College Planning

How Much Will College Cost?

This article shows a breakdown of tuition fees and living costs for different types of colleges and provides several online college savings calculators for planning.

How Much Should You Save for College?

The price tag for sending kids off to college is growing exponentially. That's why it's critical for parents to start thinking about how they're going to pay for higher education as soon as possible. Not only is saving early one of the best ways for parents to foot the college bill, but it can also help to prevent their kids from drowning in debt years after receiving their degree.

Just how much should you save for college?

Here, the College Board report breaks down the average annual college costs - including tuition, fees, and living costs - for 2014-2015:

4-year private: $46,272
4-year public (in-state): $23,410
4-year public (out-of-state): $37,229
2-year public: $16,326

Source: the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences National Center for Education Statistics.

Online College Savings Calculators

While the above figures are a good gauge, the college costs will vary between schools, degrees, and the state you live in. A great way to estimate how much you should be saving for college is to use one of the many online college savings calculators. Don't forget to include additional costs such as textbooks, fees, and transportation. Here are our three picks: Boasting as the world's simplest college cost calculator, this one has a lot of great features. Once you navigate through the required fields, you'll have a downloadable PDF report complete with graphs and tables.

Bigfuture. This calculator shows you how much money you'll need for college, whether or not you're on track and saving enough, and what you should be doing to reach your goals. This is a basic calculator that can give you an idea of how much you should be saving. It even adjusts for annual increases.

For more information on how to save for college, visit the Protective Learning Center.

Was this article helpful?

All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax‐related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit

How Much Should You Save for College

How much should you save for college? This article can help you better understand what you'll need to start saving for college by using a college savings calculator and crunching the numbers. The article cover three helpful tools when trying to budget for college. Let Protective Life help you when saving for college..