Estimate Time1 min

How to save for college and when to start

When it comes to saving for college, start as early as you can—that’s the top piece of advice parents give according to Fidelity’s 2022 College Savings Indicator Study.* Starting early can make a difference, both in terms of the money you contribute over time and its potential to grow.

How to start saving for college

As you start saving for college, keep in mind that you may not be on the hook for the entire college bill—some of the other sources to cover college expenses include grants, scholarships, work-study, and contributions from relatives. As you save, consider investing appropriately and be sure to still prioritize “must have” expenses like retirement savings. 

Here are some steps to get started saving for college: 

Establish a college savings goal 

Visit college websites to get a general idea of what they cost to attend and determine how much you may need to save

Choose the college savings plan that's best for you 

These include 529 plans, Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts, UGMA/UTMA custodial accounts, and traditional savings or brokerage accounts. 

Make regular contributions 

Treat your savings like a monthly bill, contribute whatever you can afford now, and challenge yourself to increase the amount over time. 

Save and invest for college

Open a flexible, tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan.

More to explore

Tuition tales: The importance of saving early

Saving for college is a journey, one that is best started as early as possible. Hear this family's story about how they are approaching a savings plan for their twin boys and be encouraged to start your plan today.
*2022 College Savings Indicator,” 2022, Fidelity Investments, 

This information is general in nature and provided for educational purposes only.