Future College Costs


Year National Public 2-Year National Public 4-Year In-State National Public 4-Year Out-of-State National Private 4-Year

Source:  The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2022

This tool is for your reference only. We do not store or share any information that you enter. Inflation is calculated by assuming a 3% increase in cost each year for tuition, fees, food, and housing. This is only an estimate. Actual costs and rates of inflation may vary.

What Years Will Your Child Be in College?

Age or Grade of Student During the 2022-23 Academic Year Freshman Year Sophomore Year Junior Year Senior Year
Age 0-1 2040 2041 2042 2043
Age 1-2 2039 2040 2041 2042
Age 2-3 2038 2039 2040 2041
Age 3-4 2037 2038 2039 2040
Age 4-5 2036 2037 2038 2039
Grade K 2035 2036 2037 2038

Grade 1

2034 2035 2036 2037
Grade 2 2033 2034 2035 2036
Grade 3 2032 2033 2034 2035
Grade 4 2031 2032 2033 2034
Grade 5 2030 2031 2032 2033
Grade 6 2029 2030 2031 2032
Grade 7 2028 2029 2030 2031
Grade 8 2027 2028 2029 2030
Grade 9 2026 2027 2028 2029
Grade 10 2025 2026 2027 2028
Grade 11 2024 2025 2026 2027

Frequently Asked Questions

Will saving affect my financial aid?

Fortunately, saving for college has a minimal impact on a student's eligibility for financial aid. The college financial aid formula only assumes that, at most, 5.6% of college savings will be used for college costs, so the remaining 94.4% is protected and essentially, ignored. That means that families who have saved for college can still receive a significant amount of financial aid, even if they've saved diligently over several years.

What if I can't save the whole amount?

Most people can't save the entire amount needed for future college expenses. But that's okay. Any amount you save will help to cover your costs and potentially reduce your education loan debt. Save what you can, and try to do so consistently, even setting up monthly automatic deposits into your college savings account, so that you know your account balance is growing each month.

How much should I save every month?

The amount you put away every month into your college savings account should be based on your personal financial situation and the projected cost of college when your child will attend. Once you use our College Cost Projector to determine your future college costs, you can create a personalized saving strategy within our College Planning Tool for every child in your family. We also have an 11-step checklist that can help you determine the amount your family can start to save on a regular basis. View that list here.

What are my options for saving for college?

Massachusetts has two college savings programs, the U.Fund 529 College Investing Plan and the U.Plan Prepaid Tuition Program. Many families save in both plans. The U.Plan allows you to lock in today's prices on tuition and mandatory fees at over 70 colleges and universities in Massachusetts. The U.Fund is a tax-advantaged account with several investment options, and can be used for qualified education expenses at colleges and universities across the country.

What if my child doesn't end up going to college?

If your child doesn't end up going to college, you may transfer your U.Fund or U.Plan savings to another child in the family. For the U.Fund, you can also take a non-qualified withdrawal of your savings; earnings are subject to federal income taxes and a 10% federal penalty. For the U.Plan, you can cash out your funds and will receive your original invested amount plus interest calculated at CPI. There are no federal or Massachusetts tax consequences associated with U.Plan cash-outs, but if you live outside Massachusetts, please consult the laws of your state of residence.