Child's name or nickname:

Child's name or nickname:

Enter a short name or nickname for the child. These will be column headings in the results, therefore please keep the nicknames to 10 letters or less.

Age:Child's age:Current age of child:Current age of child:

Current age of child:

Enter the current age of the child. Note that the college planning calculator assumes each child will start college in the year they turn 18, so if you expect a child will start later than that, adjust their current age downward accordingly.

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

Type of school:

If you want the college planning 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.

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.

Global Parameters

Global Parameters:

This section is for entering and selecting data that applies to any and all children entered.

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

Current amount in college savings funds:

Total up your current college savings accounts and enter the total on this line. If you have no savings, simply leave the field blank.

Offset %:Offset percent:% of costs funded by outside sources:Percentage of costs funded by outside sources:

Percentage of costs funded by outside sources:

Enter a number from 0-100 that represents the percentage of the college costs you expect to be funded by outside sources (inheritance, grants, scholarships, work study, etc.). Enter as a percentage but without the percent sign (for .25 or 25%, enter 25).

ROI:Fund ROI:Return on college savings accounts:Estimated return on college savings accounts:

Estimated return on college savings accounts:

Select the average annual percentage you expect to earn on the money deposited to your college savings accounts.

Inflation:Inflation rate:Estimated annual inflation rate:Estimated annual inflation rate:

Estimated annual inflation rate:

Select the average annual inflation rate you expect to see between now and when your youngest child finishes college (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). Note that this rate will be used to inflate the annual cost of college from now until all of your children finish 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 for each child, and on the selected annual inflation rate, this is how much it will cost to put all of your children through college.

Offset:Outside offset:Total funding from outside sources:Total expected funding from outside sources:

Total expected funding from outside sources:

Based on the entered percentage, this is how much of the total cost you expect will be funded by outside sources.

Net cost:Total costs:Total of costs after outside funding:Total of costs after outside funding:

Total of costs after outside funding:

This is the total cost of putting all of your children through college, less the amount you estimate will come from outside funding sources.

Annual cont:Annual contribution:Annual contribution needed:Annual contribution needed to cover savings shortfall:

Annual contribution needed to cover savings shortfall:

This is the amount you will need to deposit into your college saving funds at the beginning of each year in order to cover the expected savings shortfall.

Monthly:Monthly contribution:Monthly contribution needed:Monthly contribution needed to cover savings shortfall:

Monthly savings needed to meet annual contribution:

This is simply the annual contribution divided by 12 months.

Shortfall:Interim shortfall:Interim shortfall:Interim shortfall:

Interim shortfall:

If this number is greater than zero it means that even though the annual contribution will eventually cover the entire cost of putting your children through college, at some point in the college savings plan you will need to subsidize a temporary negative balance (perhaps using a short-term student loan). In order to avoid an interim savings shortfall you will need to either increase the amount you currently have in the college savings account, or increase the percentage of funding from outside sources, or a combination of both.

If you would like to save the current entries to the secure online 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
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Tip

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.

 

Favorites

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.