Anyone who has been to college or who is still paying off a student loan can attest to the fact that a college education is an expensive endeavor. With the cost of college increasing each year (and outpacing inflation) how are you supposed to invest enough? It begins with a bit of planning.

You can use the following worksheet to see how well your current plan is working, then begin to refine your strategy accordingly to meet your goal.

Some tips for filling out the worksheet:

 Input your data in today's (current) dollars. When planning for the future, people often speak in terms of "current" and "future" dollars. "Future dollars" simply takes into consideration the effects of inflation. This calculator is designed to take into account the effects of inflation, so that you don't have to. Input your data as it is correct today, and the calculator will do the rest. For some fields, we've provided default inputs – you are welcome to edit these if you wish.

 Current taxable assets allocated for college (investments other than your Education Savings Account, formerly known as the Education IRA, assets): \$ Monthly investment toward college (does not include your Education Savings Account investments): \$ Increase monthly investment by rate of inflation? Yes No Anticipated rate of return for your investments 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% 10% 11% 12% 13% 14% 15% 16% 17% 18% 19% 20% How much do you currently have invested toward college in tax-free (Education Savings Account) accounts? \$ How much are you adding to your tax-free (Education Savings Account) accounts? Select one option and fill in the corresponding box. If desired, values in the box may be blank or zero. \$ monthly OR \$ annually Anticipated rate of return for your investments 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% 10% 11% 12% 13% 14% 15% 16% 17% 18% 19% 20%

Household Information
 Federal tax rate (see table below) Select 10% 15% 25% 28% 33% 35% State tax rate % Average annual rate of inflation % Average annual college cost rate of inflation %

 2006 Federal Income Tax Brackets and Rates Single Return Married Filing Jointly Return Federal Tax Rate \$0 - \$7,550 \$0 - \$15,100 10% \$7,551 - \$30,650 \$15,101 - \$61,300 15% \$30,651 - \$74,200 \$61,301 - \$123,700 25% \$74,201 - \$154,800 \$123,701 - \$188,450 28% \$154,801 - \$336,550 \$188,45 - \$336,550 33% Over \$336,550 Over \$336,550 35%

College Investment Goal
 Student's current age Student's age when entering college Estimated annual cost of attendance (see examples below in current dollars) \$ Number of years in college

 Sample Undergraduate Budgets (average), 2005-2006 Type of College Annual Cost of Attendance 2-year public \$2,992* 4-year public (in-state) \$15,566 4-year public (out-of-state) \$23,239 4-year private \$31,916
*Includes the costs of tuition, fees, books, and supplies. Does not include costs of room, board, transportation, or other expenses.
Source: Trends In College Pricing © 2005 by College Entrance Examination Board, New York, New York.

Click here for a list of Wisconsin colleges and 2004-2005 tuition rates.