When it comes to saving for college and preparing your child for college in elementary school, there’s no such thing as “too early.” You’ve made a smart decision by starting the process while your child is very young, and you’ve come to the right place to find a college planning guide for parents.

Get Started the Right Way

Successfully building a college savings account requires a solid plan, discipline, and a focus on the long term. Before you begin:

Save More, Borrow Less

The more you save in the years before college, the less you will have to borrow. Why is saving a better option? Because you pay interest on the money you borrow, but you earn interest on the money you save.

The chart below shows an example that compares saving and borrowing, based on a college cost of $10,000. As you can see, the actual out-of-pocket cost is far less when you save than it is when you borrow.


Cost of borrowing vs saving for college
Based on 10 years at an interest rate of 7%. This example is an estimate only and market conditions may change.

Discover Two Great Ways to Save

MEFA’s U.Plan and U.Fund offer uncommon benefits to help you make the most of your college savings.

U.Plan Prepaid Tuition Program

Lets you prepay up to 100% of your child’s future college expenses at today’s rates:

  • One of the most stable and reliable prepaid tuition programs in the country
  • Can be used at a large network of colleges and universities in Massachusetts
  • No fees, and no state or federal taxes on earnings
  • Any unused money is returned to the owner without penalty and including interest

U.Fund College Investing Plan

Offers you control and flexibility as you save for a child’s college education:

  • Allows you to choose how your money is invested
  • Can be used at virtually any college
  • Easy and affordable to open
  • Significant tax benefits
  • Professionally managed by Fidelity Investments

Find out how these and other college savings accounts stack up against each other in our detailed comparison chart.

Mother on a tablet with her young daughter
“The U.PLAN and U.FUND are rock solid in helping families. ”


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Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm ET or email us anytime at collegeplanning@mefa.org

College Savings

The SECURE Act Expands Use of 529 Plans

The Act allows 529 distributions to pay back student loans and may give grandparents a new way to take advantage of their savings.

College Planning Tool

Need to save for college? Create a personalized savings plan that you can refine, revise, and revisit anytime. Get Started