This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

College Saving at an All-Time High but Still Falling Short

By Hal M. Bundrick

NEW YORK ( MainStreet)--More families are putting aside money for college but are still falling short of their savings goals. When asked to give themselves a grade on their college savings progress, most parents gave themselves a B-minus, according to Fidelity's seventh annual college savings study.
[Read: <a href="" data-add-tracking="true" target="blank"><em>Guys, Beware: When You Touch a Bra, You Spend More</em></a>]

"While a B-minus is a passing grade, parents need to make sure they are considering the total cost of college," says Keith Bernhardt, vice president of college planning at Fidelity Investments. "Families can make some simple adjustments to help improve their college savings 'grades' and keep themselves on track toward their goal. This year's findings are consistent with what we hear from our customers - parents recognize the importance of defining their college priorities and setting a strategy to save regularly. If families commit to saving, planning and talking about college priorities early, they are better prepared to meet college costs and help their children avoid significant student debt in the future."
[Read: <a href="" data-add-tracking="true" target="blank"><em>One-Third of Workers in Survey Imply College Studies Are a Waste of Time </em></a>]

More than two-thirds (69%) of families say they have started saving for college, an all-time-high since the study began in 2007. Parents reported putting away an average of $5,000 last year. More than a third (37%) say they are using a college savings account - such as a 529 plan - to help reach these goals.

According to the study, on average, parents are planning on paying for 62% of the total cost of college, yet are on track to cover just one-third (34%) of that savings goal.
[Read: <a href="" data-add-tracking="true" target="blank"><em>What the Bank of America Intern's Death Can Teach us About Workplace Health </em></a>]

The College Board predicts the average annual cost of a four-year college in 2020 will be $46,368, up 38% from current fees. With such a high hurdle to clear, parents are thinking of alternative ways to meet the financial challenge, including:
  • 54% expect their kids to take online courses for credit
  • 54% intend to ask their child to work part-time during school to help pay expenses
  • 50% will ask their kids to live at home and commute
  • 40% will encourage their child to attend a public school
  • 23% will encourage their child to graduate in fewer semesters

Parents who first started talking to their kids about the concept of paying for college before the age of 10 were more likely to have started saving (93%), compared to those who first discussed the topic when their child was 10 or older (80%).

And parents are asking kids to kick in to the college kitty. Some 29% of parents reported asking their children to put aside some of their own savings for college, with a typical starting age being between 12 and 13.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.43 -0.20%
FB $118.36 0.25%
GOOG $700.44 0.68%
TSLA $213.31 -4.20%
YHOO $37.09 3.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,697.25 +45.99 0.26%
S&P 500 2,055.71 +4.59 0.22%
NASDAQ 4,733.79 +8.1510 0.17%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs