According to Sallie Mae, college savings for the average family currently hovers just over $16,000, not quite enough to pay for one year of public college in most states. As few families are able to save enough money to finance college in its entirety out of their college savings accounts, most parents are faced with the quandary of how to spend the limited college savings that they do have. If you have a 529 college investment account for your child—maybe enough to cover about one year of college—what is the most beneficial strategy for spending down those funds? Should you spend it all on the first year? Save it all for the last year? Divide it evenly across the four years of college? While there is no definitive answer to this question, here are the primary considerations parents should keep in mind:
The Insider: College Admissions Advice from the Experts is where College Coach experts weigh in on the latest college admissions topics. We cover everything from application timelines and strategies to tips on financing your child's education.
Subscribe to Our Blog
ACT applying from abroad choosing a major choosing the right college college admissions advice college admissions consulting college admissions process college applications college lists college loans college visits common app common application common application help coronavirus covid-19 deciding on a college early action early decision educational consultant essay prompts essays FAFSA financial aid financial aid award getting in high school resume how to get into an ivy league school international students ivy league mba mba programs parenting paying for college SAT saving for college scholarships scholarship search standardized testing standardized tests student loans summer activities summer planning tuition writing college essays