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Saving for College

Planning for your children’s college educations can be a daunting task. Never mind grades, SAT scores, and getting accepted at the right place—just paying for it is a major undertaking. Very few people can count on being able to pay college costs out-of-pocket when they occur. Rather, it is a matter of a long-term saving plan that might start when the child is still in diapers.

College costs vary widely. Some exclusive private universities have annual costs that approach and even exceed $40,000. At the other end of the scale, some state universities have costs less than $10,000 a year for in-state students. Looking at average annual costs, as determined by the College Board, can be instructive (these figures are for 2004):


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