College Saving

It's always a good time to start planning for college.

Hit the Books: Keep Your Job and Make More

Is college worth the investment? Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that workers with higher levels of education are likely to enjoy both higher incomes and lower unemployment rates.

With a little planning, it's possible to pursue the benefits of higher education without breaking the bank. Putting aside money for college early and consistently helps you reduce the need for loans and lower the impact borrowing has on future goals.

A chart showing the unemployment rate and median weekl.y earnings at different levels of education

Note: Data are for persons age 25 and over. Earnings are for full-time wage and salary workers. Source: Current Population Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018.

Start Early: How Compounding Adds Up Over Time

The more time you have for your investments to grow and compound, the more likely you are to reach your goals.

Compounding occurs when you earn money on your original investment and on any earnings for that original investment. Over time, compounding can have a powerful effect, as seen in this chart that illustrates the potential difference in value of an account opened at birth versus age 6.

If you're getting a late start, focus on the time you have left by developing a plan. Having some college savings is still better than borrowing the full amount.

Example of potential account balances for someone saving from birth vs. age 6.

The hypothetical calculation assumes an initial investment of $2,500 and additional monthly contributions of $250 earning a rate of 6% annually over 12 and 18 years, respectively. It assumes reinvestment of all realized gains, dividends, and interest receipts and does not account for the effects of any added fees, expenses, or taxes that might be incurred. If all taxes, fees, and expenses were reflected, reported portfolio values would be lower. Source: American Century Investments, 2019, Future Value Calculator,

Illustration showing where paychecks go for graduates using savings vs loans to pay for college.

Relying Solely on Loans May Hinder Future Goals

Previous generations funded higher education by taking out student loans. However, as tuition rises, student loan balances are increasing too.

By saving early, students may be able to borrow less for their degrees. After graduation, this can help free up income for life goals, such as buying a new home, starting a family or saving for retirement.

To get started, use our College Savings calculator to estimate how much you may need to save to cover college costs.

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529 Plan

Start a Learning Quest® 529 plan today, or call us at 1-877-345-8837.


Download the CESA application, or call us at 1-800-345-2021.


Start your account online, or give us a call at 1-800-345-2021.

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Learn the Essential Terms of Paying for College

Learn the definitions of the top terms and acronyms you’ll encounter when saving for and paying for your children's college educations.

Give and Receive with Accelerated 529 Gifting

Beyond the tax-advantages afforded by 529 plans, gifting money for college may help fulfill a child's dreams for the future. An accelerated gift may also reduce the benefactor's estate taxes. This can add up to good news for college-bound recipients and gift givers alike.

    Before investing, carefully consider the plan's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This information and more about the plan can be found in the Learning Quest Handbook, available by contacting your financial advisor or American Century Investment Services, Inc., Distributor, at 1-800-579-2203, and should be read carefully before investing. If you are not a Kansas taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the beneficiary's home state offers a 529 Plan that provides its taxpayers with state tax and other benefits not available through this plan.

    Notice: Accounts established under Learning Quest and their earnings are neither insured nor guaranteed by the State of Kansas, the Kansas State Treasurer or American Century Investments.

    Administered by Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers
    Managed by American Century Investment Management, Inc.

    This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal or tax advice.