College costs are going up, but fewer people know about college-savings plans than last year, according to a recent Edward Jones survey.
The May poll of 1,000 adults found that 70% of Americans do not know that 529 plans are a college-savings tool, up from the 63% level in 2012.
In other words, only 30% of Americans can correctly identify a 529 plan as a college savings tool from among four potential options vs. 37% two years ago.
“Despite the fact that the average cost of an in-state public college totaled $22,828 in the 2013-2014 academic year, we have seen a downward trend in 529 plan awareness over the past three years,” said Greg Dosmann, principal with Edward Jones, in a press release.
“It seems counterintuitive that the costs of higher education continue to rise while awareness for a vehicle that can make this cost more manageable continues to decline,” Dosmann explained. “We like to remind our clients that starting a 529 plan savings program as early as possible will help ease the burden as children near college age.”
There were sharp dips in awareness across the country.
In the Northeast, the level of 529 awareness stands at 39% in 2014 vs. 45% in 2013, while in the Midwest the level of 529 knowledge is 30% this year, down from 36% in ‘13.