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Study: 529 Plan Investors Have Fatter College Savings Funds

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Fidelity Investments finds parents who have started 529 college savings plans for their kids are setting aside far more for their kids’ education than are parents who don’t have such a plan.

Fidelity, Boston, forecasts that parents will meet an average of only 24% of their children’s college education savings needs, including savings for tuition, fees, and room and board. Parents who have set up 529 plans, however, are on track to save enough to pay 52% of their children’s college costs.

Fidelity bases its estimates on a College Savings Indicator study it recently completed. Parents in the study provided data on their current and projected asset levels, including college savings.

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Parents in the study expect that an average 18% of the total cost of college will be covered by student loans.

With an average college education costing $100,000, and assuming an average 10-year repayment at a hypothetical 7.5% interest rate, the total cost of the loan could exceed $25,000, Fidelity estimates.